The Standard Competency Model Michael D. Reilly September 30, 2012
The Standard Competency Model Abstract
This paper examines whether a standardized competency model can be applied to an organization such as the fictitious Barker Foods. The case study established the foundation for the perception one was needed by the Human Resource (HR) director, Ann Baxter. Some of Barker’s executive leadership is resistant to the idea, while others fully supported the concept. In fact the CFO informed Baxter that any attempt to implement such a strategy would undermine the spirit of entrepreneurship the Baxter needs more of (Morrison, 2007). The learnings of BUS669 and additional research will support why a competency model can effectively be applied to an organization such as Barker Foods, provided it is properly developed and implemented.
The Standard Competency Model Discussion
A competency model can exist at Barker Foods. In order for this to occur, several obstacles must be overcome to effectively implement a model which will support the growth the organization has experienced and maintain the necessary vision commensurate with the challenges ahead of it. One of these obstacles involves the mindset of multiple senior leaders, specifically the premise that a model will over define the capabilities a leader should possess, especially when the firm is facing various challenges in the market place. Many were of the opinion that such a model could negatively impact the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation and inhibit any flexibility that is necessary for grooming candidates within their units (Morrison, 2007). According to Morrison (2007), many senior executives wanted to avoid specific details. Their idea of a competency framework focused on values like “commitment” and “respect” not specific behaviors in those categories. According to Markus, Cooper-Thomas and Allpress (2005), behavioral repertories are part of the three main approaches to assessing competency. Different levels of jobs will obviously require various behaviors; however the common denominator is always in support of the organization’s goals; where they are headed and what the objectives are. Leaders understand they need to inspire others to see that vision and enable their colleagues to achieve the goals of the company. The methods in which they accomplish this task can vary, and is very often unique to an individual’s personality. It is exactly that diversity which presents a challenge to implementing a solid competency model at Barker, along with the dynamic nature of some of their businesses, and the commitment to past practices instead of acceptance of new business philosophies. Challenges should not be reason to dismiss the benefit of a competency
The Standard Competency Model
model; they just need to be identified so the proper development and implementation of the models can occur. According to Mansfield (1996), identification of a common set of building block competencies is critical for model development. Those building blocks need to define the leadership traits which support the vision of the leader and the direction that individual wants to take the organization. According to Hesselbein and Goldsmith (2006), great leadership that both serves and leads focuses on developing a clear sense of vision and a clear sense of where the enterprise is headed. Without a common set of building block characteristics, which a competency model can establish, that clear vision can be obstructed and the wrong paths can be taken. Mansfield (1996) suggests the following building block competencies to establish the foundation for interpersonal awareness, a competency skill that is not dependent on any particular job or situation, but is critical for the ability of a leader to notice, interpret and anticipate others concerns and feelings: Understands and knows the importance of others Knows...