Capability Framework

Ensure your people are ready for the future

Organisations strive to deliver their goals in fluid and rapidly changing business conditions. The task for leaders is to create an effective business strategy and put the right systems and processes in place to implement it. These are two fundamentals of business success. And a third ties them together – people.

The extent to which people can deliver business results is determined by their capability across the skills and behaviours needed to be successful in their respective job roles.

For most organisations, the cost of human capital is a very significant proportion of annual expenditure. When leaders recognise human resources as a strategic and enabling function for the business, they can plan to maximise the return on this investment.

Developing a talent management strategy is the first step to integrating the systems and processes that will align people to the strategy and performance goals of the organisation.

At the heart of talent management, is a capability framework that specifies the skills and behaviours required of people at all levels across the organisation. Its purpose is to help organisations attract, develop, retain and deploy the right talent for the right roles.


Organisations typically use a competency library as the basis for job specifications, leadership development plans or performance reviews. Competencies, distilled into observable skills and behaviours, are the ingredients of success at work. They provide a clear set of expectations in “how” people should do their jobs.

We are sometimes asked about the difference between capabilities and competencies. Check a thesaurus and see they are mostly listed as synonyms for each other. It’s a matter of personal preference and what will resonate best in your organisation.

Assessing competencies should be rigorous and systematic, not just a ‘wish list’ of senior leaders. Does this sound provocative? Not if you have followed the findings of the world’s leading competency experts.

We use a competency library that isolates and captures exactly what matters for overall performance in a role. Depending on the leadership level these competencies account for between 43 and 62 percent of an organisation’s total job performance.

Your CEO’s current focus may be on achieving collaboration, but what does this really mean? Is it about enabling people to better communicate or is to break down silos between divisions?

Does the desire for collaboration exceed the need for managers to share the organisation’s vision and purpose and facilitate better conversations around job performance?

With our research, we can give you answers to questions like these.

Buy or build?

A key decision to be made is whether to “buy” or “build”. Should you take an existing research-based set of competencies and tailor it to your needs or develop your own home-grown model? The cost and effort involved in buying versus building a competency model will obviously be deciding factors.

Ultimately, buying an existing competency modelling framework may be more cost-effective, particularly if it has tools and resources that link to key processes such as:

  • recruitment and hiring
  • job success profiles
  • development planning
  • performance management.

Is Your Organisation Ready For The Future?

Find out more about establishing a capability framework