In one of my previous posts I mentioned that there are organisations, mediocre ones, which do not allow their good personnel to grow, only dump on them more and more tasks which are similar in nature. As a digression, I have to say that development program should be applicable to all personnel, also people seemingly lazy or seen as bad workers. Theoretically, for most people one can find a task which they will perform satisfactorily, one just needs enough time and enough tasks to choose from. Only when that choice is exhausted, people should be judged as unfit.
Let us assume though that we are dealing with intelligent and efficient worker, who excels at his/her assigned task. How do we, as organisation, try to develop such person further? The answer, although easy on paper, is not easy in practice; it also does not fit into “ten things” or “five rules” category. It lies, as all things, with people.
I am sure that in all organisations it so happens that there are people who have more understanding for various areas, there are those who can for example work with cash flow better and there are those which solve operational issues better. If you want to grow one of them, you simply pair them and let one learn from the other. By learn I don’t mean understand – I mean knowing how to do it and doing it proficiently. One can understand how the bricks are laid, but that does not make one a bricklayer.
The process of learning requires three things – and this is where the people factor comes in – open mind on the side of the student, respectful patience on both sides, and lastly ability to overcome curse of knowledge on the side of teacher. Most of the specialists (and unfortunately, also most of the teachers) are victims of curse of knowledge. People tend to assume that if I know something (something what so obvious to me), everyone knows it. This is what teacher has to forget – he needs to presume that it is quite the opposite on the side of the student; or at least be able to test assumptions and act upon the results. The reasons for actions and for decisions in taught field need to be explained in greatest detail, in order for the student to be able to learn to make decisions herself. Here the patience and respect on both sides come in. And this, in short, is it. No magic, no recipes, only time, good will and the right people. Making sure that such exchange happens is the first sign that your company educates its people. Taking it further to external courses makes all this even better, and the development plan for employees completes the picture.