Strategy Development: Building Capability

One of the key elements to developing a strategy or auditing a current one is an assessment of current capabilities or competencies. The capabilities of your organisation exist at all levels from the organisation entity down to individuals. I am considering the individual level here.

As you develop your strategic objectives, target markets and the value you will deliver to be successful, you must be honestly assessing your capabilities to execute this plan. If you scan your business and identify gaps in capabilities then these must be addressed before you implement the strategy you are developing.


(Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

In a perfect world you will have capabilities linked to job titles/roles. Each job title has requisite capabilities to hold a job title and this structure delivers an elegant way to identify gaps. If this is not the situation in your business, you may wish to consider this as a sub-project to your strategy development or review. If your business is small or this is not a practical project at this time, I suggest recording all the capabilities required to execute your strategy. Resist any temptation to limit or discount the need for any capabilities that come to mind.

Once you have compiled your master capability list you can begin to map these capabilities to existing and future team members. Do they possess the capabilities? Yes or No. There is no room for ‘maybes’ in this activity.

Some of the ways my clients measure their capabilities are assessment tools, learning management systems and one to one interviews. Previous performance appraisals are also very useful if they have been done well. Of course you cannot simply implement an LMS to gain this information so this may be out of the question if you do not currently have a system in place capturing relevant data and reporting on it. Assessments are very useful and these have proven their efficacy in every case I have used them.

Capability gaps can be closed by training and recruitment. I always prefer training as a means of enhancing an engaged performance culture. In the definition of training I also include coaching and mentoring. Recruitment is a fast way to address capability gaps and be wary of any impacts to existing team members.

If you would like to speak about building capabilities in your organisation please get in touch

I can help you develop a rock solid strategy map and a plan to ensure you have the capabilities to successfully execute your strategy.

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