Leadership competencies at play

At Workz, we were excited when we came upon the Korn Ferry Leadership Architect™ competency framework. Why? Because the framework, describing leadership competencies, is very effective for analysing training needs. In that regard, Workz has incorporated the framework to leverage the design of leadership programs and academies for several industry leading companies. This includes ISS, the global facility services company, and the development of their academy Leading the ISS Way.

If your organization is familiar with the Korn Ferry framework, or would like to be, it becomes clear that the it establishes a shared language around competencies and also helps organisations understand their talent. The focus on a common frame and the human-oriented approach is just up Workz’s alley. And in fact, closely linked to the leadership simulations we offer. This is why organisations using the Korn Ferry framework have had great success using Workz’s leadership simulations. We have found that our unique portfolio of leadership simulations is well suited to help develop the competences contained in the framework. 

About the competency framework

Korn Ferry Leadership Architect™ is a global research-based and experience-tested competency framework. It is used in a large number of organisations in order to identify, and develop the competences needed to activate the corporate strategy. 

The framework defines competencies as “observable and measurable skills and behaviours that contribute to workplace effectiveness and career success”, and the 38 competencies are divided into four categories: 

  • Thoughts
  • Results
  • People
  • Self

Each of the categories are divided into clusters which again contains 2-5 competencies. As an example, the category Results contains the cluster Making Complex Decisions, which again contains the competencies Manages Complexity, Decision Quality and Balances Stakeholders.  

The advantages?

We especially appreciate three aspects of the framework:

  • Shared reference The framework serves very well as a shared language and reference within an organisation. This enables deeper and more nuanced conversations about leadership and organisational development.       
  • Deep understanding - The 38 competencies and their strong scientific foundation can help highlight issues that are often overlooked or addressed in a much too simple way. To gain a deeper understanding, sometimes we must break things down. One example is how the framework highlights the competency of Managing ambiguity as a key component of being a flexible and adaptable leader.  
  • Building blocks for success - When designing training and development plans, the framework presents a selection of building blocks needed for succeeding in specific functions or at certain management levels. As an example, the competency of Directs work might be essential for front line team leaders, whereas the competencies of Collaborates and Drives vision and purpose becomes more important at higher levels of management.     

Activating the framework with Workz's simulations

Workz offers a portfolio of board-game based leadership simulations and we have seen excellent results from using our simulations to address specific leadership competencies identified with the Korn Ferry framework. Combining the two tools can be powerful because, essentially, they are looking at clients’ challenges through similar lenses.  

An example is Gamechangers®, our simulation on creating results through others in complex organisations without a formal leadership mandate. Seen from the perspective of the Korn-Ferry framework, the simulation provides an opportunity to reflect on and develop perspectives on a number of targeted competencies:

  • Manage Complexity – Making sense of complex, high quantity, and sometimes contradictory, information to effectively solve problems.
  • Balances Stakeholders - Anticipating and balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders.
  • Organisational Savvy - Maneuvering comfortably through complex policy, process and people-related organisational dynamics.

The Gamechangers simulation focuses on bringing these exact competencies, based within the Thoughts and People category, to life by providing a training ground where managers can apply their knowledge and experiences, while learning from the game and each other. The simulation becomes a place to take action, to bring the competencies into play and to reflect on the leadership decisions and their outcomes.

We have mapped the fit between the 38 competencies of the Korn Ferry Leadership Architect™ framework and Workz’s 6 leadership simulations. If your organization is using the Korn Ferry framework then have a look at how Workz can help you make the most of your talent and drive your strategy by mixing methods. You can download a pdf of the mapping here – enjoy!