Professional or People Development?

In a tough economy, now is the time to develop your people. It is your best hedge against competitive forces. It is also the key to rebounding your bottom line. So if you decide to go forward with something like this, what is your people development strategy? Notice that I said people development and not professional development. Professional development sees a person in only one dimension – their job.

People development looks at that same person as a whole – a sum of specific roles.

Think about that important person down the hall. Along with being a great Marketing Vice President, she is also a mother, partner, tennis team captain, PTA and Brownie leader. Focusing on her job role and ignoring the other roles she actively plays jeopardizes the individual, the team and their combined organizational performance. It short changes people. It leads to animosity. It leads to poor communication pathways and it also adversely impacts staff retention, costs, profits etc.

People come to work with all their roles contained within them. As much as many leaders would prefer, they do not “check them at the door.”

For some, those roles bring with them issues, challenges and distractions. These can adversely affect performance not only for the individual but also across the organization. As messy as people are, they are still people. If you accept them as someone on the team, you simply need to respect the whole package as it comes.

Every professional you ever knew is a person first. They simply come that way.

To develop your people to their fullest potential and thereby enhance their performance and maximize your ROI, your strategy for growing them must be holistic with a role-specific approach. It must encompass the 4 Concepts of People Development:

The Big Picture

Raise the importance of having a role-specific Big Picture and how it is applied in terms of individual, team and company development.

Peak Performance

Identify what peak performance looks like, thinks like, feels like and behaves like. Establish what Competence, Commitment and the ability to Communicate is required and how that is orchestrated by what and how we think.

The Path to Peak Performance

Establish where your organization is on your path. Determine what is holding you back and what needs to be done to overcome those hindrances. Only then can the Peak Performance concept be fully applied.

The 4 Phases of Role-Specific Development

Establish an awareness of the phases you develop through. These go from Hope to Belief to Knowing to Mystery. Establish where you are as an organization right now and where you need to develop your people in order to enhance performance and attract and achieve growth and results.

Investing in and implementing these 4 Concepts through your people development strategy will always enhance performance and attract the best people – after all people like to know they are valued.

Additionally, these can also be applied across each person’s life roles so you also create sustainable synergy across all roles. A further key benefit is that you also gain market share over your competition because you value your greatest asset – your people –  who are to be protected and invested in to ensure the greatest return.

So what are you going to do about your people development? How are you going to create lasting value across your organization through your people? How will you apply the 4 Concepts of People Development? When are you going to get started? Your future depends on it!

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Dr Richard Norris MBA is Head of Global Development Lifestyle Architecture
He speaks, helps clients with executive & business coaching and leadership
Email | Linkedin | Twitter | Web | Skype: richardthemanofaction | +44 1738 827813

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4 responses to “Professional or People Development?

  1. I know a family isn’t a business but the principles are the same — Developing people goes along way in creating a family that is valuable to society.


    • Right you are Marvin! The family is integral to society. My core leadership role is to lead my family and as such my development is in the key roles across my lifeand that is what we are intent on in developing in our kids.

      Be Awesome!


  2. I love the blog! The 4 concepts towards the end are fantastic, and the idea of focusing on the whole person and not just the role is such an important piece that is missing in the workplace most times. Very well done!


    • Thanks Christopher. We deliver a very practical, holistic, role-specific leadership & talent development engagement.

      Be Awesome!


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