Re: Competences LO2840

Barry Deutsch (
Sat, 16 Sep 1995 10:35:18 -0700

Replying to LO2802 --

Adelaide wrote:

> One of the fundamental goals of my research is to explore whether
>managers' agreement on their companies' competences (which I define using
>Leonard-Barton's definition of "knowledge-based sources of competitive
>advantage") is related to firm performance.
> It seems that understanding this may be an important precursor to
>evaluating whether employees 'have' the right competencies or obsolete
>competences (meaning I am assuming that there is a good chance that top
>managers who evaluate employees may not share the same minds on what are
>the "right competences" and which are "obsolete"). I would obviously be
>interested in others' assumptions and views toward this as well as their
>experiences in companies regarding Bernard's questions.
> Second, this may be simple semantics but I would bet the ranch
>that 100% (not the unfortunate 10%) of the workforce at the French data
>processing companies had competences that were obsolete or useless to the
>firm. The more pertinent issue is whether the individuals have the (cost
>effective) ability to acquire skills or knowledge to contribute to
>competencies that the firm values.

Glad to see you to jump in -- I have to remember to post my own
introduction soon. You mention competencies. How do define them -- as
skills and experiences, or as past results/accomplishments achieved. The
current model of measuring people (competencies) is outdated and
misleading. The focus tends to be on inputs
(credentials/experiences/skills) not outputs (results and
accomplishments). The process needs to be turned upside down and the
desired results matched with the ability of individuals to achieve those

Secondly, very few of my clients have any kind of linkage between
strategic goals/departmental goals/individual performance. Is it any
wonder why my clients tell me that over 50% of the time their expectations
of subordinate individual performance are not met? We try to identify
strategic goals and then extend these down to individual performance
objectives -- both for managing and for hiring.


Barry Deutsch
The Adler Group
Staffing Strategies and The Managers' Edge Seminar Programs
World Class Staffing Software for Hiring Managers
Performance-based Executive Search
Telephone: (310) 378-4571/Fax: (310) 791-4433

-- (Barry Deutsch)