Competing Through People  | Nov 2013 Edition
Michael Couch & Associates header
MAC 2011The Elegance of Competencies
My colleague, Richard Citrin, recently described to one of our clients that what he liked about competency-based talent management was that the system was so "elegant". I thought that was a very apt description.
To me, the elegance of competency-based talent management comes from how the tool allows you to link your talent strategy to your business strategy and to align every talent decision (hire, develop, promote, deploy) with that focus. The result is a talent system that adds value because it supports and drives business results.

Here's what we know about the elegance of properly developed and validated competency models:

  • Best-in-class organizations are more likely to have defined competencies at all levels or even for select positions.
  • Competencies are solid predictors of both job performance and future potential - both short and long term.
  • Competency-based selection exhibits higher levels of validity, reliability and utility.
  • Using competencies to increase the rate of promotion from within is a hallmark of high-performing organizations.
  • Employee's rated higher on critical competencies are significantly more productive.
  • Select leadership competencies are drivers of employee engagement.
  • The same set of competencies can be used to describe almost any job, anywhere in the world.

To learn more, check out this white paper on The Elegance of Competencies on my website.

The Payoff From Succession Management


I had a client ask about the benefits of doing succession planning so I did some research to see what I could dig up.  Here are some tidbits from what I found. 
  • High performing companies not only do regular succession planning but make sure the talent assessments turn into concrete action plans.
  • High performing organizations are 3.5 times more effective at succession management than low performing organizations.
  • Doing succession planning just to create back-up lists is not very beneficial.  My own research shows the hit rate on back-up lists is about 15%.
  • Organizations with high quality leadership development and formal succession management have much higher return on equity, higher profit margins and operating cash flow to net sales.
  • Best in class companies are more likely to promote from within, to focus on developing talent across all levels, and to have a formal process of identifying high-potential.

By the way, I prefer the term Succession Management rather than Succession Planning.  If you'd like to learn how to build a robust Succession Management process, give me a call or read more about it.

What Are You Up To?


Here is a quick summary of a few of our recent projects.


Challenge:  A regional human services non-profit was facing new challenges that could threated its long-term viability.
What We Did: Designed and implemented a multi-stage process to improve the capacity and capability of the organization, starting with a revised business strategy and then linking the strategy to a leadership capability assessment and improvement process.
Challenge:  A regional leadership team of a global business was just forming after an acquisition and the change of some of its members.
What We Did:  Designed and implemented a development process that identified that team's mission-critical capabilities, assessed their performance against those capabilities and then created a targeted team development plan.
In This Edition
The Elegance of Competencies
The Payoff from Succession Management
What Are You Up To?
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