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Author Elana Siew


About the author - Elana Siew

Human energy, motivation and competence is a source of deep fascination for me. I have worked as a professional Industrial Psychologist over a period of 17 years. Together with Neale Roberts of Mentors and SA Business Coaches, we have worked in over 28 industries in companies ranging in turnover from R 250 million p.m. to R 1 mil p.m. one of the strongest commonalities that Neale and I dealt with was the frustration of managers working with individual and team competencies. From exco’s to management teams to sales teams and office staff, competence and standards of performance has monopolised our conversations. In all this time, a great source of frustration was the limitation in finding a proper working definition of competence.  

In light of the fact that competence – the harnessing of competence and its application – lies at the heart of all human management, this was a huge gap.  And with all existing definitions there is always some missing element.

After years of working with people at various levels and stages of competence, I think I have managed to fill this gap, and craft a complete definition of competence which is applicable to every industry, every position, and every person.  I call this B.E.A.K.S because it is an acronym that is simple to remember, distinctive, and it encompasses all the relevant components that make up competence.

This book took three years to write, but it took almost two decades to research. The culmination of managers, business owners, executives and entrepreneurs who shared their frustrations and successes built a solid foundation on which B.E.A.K.S. evolved. We thank all of those who welcomed us into their businesses, who challenged us, fed back to us, shared with us, confided in us, and propelled us forward in creating a true definition of competence.

I have set out in this book to explain B.E.A.K.S to everyone who works with people: whether in business, or their social lives, or in voluntary organisations.  It is also useful to unlock your own potential to be a better team member and valuable human being.

I hope that this book transforms your perceptions and embeds a system through which human function is uplifted.  And I hope it helps you to work within your flow!

About the book - Competence Refined: The 5 Components of Competence


3D Cover Image Elana Siew - Competence Refined


Competence is one of those terms used frequently in a variety of contexts without a practical and usable definition. In all walks of life, but particularly in the work environment, competence is a foundation for success and a sense of accomplishment. This book puts a stake in the ground and clearly defines what the five elements of competency are. It then expands each sphere so that the reader not only broadens their understanding, but is able to actively start developing themselves, their teams, and the people in their lives in the various areas. The book was written to create a clear definition that people in the work environment could actually use. This ensures that performance measurement is not a subjective or open-ended conversation, rather, a constructive a self-developing methodology.

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