MOTM 43: Levels of Competency

By October 3, 2023Design, MOTM

The Model of the Month

Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

Join host Svenja Rüger with Rob Evans & Matt Taylor for a 90-minute live discussion.

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM PST/Los Angeles
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST/Chicago
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST/New York

16:00 – 18:00 BST/London
17:00 – 19:00 CET/Paris

(Check your timezone here)


How can we as practitioners become better at what we do in the service of humanity?

HOST: Svenja Rüger PRESENTERS: Rob Evans & Matt Taylor

We are pleased to announce that our 43rd MG Taylor Model of the Month Workshop is October 4th! Join us as we explore new ideas and insights through collaborative and innovative approaches.

We would be delighted to have you participate in this beautiful experience of knowledge exchange, group work, and conversation. The facilitated session will last for 90 minutes, with an additional 30 minutes in which we will still be around for an informal discussion.

This discussion will focus on Levels of Competency.

The Levels of Competency model describes three distinct levels of attainment in any craft or discipline: familiarity, journeyperson, and mastery.

The first step to mastery is the removal of everything in your environment that represents mediocrity, removing those things that are limiting.”  – Stewart Emery

The path to mastery in any field begins with familiarity, not in the commonly used sense of “vague awareness of something,” but in the technical, military sense. You are understood to be familiar with a subject if you can demonstrate an understanding of its concepts and models and their application. Familiarity requires a broad understanding of the body of knowledge on which practitioners rely.

journeyperson can do all the work of a craft or practice area. Of course, the more complex the area, the smaller the range of demonstrable expertise will be. But a journeyperson is not a specialist per se. They have proven capability across a broad range of activities.

master can demonstrate superior, comprehensive knowledge and skill in a subject area. Mastery requires not just knowledge but proficiency in the application of that knowledge. In ancient times, aspiring masters would need to create a masterpiece demonstrating outstanding skill, artistry, or workmanship; only then would the craftsman be accepted as a qualified member of the guild and an acknowledged master. The tradition continues today in academia; doctorates are awarded based on original work that advances a field of study. In ancient times, as today, a master also had the job of overseeing the work and development of others as they grew toward their own mastery.

“You see, we are all ordinary. But a master, rather than condemning himself for his “ordinariness,” will embrace it and use it as a foundation for building the extraordinary.” – Stewart Emery

There is no right way to achieve mastery, but the Levels of Competency model offers specific information about how to proceed most effectively.

Once you register, please read the detailed model description to dive deeper into what you can draw from it.

We are very much looking forward to our conversations.


Matt, Rob & Svenja

Register HereCelebrating 42 Model of the Month Workshops
NOTE: This online workshop is free to all participants. Members of our TVW Learning Community on Mighty Networks will have access to the recording and resources, including all future and past MOTM series and TVW workshops.

Workshop Presenters

Svenja Ruger


Münich, Germany | Facilitator | Process Designer

Svenja is a facilitator and designer of large-scale collaborative sessions. Her passion lies in building resilient communities and facilitating collaborative processes to solve complex challenges on a systems level. She cares a lot about the challenges the world is currently facing and wants to support connecting the dots in order to create impactful, meaningful solutions. She promotes listening to understand, not listening to speak, and holds the space for what is trying to emerge.

Rob Evans


New York & San Francisco | TVW Member since 2015

Rob Evans is recognized as one of the world’s best-known and most respected facilitators. He has taught thousands of leaders and facilitators in the private, public, and NGO sectors. The Collaboration Code®  is a book series curated by Rob Evans co-founder of Imaginal Labs. Book three in the series, Models: Frameworks for Transformation presents the entire set of models and terms of art in the MG Taylor Modeling Language, including many never-before documented models with illustrations by Kelvy BirdChristopher Fuller, and Kelly Adams.

Matt Taylor


Kansas City, USA | Designer | Inventor| Teacher| Facilitator

For over 60 years, Matt Taylor has focused his career on the application of architectural design methods to solving complex, systemic problems found at the intersection of physical environments, ecologies, organizational practices, and visionary ideas. This work involves business processes, tool-sets, and software programs, and includes their expression and utilization in the design, construction, and use of virtual and physical environments for collaborative work and sustainable creative living. The components of these environments, and the environments themselves, are designed and built in regard to their fit with, and long-term impact on, social-economic-ecological systems. The sum of his work is outlined in a System and Method co-invented with partner Gail Taylor. He is co-founder of the MG Taylor Corporation.

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