Free guide

Capability at Work: What stops people being capable

What it’s about: Capability is a slippery concept. It’s also one that many organisations don’t focus on. Yet capability actually comes down to a simple question: can the worker do the task at the point of work? Find out how to decide what you need to do to turn incapability into capability.

Poor performance is an issue in many organisations. Despite investing in a variety of training or other learning and development initiatives they seem unable to solve the performance puzzle. Until you can get to the underlying cause of the lack of performance, it will continue. The ‘back-to-basics’ approach in the Guide looks at the performance system and provides a capability model and strategies to uncover the root causes behind poor performance. Only when you know those root causes and have clarity around the underlying issues can you design effective interventions.

Who it’s for: L&D professionals wishing to focus on diagnosing the real causes of poor performance so that an appropriate solution can be designed and implemented. If you don’t know what’s wrong, how can you fix it?

This Guide gives you a model of capability, and a way to use that model to drill down into the true causes that contribute to an employee being unable to adequately respond to the task they are asked to do.

Paul Matthews, L&D expert and architect of the People Alchemy Learning Workflow Platform

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“It makes so much sense to run this diagnostic process before committing to any training spend.”

Marissa Trainer

The performance puzzle

How to find out where to start


Think about it this way – wherever there is poor performance, it is simply because someone is not capable of doing what needs to be done.

Find barriers

Something is stopping them doing the job in front of them, and you need to identify the barriers so you can fix them.


Gives you a model of capability, and a way to use that model to drill down into the true causes of poor performance.