Competency Training is Key to Building Category Management Capability

Someone may have the CAPABILITY (potential) but not yet have the COMPETENCY (degree of skill) to excel at a specific function or task.

Take for instance Michael Jordan. He had the potential (capability) to develop into arguably one of the world’s best basketball players. But having this capability didn’t mean he was always skillful (competent) in basketball (or else he would not have been cut from his high school varsity basketball team). He had to develop his skills/competencies over time in areas like dribbling, shooting and passing to build his basketball capability. Michael showed us that training against the right competencies can lead to maximizing one’s potential/capability.

Here is what I consider to be the best-in-class training process in reaching one’s capability in Category Management:

  1. Determine functional competencies that match your company, your Cat Man vision and competitive point of difference (e.g., what may be advanced for one company may be foundational for another).
  2. Determine the desired level of proficiency, by competency, for each job position in the department.
  3. Perform a quantitative (knowledge assessment) and qualitative (behavior assessment) of your team.
  4. Create a blended-training development program:
    • Jointly have (employee and manager) create an individual training plan with a series of e-learning / instructor-led / on-the-job programs.
  5. Execute the plan and measure progress throughout the year.

In summary:

The goal of training should be to build skills to enable individuals and the team to reach their full potential and excel at a function. The approach to reaching that potential is training on improving key competencies for a specific function, like Category Management.

If you want your department to reach their full potential and drive a point of difference for your company visit our website or contact me.

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My future blogs will focus on each of the best-in-class steps above, beginning with TPG’s set of nine key Category Management competencies (determined from our 20 years of Cat Man experience with retailers and manufacturers).