HRHeadStart #26: Competencies vs Experience; Structured Thinking; Nurturing Curiosity
The Talent Agenda
Competency frameworks are recognized as the foundational infrastructure for talent management. They define the knowledge, skills and abilities that lead to high performance in a role. And it is assumed that if we have a clear idea of what these competencies are then we can get better at identifying/developing talent and future-proofing the business from a skills perspective.
All of this makes sense, except it can be hard for the business and HR to implement them. When we design competency frameworks at scale, they tend to become unwieldy, hard to understand, hard to assess and incredibly time-consuming to implement. But, is there an alternative?
Experience Maps define specific experiences required to excel in a role or a function. It describes the outcomes one must achieve to prove competence, instead of an exhaustive competency framework which starts sounding like job descriptions. It is also relatively easier to understand (experiences are real and tangible) and assess (experiences are observable). Importantly, it also serves as a career navigation tool for employees outlining the portfolio of experiences they need to build to succeed.
If any of you have implemented Experience Maps, I would love to chat about the experience/learnings. Just hit reply to this email.
Success at work comes not from having all the answers, but being able to use great processes and thinking to arrive at them. You might find yourself in chaotic meetings discussing thorny problems in a haphazard fashion. Ideas are thrown about with no clear way of connecting everything. This is where Framework Thinking comes in. By researching and selecting frameworks for any problem in HR (or any other field), you will start understanding the topic more clearly. You will be able to focus everyone's thinking and enable them to ask better questions. Not only will you come across as someone with an understanding of the subject matter, you will actually help the team make progress faster. Framework Thinking will also help you to ace case interviews and work towards your dream job! Bonus: a useful collection of tools for better thinking.
A Productive Workout
A workout is a great way to create mindspace for processing and learning new ideas. And it primes you for creative thinking. For your next walk, run or workout session, take along Walter Isaacson, the author of several biographies including Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin etc. It is a fascinating talk about nurturing curiosity. I loved his advice that we should manage our careers as a portfolio of expriences (rather than a series of jobs alone) and also, not specialize too early. You can grab the podcast links here.
The climb is more beautiful than the peak. And it’s the only thing you control.