Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Capability Refinement Cycle

Gain an in-depth understanding of what capabilities bring core professional advantage and invest accordingly in developing and sustaining valued competency.

With rapid change, frequent disruptions and fierce competition across the globe, capability development is an emerging discipline for professionals today to identify their raw talent, train skillset, build their unique capabilities which evolves and moves from the fundamental level to differentiated level between categories based on the professional talent, traits, drive, strength, skills, personality. 

Technically speaking, capability is different from talent or skill because it’s the ability to do certain things and solve certain problems. Thus, the capability maturity assessment is based on the scale and scope of problems you can solve, and the degree of impact you can make on your surroundings, organizations, or our society. The objective assessment of capability is important to design, build, and preserve core competency, for shaping the new breed of competitive, innovative and unique business leaders and professionals.

Linear capability: In industrial societies, we get educated and work at certain positions in different organizations and industries. Linear capabilities are usually based on the skills sharpened via training or years of experience, usually focusing on one specific discipline. The capability is not the same as certificate, major, skill, or experience, etc. But they are all crucial ingredients to develop your professional capability. Capability is also underpinned by more hard and soft factors such as talent, process, motivation, special training, etc. Although we shouldn’t judge the book by its cover; but more often than not, we need to make a judgement about professional capability maturity as now we live in a knowledge economy with fierce competitions. The basic capabilities to keep you surviving, “me too” type capability to get some work done. All high professionals need to continue sharpening their skillset and building their professional capability.

People all have some “raw or natural talent,” the things you have a strong feeling that you can do better than many others, even before training. In fact, people are different, with unique talent, some are artistically intuitive, some are linguistically intuitive, some are experimentally intuitive, etc. If your linear capabilities are based on your natural talent, there’s higher possibilities you can become more intuitive on what you do and deliver quality results consistently and effortlessly. 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 capability. You can also make continuous improvement and scale up linear capabilities incrementally to solve a similar set of problems and build your expertise and credibility as a specialist.

Integral capabilities: Due to the complexity of modern society with hyperconnectivity and interdisciplinarity, capabilities move from fixed to dynamic, transactional to transformational, linear to nonlinear to solve more complex problems or thorny issues effectively. Integral capabilities are the combined or recombined nonlinear capabilities which can make a bigger impact by solving significant organizational or societal problems fluently. The concept of “integral” often refers to mixing or synthesizing a few nonlinear capabilities that people deliberately develop at the flow of their life or career journey. The concept of "nonlinear" as a concept is representative of what we term emergent properties - sometimes we can control, sometimes, it just happens. Integral capability is often nonlinear and synthetic in nature, combining the modular capabilities exposed in a platform to create new experiences and expand its impact, embedding agility in processes and focusing on building long-term professionalism. An integral capability enables us to create something new out of something existing, reaching the new horizon out of an old vision and making professional transcendence for reaching the next level of talent discovery, interdisciplinarity and autonomy.

In practice, capabilities, especially at the integral level may include dependencies, one is part of another or depends on another. It’s important to gain insight into the condition and relationship or dependency of capabilities to improve capability coherence and maturity, and focus on building long-term professional competency. Therefore, to intentionally develop an integral professional capability, you need to identify the capability gaps by looking ahead - what’s your natural talent you have not tapped, which linear capabilities you already have, what’s your perception of the better version of yourself, etc. The scientific capability diagnosis helps ambitious professionals sufficiently aware of the "general condition" of the various capabilities to provide input into a qualitative capability assessment and development. and be proactively looking for opportunities to develop, improve, and build relevant capabilities; also compare your set of capabilities with competitors' to ensure that you are developing differentiated capabilities to gain professional advantage.

Core competency: A core competency is a harmonization of multiple capabilities with a focus, and in alignment with the purpose you need to fulfill and the goals you need to accomplish. To unleash professional potential and accelerate performance, dynamic core competency is the unique set of professional capabilities that differentiate top talented professionals from the masses because it implies learning plasticity, capability synthesis and innovativeness. Every professional has their own journey of growth either personally or professionally based on their own perception, talent, life experience, training, and refinement. Dynamic Capabilities are the strategic routines by which talented professionals achieve new resource configurations as markets emerge, collide, split, evolve, etc, continuing building their set of unique capabilities.

Visionary leaders and professionals with their unique set of core competencies can create the new landscape, shape their fresh views, and build their habitual ecosystem to thrive, and attract more people like them to practice innovative leadership and advance our shared world. A core competency is valuable, rare, and difficult to imitate. They are more complex in development, sophisticated to copy and faster to integrate. It cannot be transferred because of the degree of originality, learning, unique ingredients or well-built expertise that people go with. It involves a state of the mind often at the edge of things and being able to expand the boundaries of knowledge or conventional understanding to develop interdisciplinary expertise. To adapt to the high velocity and unprecedented uncertainty, it’s an imperative for high professionals to keep integrating the existing building blocks or recombine existing capabilities into the more sophisticated capabilities for solving complex problems and making high accomplishments.

It takes the immense amount of time and hard work that most "naturally talented" people have committed to developing their talents, build sophisticated professional capabilities. Gain an in-depth understanding of what capabilities bring core professional advantage and invest accordingly in developing and sustaining valued competency. Professional capabilities need to be measured in both quantitative and qualitative ways to improve their agility and maturity.


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