Magazine article Information Outlook

The Core Competence of Innovation

Magazine article Information Outlook

The Core Competence of Innovation

Article excerpt

The concept of core competencies is closely related to the work of Peter Drucker, the "father of modern management," who died in 2005. Gary Hamel and the late C.K. Prahalad introduced this concept in a 1990 Harvard Business Review article, "The Core Competencies of the Corporation," and later expanded on it in a 1994 book, Competing for the Future. That same year, Drucker used the term in his own ground-breaking Harvard Business Review article, "The Theory of the Business," later anthologized in Managing in a Time of Great Change (1995) and other books.

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Drucker, a keynote speaker at the SLA 2002 Annual Conference, coined the term "knowledge worker" in the late 1950s. In 1995, he wrote a Harvard Business Review article, "The Information Executives Need Today," in which he paid tribute to Hamel and Prahalad's article, stating that because of it, "... we have known that leadership rests on being able to do something others cannot do at all or find difficult to do even poorly. It rests on core competencies that meld market or customer value with a special ability of the producer or supplier."

Core competencies are also increasingly being applied to individuals. Drucker implored people to know their strengths and to build upon them. What do you do that is consistently excellent, something you can be paid for, now and in the future?

The answer will be different for different people, but it might include areas like writing, selling, creating art, analyzing information, and so on. …

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