I can’t do what I don’t know…

The final point on the Performance Triangle is Knowledge.

Regardless of your personal (intrinsic/extrinsic, I don’t care) motivation, and no matter how well your organization has created sound, repeatable processes, they gotta know what they are doing to do it.

Not exactly rocket surgery, eh??

Give a manager or employee the correct environment; set the stage by establishing processes that promote the behavior you are seeking; provide ample tangible and intrinsic motivation…

…all these mean nothing if that person doesn’t have the skills or knowledge to accomplish those actions. Knowledge sets the very foundation for determining the final level of performance success you can expect from a manager or employee. It’s the single point that, generally, you cannot work past.

Remember from an earlier blog entry: You can’t fix stupid. That’s probably more harsh than needs to be to describe the knowledge component, but the concept holds true.

Knowledge can include:

** Process skills
** Technical training
** Interpersonal skills
** Management and leadership skills
** Individual and management development

Knowledge includes education, such as undergraduate degrees, training – as in technical skills, on-the-job training – and real development, which can include job or project enrichment, mentoring, coaching, and personalized development.

Don’t underestimate development; the single biggest cause of manager failure is lack of appropriate development. We take our best screw-turner, and assume that — if we make him a manager — it’s a logical progression and he’ll do fine.


Screw-turning has absolutely nothing to do with those behaviors and characteristics that will make him successful as a manager of screw-turners.

This Knowledge component — it’s a biggee.



Kevin Berchelmann

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