A recent Quality Digest article “Getting the Most Out of Your Organization’s Core Competencies” (link is external) outlines the what, why, and how to make the strategic application of core competencies a significant key to success. Baldrige Program’s social scientist Bob Hunt uses his 30 years of experience in the organizational development field to explore not only the benefits of identifying and leveraging an organization’s core competencies but using them strategically so as not to risk losing substantial ground to the competition.

Hunt aligns his discussion of defining and supporting core competencies with ways that the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, contained within the Baldrige framework, can help. He says that the Baldrige Criteria point to potential capabilities that work systematically with core competencies to improve results. For example, he says that in alignment with strategy development, the Baldrige Criteria propose a close relationship between core competencies and work systems when deciding whether related processes are to be accomplished internally or externally. According to Hunt,

<blockquote>“Research has shown a positive correlation between the strategic application of core competencies and competitive advantage leading to superior organizational performance. Many of today’s fastest growing and most profitable businesses show, whether by conscious design or serendipity, that successful application of core competencies to products and services achieves amazing results.”</blockquote>

He adds, “Properly identifying core competencies and those capabilities that support their application is a key strategic must-do. Then, ensuring that core competencies are integrated with the organization’s systems, structures, and processes is the way to get the most out of those core competencies in terms of sustained competitive advantage and organizational performance.”

Read the full article (link is external) in Quality Digest.