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Critical Competencies

When a company that claims to specialize in "automatically responding to every positive reply in your inbox" can't get its mail merge right, it's a significant problem.

After all, why would you want to work with an email company that can't send its own emails without mistakes? If they can't do that for themselves, how are they going to do it for you?

A screenshot of a cold email where the company made a mistake with the mail-merge.

In business, the concept of a "core competency" is fairly well known; it's a defining capability or advantage that distinguishes an enterprise from its competitors.

But perhaps we should also popularize the idea of "critical competencies": the crucial systems, capabilities, or assets a business needs before it can hope to compete effectively.

Grocery stores need ready access to food.

Hotels require rooms they can rent.

Universities need qualified instructors.

Creative agencies need creative talent.

And "AI-powered inbox managers" must be able to send error-free emails.

Critical competencies are the bare minimum companies need to consistently get right if they are to have any chance of success.

What are the critical competencies for your business?

And what systems are in place to ensure they won't become a problem for you?

A cartoon image of a sad-looking manager staring at empty shelves in a grocery store.


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