Saturday, July 12, 2008

Building a Job Profile or Core Competency Profile

The steps I typically follow depend on the nature of the position that I am looking at. If the position is a leadership role within the organization and it is fairly senior then I am probably going to leverage the Lominger Leadership Architect products. I am certified in all of their products. If the role is more tactical then I am going to use a job analysis to identify the competencies and from there build the required strategies and tools.

Leadership example:
  1. Assess the required culture for driving the company's vision, mission, and strategic plan by facilitating a discussion with the executive team. A deck of cards (Cultributes) is sorted by each executive and the aggregate results and agreements define the organizational environment needed to drive the company forward.
  2. The environmental attributes are converted into a core competency model by software. This set of competencies is also discussed by the executives, who often want to have their own team assessed using a 360-degree feedback tool that Lominger developed (Voices).
  3. The results of the multi-rater feedback are shared in confidence with each executive. An individual development plan is created that includes learning, application, and feedback loops. Most executives embrace the feedback and want to improve in any areas of weakness, even if the weakness is only relative to other strengths.
  4. The collective picture of the executive team is shared with them and gaps in the core competency model are identified. Future members of the executive team will be chosen, in part, based upon a competency assessment so that the executive team can add competencies that are currently under-represented.
  5. I create strategic plans for sourcing, attracting, and selecting future executives that will bring the missing pieces to the team. I build the selection process and tools, which will include a behavioral interview and other assessments.
  6. I am often asked to provide coaching to senior executives in areas where they want to improve and require confidential feedback (e.g. managing ambiguity).

Key technical position example:
  1. Bring together a group that represents the boss, peers, customers, and high performers for the identified position. Review all existing job descriptions and other performance management data.
  2. Conduct a near-term scenario plan with the group so that we have some reasonable collective idea about what the position may entail over the next 2-3 years.
  3. Collectively document the 4-7 most critical performance objectives for the people in the position, given what we have discussed thus far.
  4. For each objective, define the activities that must be executed well to meet the objective. We also identify some of the activities that, if done poorly, could seriously impact the person, team, or company in a negative way.
  5. For each activity, we identify the competencies required to execute the activity as flawlessly as possible. The competencies will include knowledge, skill, experience, ability, and personal traits.
  6. I compile the results and bring the group back together to review and prioritize the list of competencies. In this meeting the group also splits the competencies into two categories: price of admission and train/develop.
  7. Based on the price of admission competencies (those that are a commodity or those that are almost innate), I create strategic plans for sourcing, attracting, and selecting candidates for the position. This includes the development of behavioral interview guides, a scorable simulation, and possibly another assessment.
  8. Based on the training/development competencies (those that are not reasonably learned outside of the organization) I put a strategy together for providing on-demand access to critical information and best practices, instructor-led and self-paced training, learning activities (e.g. special projects that will force application of the required competency), and feedback programs (e.g. mentoring assignments and accountability coaches). I may create some of the materials myself, but typically there is so much work to be done here that I am assigned subject matter experts and people who need to learn the skills to help me.
  9. A final step that many organizations want to take is to assess the incumbents against the competency-based profile that was just created. This leads to identification of people who need to improve in some of the critical areas. Those employees are often the first to take advantage of the new learning strategy and tools.