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Core Competencies For WRA in an Era of Transformation


  1. Leadership–  Associations must have professionals at all levels that possess the skills necessary to build a shared vision for a better future for all areas of responsibility.  Staff must be able to influence and inspire, to effectively communicate the value and priorities of their profession, industry or cause to external audiences and be seen as a credible industry resource.
  2. Management and Motivation–  Associations must have staff that can inspire and empower others to achieve superior performance, not just as individuals, but also as a cohesive community.
  3. Business Acumen– Associations must have staff who possess strong business and financial management skills in order to achieve high performance, including an understanding of financial processes and controls, strong business and financial management skills including new income generation and effective marketing practices and analysis.
  4. Understanding of Key Issues of the Industry–  Associations must possess the ability to assess and understand the issues, challenges and opportunities that affects members.
  5. Innovation and Managing Change– Associations must be both change agents and change managers.  To stay ahead of the rapidly changing needs and desires of their members and markets, they must nurture innovation skills to stay ahead of the rapidly changing needs and desires of members and markets.
  6. Knowledge of and Familiarity with Technology– Technology is one of the most important tools organizations have to foster communication and enhance performance.  Associations  must have staff with working knowledge of both current and emerging technologies and an understanding of how different technologies might be used to further organizational objectives.
  7. Development of Meaningful Member Experiences–  Associations must become highly skilled at developing meaningful, relevant and exceptional experiences for members, particularly volunteer leaders who invest their time and resources in the organization.  This includes high quality services and personalized benefits that create a total member experience.
  8. Knowledge Development & Delivery–  Associations must develop new ways to help members sort through the overabundance of data and information available today and deliver knowledge in ways that members find usable, relevant and timely.
  9. Creation of Learning Communities–  Associations must become experts in the ways adults learn, creating learning experiences and communities that provide multiple opportunities for professional development and discovery.
  10. Focus on the Future– To survive in a climate of profound and fundamental change, associations must think like futurists, continually scanning the horizon to identify trends, practices, threats and opportunities that might affect the future of their organization.
  11. Continuous Personal Growth and Development– Associations are committed to developing their staff as whole persons, both inside and outside the workplace.  Staff must be encouraged to develop strong values, and continually strive to achieve balance in their lives, feed their intellects and nurture their souls.


WRA Staff Core Competencies with Specific Skills


Analytic, Policy Development/Planning

  1. Ability to define problem accurately.
  2. Determine appropriate uses and limits of data.
  3. Defines variables for problems.
  4. Use of appropriate data.
  5. Integrity of data and identifies gaps.
  6. Partnering to attach meaning of data.
  7. Relevant inferences.
  8. Interprets risks.
  9. Illuminates ethical, political, or economic issues.
  10. Summarizes and interprets issue.
  11. States policy options.
  12. Articulates implications of each policy.
  13. States feasibility & expected outcomes of options.
  14. Utilizes current techniques in decision making.
  15. Decides on appropriate course of action.
  16. Develops plan of action including goals, objectives, and implementation steps.
  17. Translates policy into organizational plans, structures, or programs.
  18. Prepares emergency responses.
  19. Develops mechanisms to monitor and evaluate effectiveness.


Communication Skills

  1. Communicates effectively both in writing and orally, or in other ways.
  2. Solicits input from individuals and organizations.
  3. Advocates for policy positions.
  4. Leads and participates in groups to address specific issues.
  5. Uses the media, advanced technologies, and community networks to communicate information.
  6. Effectively presents accurate demographic, statistical, programmatic, and scientific information for professional and lay  audiences.
  7. Attitudes- listens to others in an unbiased manner, respects points of view of others.
  8. Privacy- respects the privacy concerns of members who do not want their specific information or name used in public.


Political Diversity Skills

  1. Utilizes appropriate methods of interacting sensitively, effectively, and professionally with persons of diverse views or backgrounds, and persons of all ages or political view.
  2. Identifies the role and behavioral factors of diverse views in determining the delivery of message or position.
  3. Develops and adapts approaches to problems that take into account these differences.
  4. Attitude- Understands the dynamic forces contributing to diversity and understands the importance or impact of this diversity on the success of a specific initiative or the success of the longer term general interests of the industry.


Community Dimensions of Practice

  1. Establishes and maintains linkages with key stakeholders.
  2. Utilizes leadership, team building, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills to build community partnerships.
  3. Collaborates with community partners to promote the industry perspective.
  4. Identifies how public and private organizations can cooperate.
  5. Describes the role and effectiveness of government in the delivery of services.
  6. Identifies community and organizations with appropriate resources.


Leadership and Systems Thinking

  1. Creates a culture of ethical standards with the organization and community.
  2. Helps create key values and shared vision and uses these principles to guide action.
  3. Identifies internal and external issues that may impact delivery of services.
  4. Facilitates collaboration within internal and external groups to ensure participation of key stakeholders.
  5. Promotes team and organizational learning.
  6. Contributes to development, implementation, and monitoring of performance.
  7. Uses the legal and political system to effect change.


Financial Planning and Management Skills

  1. Develops and presents a budget.
  2. Manages programs within budget constraints.
  3. Applies budget processes.
  4. Develops strategies for determining budget priorities.
  5. Monitors program performance.
  6. Prepares proposals for funding from external sources.
  7. Applies basic human relations skills to the management of organizations, motivation of personnel, and resolution of conflicts.
  8. Manages information systems for collection, retrieval, and use of data for decision making.
  9. Negotiates and develops contracts and other documents for the provision of services.
  10. Conducts cost effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis.
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