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Action Profiling Background

During the early 1940s, body movement analyst Rudolf Laban worked to improve production in British factories. He recognized a variety of inherent movements in workers and identified that different jobs required specific movement patterns. He demonstrated that matching a person’s movement patterns with the appropriate job resulted in increased productivity and morale as well as reduced absenteeism and employee turnover.

When observing managers these same movements were recognized, only on a more subtle scale. Laban and his colleagues identified a direct correlation between patterns in body movement and patterns in decision making central to managerial job functions. As a result of this insight, Laban and business partner, Warren Lamb, were sought after for advice in the selection, placement, and career guidance of managers. Their work had a profound impact on the success rate of hiring and developing executives.


By 1965, Lamb had formalized their research and had developed a framework for profiling the distinctive manner in which a person thinks through decision making. The work continued to be refined and validated throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and the application of this movement analysis within business became known as Action Profiling.

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