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Complete Your Organization's Skill Box

Apr 9, 2008
To be sure that your initial skill assessment is adequate, you should rely on people who are widely regarded as being top notch in these activities. Draw them from in your own and other organizations to help you design appropriate assessments.

You can supplement this by working with academics, consultants, and trainers in this process, but not to transfer their own skills. You should use these intermediaries solely to help you identify what skills you should seek to transfer, if any, from those who have them in comparable organizations to your company's people.

Unless your business is very small or unusual, you already have someone who has at least one of all the essential skills you've determined you need. What you won't have are people who have all the skills they need to be produce great results yet. Relax. This circumstance can improve fairly rapidly through outsourcing, partnering, hiring, and hands-on learning.

Help Wanted

You should investigate how partnering, outsourcing, and hiring compare to training to supplement your existing capabilities. Hiring normally occurs to people first, but will often be the poorest alternative because of the expense, time delays and risks involved.

As an example let's consider a case where changes in technology represent shifting irresistible forces. You may find that partnering with academic institutions in evolving technology areas is a much better solution to understanding and tracking those technologies than trying to hire permanently for such a position.

The institution will tend to attract knowledge within the field more effectively than anyone in an outside company can hope to do. On the other hand, you'll get better results by assigning people from your firm to work as liaisons to work with academic partners who are sharing their knowledge. The internal liaison person will have much more knowledge of how to apply the new knowledge to your company than any outside person could have.

Partnering with noncompeting organizations that are implementing adjustments to the same irresistible forces you have provides a major advantage: You can get an additional perspectives on what needs to be done in your company. The partner, in this case, can be a coach for your enterprise in helping you customize the perspective that both of you end up sharing.

Hiring has the important benefit of denying scarce talent from your competitors. Done properly, you may actually preempt the competition's potential progress by attracting those whom your competitors are most likely to need.

Obviously, you should have a significant job for these people. Keep in mind that there is a disproportionate benefit from creating the longest lead time over the competitors' responses.

Your lead time expands the size and duration of your benefits from each shift in irresistible forces. If you can deny competitors access to key resources in several areas, the size and duration of your potential benefits may grow exponentially.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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