Tieturi Oy

The Meaning of Competence Development

Uutinen   •   Touko 07, 2014 13:07 EEST

Competence Development, or in plain English, education, is something that is always present and as I learned when working as a chef way back, those who think they know everything are soon to stop evolving…    

The last ten years or so I have been working with education for business people, mainly in the IT-area for IT Professionals and System Developers, but also quite a lot in the areas of leadership education and personal development. It’s interesting to notice the fact that the actual cost that our customers pay us is relatively low compared to the cost of not having the staff doing their regular work. If you add travelling and hotel costs to that picture you might see why more and more clients prefer to have in-house classes.    

One of my favorite quotes is that from an IT-manager that ask his CEO “what if I train my staff and they decide to leave!? The natural answer then; what if you don’t train them and they stay…” I love the moral of that story!    

If you work as competence manager, no matter if it’s a small or global company, your goal must always be to raise the internal competence standard compared to similar companies you might be competing with. I personally have a strong feeling towards people calling themselves “competence managers” and yet lacking the means or money to actually do their work.  

This particular phenomena often occurs when the person happens to work in the so-called state or government sector and I often wonder how it feels to actually feel proud of your work when day after day you have to tell your co-workers that there isn't enough funds to actually help them develop in their work. What good does a competence manager do when they spend their days pushing papers and really just fill a seat?    

The driven co-workers usually find other sort of ways to educate themselves within their area of expertise, but in the end what their managers should ask themselves is “what have we done to show this person that we believe in them, that we would like nothing less than to do our best to actually help THEM be even better”!? A driven person might educate themselves in their own time, spending their own money as a way to find another employer that is willing to invest in someone who is willing to invest in themselves.  

So where does that leave the “competence manager”, stuck in a place without any real competence to manage? Quite useless if you ask me! So, as a word of advice, before you book a meeting with me or any of my colleagues in the education world… get them funds and get ready to spend them, I promise you that by doing that you are investing in your own future as well!  

Tobias Strandh