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Kompetenzen - Klotz am Bein?

A lot of curricula and people development plans boil down to performance reviews, KPIs, and evaluation tools. We tend to think that if we put enough competencies into the heads of people and make this measurable, we have done a good job. Students – or employees – will collect their “grades” and we probably won’t even notice that they haven’t had a chance to unlock their full (creative) potential.

Let me share a beautiful learning curve that I have had the pleasure to witness this semester. A student from a high-context culture wrote me the following text at the beginning of the programme:

Dear Christina,

I’m sorry, I wasted your time. I didn’t study hard enough. It is my fault. I cannot change this fast. But I will try to improve my skills and then come back to your class.

Of course, I didn't agree with this student. Staying away and studying competencies was not an option. He attended every single session. And now, two months later, he hands in his mid-semester report:

Dear Christina,

In this semester’s class, I have learned more than ever. We talk about specific topics in small teams, and even if I have trouble to fully understand everything my colleagues say, I regularly speak up and share my thoughts. I have realised that, in order to improve my skills, I need to practice – participate and contribute to the success of the team.

If you are looking for new ways to develop your people, if you consider an approach that makes use of inspirational input from the arts, or if you are ready for a new didactic approach, contact Christina Merl at

Courtesy: Irene Ephemeral,


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