Monday, March 10, 2008

Some Competencies are too Complex to Teach

Some competencies should only be leveraged during selection. Requiring development in a competency that is innate or nearly impossible to improve or to notice improvement has resulted in legal actions by employees against their employers. It is also prudent to ensure that all employee development processes and systems set the learner up for success and not for failure. (If a competency is extremely hard to improve or change then it is not likely to provide significant ROI to provide training on that topic.)

Developmental difficulty is based on several factors:
• How complex the skills are that are needed to execute the competency well
• How much experience is required to master the competency
• How much the attitude, values, opinions, and beliefs of the learner impact the desire to be competent
• How the competency involves, engages, or triggers the learner's emotions
• How much intellectual and cognitive complexity is required for mastery
• How much hard-wiring is required to use the competency
It is also important to note how frequently the competency shows up in normal distributions. The rarest competencies may be the hardest to develop simply based on its rarity.

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