Mr. Knowledgeable to Mr. Handy Man – Defining Core Competencies

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In my recent work place, I met an engineering intern, Mr. X who has been with the company for 2 years now. He is the oldest among all interns and some of his current supervisors were interns who joined later than him but moved up the corporate ladder joining the company as full time employees.

Well, it was not always like this. Mr. X has an exemplary education with a diverse experience. When he was hired, HR considered him one of their biggest catch and he didn’t prove them wrong. His initial few months were very productive. He brought about pioneering changes and his hard work showed in his results. His personality was charming and he never said ‘no’ to a challenge.

That’s where it started going all wrong. People in the company, started realizing that Mr. X was good in most things. He could solve tricky problems, in fields ranging from manufacturing and quality to IT. And to top it all, he never really said NO. Therefore, his job input box, was always full with the odd job that no one wanted to solve or couldn’t solve. He worked harder and longer and the circle deepened, resulting in a dynamic change from Mr. Knowledgeable to Mr. Handy Man.

Why this change? Poor definition of Core Competency. Core-competency is nothing but an answer to the question “what are you good at?” With today’s globalised economy, traditional boundaries are fluid and education multi-disciplinary. This result is most graduates are failing to properly define their core-competencies. Mr. X did the same mistake. He lost out to competition because he was good in too many.

On a contradictory note, if we assume Mr. X defined his Core-Competency as being multi-disciplinary then we can for some part blame the company, for not understanding the usefulness of a resource and not capitalizing on it. But companies generally get confused with a multi-disciplinary job seeker. They don’t know where to put him in the traditional set up.

Where does it leave us? Mr. X is to be partly blamed here; while an individual can be multi-disciplinary, he can’t be equally good in all things that he does. He needs to realize that and hone his skills on that direction. In the mean time the multi-disciplinary skill set will act as an asset (not expertise) towards his development. On a similar line, global organizations need to understand the asset of an individual like Mr. X and promote his role in the company.

2 Responses to “Mr. Knowledgeable to Mr. Handy Man – Defining Core Competencies”

  1. Roderik Says:
    November 11th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    What’s this, a disclaimer?

  2. admin Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 3:38 am


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