The Dynamics of Core Competencies over Time

Core competency models are good – but they are generally static and do not account for dynamics that occur over time.

There are two important variables affecting core competencies that change over time. These two variables are:

  • Changes in technology and the nature of the business itself.
  • Individual behavior in positions that have core competencies defined change because of an individual’s ability to learn.

Inserting mathematics into core competency dynamics might sound theoretical to some, but it can be done – the difficulty, of course, rests in the fact that one needs to deal with “qualitative data” applied to a “quantitative method.”

Nevertheless, mathematical principles may be applied to see and predict behavior of an individual in a job over time.

There are two important variables that apply to an individual in any job:

  • His/her ‘preferences’ about the work being done – that he/she “likes” or “doesn’t like” what he/she is doing;
  • His/her ‘performance’ at doing the work – that he/she is “good at” or “not good at” doing assigned tasks.

These two variables are measured by different sources:

  • ‘Preference’ is measured by the individual him/herself;
  • ‘Performance’ is measured most accurately by the organization for whom he/she is working.

How individuals think about their level of performance often differs from what the organization observes.

How organizations think about an individual’s preferences are often wrong.

A good way to understand these dynamics is to use a little career management tool called the “Doom Loop.”

The “Doom Loop” shows how an individual’s feelings and behavior changes over time when he/she remains in the same job. This behavior – measured by preference and performance – can be predicted, and remedies applied to change the nature of the job and to improve individual performance.

Yes – on the surface the “Doom Loop” may appear to be a relatively intuitive and simple – even whimsical – tool.

But – it WORKS!

Check it out and give it some thought.

You might be surprised.


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