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What is your professional development strategy?

#TLDR: Let's move from the "Spend-Hope-Forget" cycle of professional development to "Spend-Measure-Monitor" with #PBJAM

As a people leader, most of the budgets that I spent on #professionaldevelopment for my teams were hard to quantify (apart from the expenses that accrued to the cost centers). This was especially true for any soft skills development. I used to browse for the right programs and read reviews to select better #valueformoney. My nominees used to be happy to have the opportunity to learn something new. After the program (a seminar, workshop, weekend retreat, or sometimes a cohort over a few months), my nominees used to return with a nice certificate, colorful binders, and QR codes for tools/templates. In their review, they normally rated their experience as good.

My struggle would be how to measure if they really are using what they learned in daily work life. I used to ask their stakeholders, but every time, I had to define a specific set of questions and ask them consistently over a period of time to see the effectiveness of soft skills training. As you can imagine, the operational noise and workload made this practice resource-limiting, and hence, I could do it only for a few and intermittently. The results were mixed (as I am not a social scientist who knows how to design questionnaires to pinpoint #behavioral changes.) and not sustainable.

As an example, I spent a good amount of money to send a group of my managers (who had direct people responsibilities) to #situationalleadership training (spread over 3 months as two half-day workshops, followed by an 8-week homework period and a concluding 2-hour session). I like the concepts of #situationalleadership personally and have used them as well. I hoped that my team will also find these approaches effective. My team came back with a positive impression and was confident in using their new tools at work. This was also the time when my team was raising internal buy-in for a large investment spanning multiple years.

My team was struggling in group meetings and hence, I started to ask them if they could use their #situationalleadership tools. My team members told me that it was hard to use those tools as they were better suited for 1:1 interactions, while in a group setting, they were dealing with stakeholders residing in different quadrants. I asked my team to move the difficult discussions to 1:1. Now, my team came back and told me that though they had the list of questions and approaches to use, it was hard to find a stakeholder who fit squarely and completely within one quadrant. Oftentimes, they were dealing with stakeholders who were exhibiting themselves being in multiple quadrants simultaneously (for example, a strong technical person with thorough process knowledge but limited exposure to equipment and facility constraints and thus being in both, delegating and telling quadrants). Such situations made my team members revert to their old styles of dealing with people and thus, the learning from #situationalleadership was more or less a wash after 6-9 months. I forgot about the whole episode as I entered the next financial year and continued my quest for better #professionaldevelopment approaches.

I have lived this Spend-Hope-Forget cycle many a time and always felt that there has to be a better way to utilize the company money and time of my people and that's what #PBJAM is about.

With #PBJAM, you will experience a different cycle that we call Spend-Measure-Monitor. Our operations management-based frameworks offer participants, their managers, and their HR partners visibility towards the progress being made as tangible metrics. Our neuroscience and behavioral science-based structures provide sustainability of learnings that are easy to monitor for the participants and their stakeholders.

Curious about how we do it? Experience #PBJAM yourself! #professionaldevelopment in the #modernworkplace, driven by #science and #individualized for you! Talk to your manager and HR partner about enrolling in PB JAM.

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