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We distinguish capabilities as organisational capabilities and the use skills and competencies as the human version of it. But agree with the distinction you make in general.

Critical, visual and creative thinking, among others, is in the set of "core skills/competencies" that we teach/grow in our strategic service design capability academy. This includes measurement of individual growth and aggregated reporting.

In the end we aim to scale learning through smart network effects driven by an orchestrated approach of capability design, individualised learning paths and impactful projects.


Acquired, cultivated capabilities? Yes, and there’s a further distinction that can be made.

In times of a massive, epic transition in the world, leading through breakdown or breakthrough to our next evolutionary plateau, the compound capability to upgrade one's operating system takes on vital importance.

Here are some sample components of that compound capability:

Attention leadership
Ability to manage one’s attention to what one pays attention to, as a high-value personal asset

Building a personal advisory board
Ability to attract and work with trusted mentors in various areas of one’s life

Cognitive load management *
Ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques

Cross-cultural competence *
Ability to operate in different cultural settings

Generative listening and generative conversation
Ability to listen and speak from the highest potential of the other person

Ability to perceive a situation or understanding a concept from an alternative point of view, such as that of another individual

"Ability to position and reposition, calibrate, shift, and respond to responses within contexts of multiple, simultaneous interaction" (Nora Bateson)

(Abilities marked with * are sourced from the Institute of the Future.)

These and similar capabilities are so edgy that they may not yet be found in institutional practice, certainly not in an integrated manner. Nevertheless, their study is essential to increase individual and institutional well-being and well-becoming in a changing world.

The research methodology that can be up for that task is Generative Action Research (GAR) that I wrote about here https://www.academia.edu/33749187/On_the_Verge_of_Collective_Awakening . I'm open to applying it to a "next-stage capabilities" research in collaboration with the Quest for Capabilities at the Center for the Edge.


The important distinctions and significant gravity of - capability - (as described here), is vitally important for knowledge workers to understand, pursue and leverage. One's capability is one's value to one's work.

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