Core Skills And Innovation

Most organizations and individuals are so busy just trying to fulfill their business goals, generate revenue and market in this new digital space that they may not have time to think through their organization’s key skills. Today’s changing world demands that we ask whether or not an organization’s core skills matter anymore.

Nike’s CEO, Mark Parker, argues against core competencies or skills because he believes it to be an “outmoded principle of business.” Once known as a shoe company, Nike is now undergoing a complete innovation getting into wearable technology and beyond.

I do not see this as a step outside of having or developing core competencies, but rather as expanding upon what Nike has always done well — providing ways for fitness enthusiasts to be fit, stay fit and as the slogan goes, to “just do it.”

Although innovation may require you to extend your company’s core skills to compete in a totally diferent way, perhaps technology hasn’t fully rendered having core skills necessary to tackle a given market obsolete.

Without an accurate understanding of what an organization’s core competencies are, your company may lack the focus necessary to achieve business success. You must know your strengths to excel both as an individual and an organization.

As an individual this will help you define what you bring to the table of your organization, and as an organization this will define what you bring to your market. Perhaps, that will evolve over time, but knowing and improving who you are and what you are good at seems to be the best way to achieve organizational success, whether you’re running a start-up or a large multinational company. When you know your own core skills, you are that much better equipped at helping your organization succeed. Innovate away, but do not throw away core skills quite yet!