From WorldSkills2013, photo: Karl Skaar
I came across some guidelines for individual development. Guidelines how an individual can behave for his development. However, before I show them, I want to take you through some ideas on the term development.
A multitude of meanings is attached to the idea of development; the term is complex, contested, ambiguous, and elusive. We use the term development in many different settings and situations. On the global level, we often use the term when we talk about a process for a group of countries to reach the level of other. On the other side, what we called developed countries are many times developing faster than the countries we mention as developing countries.
If we look at the development at the organization level, we can find that any changes in the organization are called development. This way of thinking we can also use for the individual level. Below, you can read something about the term used for different levels. After that, I will show you some guidelines for personal development.
Aidah, a shopkeeper from Uganda, has developed her knowledge and skills.
Photo: Karl Skaar
Development means gaining the skills, knowledge, understanding, and experiences necessary to do our current work well, prepare for any changes in our current job or prepare to move to another job. Development is essential for everyone throughout their career. Few jobs remain the same and often require new skills over time. Most of us do not want to stand still and do the same things the same way forever. Development can make us feel more motivated and engaged with our work as we gain greater mastery of skills and can make us more confident and able to take on new challenges .
Organizational development is the process where the organizations improve through the change in policies, power, leadership, control, or job redesign. Organizational development is an area for consultants, and you may find that each of them has their definition. One simple way to explain the term is to say that Organizational development is all changes in an organization.
We can also use a more complex explanation: “Organization Development is the attempt to influence the members of an organization to expand their candidness with each other about their views of the organization and their experience in it, and to take greater responsibility for their actions as organization members. The assumption behind Organization Development is that when people pursue both of these objectives simultaneously, they are likely to discover new ways of working together that they experience as more effective for achieving their own and their shared (organizational) goals. And that when this does not happen, such activity helps them to understand why and to make meaningful choices about what to do in light of this understanding.”
Ban Ki-moon is a South Korean diplomat who was the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 2007 to December 2016.
“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.” (Ban Ki-moon)
Development is a process that creates growth, progress, positive change or the addition of physical, economic, environmental, social and demographic components. The purpose of development is a rise in the level and quality of life of the population, and the creation or expansion of local, regional income and employment opportunities, without damaging the resources of the environment. Development is visible and useful, not necessarily immediately, and includes an aspect of quality change and the creation of conditions for a continuation of that change.
How can you start thinking about your development?
From the above, we can conclude that development is a move from one situation to another situation. For the individual development, it will be a move from where you are into something new. A key in that move is yourself. You need to develop yourself.
The University of Oxford has given some ideas as a starting point for thinking about your development (from their staff guide) :
- Develop self-awareness. How do others see you? What impact do you have on others? How effective are you in different parts of your role?
- Seek, and act on, feedback – from your manager, peers, colleagues and those who benefit from your work
- Commit to continuous professional development – think about what you want to learn, where you want to improve, and ways of doing this. Take responsibility for your own development
- Make the most of Personal Development Review. Discuss your performance and invite feedback on specific parts of your role. Ask for and agree with objectives that provide some challenge in your work, and will provide new experiences and opportunities for skills development
- Think about your medium and long-term goals. What do you want from your working life? Some people find it helps to make a Personal Development Plan to help you achieve your goals and to reflect on progress
- Recognise that there are many ways to develop new behaviors, skills, and knowledge. For example by seeking out challenges, undertaking projects and tasks that stretch you, learning from others through observation, shadowing or being coached or mentored. And, where appropriate, by reading, using relevant websites and attending courses or workshops
- If you feel you need training, consider how the training will contribute to performing your role more effectively and contribute to team outputs. Think about different ways to access training, especially if this could reduce the time away from your job or the cost, such as online modules or webinars.
Individual development is connected with knowledge and developing skills. One way to seek new knowledge and skills is using online modules and online courses. The learning platform Lucubrate provides that kind of online courses.