As I research different perspectives for my writing, I often visit TED.com, an on-line resource for spreading ideas. At TED, you can access speakers on a variety of weekly topics from innovation in technology to healthcare to personal development. Recently, Daniel Goldstein presented a talk on the battle between your present and future self.
His talk was about making future commitments and how everyday temptations can sabotage those commitments due to your present perspective being much stronger than your out-of-sight future.
His toolkit includes ways to stick to commitments via the current and future self. His specific example focused on finances and how commitment to savings has decreased, directly affecting one's ability to meet retirement needs at retirement age.
Goldstein's talk on current and future got me thinking about employee development: where do you start and how do you gain lasting commitment? Recent economic challenges have blurred the future of businesses. Business leaders and human resource professionals may ask, "What will we be doing?" or "What competencies might we need?" Even though the future may not be clear, it is still critical to develop your employees to prepare for whatever may come.
Assess Current Work Culture for Development
Are employees asking for development? Do senior leaders make a conscious effort to develop themselves? What are the key competencies needed for the business today and in the next five years?
Assess Current Skills Among Top Talent
Next, look at your top talent. Determine their current skills, experiences and opportunities that they have been given. Ask yourself how these experiences have given them a place in the top talent category. What has been unique about this group? What else does this group need for further development? Gather feedback from this group as to what supported their development and what created barriers. How much did they initiate versus what was pushed?
Drill Down and Determine Details
Begin to look at the next level in the organization and assess the strengths and future skills needed. Is it agility? Is it innovation? Is it strategic thinking? What experiences, projects or positions will help them gain the skills needed? Who will monitor progress? How will progress be measured?
Put Together a Transferable Plan
Finally, develop a plan to replicate some of the same experiences and opportunities across functional areas for other employees. Track employee's progress.
Think about how you are developing your employees in the present and how you can prepare for the future. Avoid the "battle"- plan now and integrate the present with the future.
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