Core Competencies - Working Smarter, Not Harder!

1048 Words3 Pages

Core Competencies - Working Smarter, Not Harder!

The Opportunity

You have a good product, a good market share, good distribution. How do you "raise the bar" and become truly great?

The Solution

In most cases, greatness doesn’t come from doing the same things but trying harder. When you do that, even the combined efforts of all of your people are too diffuse to make much of a difference. Like having hundreds of people pushing with their hands on a brick wall, you spend a lot of energy getting nowhere.

Greatness comes from focus. Having the effort of those hundreds of people translate into a single point of impact, like a single sledgehammer, will definitely have more impact.

Core competencies are "focus points" that funnel peoples’ skills and efforts to make a greater effect.

Successful companies often have one main core competency, or a closely related cluster of core competencies that support each other.

What Are Core Competencies?

Core competencies are the key skills, characteristics and assets that your company brings to the marketplace. These competencies, on an organizational level, are a synergistic blending of the core competencies that your people individually bring to work every day.

What does your company do? If you have to think about that more than a second or two, it may be too complicated.

Example company core competencies:

Excellent Customer Service

(State, Nation, Worldwide) Information Networking

New Product Research and Development

Market Research

Relationship Development/Outreach

These are obviously very broad competencies that would work for nearly any company. Yours are probably much more specific.

Defining What You Need

After you've determined your unique market niche and the core compentencies your company brings to the marketplace, analyze the skills that you need your workforce to bring to the table. It's important that you do this objectively, so try not to think about what you have, but instead about what you need if you had the ideal workforce and time and money were no object. (There will be time enough for reality later!)

People competencies that would support the above:

Customer Service

Information Technology/Knowledge Management

Scientific/Creative skills

Marketing Skills

Sales Skills

Once you've finished your "wish list," you'll need to compare it...

... middle of paper ...

...ndrew Carnegie commented that most of us take the public school and library system for granted, simply because they are free. We tend to value most the things that we have struggled to acquire and pay for. But some of the best ideas come free. Don't ignore this windfall!

Communicate regularly with your empoyees, and emphasize the point that you are open to ideas and recommendations. Make sure you give credit where credit is due. You might ask people directly if they've had opportunities to use all of their skills.


Staying ahead of the changing economy is getting more and more difficult to do by working harder. Adapting to changes and working smarter requires specific focus. Focusing on the core competencies of your company is the means to develop that focus. More specifically, you need to determine what core competencies are needed to meet your companies specific goals and objectives. Once this "wish list" of core competencies is developed, you need to identify gaps and overlaps, and resolve the gaps by developing or augmenting your current staff. Continued effort is needed to make sure those competencies and skills are being leveraged by everyone in your company

Open Document