Learn. Grow. Accelerate. Why Competency is King in the 21st Century


Hacking Your Future is a free weekly memo that provides readers with practical and applicable tips for uncovering their future success. Readers are challenged to re-imagine their personal and professional narratives, goals, and objectives, and re-invent their lives and work in a manner consistent with their new vision of the future.

This weeks focal point: Earlier this month I had the privilege of working with industry leaders at a national association conference in Washington D.C. This organization was also welcoming their new CEO, who was replacing the previous CEO of 25 years. Needless to say, the organization is going through a significant change on two fronts: Leadership and future direction. During his address he repeatedly emphasized the importance of developing transferable skill sets, competencies, and expertise as a critical component for the long-term success of both the association and the industry. Having found this principle invaluable in my own career and having similarly advised my clients, I appreciated his message and hoped it was well received by his new colleagues. I was also impressed by the fact that he did not come from the industry of which he was about to take leadership. Instead he was hired because of his transferable expertise and competencies, which he had acquired over his career as a leader in the association industry.

I’ve talked about the issue of increasing competencies on several occasions. In order to create continuous sustainable growth and ensure future relevance, we must continuously grow our level of strategic competency thereby equipping us to anticipate and meet the needs of our target audience groups over the next 5 to 25 years.This issue is particularly relevant within the higher education industry today. There seems to be a growing disconnect between these institutions and the nature of the workforce for which they are preparing their students.

A recent Gallup / Lumina Foundation poll on the public’s perception of higher education found that 96% of college and university chief academic officers were extremely or somewhat confident in their institution’s ability to equip students for success in the workforce. At the same time only 11% of business leaders strongly agreed that college graduates were equipped with the skill sets and competencies required to meet the needs of their organizations. As an industry, higher education is well equipped with transferrable skills, competencies, and expertise. The problem they face, as do most industries with a rich heritage and tradition, is convincing the majority of their stakeholders of the urgency to re-think their long-term strategy for future growth.

In an age where we are seeing entire industries and sectors drift toward obsolescence, we must reframe our value in light of transferable expertise, skill sets, and competencies that match the changing business landscape.

The Fulcrum: Take time to clarify the skills, expertise, and competencies that distinguish your organization today. Once you have done so, you can begin to identify transferrable skills and competencies that will allow you to grow into new markets and opportunities.

You may subscribe and encourage others to subscribe by clicking here.

Privacy statement: Your email address is never shared with anyone for any reason.

Check out my podcast series called The Futurist on iTunes.

If you’d like to reach me by email: [email protected]

or call my direct line: 828-367-0290


© J.P Nichols & Associates Inc. 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Facebooktwitterlinkedin instagram

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *