Taking a strategic approach to your competency development will drive more value for your business
In our previous blog post we talked about strategic choice no 2 saying that competencies usually are used to closely align individuals’ performance with the drivers and strategic priorities of a business. So, it follows that careful consideration should be given to exactly which groups of employees are critical for the success of those drivers and that strategy.
In this last blog post we look in to 'how do we want to use these competencies?’
Strategic Choice 3: How will you use your competencies?
The third strategic choice is all about how you want to use your link between your business’ strategy and people’s everyday performance, to competitive advantage. What is the current gap between the capabilities you have today versus what you need in the future? Do you need to recruit people whose capabilities better-match the competencies your strategy requires? Do you already have the right potential capabilities and need to culturally align them to a new strategic direction?
Your answers to these questions will help you identify what you need to focus on in terms of integrating your competency development with your talent acquisition, management and retention activities. If you need to recruit these competencies then your competencies will need to be more detailed and include both positive and negative indicators. If you need to culturally align the talent you already have in a new direction then you will want to make the competencies generic enough that a broad range of employees can apply them. If you need to transform a sales force you may need competency descriptions that cover different levels and roles so you can directly link them to bonuses.
A competency strategy is all about your big picture
A final consideration is how will you maintain your competencies and competency development, to keep your focus updated and agile? This involves planning how you will measure their success and impact upon your business, being clear on ownership of applying the competencies in practice and having a feedback loop from the employees on the ground who are your ‘end users’.
This is all about bigger-picture thinking, and a recent McKinsey study found that businesses that planned from the outset for longer term sustainability were nearly twice as likely to be good competency implementers as those who didn’t. And these good implementers were also nearly five times more likely to be successful at accomplishing their change efforts. And as we know, commercial success comes from successful strategy execution, which in turn is usually all about successful change leadership.