Competent people in 10 pictures
1- Competence is the potential to perform well in a certain domain
2- The only way is up, NOT
3- Competence has indirect value that is 2 hurdles away
4- Competence has a shared ownership. In this day and age, you are the main owner and responsible.
5- Selecting, building and using competence is different now because the world has changed. The world is smaller, flatter,...
6- T-people have a broad set of base competencies, and one or two deep specialisations
7- There is a lower and an upper limit to how good you should be
8- Selecting, building and proving competence requires 3 kinds of tools
9- We build competence via 3 types of activities: learn, do, share!
10- The goal for learning, doing and sharing is transfer to your competence
homocompetens.com Thank you for your time
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Competent People In 10 Pictures

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10 pictures taken from the book "homo competens" that talk about competent people in the network age.

Are you a HoCo? I think you are. A HoCo is not a dirty word. It is short for 'homo competens', and that is not an insult. That is Latin for 'competent person'. If you are a HoCo, or want to be one, this site is for you.

If talented people are indeed our greatest asset, why would we keep treating competence as a black box? If you ask me, competence is far too important to discuss in vague terms or to leave to chance.

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  • Are you a HoCo? I think you are. A HoCo is not a dirty word. It is short for 'homo competens', and that is not an insult. That is Latin for 'competent person'. If you are a HoCo, or want to be one, this site is for you. If talented people are indeed our greatest asset, why would we keep treating competence as a black box? If you ask me, competence is far too important to discuss in vague terms or to leave to chance.
  • These are the characteristics of competency we have so far: - You can only be competent in something, called a domain. - Competencies are abilities to DO stuff.  - You need to prove your competencies. All evidence counts. - Competencies are the POTENTIAL to PERFORM. You need the proper context to transform potential into performance.
  • Competencies evolve with time, they go up and down, and they fade. (It's not like riding a bike.) There are three levels in competency, but don't think of a ladder where the only way is up.  The levels are apprentice, practitioner and master.
  • (from the book, chapter “about competence”) The difficulty with competencies is that they have no direct value. Remember that we said competencies are only the ability, the potential to perform well in a certain situation. So what is the value of a promise to do something well? Ultimately, the value comes from how you actually perform, not your ability to perform. The promise needs to materialize for value creation to occur. There is a link between your ability and your actual performance, so there is some value for the competencies on their own. Actually, you as a competent person are two links away from the value. First the competence needs a context where it can turn into performance, and secondly you must capture the value of the performance. The first hurdle you must take is that you need the proper context to excel in your competency domain. It is often said that great leaders are the product of their time. Presidents and other world leaders that stood out have been shaped by the times they lived in. Often a crisis enabled them to put their leadership potential into greatness. Or not. What would Abraham Lincoln have been without the context of the civil war? Would Martin Luther King have been an ordinary preacher when born 50 years later? On a less dramatic note it is safe to say that none of our competencies can materialize into valuable action without the proper context. If you are skilled  flying a plane, you better be employed by an airline. If you are good at war strategy your competence will be most valuable in times of war. If you are a doctor, you need to encounter ill people to practice your competencies. If you are good at accounting, you need to find firms in need of your services. Sounds logical, but if you don't have access to the proper context to bring your competencies or talents into action, you will not see the value from them. The second hurdle to jump is to capture the value of your performance. Sometimes it is taken for granted that the one creating the value is also the one getting the value. That is a false assumption. Value creation and value capturing are two different things. Some companies have been great inventors, but were inept at capturing the value of their inventions, and other companies have grown through the roof with those ideas. Xerox is said to have laid the basics for modern computer interfaces, but it was Apple that captured its value in the first place, and later Microsoft. Being able to capture the value of your performance depends on the strength you have at the negotiation table of your 'value chain'. There are a lot of actors involved bringing a service to the market. If you write a book for example, it is custom to get 10% of the revenue as an author. The rest goes to the other parts in the value chain such as retailers and publishers. If you are a performing artist, you will pay a fee to your agent, you don't capture the entire value for yourself. Hey, what if the performance is a joint effort by a team of competent people, who gets what share of the value? Boy, that can trigger fierce discussion!
  • (from the book, chapter “about competence”) I have struggled a long time with this question of ownership, partly because it has such important consequences. The prime consequence is that the owner is the one that has the responsibility and authority to select and invest. With ownership comes responsibility. So if we decide that you, the competent knowledge worker, owns your own competencies it automatically means you are the one that should invest in them actively. That includes paying for your own competence development. It would mean that it is YOUR job to actively monitor the state and value of your competency mix and make sure you learn, do and share. If it is your employer that owns your competence on the other hand, it would become his responsibility to make sure you keep your competencies at level, and he should pay for the required courses, magazine subscriptions, etc.  So who owns your competence? In the end I came to the conclusion that competence has a  shared ownership . It is shared amongst the three actors involved in building and using talents.
  • Here is the resume of my advice to you for adapting to the network age: Smaller = T-people Flatter = Global peers Faster = Network (the verb) Spiky = Series of mini-careers Blurry = Several eggs in your basket and focus on an anchor
  • (from the book, chapter “about the times we live in”) The best advise I can give you to cope with a small, interlinked world is to become a 'T-person'. T-people are people that have a broad spectrum of competence (the horizontal line), but at the same time one or a few deep specializations (the vertical line). Building your competencies as a T-person means you keep a broad set of interests and have a solid general knowledge and understanding of what goes on far beyond your own field. At the same time, you are an expert in a well defined area, one that can shift over your life. T-people are not locked away in their competence corner, and have on top of that a more stable foundation to specialize in other domains when a reorientation is in order. The earliest citation of the T-shaped species is from David Guest in the Independent article: "The hunt is on for the Renaissance Man of computing" dating from 1991.
  • (from the book, chapter “about building competence”) Tip number five states the minimum level of competence you need to build is what one expects of you on a bad day. The maximum level of competence is what keeps you from being overqualified. That is tip number six.
  • (from the book, chapter “about building competence”) Compass: A compass is an instrument that points you to the North. It enables you to see where you are, relative to where you want to go. We'll use the compass to help us select the competencies to focus on and the plan B competencies to develop. The compass is the tool for selecting. Journal: A journal is a day by day description of what you've done. Similarly, the competence journal is where you store the evidences of your daily learning, doing and sharing. The journal is the tool that keeps track. Passport: A passport is a document that authorizes a pass through. A competence compass lists the approved credentials you have in a certain domain. It is based on what's in your journal. Potential employers verify your competence by looking at your passport. The passport is the tool for proof. It's your ticket in. It's important to realize these tools are YOURS. Just as you are the main owner and responsible of your competencies, the tools that you use to select, track and prove them are yours too, and you take them with you as you move through career and life.
  • Learn If you mostly learn, you are an apprentice. You build your knowledge, skills and behaviors. Example: a university diploma Do If you mostly do, you are a practitioner. You build your experience. Example: 5 years of experience pleading for the court Share If you mostly share, you are a master. You build your reputation. Example: training new hires at your company
  • Examples of learning include: education, exams, conferences, reading books or magazines Examples of doing include: a sales person selling, a manager leading teams, an artist painting a portrait Example of sharing include: teaching, publishing articles or books, coaching a colleague
  • http://www.homocompens.com Buy the book if you want more, or read the blog. Bert De Coutere
  • Competent People In 10 Pictures

    1. Competent people in 10 pictures
    2. 1- Competence is the potential to perform well in a certain domain
    3. 2- The only way is up, NOT
    4. 3- Competence has indirect value that is 2 hurdles away
    5. 4- Competence has a shared ownership. In this day and age, you are the main owner and responsible.
    6. 5- Selecting, building and using competence is different now because the world has changed. The world is smaller, flatter, faster, more spiky and in the end more blurry. All 5 impact competent people.
    7. 6- T-people have a broad set of base competencies, and one or two deep specialisations
    8. 7- There is a lower and an upper limit to how good you should be
    9. 8- Selecting, building and proving competence requires 3 kinds of tools
    10. 9- We build competence via 3 types of activities: learn, do, share!
    11. 10- The goal for learning, doing and sharing is transfer to your competence
    12. homocompetens.com Thank you for your time

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