Your Core Competencies Are...?
Core competencies are strengths your organization has now. Your core competencies may include any combination of skills, technologies, processes, knowledge or expertise and are often achieved as a result of long-term development processes and / or experiences.
Your core competencies have to be perceived as unique; therefore, it's likely your organization stands apart from your competitors because of a combination of core competencies you demonstrate. In the end, your core competencies have to:
- Make a significant contribution to the perceived customer benefits of your product and / or service.
Complete this statement: Our customer is paying more for – and choosing our product and / or service because _____________.
- Be difficult for competitors to imitate (if they can or will be able to at all). They have to be something your competitors wish they had within their own business or could offer to their customers.
What Are Your Key Competencies?
Key competencies is a term we have developed at Bruce Mayhew Consulting. While an organization might have a suite of core competencies, there are other important competencies they must offer to complete a end-user experience.
For example: while a warrantee could be a core competency, most often it is a key competency. Competitors likely also share key competencies. That said - key competencies still provide an opportunity for your organization to differentiate your organization and to deliver exceptional product and / or service to the market that your clients value.
Why Develop a Core Competency Strategy?
Core competencies will lead you to your greatest opportunities. Once defined, your core competencies will let you exploit them and they will show you how to set your organization apart from your competition. Identifying and developing your organization’s core competencies is key to sustaining your organization’s long-term success and competitive advantage. Also, your organizations ability to lead and motivate your employees toward a common goal will become easier because your core competencies will guide your decisions.
Knowing your organization’s core competencies will help you develop new products and / or services (and therefore develop new core competencies), to meet ever-changing customer and market demands. In short, they will enable you to continually deliver unique value to your customers. If you don’t define and exploit your organization’s core competencies – your competitors will; leaving you in the dust wondering why and how your HOT products and / or services are no longer on everyone’s wish list.
Consider your core competencies your “secret to ongoing success.”
To exploit your core competencies, astute senior executives ask and answer one of the following two questions:
- How can we use our organization’s core competence to develop strategic responsiveness in order to:
- Gain competitive advantage
- Increase revenue
- Increase or dominate market share
- Increase ROI / Shareholder value
- How can we position our organization so it is purchased by a competitor for maximum value?
Also, senior executives cannot be solely responsible to define and express the organizations core competencies. For the organization to succeed and grow it’s critical all employees are part of the team. Only when all of your staff is involved in defining your core competencies can you get their buy-in and support. All employees have to work to:
- Define your core competencies
- Know your core competencies
- Represent your core competencies
- Enhance or refine existing core competencies
- Develop new core competencies
- Truly embody your organizations culture and values
The goal for senior executives is therefore to build support at every level. This means creating a team-oriented environment where everyone knows their contribution impacts long term results and growth.
By defining your core competencies, and S.W.O.T., your organization will be able to focus on what is unique about your organization (your unique value proposition). This exercise will also give you key information to help you define your mission statement, your vision statement, key marketing and web based messages, organizational development plan, including what skills you need the next time you hire someone and why those skills will enhance your immediate and future success.
Knowing your core competencies is like having that one perfect gift that keeps on giving. Invest your time and efforts wisely.
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