High-Level Performance Requirements

The high level performance requirements germane to a “business professional” are supported by general and specific interpersonal, customer, community, and technical skill requirements. These requirements include:

Professionalism

The original concept of professions and professionals had general and specific characteristics which differentiated them from technicians, vendors, and non-professionals. The characteristics are special or unique competence in special tasks and services; competence defined by a comprehensive and self-governing organization of practitioners.

Today, in the United States, the “operative” definition of a professional is closer to a specialist: a person with a job title, or a person merely employed[2].  As a result, professional standards are lower (or non-existent) and American employees are generally “short changed” by not being challenged through demands for contribution, performance and value.

Using the operative definition of “professional”, organizations develop[3] individuals into “employees” rather than consummate professionals in the traditional definition. Managers evolve at the expense of leadership.

Organizations with vision based upon the professional attributes and characteristics identified above realize their goals only if the people that constitute the organization practice and demonstrate the attributes and characteristics.

Ethics And Values

Ethics and values are derived from a specific code of ethics or ethical standards by which members of a profession are guided in the performance of their service. The ethics and values manifest themselves in specific acceptable standards of behavior. The characteristics and attributes relative to ethics and values are:

Analytical & Creative Thought

The professional employs both analytical and creative skill in interpreting the customer environment, developing solutions, and fostering and implementing change. Specific skills include:

Quality

Principles of Quality Leadership:

Team Work

Team work is in itself a linking activity, as is modern technology. Team work connects information systems and people to add renewed value by linking them and sharing information. The professional development (PD) program’s advantage comes from it’s opportunity for accurate and timely transmission of information. The real value comes from developing and applying linkage to other technical disciplines. This is team work on a corporate scale, and transcends (but does not replace) “cross-functional teams”. Therefore, the PD program must develop supreme human network solutions, as well as hardware solutions.

Communication Skills

Modern business is at once extremely people sensitive and technology driven. Reconciling the wants and needs of both the people and the technology market(s) requires high level of communication skill.

Board Room Presence

Board room presence is a subjective skill based on the impression of confidence, competence and stature. People with “board room presence” command respect because of these impressions with the audience.

Customer Orientation

The measurement of success is dependent, or linked to the customer’s success; thus you are “hit” by their business cycle. In addition, as partners we can work on counter-measure solutions.

Customer Awareness

Knowledge of customer’s plans/actions.

Creative pricing and billing to meet mutual needs:

Technical Skills

Footnotes:

[1]The reader may notice that “Professionalism” is a high-level performance requirement germane to a professional.  The “Professionalism” bullet above refers to the attributes which are specific to (or technically define) professionalism.  However, the author subscribes to the theory that a professional exhibits the attributes associated with all of the above requirements; not just the attributes within the technical definition of professionalism.  In other words, a professional is much more than the technical definition.  In our environment, a professional meets all the above requirements.

[2]This probably results from the relentless accommodation of lower standards and expectations which has been in vogue for many years in American society.

[3]Development of people always occurs, as it’s part of living.  In other words, development can and does occur by default.

  • Professionalism[1]
  • Ethics and values
  • Team work
  • Analytical and creative thought
  • Quality
  • Communication skills
  • Board room presence
  • Customer awareness
  • Technical skills
  1. Technical proficiency
    1. Autonomy based on unique skills. A high degree of autonomy for individual practitioners and the professional group.
    2. Performs unique social service
    3. Skills subject to rational analysis and judgment by standards of competence
    4. Membership in professional associations
  2. General or social competence in professional and community tasks and services
    1. General training and education
    2. Broad social service
    3. Membership in community associations
  3. Professional-client relationship
    1. Consultation and service
    2. Based on earned trust, confidence, understanding, and confidentiality
    3. Based on conformity to ethical principle
    4. Primary motive is service, not financial gain. Service to the larger community (such as my community, customer community, industry, etc.) rather than economic gain is the dominant motive.
  1. Honesty
    1. Integrity
    2. personal
  2. Courage
  3. Confidentiality
  4. Credibility
  5. Honor/respect
    1. diversity
    2. other view points, methods
  6. Sense of duty
  7. Sense of justice
  8. Responsible
  9. Demonstrates faith in self, team, leadership, customer
  10. Actions and conduct
  1. Systems thinking
  2. Questioning techniques
    1. Creative
    2. Direct
  3. Differentiate problem from symptom (root cause analysis)
  4. Interpret agendas (hidden or otherwise)
  5. Cost/benefit analysis
  6. Make value judgments
  7. Differentiate and leverage micro, macro, mega perspective
  8. Differentiate between required roles: analytical vs. practicality
  9. Recognizing other possibilities
  10. Visioning
  11. Interactive skills (unearthing/sensing hidden agendas)
  1. Customer focus
  2. Obsession with quality
  3. Recognizing the structure of work
  4. Freedom through control
  5. Unity of purpose
  6. Looking for faults in systems
  7. Teamwork
  8. Continued education and training
  9. Support systems (recognition/compensation)
  10. Zero tolerance for lack of customer focus.
  1. Actions demonstrate commitment to the common goals and success
  2. Contributes to the decision process
  3. Contributes to the work process
  4. Shares information, work, results, and credit
  5. Promotes active involvement by peers
  6. Fosters synergy in activities and deliverables
  7. Actively contributes ideas
  8. Builds upon ideas
  9. Educates peers and others
  10. Helps peers and others
  11. Resolves issues with peers and others
  12. Willingly accepts and actively supports group decisions and actions
  13. Champions group issues
  14. Measurements and rewards based on contributions to the team success vs. individual effort
  1. Command of language: usage and grammar; vernacular
  2. People skills: assuming different roles/viewpoints
  3. Understanding vs. dialog
  4. Presentation vs. lecture
  5. Presentation techniques
    1. oral
    2. written
    3. externally (audience) oriented
  6. Proposal skills (oral and written)
    1. soundness of proposal
    2. inoffensive
    3. positive/neutral vs. negative
    4. constructive
    5. partnership (implicit & explicit)
  7. Active listening
  8. Body language: yours/theirs
  9. Effective discussion skills:
    1. Clarifying
    2. “Gate keeping”
    3. Listening
    4. Summarize
    5. Contain digression
    6. Manage time
    7. Ending discussion
    8. Test for consensus
    9. Constantly evaluate the meeting process
  1. Command presence: command respect and demonstrate presence.
  2. Responsive to customer/audience
  3. Manage situations
  4. Read people
  5. Take initiative
  6. Seek responsibility
  7. Empowers self (makes decisions based on knowledge)
  8. Exercise perseverance
  9. Exercise resource management
  10. Exercise conflict management
  11. Maintain composure
  12. Display confidence
  13. Pride in deliverables, team, and partnership
  1. Knowledge of customer’s business cycle.
  2. Champion customer issues and concerns.
  3. Sensitive to customer’s issues (needs, wants, sensitivities).
    1. buying influences
    2. win-results
  4. Teacher/Disciple for integrated/full service.
  5. Teacher/Disciple for partnership (win-win solutions).
  6. Sense of urgency.
  1. Strive for customer’s success.
  2. develop, promote, foster ideas
  3. identify opportunities for the customer’s business
  4. protect customer’s interests
  5. effective resource utilization
  1. why
  2. what
  3. where
  4. who
  5. when
  6. how
  7. why again; always consistency check with high level goals and objectives to answer that you/we are all going in the right direction.
  1. mutual benefit
  2. based on cost vs. price
  1. Knowledge of history
  2. Industry best practices (a reactive skill)
  3. Standardization
  4. Information value and security
  5. Utilize methods and methodologies
    1. Systems Life Cycle
    2. Resource management
    3. Project Management
    4. Support
    5. Analysis tools/methods
    6. Change Management
    7. Management reporting (how do you prove that you’re meeting requirements)
  6. Resource utilization
    1. Publications
    2. Information-gathering tools
    3. Networking
  7. Regulatory requirements and issues
  8. Jurisdictional
  9. Costing
  10. Energizing technology and issues
  11. Technology policy

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