Competency Development

Competency Development

In the introduction to his book “The Competent Manager,” Richard Boyatzis says, “ Organizations need managers to be able to reach their objectives. They need competent managers to be able to reach these objectives both efficiently and effectively…It is the competence of managers that determines, in large part, the return that organizations realize from their human capital, or human resources. To acquire and retain competent managers, to let them know what they are expected to do, and to effectively utilize the organization’s human and other resources, people in organizations use models of management. “

“A model of management is an answer to the question: What kind of a person will be effective in our organization in specific management jobs? It is a template which is used for decisions such as selection, promotion, firing, and design of and assignment to management developmental activities. It is used to interpret responsibility for success or failure with respect to accomplishment of performance objectives. “

What enables a person to demonstrate the specific actions that lead to specific results? We believe that certain characteristics or abilities of the person enable him or her to demonstrate the appropriate specific actions. These characteristics or abilities can be called “competencies.” Competency development is such a model of management.

Our approach to competency development is summarized on the following pages.

The Competency Iceberg*

WHAT IS A COMPETENCY? A competency is an underlying characteristic of a person which enables them to deliver superior performance in a given job, role or situation.

*Most organizations who undertake competency studies stop at the level of superficial behavior (skill and knowledge). For a behavior to be truly a competency it must be associated with intent, I.e., the intentional use of behavior in delivering a performance outcome.

This will reflect to categories of competencies: Threshold competencies - the characteristics which any job holder needs to have to do that job effectively - but do not distinguish the average from superior performer.

Differentiating competencies - those characteristics which superior performers have but are not present in average performers.

  • Skills - things that people can do well Knowledge - what a person knows about a specific topic
  • Social role - the image that an individual displays in public; it represents what he/she thinks is important and reflects their values
  • Self image - the view people have of themselves
  • Traits - enduring characteristics of people; they tend to be habitual behaviors
  • Motives - unconscious thoughts and preferences which drive behavior

Competency Model

Strategy-Driven Competency Development



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