by: James Young
Invest to create permanent momentum
How much does your association spend each year on professional development? What is the focus of this spend? Do you see a marked improvement in your staff due to this professional development spend? How do you know?
What capabilities do you expect your staff to have? How do you expect your staff to utilize these new capabilities?
Table stakes capabilities can be described in two ways: (1) the baseline capabilities that you expect everyone in your organization to have (for example: customer service, problem solving, and technology skills) and (2) the standard capabilities that everyone can be expected to have in your industry (events management, membership, etc.).
The well-rounded staff member typically specializes in a particular area, but is also intellectually curious, collaborative, adaptive, and uses design-thinking, creativity, and communication skills to bring innovation to life.
What skills and capabilities are the currency of the future? What is your plan to move beyond table stakes capabilities?
As ways of working evolve so does the need for continuous, lifelong learning to ensure our skills remain relevant. Individuals have a responsibility for investing in their development and ensuring their skills remain competitive, but so too do employers.
Joining the product community as a cohort is a great way to get multiple staff new capabilities under the shared, focused goal of growth: (1) agile ways to grow your association membership and (2) authentic and healthy ways of growing an engaged staff; staff who build momentum and help shape a shared commitment to the future.
Your professional development spend should be as strategic as your organization. If your goal is to grow, your professional development spend should be focused on authentic and agile growth of your staff.
About the Author
James Young is founder and chief learning officer of the Product Community®. Jim is an engaging trainer and leading thinker in the worlds of associations, learning communities, and product development. Prior to starting the Product Community®, Jim served as Chief Learning Officer at both the American College of Chest Physicians and the Society of College and University Planning.