The ethos behind encouraging articulation of professional development was formed on the basis that we grow through learning, and we care about helping each other to grow and to flourish.
We carry a responsibility as an employer to ensure we create a container that supports each of us (and anyone who joins the team) to develop and grow our competency, capability and skills. Current efforts are a small step to starting longer term thinking around this.
As a team, we're all at different learning stages and some of us have a deeper attachment and excitement for learning than others. Ultimately the responsibility for our careers and our learning lies with us as individuals and we all learn in different ways.
We are trying out sharing our self-determined professional development plans as a visible, active way to demonstrate our commitment to a culture where we value learning.
There are benefits to writing up and sharing our learning goals for the year:
- It requires us to think about where we're at and notice where our energy is for active learning at this time (and if indeed we enjoy it....lots of people don't!)
- It enables us to think about the different pathways to achieving our learning goal (some people thrive in classroom environments and need theory and context; others pair; others learn by figuring out for themselves etc)
- Sharing our goals helps others to come up with approaches to helping us achieve our goals or even offer practical help to share skills
- It helps us hold each other accountable for committing to our own goals, to help steward and support each other
- In the future our learning goals could help with our budgeting each year to help finance learning that helps us and helps the co-op. Right now we don't have access to resources like money to fund our learning/personal growth and so we might look for more creative ways to access teachers/mentors/coaches. Approaches like this bring additional benefits as they expand our network of friends and supporters.
If you'd like to spend some time learning a thing or two that's not directly required for the project you're on, thats fine! It's something we expect and have built in to our business model - so provided you're still hitting deadlines and being generally responsible, go for it!
Some rules of thumb
- If you'd like to learn something completely unrelated to your project (say designing some album covers or learning a new programming technique), anything under ~4 hours of time per week doesn't need approval.
- If you'd like to learn or build something that will make your project more successful, like writing about open sourcing some part of your work, that's fine too! Even if it's more than 4 hours a week, given it's intertwined with the success of your project, it's acceptable. Please run it by a couple people to gut check the idea, and be responsible about shipping client work in time and on budget regardless.