Strategic outlook & alignment (core competency)

Management behavioural competency (PDF, 176 KB)

Definition: Thinks strategically about the range of market, business and/or scientific issues likely to impact NRC's ability to fulfill its role. Understands NRC's strengths and weaknesses, its key stakeholders and develops long-term organizational strategy for the unit/organization or aligns daily work with the vision and longer term directions of NRC. It consists in spending time thinking about and understanding concepts and organizational possibilities as well as not jumping into execution mode immediately when a problem is identified.

Scale progression: The scale goes from understanding and aligning one's and other's work to devising strategies that will shape and redefine NRC.

Level 1

Understands NRC's business strategy

  • Has a general grasp of the fundamentals of business success.
  • Understands NRC's strategic direction and takes accountability for their own learning and development as they align themselves to the vision and strategic imperatives.
  • Analyzes and comprehends operational and organizational goals and strategies.
  • Uses understanding of business fundamentals to add value at meetings; questions processes.

Level 2

Aligns current work and activities with the NRC's strategic goals

  • Acts on and implements strategies and policies in accordance with NRC's objectives and goals.
  • Considers whether short-term goals will support long-term objectives.
  • Reviews own actions against NRC's strategic plan.
  • Identifies misalignments and gaps; targets actions to support current organizational strategies.
  • Projects and/or thinks about long-term ramifications of current activities.
  • Applies a broad business understanding to improve the performance and processes of the group.

Level 3

Thinks in strategic terms about new solutions and/or emerging organizational needs

  • Thinks beyond the work environment and makes decisions in the context of the bigger picture.
  • Actively increases one's own knowledge/awareness of the business and competitive environment to determine long-term issues, problems or opportunities.
  • Develops and establishes broad scale, longer-term objectives, goals or projects (i.e., affecting a function or department, several programs or NRC).
  • Examines business needs in an attempt to identify opportunities or obstacles.
  • Analyzes complex business issues and distills new solutions which are consistent with the strategy and vision.
  • Astutely identifies trends and makes linkages between business issues and potential opportunities that are not obvious to others.
  • Develops new concepts, adapts current solutions and implements new approaches to meet emerging business needs.

Level 4

Employs systems thinking when considering strategic opportunities

  • Promotes an organizational perspective; fosters and leverages a systems view to address complex business issues.
  • Understands program interdependencies and the need to integrate activities across functions/areas related to project planning, program implementation and evaluation.
  • Creates strategic alignment between cross-functional teams.
  • Has peripheral vision; thinks laterally about business problems and opportunities; sees how the work and efforts of other NRC teams/functions/research centres intertwine to meet broad objectives.
  • Thinks critically and systematically about external trends (e.g., financial, industry, scientific, political, stakeholders, etc.) and what they could mean for NRC's research, products, services and people.
  • Consults with others to seek out strategic alternatives and weighs options based on their impact on NRC's key imperatives.

Level 5

Shapes or redefines what NRC is or what the Research Centres and Branches do

  • Redesigns the structure, governance and/or operations of NRC to better meet long-term objectives.
  • Shapes organizational vision in the context of a global environment.
  • Fosters proactive thinking across the organization, and with partner organizations and governments to address anticipated issues.
  • Defines a clear long-term vision for the business; paints a compelling picture of new opportunities.
  • Develops enterprise-level standards and measures as well as the business strategy.
  • Establishes a course of action to accomplish a long-term goal; shares own view of the desirable future state of NRC with others.
  • Contributes to rethinking the mandate and the vision in light of current and upcoming market realities.
  • Broadens others' planning horizons by engaging them to think beyond NRC's current research, technology, markets and practices.
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