Job Competencies for 2009: Let’s figure them out

2010 Update: I made the decision to bring Say “Alaka‘i” here to Talking Story in late May of 2010 when the Honolulu Advertiser, where the blog previously appeared, was merged with the Star Bulletin (Read more at Say “Alaka‘i” is Returning to the Mothership).

Therefore, the post appearing below is a copy of the one which had originally appeared there on January 13, 2009, so we will be able to reference it in the future when the original url it had been published on is no more…

Hibiscus

Job Competencies for 2009: Let’s figure them out

Today on Say “Alaka‘i” at The Honolulu Advertiser:
Job Competencies for 2009: Let’s figure them out

Last week’s trio of postings had quite a bit to do with something consuming the time and attention of a lot of people right now; job-hunting, job-giving, job-taking.

If you’ve newly arrived, this is the trio I’m referring to:

In between their hitting these blog pages, I found myself in Barnes & Noble one afternoon skimming through a new book called Creating Magic – 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies From A Life At Disney by Lee Cockerell, former Executive VP Operations or Walt Disney World. His book is based on the principles taught at the world renowned Disney Institute, and within it is a section where he talks about the kind of people he preferred to hire.

Cockerell talks about four different “competencies:”

  1. Technical Competence, i.e. expertise; the qualifications, talent, skills and knowledge required for a job
  2. Management Competence, “every employee should be disciplined, self-controlled and organized.”
  3. Technological Competence, as there are very few jobs today which aren’t becoming automated in some way —or could be, requiring that open-mindedness and willingness to learn new technique.
  4. Leadership Competence, like “management competence,” more of a statement he makes that everyone must grow into self-leadership, displaying initiative at all times and in varying circumstance.

When we talked about RISH last week, we summarized the Recruitment questions in this way: Who are you seeking? Who would your ‘best possible’ candidate be? They are questions for hiring when you need to add to your team, and for self-development and change as you find your company adapts to current market challenges.

I suggested you get your team together and collaborate on the answers to those questions, and this framework of ‘competency’ is a good baseline to start with. When you consider today’s workplace needs, do you think that these four competencies Cockerell talks about covers them well? Without even reading more of his book, can you project how they’d be used in training and development?

Don’t stop there!

Complete your collaborative exercise by remaining mission-driven and values-centered as well.

Cockerell’s competencies made sense to me, but they also had me reaching into the archives for the focus I’d decided on in charting my own course this year (The Top 7 Business Themes on my 2009 Wish List) for after all, I don’t work for Disney, and we have our own unique challenges right here at home in Hawai‘i. And isn’t that part of what Alaka‘i self-leadership is about, adding our own ideas?

POMD: January 6, 2009

I tried to mesh his four competencies with my 2009 wish list, and this is what I came up with as my Winning Hawai‘i Job Competencies 2009:

  1. Technical Competence, i.e. expertise; the qualifications, talent, skills and knowledge required for a job. Optimal fit, where strengths can be optimally employed and weaknesses made irrelevant.
  2. Alaka‘i Competence: Self-management, wherein “every employee should be disciplined, self-controlled and organized” AND self-leadership, wherein “everyone must grow” displaying initiative at all times and in varying circumstance” testing new ideas to continually fuel all energies.
  3. Technological Competence, as there are very few jobs today which aren’t becoming automated in some way —or could be, requiring that open-mindedness and willingness to learn new technique. I would call this one working smarter and not harder, taking advantage of all the techno-savvy advances at our disposal.
  4. Sense of Place Competence, i.e. a localization which includes cultural sensitivity, but goes beyond it to exemplary communication skills and community partnerships (more about this in Thursday’s post two days from now).
  5. Entrepreneurial Competence, i.e. the inclination to work ON a business and not just IN a business, including a hunger for financial literacy, experimental change and creative innovation. The pursuit of a thriving prosperity versus working for a steady paycheck.

Would these cover it for you?

We’re specifically addressing job competencies here, however I encourage you to go through similar mental gymnastics with every new piece of business and workplace reading you do (including my blog posts!)

Trump the so-called experts out there. Challenge them, mold their concepts to best fit into your needs; add your ideas to give them some added Hawaiian punch. Self-leadership is about insatiable learning which is filtered through your own vision, mission, and values.

It’s the Alaka‘i thing to do.

Talking Story Postscript: The photo is of a new series I will be adding to Flickr, and I started with a trio I took at the Honolulu International Airport: The Ways of Work:

“Think you have a good work ethic? Do you smile a lot at work? Is your job somewhat different from normal? My camera wants to capture you at what you do”

Click on each thumbnail for a few words on what my first thoughts were with each of these photos.”