top of page

The Six Core Elements of Capability

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

What are the core elements of capability that all organisations must possess, regardless of their industry, size and product range?

In a previous blog, we considered whether there are core elements in capability and we came to the conclusion that there indeed are, even though they may be expressed differently from organisation to organisation. We used a genetics metaphor to illustrate the point, where some genetic traits are expressed differently from individual to individual, based on their environment. See Capability – Is There A Generic Core?

SO, IF WE ACCEPT THAT THERE ARE CORE ELEMENTS IN CAPABILITY, WHAT ARE THEY? One thing is certain. These core elements are already known and any strong manager would be able to identify most of them based on their experience. So what is the point of this discussion if these core elements are already known? Well, the fact that they are known does not imply that they are systematically managed. That is, it does not imply that they are part of a consistent model that facilitates their management. So making these elements explicit is the first step towards including them in a management model.

The objective is to produce inside organisations the flexibility, dynamism, performance and success we associate with competitive markets.

The figure below shows the six core elements of capability (this is a simplified view as each element contains sub-elements, thus ensuring that capability can be described with a fine granularity).

You can see that just about any management issue that you can think of can be slotted into one of the six headings shown in the illustration. This is encouraging but not sufficient. We need to know why these six elements were selected and not others. To understand that, it is necessary to go back to the origin of the model.

INSPIRED BY THE WAY ORGANISATIONS SUCCEED IN COMPETITIVE MARKETS The objective of the model is to help organisations achieve the flexibility, dynamism, performance and success one associates with competitive markets. Its starting point is the use of competitive markets as inspiration for the type of capability that firms could adopt internally. In other words, the model seeks to codify in a compact form the essential features that organisations need to possess in order to succeed in competitive markets.

GENERIC AND VERSATILE The origin of the model and its link to the economy ensures that it is generic in nature. It also ensures that it is compatible with empirical management models and practices that have been found to play an important role in helping firms achieve success. Because the model seeks to describe what can make organisations more capable of achieving success, we call it a capability model of performance.

I’d love to hear your comments. Paul

68 views0 comments


bottom of page