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Forecasting the competencies that define best-in-class B2B marketers: A future-oriented competency model based on the Cp Delphi-hybrid framework
by:Allen C. Stines PhD
This technical report describes a future-oriented approach to develop competency models and synthesize "competency ecosystems" using the Cp Delphi-hybrid framework. First, the study sought to generate and critically analyze a concise, systematic and rigorous multi-method approach to future-oriented competency/capability modeling. The goal was to design a...
This technical report describes a future-oriented approach to develop competency models and synthesize "competency ecosystems" using the Cp Delphi-hybrid framework. First, the study sought to generate and critically analyze a concise, systematic and rigorous multi-method approach to future-oriented competency/capability modeling. The goal was to design a framework that could provide a glimpse of the competencies that will define best-in-class performance 5 to 10 years into the future. The next phase of the study entailed using this hybrid methodology to forecast a model that profiles exemplary business-to-business marketing. The Delphi expert panelists represented three continents and a wide range of knowledge domains within the broader b-to-b marketing field.The case study described took place over a period of more than 2 years. The design of the competency model entailed three main steps: construction, de-construction, and reconstruction. In the construction phase, 153 competencies were identified, arranged into 17 functional clusters, and rated. Using the quantitative data, the model was deconstructed and its various parts examined. It was later reconstructed based on the results of the analysis. Since a large number of competencies were identified, the data were analyzed and broken down into a series of perspectives with more manageable "chunks" of data.Perspective A, the "Emergent Systems Model" [ESM], was pragmatic and depicted the results of the analysis from the lens of a practitioner. Perspective B, the "Emergent Model" [EM], offered a view of the model from the lens of a quantitative researcher. It was based on the ratings that were collected during the last two Delphic iterations. This view depicted the model from a more rigid aspect, constructed strictly from the quantitative data.Perspective C, the "Emergent Functional Model" [EFM], looked at the data from the lens of an educator. This last view of the model aimed to segregate knowledge domains within business marketing and start a discussion on some of the epistemological implications of the results of the study.To sum-up, the systems perspective (perspective A) highlighted the criticality of technical b-to-b marketing competencies such as segmentation, market strategy, and other technical competencies which are at the heart of b-to-b marketing. The emergent perspective (perspective B) stressed the importance of more abstract constructs such as: exhibiting marketing leadership, fundamentally understanding the ins and outs of "value", practicing boundary spanning (especially with sales), anticipating and managing change, and other competencies which have a multiplier effect on the technical marketing competencies that were discussed in perspective A. The functional perspective (perspective C) looked at more discrete knowledge domains and emphasized the importance of a broad theoretical base, which fosters double loop learning and enables a set of abilities that are timeless and spaceless.The EFM and the ESM blur the line between individual and organizational competencies. Future-oriented competency/capability models can be a potent enabler in the planning of business transformation efforts, whether the change stems from external forces (such as the markets or industry) or is being catalyzed from within the organization. Competency ecosystems can provide the linchpin that connects the human capital components of a business transformation effort to the strategic, operational, and technological components of the change. This report takes you deep into the intricacies of the process, it describes in detail the methodology and the tools that were used to synthesize the competency model and distill its components. The report is technical and requires a basic understanding of statistics to fully comprehend the analysis. The 2003 case study that is described took place over a period of over 2 years.
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