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mean, and being able to recall that meaning in the moment while driving is a knowledge component of driving capability.

2. Skills Skills are those behaviours that require practice in order to do them well enough to do the job in hand. If we look at the driving example again, coordinating the clutch, gear lever and accelerator is a learned skill that is required for driving.

3. Mind-set

This encompasses the ideas of engagement, attitude and motivation. As we know from our own experience, mindset is a far more fluid factor than the other components of capability. It can wax and wane depending on recent events such as a large sales order, or even a hangover.

4. Physiology People are different. As a species we have a huge variability in our physiques, our motor responses and our intellectual capacity. There are some jobs that some of this could not do due to our physiology.

One way to find out the barriers to capability that exist in the environment is to ask people what frustrates them on a daily basis. Follow that question with another, which asks them what they are now tolerating that used to frustrate them.

Another way is to use a simple but powerful business tool called the cause-effect diagram or Ishikawa diagram. The tool gives you a way of breaking down in successive layers of detail the root causes that contribute to a particular effect. The effect that we are interested in is a workers lack of capability to do a specific task at the point of work. Use the tool twice, once

5. Environment The environment is anything outside the worker at the point of work. The list is almost endless but will include things like availability of tools, spare parts, job aides, just-in-time information, access to experienced colleagues, and many more. You can also expand this idea to include the culture within which the worker is operating, the effectiveness of the management they are getting, the appropriateness of any incentive schemes, and the systems and procedures they are required to follow.

for the first four components, and then for the environmental factors.

One advantage of using a tool like the Ishikawa diagram is that it is a common business tool and understood by people in the business. If you work with them using the tool, you will get much greater buy-in to the real cause of the performance problem and therefore the solution to address that specific cause. The solution will often not be training. Too often people in L&D act as order takers for training interventions. The business says it wants a two-day course on customer service, and L&D dutifully complies. When a proper root cause analysis is done on what is causing the lack of capability and therefore the lack of performance, it is often the case that the real root cause is not something that can be fixed by training. I encourage you as an L&D professional to step up and embrace this simple definition of capability. When you do so you will find your conversations with the business will go much more smoothly, you will get better buy-in to the solutions you propose, the solutions are far more likely to success as they are better targeted, and you will likely find it easier to obtain budget. n

Learning Magazine

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