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Too MUCH Competency?

24 Mar 2015

Too MUCH Competency?

If a Diamond is a girl’s best friend, then the Right Talent must be an organization’s best asset. Assessing and determining the quality and value of a diamond is commonly known as the 4C’s:

  1. Carat
  2. Clarity
  3. Color
  4. Cut

Perhaps we should use this same concept to assess talent in an organization:

  1. Capability
  2. Competency
  3. Character
  4. Cut

Let’s examine CAPABILITY AND COMPETENCY- Is it possible to have too MUCH capability and competency?

Carat refers to the weight of the diamond which determines its commercial value.

Capability refers to the capacity and ability of a person as a result of their attainment in education, past experiences and training. In addition there could be other aptitude factors such as learning agility, adaptability, developmental potential and critical reasoning skills.

Competency refers to the knowledge, skill and behavior or attitude (KSA) required to perform a specific role or job. Competency based assessment aims to identify the KSA that differentiates high performers from average performers. For instance, management competency might include systems thinking, emotional intelligence, ability to influence and negotiation skills.

While it is the objective to assess, screen and recruit candidates with high level proficiencies in competency and capability traits, sometimes there could be a case of “too much of a trait.” A high intensity level of a trait could actually become counter-productive to performance.

For example, in a Management Role, an excess in Authoritative (willingness to take personal responsibility to make decisions) without the right amount of balance in Collaborating and Enlisting Others’ Cooperation may result in having a dictatorial or authoritarian style of leadership.

Rough Diamond

What are you doing to find your diamond in the rough?

Similarly, in Customer Service, an excess of being overly Diplomatic without the right amount of balance in being Frank or tactfully Direct will result in being overly Evasive with customers.

Next, there are competencies in which only a moderate proficiency is sufficient. Take Sales for example, where a moderate amount of Helpfulness or Warmth/Empathy may be sufficient.

Hence, it is essential when developing a Competency-based assessment, to consider the three categories that are Essential or Differentiating Competencies (the more the better), Desirable Competencies (moderate is sufficient) and finally the Counter- Productive Competencies, a.k.a. the “Derailers” (excess imbalances affects performance).

The unique Harrison Assessment is designed with this and other capability and competency balances taken into consideration.



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