Apr 20, 2009

Social professional development

Professional development 1.0
Professional development is a focus for many organizations and over the years, we've witnessed this responsibility move from the hands of human resources to our managers. This change made it much more relevant and actionable because of frequent (from every year to every month) and contextual (from generic to patterns) interactions.

Professional development 2.0
The next leap forward in professional development could be by opening it up, by making it a social process (peer-led professional development). Our colleagues who we work with day and night (if you party together) can give us most relevant and actionable coaching and feedback. This is different from seeking their input once/twice a year as in Professional development 1.0. In 2.0, its a continuous process to make interactions more frequent (from monthly to daily) and contextual (from patterns to concrete).

Why restrict professional development coaching and feedback to a single person (manager)? Why not tap into the entire pool of "coaches" we have in our teams? This is a big shift for a group and will need experimentation to test and fine tune. I plan to conduct a mini-experiment internally (democratize coaching and feedback for myself) and will keep you posted...

Some considerations
Some might argue that such a process will become a finger-pointing, criticism match. And I agree. The prerequisite for social professional development is the right culture, an environment where people care about each other, want to see each other succeed. A group will need to invest in creating such a culture before trying this. The group will to be trained as well, similar to the manager training in organizations practicing professional development 1.0.

1 comment:

  1. Professional development 2.0 is something that is already happening currently in pockets in an informal way. The next thing would be to create a framework where this can be done more effectively and can be replicated across teams
    The major theme in this is to inspire thy colleague...