The process of choosing core competencies not only strengthens the organization’s strategic development, but can also help to identify the performance areas that most clearly support organizational competitiveness and success.

References on projects we did in this area can be found at Bibliotheek and Natuurvereniging and NIBC. Happy to elaborate.


You can start the process of selecting core competencies in one of two ways:

  • If you have strategic documents on file such as mission, value, or mandate statements, annual reports, strategic or business plans or business analyses (SWOT, SOAR, SCOPE, etc.), use these documents to identify the direction your organization needs to go and the organizational strengths that will help it move forward.
  • If your strategic documents are outdated or your organization has never formally articulated its strategy, interview your executive team to gather the information required. Have them articulate the market challenges and opportunities and the short- and long-term goals for the organization.


Once you have a clear view of the organization’s strategic direction, you can begin compiling a shortlist of core competencies that align with the strategy. Ideally, you’ll include no more than 10 to 15 competencies in your shortlist, which is chosen by your organization’s executive team. This keeps the selection process focused while giving participants in the selection process an array of options to compare and choose from.


The decision about whose input should be included in the selection process will depend on the size and structure of your organization:

  • For smaller organizations (100 or fewer employees), it may be feasible to gather input from everyone in the organization. This way, everyone has an opportunity to contribute.
  • For larger organizations (1,000+ employees), it’s advisable to gather input from the executive team only. Alternatively, input can also be collected from a representative sample of managers as well, if you believe this perspective will enhance the selection process.

Regardless of the selection process you follow, the ultimate decision should always rest with your executive team, because they are closest to the organization’s strategy.

Make sure you define these competencies and where desirable level them (junior, medior, senior) etc. There are more than enough examples on the internet. The above and below is from




  • • Business Perspective
  • • Client Focus
  • • Concern for Safety
  • • Quality Focus
  • • Work Ethics and Values


  • • Analytical Thinking
  • • Creativity and Innovation
  • • Critical Judgment
  • • Information Gathering and Processing
  • • Planning and Organizing
  • • Problem Solving


  • • Fostering Communication
  • • Teamwork


  • • Achievement Orientation
  • • Adaptability
  • • Attention to Detail
  • • Continuous Learning
  • • Initiative
  • • Resilience
  • • Valuing Cultural Diversity