TAO Power Tools

The EUM family of tools is designed for individuals, groups and formal organizations – business and non-business. They are tools that provide incisive insights into the nature of the unit being studied, and offer a rich basis for exploration, dialogue and development directions. They offer critical inputs for alignment – be it personal or organizational, growth and evolution. The underlying framework that informs these tools is the work of Ashok Malhotra, who in turn drew inspiration from the work of Clare Graves.

The framework and the tools built on it do not categorize, or “box” people and organizations behind labels, and instead seeks to map the configuration of different states of existence as they uniquely come together in a particular entity; it helps build hypotheses on the nature of this configuration and its implications for integrity and meaningfulness as part of the evolutionary journey.

A fundamental premise is that individuals and organizations are living systems with their own needs, imperatives and modalities of engaging with its context. So no exploration is complete here without reckoning with the context. Figure and ground are not separated but seen together!

The EUM–I, and EUM–O, two of the earliest tools designed have till date been administered to over 3000 individuals and 100 organizations respectively.


The EUM - I is a tool developed to understand an individual from a holistic perspective. It maps an individual’s self perception, propensity for change, perception of the world and his position in it, based on the framework developed by Ashok Malhotra.

The EUM scores are used to understand the interplay between an individual’s perceptions of self, his worldview and his idealized self. The EUM enables an exploration and portrayal of an individual’s identity and role taking on a wide canvas. The EUM examines the current location of an individual, the possible causes for this, direction/choices for the future as well as anticipated blocks and impediments.

What is different about the EUM – I?

Unlike some other tools that are deterministic and are based on an “a priori” construct of types of people, EUM - I is based on the belief that despite similar patterns in the nature of issues faced, people are essentially unique. EUM focuses on this uniqueness of an individual without classifying ‘strengths’ and ‘weakness’ which need to be leveraged or tackled. It explores the capabilities and limitations that an individual experiences as also the choices that are available to him at that time. It sees the individual as dynamic and with an inherent capacity for change. Thus, the tool seeks to understand and individual on a continuum rather than a frozen stagnant place.

Who should be using the EUM – I?

The EUM – I can be a powerful addition to the tool kit of consultants, leaders, facilitators, executive coaches, human resource and training professionals and behavioral scientists.

Application areas of EUM - I

EUM - I can be used for individual and leadership development, team building and development, and individual counseling and coaching. An individual’s propensities, the entrenchments and the withheld potentialities, the patterns of engagement with the world, the nature of choices and the challenges specific to the individual and his context - all these and more – relevant to the unfolding of the individual are gleaned through careful reading of the EUM.


Each organisation develops a certain identity for itself. The identity reflects the organization’s philosophy of business, its outlook towards its employees, stakeholders and society at large. This identity flows from the ‘existential level’ of the organisation.

There are four primary interfaces that impact an organisation, namely, its customer, its employee, the technology and money. Its overall existential level determines the nature of these interfaces. For instance, while a ‘mechanistic’ organisation looks at technology as a threat to the status quo, a ‘humanistic’ organisation looks at technology as a facilitator of growth (of business as well as employees). Again, while the ‘opportunistic’ organisation looks at money as a thing for consumption, the ‘institutional’ organisation looks at it as having potentiality to generate more.

The EUM - O is based on the premise that each organisation operates from a unique combination of various existential levels. It has elements of all, but it might tend towards a particular existential level. Each level of existence is manifested in a particular style of functioning. This combination gives insights into the proclivities, entrenchments and issues of the organisation.

What is different about the EUM – O?

The EUM – O offers a snapshot of the organization – internal, and how it views its context. Implicit in the assumptions and design of the tool is the view that organizations are living systems that interact with their environment and mutually influence and shape each other. Identity, character, operative values (means and ends), energy vectors, stances, etc are aspects that are explored through the responses gathered from the EUM – O.?

The EUM – O is easy to administer, and experience suggests that large sample size of respondents are not needed to get a fairly sharp and visceral view of the organization – as is, and aspired for – the opportunities, and the nature of organizational learning necessary for meaningful movement.

Who should be using the EUM – O?

The EUM – O is an essential part of the OD practitioner’s tools. Human Resource professionals, consultants and academicians studying organizations will find this an invaluable asset for mapping organizations.

Application areas of EUM - O

The EUM – O can be deployed in interventions dealing with visioning, Organization change and transformation, organization alignment, culture building, and shaping convergence amongst leadership on future directions. It provides a powerful organization diagnosis for dialogue, uncovering response and choice making patterns that are deep seated, the organization development directions and learning necessary for critical shifts to be realized. EUM – O used in conjunction with EUM – I is a powerful way to explore both, the organization context, the psyche of people who shape it and the nature of interplay between the two.