In the field of human health and fitness, the answer to many ills, aches and pains in the body is to “strengthen your core.” According to the Mayo Clinic, “strong core muscles make it easier to do everything from swinging a golf club to getting a glass from the top shelf or bending down to tie your shoes. Weak core muscles leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries.”
Ohio State University Medical Center, which recently developed a new way to improve core strength, stated that a weak core can result in injuries far removed from the core area, including the knee and elbow. Everything starts at the core. The flip side is that a strong, defined core transmits outward to the rest of the body, reinforcing the whole.
The same is true for organizations.
Author Gary Hamel, ranked by The Wall Street Journal as “the most influential business thinker in the world,” espouses the idea that every organization must have–and focus on–its “Core Competence,” or (plural) “Core Competencies” as the starting point for competitive advantage. When Core Competencies are clear, the entire organization gains the knowledge to support the competitive advantage.
What IS a Core Competence? It is a bundle of skills and technologies that enables a company to provide a particular benefit to customers. Word geeks may find it interesting to note the origin of the word “competence” included the concept of “sufficient means for living at ease.” In other words, something that makes a person-or an organization-secure.
Seven years after the concept of Core Competence was introduced, it was restated by a respected business journal, McKinsey Quarterly, as “a combination of complementary skills and knowledge bases embedded in a group or team that results in the ability to execute one or more critical processes to a world-class standard.”