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How to Build Capability in Your Organization

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

To build capability in your organization, start with one important question: What is it that you do? Beyond what you do as a learning and development leader, how do you know if it actually works? Not just works as in great training, but something that systemically makes a difference or is key cog in making a difference to that individual or with that team, potentially in that business unit or region, so that it really drives the organization forward.

Everything that we do within learning and development starts with a critical mindset and enterprise shift that still does not exist to the level it needs to today: building organizational capability, not individual skills. You can have the most skilled sales, R&D, or supply chain people, and they can have all of the skills, requisite awareness, and situationally and strategically the ability to work, however, if it doesn’t work within the confines of your organization, our infrastructure, then all of that does not matter.

So, what does it mean to build capability in your organization and not just skill, whether you’re working with an individual or team? Here we have outlined four steps that you can take:

Step One: We need to ensure that we’re strategically and culturally connected. It’s about what is really going on within the organization, how it relates to the business unit, region, or team, and then how it connects to the individual.

Step Two: Do we understand and connect to the business model for how our organization works? Because no matter where you sit in the organization, no matter what role you are in, there is always a customer or a larger impact or growth goal on the other side of everything that everyone does. That is why we need to ensure that what we do connects to the business model that is driving that culture and strategy forward.

Step Three: We must look at the infrastructure of how we work and collaborate. How are marketing, sales, R&D, working together? We must consider this so when we are developing people, we’re just not putting them back and being a better developed and skilled person, but within the thread of how that is going to create capability and value in the organization.

Fourth, consider processes. What are the key systems that are currently running right now, and what must we do to ensure they are set up to drive the replicable and scalable results we need?

Step Four: Look at the people within your organization. Here is where we look at more than just their developmental needs but uncovering what truly drives them, what career path they can have and how that connects to the where we are going as an organization. These are the five keys by which to be successful when you try to build capability in your organization, not just individual skills.

Here’s to your success.

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