Capability Development For Growth: Leverage Strengths or Build Competencies at VA Tech Wabag?

Case Solution

Debolina Dutta, Rajesh G S
Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore ()

VA Tech Wabag, an Indian multinational company, was an industry leader in all aspects of water management. The case presents an alternative method of talent development that focuses on leveraging a person’s strengths versus the practice of focusing on functional and behavioral skills and developing a training needs analysis (TNA). This approach seems to contradict the persistent deficit culture, which focuses on weaknesses. The organization’s human resources manager resists the paradigm shift in the skills development approach. The case addresses three main problems. 1. Understand the strengths-based approach to skills development 2. Clarify the competency-based approach to talent management 3. Develop leadership skills by understanding and leveraging individual strengths and recognizing the role of competencies in success. All of this raises the question of the role of competition frameworks, the limits of the NCD approach and the synergy of both ideologies. Some specific questions that arise in this case are: Is it possible to develop skills with either of the two approaches? What are the challenges of taking a strengths-based approach to hiring? How can the company leverage the strengths of the team? Understanding these dichotomies can help L&D functions make the most of their talents and develop effective leaders.

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