mercredi 8 septembre 2021

The leadership theory of Contextual Soft Skills [sep 2021]

In the 70s, Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard issued the leadership theory [1] of Situational Leadership, which is, in a nutshell, "the right leadership at the right time" [2].

As solutions to develop, identify and measure soft skills are becoming mature, it is needed to create a leadership theory to enable the activation of  the right soft skills in the right place at the right time : it is the theory of Contextual Soft Skills.

Like the Situational Leadership theory which has the Situational Leadership Model pattern, the Contectual Soft Skills has a design pattern, which is called Contextual Soft Skills Glass. 

Where Situational Leadership Model shows a board of four quadrants and a table, the Contextual Soft Skills Glass model shows a four layers structure which is thinner in the middle [3].

To train professionals to activate the right soft skills in the right place at the right time, the creative SME Do-Khac Decision proposes 

  • a portofolio of training sessions of which learning approach is self-determined ("heutagogic") [4].
  • a portofolio of joyful collaborative tools such as La Maitrise d'Usage, SoftSkills48 or DISC Governance.


[1] 10 leadership theories : a genuine table with emblematic authors, X-Soft-Skills, march 2021
[2] The Center of Leadership Studies, USA
[3] Après le leadership situationnel, les soft skills contextuels, Répertoire de l'entreprise numérique créative, août 2021
[4] An heutagogy for upskilling / reskilling : the Enterprise Adventure Game, L'entreprise numérique créative,  aug 2021

Update august 2022
The right context can help developping soft skills. With the right pedagogy at college, kids can develop soft skills during maths lessons [1].

[1] Develop soft skills while learning maths at college and high school, X-SoftSkills, aug 2022

About the creation of the Contextual Soft Skills theory 

The Contextual Soft Skills theory is the result of design thinking research on management and hands-on experience. 

Besides a review of leadership theories [1], an exhaustive study of theories artefacts such as soft skills frameworks (Fr : référentiel) was performed. The list of reviewed soft skills frameworks includes some works published by various French actors (adminstration, state agency, academic institutions, non governmental organization,...) [a]. These research were critical to create the Contextual Soft Skills theory.

About the probable creator

Tru Do-Khac (X79), a Vietnamese French consultant,  has a hands-on experience of a diversity of enterprise cultures [B]

In the first part of his career, he served companies of worldwide culture reputation (IBM and Accenture), an european company (Alcatel NV, today Nokia) and a French large company which has become international (France Telecom, today Orange). After serving Alcatel and before entering Accenture, he joined a telecom consulting SME based in Paris.

In the second part of his career, as a freelance professional, he has been delivering consulting services, designing soft skills tools,  making self-funded research on management, writing two books,  nurturing several blogs, while volonteering in social activities. 

[a] Une étude sur les référentiels de soft skills, Do-Khac Decision, avril 2020
[b]  Linkedin profile