The last theme I want to explore in relation to international development centres I have discussed over the past few weeks, is its core purpose: personal development. 

A development centre must be the start of someone’s development journey. You might think this is a well-known and well-trodden path. However, I am constantly coming across people who tell me that they never receive proper feedback or follow-up support after participating in a development centre. 

This is such a wasted opportunity for everyone: the company loses the chance to raise someone’s performance: the employee loses the development. 

Why does this happen so often? We run many development centres, both classroom and online, and it’s a recurring story. Perhaps the organisation thinks that giving someone a written report is enough. But knowing what you need to develop is quite different from knowing how to do it. If you knew in the first place, you would probably not need the development. Perhaps they don’t realise how raising just one element of your performance can lead to significantly greater results. In the UK in particular with our poor productivity levels, it has to be worthwhile to support development as much as possible. Great feedback and some coaching or mentoring support accelerates development significantly 

Moreover, the most valuable feedback comes when the observer or assessor on the development centre provides the feedback. They are then able to relate the feedback to the actions the individual took on the development centre. This enhances understanding and significantly helps the person understand how to develop their behaviour and why it might achieve a better result. 

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Janice Caplan

© Janice Caplan 2019