Our newest professional development offering has been germinating for quite a long time based on trends we see as here to stay. This offering builds around these trends. We'd love to tell you more, but you have to do a little reading below!
Here's what we see:
Lack of reading time: Even the most thoughtful and engaged professionals are not devoting a ton of time to reading. According to research by the National Endowment of the Arts, reading has declined among every group of adult Americans, and particularly among business people. A 2012 HBR article asserts that "deep, broad reading habits are a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy and personal effectiveness." Reading is an under-appreciated aspect of leadership development. Our approach builds accountability and community to change this unfortunate trend.
Inability/Unwillingness to take time out of office. Another trend we see is that leaders and organizations are no longer able and/or willing to send themselves or others to “training” for a week or even day(s) at a time. (As we also know people are also taking fewer and shorter vacations in the U.S.) In our new offering, we bring the training to the client's office and facilitate workshops that take just 1.5-2 hours of time out of the workday.
Development on the job. Research also shows that most learning and development should and does happen in the course of performing one’s job. Thus, we need training methods that are more in line with the pace of business and that allow people to learn gradually and practice new concepts and skills over time. In our offering, we assign readings and reflection in advance of the session, and then our workshops invite action and application as follow up. Furthermore, since peers are reading with one another, there is a shared new language and culture to try new things out.
So what is the offering really?
We run professional development series for organizations, whereby we will select 3-4 readings annually for client organizations based on strategic priorities. We will then facilitate 2-hour workshops with peer colleagues that allow for reflection, discussion and application of relevant tools on the job.
We ask you keep our offering in mind with clients who have intellectually oriented workforce and who want to offer a perk to their employees: the gift of reading, reflecting and connecting with others on relevant new ideas.