Professional Development for the Individual by Bill Blacquiere
Learn. Change. Grow. These are the three pillars of a commitment to ongoing, healthy corporate development. As leaders, however, it is not enough for us to focus on these three development aspects solely at the corporate level. It is crucial as well to commit to individual development within our organizations—to go beyond what the people in them do and how much they do to how well they, too, are given the opportunity to effectively learn, change, and grow.
In my organization, Bethany Christian Services, we have come to realize that without learning, change can be too long in coming. The world, after all, changes every day, and we must continually discover what local and global changes affect our goals and mission so we can address them in an effective and timely manner. Often, what we learn indicates change is necessary for us to ensure we continue to offer our best. And when we change, we can grow to have more opportunity to meet the needs of the people we serve.
These corporate realizations also apply to each of our staff members around the world. I’ll be the first to admit that a commitment to learn, change, and grow—both corporately and individually—often creates tension within our organization. Everyone already has a lot on their plates, so why not ease off a little with these development efforts? Maybe leave things the way they are for a while? Trust me, I have those same thoughts at times, but I keep coming back to the reality that if everyone in my organization is not continually learning, changing, and growing, both staff and our organization will become stagnant . . . perhaps regress. No one wants that.
We are committed to continued professional development at both corporate and individual levels throughout our organization. Every person on our staff is important to meeting our goals. As they strive to develop gold-star professional qualities through our shared development efforts, I also see people who feel supported in their passion, commitment, and day-to-day work.
If corporate development is on your mind as a leader, take a moment to consider the importance and impact of individual development as well. As you and your staff learn, change, and grow, you could see the difference you’re looking for.
Bill Blacquiere serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Bethany Christian Services, a global nonprofit family preservation and child welfare agency with over 115 offices in the U.S., and serving children and families in 15 countries on five continents.
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