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competency

English translation: what you do best

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:competency
English translation:what you do best
Entered by: George Rabel
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15:57 Dec 9, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Business/Commerce (general) / word usage
English term or phrase: competency
This use of the word has me baffled, since none of the meanings I have found in dictionaries appears to make sense in this context. It is not about capacity or ability, jurisdiction, or competition (in which case they would have used the word "competitors").

"Becoming an On Demand Business will enable a company to achieve these benefits but will require it to have the following attributes:

-Responsive in real time
-Focused on core competencies
-Resilient and dependable
-Variable cost structures
<
My original hunch, given the context, is that they used the word with the same meaning as "disciplines", "activities" or "tasks". But none of dictionaries I have consulted justify that use. Another possibility is that they meant "competitors".
Any help would be appreciated.
George Rabel
Local time: 22:20
what you do best
Explanation:
core competencies is a buzzword because in the 90's large companies extended themselves too far into different types of business and needed to focus more

not competitors
Selected response from:

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 20:20
Grading comment
Every answer has been, as usual, very useful and informative. Now, thanks to all of your answers, I know what it is.
In the future, if someone ever asks me what it means, I would reply "what you do best", and that is why I choose Rita´s answer.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5strength
Kim Metzger
5 +4what you do bestRHELLER
4 +1field of expertise
Richard Benham
5specialities
Charlesp
4 +1totality of qualities essential to the business
seaMount
3 +2skills
Peter Linton
4core competencies....giogi
4"core competencies" is a very "in" term these daysxxxCMJ_Trans


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
strength


Explanation:
---
A core competency is fundamental knowledge, ability, or expertise in a specific subject area or skill set. For example, an individual who becomes certified as a Microsoft Certified Software Engineer (MCSE) is said to have a core competency in certain Microsoft systems and networks. Companies with specific strengths in the marketplace, such as data storage or the development of accounting applications, can be said to have a core competency in that area. The core part of the term indicates that the individual has a strong basis from which to gain the additional competence to do a specific job or that a company has a strong basis from which to develop additional products.
http://searchsmallbizit.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid44_...


Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 21:20
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 68

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  RHELLER
1 min

agree  Balaban Cerit
23 mins

agree  Asghar Bhatti
3 hrs

agree  Sogifted
9 hrs

agree  conejo
2 days12 hrs
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
what you do best


Explanation:
core competencies is a buzzword because in the 90's large companies extended themselves too far into different types of business and needed to focus more

not competitors

RHELLER
United States
Local time: 20:20
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 71
Grading comment
Every answer has been, as usual, very useful and informative. Now, thanks to all of your answers, I know what it is.
In the future, if someone ever asks me what it means, I would reply "what you do best", and that is why I choose Rita´s answer.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Balaban Cerit
21 mins
  -> thanks Balaban :-)

agree  Dr Sue Levy: nice simple English :-)
40 mins
  -> thanks Sue :-)

agree  Asghar Bhatti
3 hrs
  -> thanks Asghar!

agree  conejo
2 days12 hrs
  -> thanks Conejo!
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
core competencies....


Explanation:
are those capabilities that are critical to a business achieving competitive advantage.


    Reference: http://www.tutor2u.net/business/strategy/core_competencies.h...
giogi
Local time: 03:20
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
skills


Explanation:
Those areas / activities / skills that are the heart of an organisation. What makes them best able to do particular things.
It may well be a bit of EU-speak that has infiltrated into business language.


    europa.eu.int/comm/research/conferences/ 2004/univ/pdf/slides_anette_kolmos_en.pdf
Peter Linton
Local time: 03:20
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  danya
7 mins

agree  Balaban Cerit
21 mins
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
"core competencies" is a very "in" term these days


Explanation:
a lot of companies are choosing to return to their "core business", in other words to concentrate on their principal activity and outsource or contract out the rest.

"Competencies" is a word that indeed means skills, abilities, etc. The French would use the phrase "coeur de métier" which brings in the notion of a particular profession, a special skill, a specific trade.

It is the area in which they are COMPETENT i.e. able to do something well/properly.
HTH

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-12-09 16:13:34 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Found under Eurodicautom

Core competency: primary area of competence.Narrowly defined fields or tasks at which a company or business excels.Primary areas of speciality

Competencia core: se refiere a una habilidad o cualificación de la empresa para producir el bien o servicio que está en el centro de su actividad principal y por la que probablemente es conocida.
Como línea de la estrategia empresarial en la actualidad, y como reacción a la moda de la diversificación de los años setenta y ochenta, hoy se recomienda la vuelta a las actividades o competencias core. La o las competencias core, ya que no tienen por qué ser sólo una, no son necesariamente pequeñas o estrechas



xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 04:20
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
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20 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
totality of qualities essential to the business


Explanation:
... knowledge, expertise, abilities and capacities - individual/professional and/or organizational - that are essential for business operation (including production and service but also research, development, marketing and such).

Compare with a succesful mountaineering expedition:
it requires stength, ability to handle ropes, expertise in safety & rescue issues, creativity (no mountain or conditions are the same), social and management skills etc. These are core competenc(i)es!

Not: taking pictures, being able to seize dunes or .... buying office furniture, managing a restaurant, building software (that can be outsourced of purchased)

seaMount
Local time: 04:20
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sogifted
9 hrs
  -> thank you!
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46 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
field of expertise


Explanation:
The word "competency" is related to "competent". If you are competent at something, it means you are good at it. The quality of being competent is called "competence". This noun is uncountable (i.e. can't be used in the plural). The related noun "competency" is almost *always* used in the plural, and means something like "area of competence", or "something you're good at".

So, if a company is "focused" on its "core competencies", it does not attempt to do things at which it is not competent, but concentrates on what it does well. So an engineering company may branch out into different sorts of projects, but should not set up a catering service or a legal practice.

Richard Benham
France
Local time: 04:20
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 15

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  David Knowles: A lot of answers are very similar, but I think this is best. Another similar word is "proficiency".
17 hrs
  -> Thanks.
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
competencies
specialities


Explanation:
competencies, in this situation means "specialities," ie what they specialize in, the "core specializations."

Charlesp
Sweden
Local time: 04:20
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 27
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