Professional Development

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.

Another experimental initiative we've undertaken, is adopting a "golden ticket" policy. Each team member has access to one "golden ticket" a year, which allows them to pursue a professional development opportunity they may not otherwise consider taking.

The purpose of this policy is to encourage people to break out of their comfort zone and pursue opportunities that have the potential to extend, excite, inspire and help them grow.

If there are budgetary considerations, i.e. Loomio would need to pay for the opportunity then the team member will start a Loomio thread/proposal to get sign off for expenses and/or raise a funding bucket. Similarly, if the opportunity has the potential to take someone out of the sprint process/our regular working routine at a critical time, then the team member might consider starting a Loomio thread/proposal to explore the implications further.

There are some things that will obviously need to be considered by the whole team, and it's likely that there are things that are lightweight enough that they will not need the whole team's input. Team members can use their discretion to determine whether something needs team input or not. If in doubt, team members are encouraged to start a Loomio thread/proposal, talk to a member of the Well Working Group, or a coordinator.

The Well Working Group will hold this process, and prompt people to consider opportunities if they haven't used their "golden ticket".