Capability models have the potential to identify much more than the skills and capabilities of individuals.   When they are tied to your strategy and the jobs required to deliver your value proposition and reach your strategic goals, they define what is required of all jobholders in a specified position, and help identify:
  • Capabilities present or missing across the entire organization, not just in certain individuals.
  • Capabilities whose development should be integrated into management and leadership development programs.

The data collected on individuals during performance appraisals or in other contexts can be aggregated and analyzed to reveal strengths and weaknesses across the organization.   When this is done, it identifies organizational strengths to be leveraged as well as areas for development.  This gives leaders insight into their organization, including what sort of people it may not-so-consciously be attracting or promoting.  

When shared by a majority of the leadership, the presence or absence of capabilities is invisible to them.  The presence of key capabilities usually indicates unique strengths that can create competitive advantage.  Absences usually indicate blind spots that may create serious barriers to strategic success.

Capabilities - even complex leadership and relationship building capabilities - can be assessed and taught.  Since job capabilities are written in the clear language of skills and behaviors, they are very useful references when designing development programs. In addition, if your organization has a set of core competencies that all employees are expected to demonstrate, you must have a way of assessing and explicitly developing them.