Many of our HR and reward programs today operate on a competency-based platform, where the fundamental building block is a set of core competencies (defined in the WorldatWork glossary as behaviors, attributes or skills that are predictors of personal success).
If ever there was an essential competency for success in today's tough economic environment, it would have to be resourcefulness. Harvard Business Review blogger John Baldoni does a fantastic job of describing this attribute and its importance in his post The Importance of Resourcefulness.
I particularly appreciate his definition of resourcefulness as not merely a means of coping with deprivation, but rather a realization that "you and your colleagues are more capable than you first believed." Baldoni shares a number of helpful suggestions for being resourceful that get to the very essence of this trait (paraphrased below):
Redefine the Possible. Start with an open mind. The leader who steps up and says "yes we can do this" is one who can push colleagues to do things that some might consider impractical.
Turn Innovation Inward. Innovation is not just about creating something new; it also applies to making old things work better.
Choose Specifics. It may be tempting to consider ways to re-invent how your company does business. Adopting a realistic attitude about what you can do in the short term might be more productive.
Lean on Your Staff. Conventional thinking in frugal times says stop spending, but sometimes managers conflate that mantra with "stop doing." A resourceful leader doesn't stand still and encourages staff to follow her example.
Celebrate the Lessons. Those who are resourceful need to be recognized and rewarded, and in turn, teach their lessons to others.
Given the challenges that employers are facing today, it's hard to imagine a more valuable attribute.