88 Background Information About Succession Planning and Management
of one’s self-image, social role, or a body of knowledge) that results in effective and/
or superior performance in a job.’’
It is worth emphasizing that competencies are
about work performance and results. Competency identification is the process of dis-
covering these job competencies.
A competency model is the result of competency
Competency assessment is the process of comparing an individual to an
existing competency model,
and that can be done by many means—including full-
circle, multirater assessment, assessment centers, or other ways.
Organizations have made extensive use of competency models in recent years,
which have been widely accepted.
One reason is that competency models can help
to clarify differences between outstanding (exemplary) and average performers—an
increasingly important issue in a fiercely competitive global business environment. A
second reason is that competency models are superior to work-based approaches,
which rely on job descriptions of work activities only, in pinpointing what people
need to be successful. Increasingly, knowledge is only part of what is needed to be a
successful performer. Also needed are appropriate attitudes, motivation, and interper-
sonal skills, none of which are well examined in traditional job descriptions or tradi-
tional performance appraisals.
How Are Competencies Used in Succession
Planning and Management?
Competency models are essential building blocks on which to base an SP&M effort.
Without them, it is difficult to:
' Link and align the organization’s core competencies (strategic strengths) to
job competencies.
' Define high potentials, high professionals, high performers, or other broad
categories of employees.
' Clarify exactly what present and future competencies are essential to success
in the organization and in its various departments, jobs, or occupations.
' Provide a basis for performance management by creating a work environment
that encourages high performance among all workers.
' Establish clear work expectations for the present and future.
' Create full-circle, multirater assessments that are tailor-made to the unique
requirements of one corporate culture.
' Devise competency menus that describe how individuals might be developed
for the future.
American Management Association

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