Henrico’s New Capability Model: The Courage Capability

In our ongoing commitment to meet our workforce’s and residents’ ever-changing needs, Henrico County has implemented a new Capability Model beginning in the Fiscal Year 2022-2023. This model replaces the previous County Competencies and focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to successfully lead and serve in a rapidly evolving workplace and community. 

The Capability Model is modeled around seven capabilities, with many former competencies woven into it. 

The four capabilities outside the circle – Courage, Customer Engagement, Communication, and Inclusion – are foundational to success and create opportunities to excel in the three capabilities within the circle—Leading Self, Leading Others, and Leading the Organization. The seven capabilities promote “Future Readiness,” as you see in the circle’s center.  

You may be wondering how each of these capabilities is defined and how they apply to your role. To help you better understand, the County Connection will feature a series of articles focusing on a different capability each month. 

We’ll start with the Courage Capability.

While some may think of courage as bravely fighting battles or standing up for a person or belief, the model refers to a slightly different definition. For county purposes, it is defined as a “Willingness to navigate uncomfortable situations, adhere to vision and values, take action and initiative on new ideas, and question assumptions and processes to improve outcomes.” 

So, what might the Courage capability look like in the workplace? Here’s one example: 

A team is responsible for presenting important information to all employees. One team member recognizes a segment of information that could be potentially interpreted as questionable or even offensive by certain audience members and realizes this could harm the County’s credibility. This employee shows courage by respectfully approaching the team leader, sharing the potential negative impact of the information, and suggesting an alternative approach. 

In turn, the team leader demonstrates courage by being open to the teammate’s feedback, challenging their own assumptions of how this information could be perceived, asking for input regarding alternative solutions, and actively making changes to the presentation based on their conversation with the teammate.

In this example, both employees are stepping outside their comfort zones with the shared goal of success. The employee with the concern did not simply present the issue – they also proactively came up with a suggested solution. The team leader remained open, curious, and engaged in healthy dialogue with the teammate to explore solutions that would benefit the organization. 

You can find more examples of the Courage capability on our resource page.

Courage in the workplace fosters employee engagement, decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation. As the County transforms to meet current and future demands, courageous employees play a crucial role in our success.

For more information on the Capabilities, visit our resource page.

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