Saturday, September 6, 2014

A competency model question

Consider the game of cricket. In the 70s if you looked at our cricket stalwarts - lets say a Sunil Gavaskar and built a competency model based on Gavaskar  - there is no way a Virendra Sehwag would make the cut or a Jonty Rhodes or perhaps even a Krish Srikkanth.  Most likely a Sachin Tendulkar would also fall by the wayside.

Ditto for almost any other sport or discipline.

So, what gives? For one, the sport has moved. From test cricket in the 70s to one day cricket in the 80s to faster pace of cricket in the 90s to the shorter format therafter. Suddenly with the entry of Jonty Rhodes, fielding (direct hits) became a competency that was hitherto ignored. With the arrival of Jayasuriya, pinch hitting became a competency.

Second, it ignores what an individual brings to the role. And herein is the bigger issue.

Two persons can succeed in a role in a very different way. And that is their strength. A look at competency is a bit of reinforcement of confirmation bias - and an existing competency map is perhaps no way of predicting future movement - because that depends on the industry movement also.

Take HR for instance. HR used to be an engagement driven department with everybody there who had nothing to do with numbers and data. But Analytics is catching up, but it is barely registered as a competency these days. How will an existing competency model capture this movement?

Interesting question!

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