How do we develop individuals within a capability framework?

In a recent interactive workshop for the global BIOSS / EDAC community, Jacques Haworth and John Blacklaws presented the topic: How do we develop individuals within a capability framework? What follows is a summary.

The parallel development of capability (based on an assessment of potential for current or more complex future work) and competence results in applied capability, or performance. In order to develop individuals to their fullest potential we need to understand:

  1. What theme of work complexity is the individual currently comfortable with?
  2. Is the individual in flow with their current work complexity?
  3. What is the nature and rate of growth of the individual’s capability (as indicated by MCPA)
  4. What are the individual’s future aspirations?
  5. What are the competencies required by current and future work?
  6. To what extent does the individual match current and future competency requirements?

Once we are able answer the above questions, development can be framed as:

  1. Development to enhance current work performance (assuming the individual is in flow)
  2. Development to prepare for a more complex theme of work (where MCPA indicates a transition)
  3. A combination of the two above.

The development activities decided on will depend on which theme of work the individual is currently comfortable with, as well as whether preparation needs to be made for the individual to transition. Some development activities that can be considered within a theme of work are:

  • targeted coaching sessions (with clear milestones identified)
  • job rotation (including cross-functional moves)
  • opportunities to relieve in a senior role temporarily
  • special projects (as leader or team member)
  • taking responsibility for coaching/on-job training of others
  • appointment as in-house expert / Trainer for a particular subject
  • taking responsibility for updating existing/developing new procedures/policies
  • targeted development programs
  • financial assistance for further (appropriate) studies
  • Personal Assistant to a senior manager
  • Assessment/Learning Centres

Development activities that specifically prepare an individual for a transition to a Strategic theme of work might entail some of the following:

  • stimulating strategic thinking – articulating a roadmap to accomplish strategic goals
  • deepening industry understanding – the ability to understand the organisation in context
  • gaining exposure to methods for building market share and creating value
  • enhancing general management skills (exposure beyond one’s own function/domain and prior education)

It was also concluded in the workshop that insufficient emphasis is placed on developing and growing future leaders and readying them for more complex themes of work.

For more information about developing capability or how to assess capability email