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Competency, Commitment, and Capacity

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At Ninety, we have several strongly held beliefs. One of them is that everyone who is able to should pursue work that really matters to them and helps others. But how do we decide where to spend our time and what to work on? We consider a person’s fit for a position based on their Competency, Commitment, and Capacity (CCC).

Much like our teachings on Right Person, Right Seat, CCC involves leveraging your competencies, committing to mastering the necessary skills, and seeking alignment between the Seat’s tasks and your intellectual, physical, and emotional capacities. These factors help people understand when they’ve found work they’re good at and love doing.

We want everyone to find work that matters, that’s interesting, challenging, rewarding, and pays fairly. With growing opportunities for remote and hybrid work, so many of us have access to more great jobs than our predecessors. In this New Age of Work, people will want to commit to jobs with purpose and where they’re treated well. We hope this concept helps you find the work you’ve been looking for or the right person for an open Seat in your organization.


If you’re a hiring manager, you want to find the Right Person for the Seat you’re trying to fill. If you’re looking for a job, you want to find one in which you can thrive. The CCC framework helps determine the best possible choices in either scenario.

What is a Seat?

A Seat refers to a specific role or position in an organization. We practice organizing an Org Chart by function-specific Seats and then finding the Right Person for each Seat. 

Defining CCC for a Seat

  • While culture and alignment with your Core Values are critical for finding the Right Person, viewing your team members through the lens of Competency, Commitment, and Capacity provides clarity into whether that person is in the Right Seat. Finding the function-specific Seats for these team members is critical, so we start by defining the CCC for each Seat.

  • Competency is probably the easiest to define of the three. It relates to our skills and experiences — our knowledge of an area of our work and our structural fitness for the type of work. Competent people understand the nature of the work and how to do it well. Through past experiences and filing the Seat, they acquire the skills and proficiencies necessary to perform the work. 

  • Commitment relates to our interest and energy for the work. Are we doing the work in front of us because we’ve been told to, or because we enjoy and want to do it? When we feel genuinely energized by our work and are drawn to it, we enjoy the commitment. We’ll want to become better and better at our roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities (RARs)  to the point of mastery.
  • Capacity relates to whether we have the ability to perform a task based on our physical, intellectual, emotional, and time capacities. Our experiences and circumstances dictate some aspects of capacity, while others can be improved. For example, a marathon runner may finish the race in three hours, but with additional time, training, coaching, and effort, they might gain the capacity to complete that same marathon in less time.

Core Disciplines of Competency, Commitment, and Capacity

  • 1.  Use the CCC framework to review team members. Our 1-on-1 tool has a CCC review section where we populate the Seat’s RARs directly from the Org Chart tool. The team member and their leader individually assess the team member’s Competency, Commitment, and Capacity for each one. When someone does not CCC their Seat, it benefits all parties to consider a change in Seat, an improvement plan, or an evaluation of their fit with the company.

  • 2. Your organization’s Core Values offer an additional measure for assessing team members. When paired with the CCC framework, your organization’s Core Values determine whether or not someone is the Right Person and in the Right Seat. Someone can be competent, committed, and have the capacity for a specific role while not fitting with your organization’s culture. Core Values and CCC provide a bar for reviewing everyone in the organization. Having a bar that sets the minimum congruity between a person and their RARs, CCC-fit, and Core Values makes the review process clear and transparent for all parties.

Hopefully Helpful Hints

  • When someone doesn’t have the CCC for their Seat or is otherwise below the bar, it’s time for what can be a difficult conversation. If we can agree that everyone should have the opportunity to find purpose in their work, then it’s beneficial for all parties to be on the same page. A hard conversation does not have to result in a team member leaving the organization. If they’re a Core Values fit, but they don’t have the CCC for their Seat, there may be another Seat that can benefit from their talents. When more resources or teaching is needed, help set up a mutually agreed-upon plan for improvement.

  • When designing your Org Chart for your organization, remember that each Seat’s roles align with the CCC framework. Since each Seat is function-specific, a team member’s competency can easily be verified by their training, education, and experience. When we show our colleagues that we’re interested in more than earning a profit, we give them something to which they can commit — something that provides purpose. Capacity helps us determine the team member’s ability to grow into the role over time. Life events and previous experience can impact capacity in many ways, so it’s important to check in with team members and review the capacity for their Seats early and often.


Competency, Commitment, and Capacity is an essential framework for determining the right fit for a given Seat in an organization and for helping individuals discover the kind of work they truly want to do. Our skills, talents, and abilities give us the competency for some work more than others. Commitment to what we’re doing gives us the energy to master the competencies involved. And our mental, emotional, physical, and temporal limits determine our capacity for the roles, accountabilities, and responsibilities of our work. One of our goals is to help as many people as possible find work that fits their competencies, commitment, and capacity.

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