Friday, July 30, 2021

Capability Development

Developing talent and building capability should be ongoing practices for professionals today.

Professional capability is an individual’s ability to perform certain activities and deliver high quality results. Knowledge workforces change each day, they learn, grow, develop their unique set of capabilities, and improve professional (emotional, intellectual) maturity. 

Perhaps many will ponder: What is the thing referred to as talent, skill, experience, capability, how to develop talent and build capabilities?

Capability is built via well developed talent or unlocked potential: Talent is how much you can execute things uniquely, fast, accurately with more out-of-box thinking. Capability is underpinned by processes; talent, process, motivation, discipline, and other ingredients can be integrated into professional capabilities to deliver high quality and consistent outcomes. Talent is often raw, more artistic, though it can be sharpened continually into solid capability. Capability is more scientific - breaking it down, binding it up, with the right mix of elements to make achievement. Raw talent is innate, it takes the immense amount of time and hard work that most "naturally talented" people have committed to developing their talents, sharpening their skills and shaping a set of capabilities to deliver consistent results.

A set of professional skills and expertise can be integrated into a unique capability to make certain achievement in a consistent manner: Developing capability is to bring up the hidden potential of a candidate. Process underpins capability. Training is just giving a better understanding on adopting the process, learning, handling the process. So keep sharpening your skills can help to develop a certain level of capability. But for certain sophisticated capabilities, skills only are not enough. As often skill is more linear; and capability is more integral. For example, creativity is an innate ability to generate novel ideas. It’s a state of the mind often at the edge of things and being able to expand the boundaries of knowledge or conventional understanding. Being creative is not only about "being knowledgeable," or being skillful; it needs to have certain raw talent, as well as some other nonlinear skills such as critical reasoning, synthesis, observation, inquisitiveness, networking, etc.

To achieve capability coherence, choose how to improve the capability based on your talent/innate strengths: Learning, experiencing, training, are all important to keep improving capabilities, as well as integrate a set of capabilities into core competency. From a talent development perspective, it’s crucial to understand: What is innate, what is learned? Some can be trained, some perhaps cannot. Knowledge can be taught, but insight is unique for each individual, even though we could always share some wisdom. You can provide opportunities for someone to learn and hone a skill. Ultimately, it is up to the individual - talented or not, to decide whether to learn and to what extent he/she decides to learn and practice for building coherent capability to deliver high quality.

Developing talent and building capability should be ongoing practices for professionals today. Raw talent, accumulated experience, trained skill sets, plus soft elements such as inspiration, motivation, disciplines, persistence, time management, etc, all crucial to shape a differentiated capability and build core competency.


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