View Full Version : Question of the week: How much time should you invest in professional development?
06-19-2011, 11:53 AM
This weeks question comes out of a suggestion by our COO at Human Business Works, Rob Hatch.
His question asked specifically about investing time into developing your staff, but it made me think about
how much time we're investing in ourselves as well. So it's a two-parter I guess. :)
Are you investing time in your own professional development? How about your staffs?
Do you see this as a priority for your business? Does it depend?
06-19-2011, 05:06 PM
Assuming you did a great job recruiting I think professional development is key no matter what industry you are in or how big your company is. When I worked for KPMG one of the reasons I did not leave earlier to another company (even when more money was offered) was the great opportunities we had in training and learning experiences.
We had great mentors: People who had worked in various industries and at a various levels which where fountains of information with just sending an email out. To this day I can still tap into that fountain of info.
Great Resources: When we could not find anyone with the answer everything was well documented and we had a research and development department which was constantly looking for ways to make us more effective and efficient. We had a vast library of resources for all of the areas of the firm which made us serve our clients better and learn in the process.
Everyone I collaborate with I try to find a way that they can learn from me and I can grow as a person and professionally. So yes I would say if I have staff and resources that would be a priority for me.
06-21-2011, 11:40 AM
For me it averages 2-6 hours a week. Most industries are ever changing and you need to stay on top to be competitive and relevant! I also dedicate a few hours to professional development in other areas that I'm interested in. That way I can stay flexible and move into something new if needed.
06-21-2011, 07:24 PM
For me, professional development is constant and never ending. Some times I do it in crazy ways - for 90 consecutive days (weekends included) I got up at 5am and spent 60-90 minutes watching Eben Pagan's marketing DVDs. At the end of the 90 days I had some very new thinking habits that didn't require effort. Ever since then I have been able to see opportunities that I was blind to before.
A really big part of professional development that isn't addressed very often is how to 'rewire' your brain so you automatically think differently. It's not quick and certainly not easy, but the long-term benefits are amazing.
06-22-2011, 02:58 PM
I spend at least 12 hours a week learning and developing from books, online tutorials I've also done Open University Post Grad courses in my time. I don't have any staff at present but I would expect those staff I take on to spend at least one full day per week developing their skills. The world moves too fast for anything else to be a realistic option.
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