May 8, 2008

Setting Up a Competency Center

An email a reader sent me:

Let me introduce myself. I head the competency management center at xyz, inc.

I request you to share your knowledge on, setting up a Competency Center. I would want to work on the following this year

1. Setting up the state of art infrastructure.
2. Come out with a robust model for training of all employees in soft skills.

Pl do guide me on coming out with a good working plan.

for point 1. Setting up the state of art infrastructure: I would ask you to take the following into account:

Growth of the business
Kind of Competency Development needed

For point 2. [Come out with a robust model for training of all employees in soft skills.] I would suggest you to:

1. have a discussion with the heads of the business
2. come up with gaps between current competency and future needs of business
3. Analyse if it makes sense to build the competency or acquire it. For example if the organization is going for a strategic change in direction it might need to hire different kinds of people than trying to make the current people develop different skills/mindsets. Skills are easier to build. Mindsets are not
4. Decide on your delivery plan - classroom, e-learning, blended learning depending on how your people are distributed.
5. Link these development initiatives to actual work, by way of projects and give people's managers accountability for the success.

Hope that helps!