Core competency


      • Unique or distinctive skill or ability
        To describe a particular skill or ability that sets a person or organization apart from others and gives them a competitive advantage

      • Fundamental or essential capability
        To refer to the key strengths or capabilities of a person or organization that are crucial for their success and survival in a particular field or industry

      • Primary or central focus
        To indicate the main area or activity that a person or organization specializes in and prioritizes in their operations and strategies

    Examples of Core competency

    • The company's core competency in software engineering has allowed them to consistently develop cutting-edge products that stand out in the market.

      Core competency refers to the unique skills, knowledge, and expertise that a company possesses and can leverage to develop competitive advantages. In this example, the company's strong competency in software engineering allows them to create innovative products that set them apart from their competitors.

    • Despite facing intense competition in the industry, our core competency in customer service has helped us maintain a loyal customer base.

      Core competency goes beyond just the products or services offered by a company. It also encompasses the overall customer experience, including support, maintenance, and after-sales service. By prioritizing customer service, this company has created a strong core competency that has helped them retain their customer base.

    • The company recognized their core competency in supply chain management as their greatest asset and worked to further develop and refine these skills.

      Core competency is not a fixed trait but can be cultivated and improved over time. By recognizing and prioritizing their supply chain management skills, this company was able to further develop these core competencies, strengthening their overall competitive position.

    • Our small startup lacks a strong core competency in marketing, which has made it challenging to reach new customers.

      Core competency is not just about technical skills but also encompasses marketing, sales, and other critical business functions. In this example, the company recognizes that they lack a strong core competency in marketing, which has made it challenging to reach new customers. Developing a strong marketing core competency will help this startup better position itself in the market.

    • XYZ Corporation is known for its core competency in product innovation.

      This idiom refers to the unique skills and expertise that give a company a competitive edge in the market. In this instance, XYZ Corporation is recognized for its ability to consistently develop new and innovative products, which sets it apart from its competitors.

    • Sarah's core competency lies in her excellent problem-solving abilities.

      Here, the idiom is being used to describe an individual's unique skills and abilities, particularly those that contribute to their success in their chosen field or career. Sarah's strength lies in her ability to analyze and solve complex problems, which is a significant factor in her professional success.

    • As part of our restructuring plan, we will be focusing on strengthening our core competencies.

      This idiom is being used in a strategic context, where companies and organizations evaluate and improve their core capabilities to remain competitive in the market. In this instance, the company is planning to prioritize and enhance the skills and expertise that differentiate them from their competitors.

    • Steve's core competency in project management has enabled him to successfully lead multiple complex initiatives.

      Here, the idiom is being applied to an individual's professional activities, highlighting their expertise in a specific area, such as project management or sales. Steve's success in leading complex projects can be attributed to his strong skills and abilities in project management, which is his core competency.


    The idiom "core competency" is commonly used to describe a unique, fundamental, or primary skill or focus that sets a person or organization apart from others. It can refer to a specific talent or strength that gives someone a competitive edge, as well as the essential capabilities that are crucial for success in a particular field or industry. Additionally, it can also indicate the main area or activity that a person or organization specializes in and prioritizes in their operations and strategies.

    Origin of "Core competency"

    The phrase "core competency" was first coined by C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel in their 1990 Harvard Business Review article, "The Core Competence of the Corporation." They defined it as a "collective learning in the organization, especially how to coordinate diverse production skills and integrate multiple streams of technologies." In other words, a core competency is a combination of skills, knowledge, and resources that allows a company to deliver unique value to its customers.

    The concept of core competency has its roots in the resource-based view of strategy, which suggests that a company's competitive advantage lies in its unique resources and capabilities. It emphasizes the importance of leveraging these internal strengths rather than focusing solely on external factors such as market trends or competition. This approach has become increasingly relevant in today's fast-paced and rapidly changing business landscape, where companies need to constantly adapt and innovate to stay ahead.

    Overall, the idiom "core competency" highlights the significance of identifying and leveraging one's unique strengths and capabilities to achieve success and stand out in a competitive environment. It encourages individuals and organizations to focus on their core strengths and prioritize them in their strategies and operations.