Monday, July 18th, 2016
THE COMPETENCE DILEMMA
I just spent quite a bit of time with a three year old. And I had work to do (from email response to weeding to cooking to shopping to writing)
So, she had to do the work with me. She used her own computer to find letters. She managed the wheel barrow. She cut veggies. She watered plants. Of course, she did the work at her own level of capacity, but that level got better and better over a week’s time. She got prouder and prouder and wanted to ‘work’ more everyday.
Made me think. It is so rare that people at work feel the kind of competence that makes them want to work harder and do more. One of the key consequences of transitions of any kind is a sense of incompetence. And our companies are in perpetual transition. Never having a sense of finished accomplishment kills the pleasure of competence as well. Not ‘knowing’ that one’s particular contribution created a fine result kills the competence productivity cycle. Slogging through hard work knowing that it won’t be good enough can bring a sense of competence to a dead halt or slow entropy.
Think about it. What can you do in your company that reminds people of their competence, that gives them a breather to enjoy accomplishment, that lets their skill grow and grow, that gives them a chance for solid achievement even if the goals keep changing or are truly ridiculous. How do you grow a sense of competence in your company so that it is intrinsic and grows organizational capacity?