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The Competency Myth

I am sure everybody in their life would have had their own wins and losses .One of the most associated term with losses and wins and more precisely in this competitive world is “Competency”. Let’s understand the meaning of the word technically before getting into detail of it .It means the ability to do something successfully or efficiently”. 

Either in professional or personal life in this highly competitive world we always win over the other or lose over the other .When we win it’s claimed we are competent and when we lose we are associated with incompetency. The fact is presence or absence of competency at the end of the day is a judgment based on individual or collective decision based on few or set of parameters. The biggest challenge and debate for me is here.Sometimes we are claimed incompetent or competent because the parameters defined are wrong or the assessment or decision may be wrong. I am not here by making this statement criticising, But there is a fundamental logic based on which I request all of us to evaluate this claim. In a highly dynamic environment I think it’s important to understand that the competency required also keeps changing for a specific role /job/task/activity and the person or the judge if out-dated would not be in a position to identify the right set of parameters or will not be a qualified assessor .

Lets take an example to get more clarity on this. If a particular person has done sales role ten years back and not today this particular person may not be the right assessor to judge the competency required for the current market conditions for the sales role and the solution he /she proposes shall not be the right one for current challenges .Also another example could be if the person has been doing the same set of activities for longer tenure then it doesn’t matter if its two years or ten years’ experience as the activities are the same. Hence the correlation between experience and competency becomes a myth or invalid here too. 

Also most of the times competency is evaluated on the absolute finals and not on the relative finals with respect to the portfolio.In simple terms competency of sitting in a winning horse and sitting on a tortoise should not be evaluated with the same yard stick .Hence it’s very important keeping in mind the motivation aspects of human, defining the right set parameters in the current context and choosing the right set of people as assessors.

If it is not defined properly what happens is either the choice is wrong or we lose the right. I think it’s high time we relook the competency parameters keeping in mind the market dynamism .Else we may only be creating empty vessels with more noise.


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