Future Fit: Assessing and building capability to increase your performance

22 March


In an era of paradigm shift to skills-based organisations – the core fundamentals of capability haven’t really altered that much, but the way we are approaching it has.

We take a quick look at why the big shift is occurring, and some tried and true practical approaches that can support that shift – without causing even more disruption in the organisation or investing huge volumes of time and energy.


Why Skills Matter

Futureproofing: By 2025, automation and AI may displace a staggering 85 million jobs, while 97 million new roles will emerge. In this rapidly changing landscape, skills-based organisations are not just a trend, they are a necessity. They are the lifeboats that can help us not just weather the storm of technological disruption, but also seize the opportunities it brings, emerging stronger on the other side.

Adaptability: The pandemic has underscored the need for companies to be adaptable more than ever before, and skills-based organisations are leading the way. A 2020 Harvard Business School survey revealed that 71% of 1,500 executives from more than 90 countries consider adaptability the most important quality they look for in a leader. With skills at the forefront, organisations can swiftly navigate the waves of change, including those brought about by the pandemic. Whether it’s AI, automation, or market shifts, agility is the name of the game.

Engagement, retention, and performance: Recognising employees for their unique skills doesn't just make them feel good, it leads to outstanding results. A study by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) underscores the significance of job quality, which includes factors like pay, contracts, and the day-to-day realities of work. Quality work has a positive effect on people’s health and well-being. Moreover, when employees feel appreciated by their organisation, they are not just a little more satisfied with their jobs, they are 63% more satisfied, 55% more engaged, 58% more focused, and 110% more likely to remain with their organisation.

Real-World Examples

Tech Innovators: A software company identifies gaps in its development team using skills assessments. Targeted training enhances coding skills, resulting in faster product releases.

Healthcare Heroes: Hospitals map nurses’ skills to patient care. The result? Improved outcomes and reduced errors.

Retail Resilience: A retail chain embraces skills-based hiring. Their workforce adapts seamlessly to e-commerce demands, from inventory management to customer service.


Capability Frameworks and Predictive Diagnostics

Identifying Critical Capabilities

Capability frameworks: These strategic roadmaps play a crucial role in guiding organisations towards critical skills. It’s about unpacking traditional roles and organisational structures into clear skillsets and outcomes that identify the pathway forward for individuals and organisations. Capability frameworks provide the map to guide staff development conversations, ensure recruitment, upskilling, and reskilling align with actual organisational needs, and staff development that delivers genuine investment in organisational capability – and increased staff retention.  Whether it’s data analytics, project management, or communication, these frameworks illuminate the path, ensuring organisations are equipped with the skills they need to thrive in the future.


Think of them as compasses. They identify much more than skills - they also assess cognitive competencies, behavioural traits, and experience, that can predict performance. Adding values assessment is a powerful way to understand what motivates and engages your team. This is key for team fit, retention and culture.  It will show how team members are aligned with other team members and the organisation’s goals.

Diagnostic reports reveal capability gaps, strengths, and areas for improvement. Armed with this knowledge, organisations can bridge gaps through targeted training.

Strategic Decision-Making

Imagine making decisions based on data, not gut feelings, nor with bias. Diagnostics is a power tool, to empower leaders to allocate resources strategically. Whether upskilling, reskilling, or talent acquisition, data-driven choices lead to smart decision-making and investment – saving you time, and money.

Capability Uplift

Building capability frameworks and integrating skills diagnostics directly supports a performance lift – your future fitness!

Defining organisational capabilities:

  • Organisations with clearly defined capabilities are 5 times more likely to achieve their strategic goals.
  • Tip: Involve stakeholders from all levels to ensure alignment with business objectives.

Assessing your current capabilities:

  • Companies that assess skills and competencies regularly are 4 times more likely to outperform competitors.
  • Tip: Use predictive diagnostics across competencies, values and skills, for accurate, unbiased insights.

Capability profiles:

  • Profiling skills leads to 15% higher productivity and better talent development.
  • Tip: Specify observable behaviours for each proficiency level – behavioural diagnostics can then directly assess these.

Linking into position descriptions:

  • Job roles aligned with capabilities result in 18% higher performance.
  • Tip: Use competency-based interviews during performance conversations that align with the results and reporting from your diagnostic insights.


Building capability frameworks and integrating predictive diagnostics isn’t a one-time task. It’s an ongoing journey, and it will involve lots of tools.  But it doesn’t have to be complex, or take loads of time.  By embedding these tools into your current organisation, you will empower your workforce to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

We are passionate about supporting organisations build a future-fit workforce.


We assist and empower organisations of all shapes and sizes with customised transformation.  We offer capability assessments and frameworks – including predictive diagnostics.  We follow with personalised learning journeys and coaching to power upskilling that is targeted and industry-aligned.  An approach that combines our industry experts and leverages technology provides a real impact and outcomes for the organisations we support in capability uplift.

Get in touch to learn more




Josh Williams: Thought Leader, Skills Group Head of Consulting, and global expert on workforce capability and vocational education.

Michelle Ruddenklau: Leads Skills Dx - our diagnostic and development centre: connecting consulting, capability, assessments, training, coaching, and credentialing services.



Esser, J. (2021). The Secret of Adaptable Organizations Is Trust. Harvard Business Review

BBC Worklife. (2022). How adaptability helps you ‘bounce forwards’ at work

Horton International. (n.d.). In-Demand Yet Overlooked | Adaptability

McKinsey & Company. (2021). The Great Attrition: The power of adaptability

Reeves, M., & Deimler, M. (2011). Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage. Harvard Business Review

CIPD. (2022). CIPD Good Work Index 2022: survey report

ActivTrak. (n.d.). *How to Measure Quality of Work for Employees:


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