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What do I use the understanding of competences for?

You can use your understanding of the competences required for a transition project to:

What competences are relevant?

Experience shows that three basic competences are needed for transition work:

Six groups

These three basic competences are covered by six groups of competences that are important for transition work (see the table). A person does not have to possess all of these competences since you will generally be working in a team.

Competence group


Recognising patterns

  • integrated thinking
  • questioning with an open mind
  • analytical thinking
  • conceptual thinking


  • visionary and inspirational
  • possessing courage and the will to change
  • creative
  • historical sense


  • mobilising skills
  • organisational talent
  • second-order learning


  • anticipatory skills
  • entrepreneurial skills
  • powers of persuasion
  • networking and lobbying


  • observational skills
  • reflective skills
  • self-aware and independent

Transition management

  • systems thinking
  • insight, helicopter view and a sense of timing
  • ability to balance substance, process and results

Connection with clusters

The six competence groups are connected as follows to the clusters in this website:

Changing needs

The competences required can change in the course of a programme. You should therefore incorporate sufficient flexibility in the organisation of a project or a programme to allow you to switch people and competences if necessary.

How do I identify areas for personal development?

Perform the competence scan on this website or use the digital form that you can download here. You can determine your own score for the position of project or theme leader, intermediary or for the monitor function

Your work may not fall into any of these categories. If so, you may want to adapt the scan. Proceed as follows:

You can also use the scan for 360 degree feedback by asking colleagues, customers, clients and managers to give scores for you on the list of questions. You can then compare and discuss the results.

Where can I learn transition competences?

See for general courses and training programmes, see 'Education'. You can also investigate whether there is a community of practice or establish one.

Which roles are essential in a team?

The following roles should be represented if a transition team is to be effective:

In terms of the roles, therefore, transition teams are like any other team but with the noteworthy addition of the role of networker. This is a crucial role because a transition professional must have networks at various levels.

What personal characteristics do professionals have?

Many transition professionals are idealists. Their ambition is to create a more sustainable world and have the drive to achieve the necessary changes. Perseverance and a certain optimism are other common personal characteristics. These traits help transition professionals to deal with opposition and cope with lengthy change processes.

Open working style

Transition professionals have a feel for the group of people they need to bring together to achieve something and have an open working style. They are motivated by the attainment of short-term results or by the connections they make between people and organisations. They are not seeking power in the sense of wanting to win and gain control over situations and others. First and foremost, transition professionals want to achieve transitions.