January 5, 2017

Make your CPD a top priority in 2017

If there is one new year’s resolution that every HR, L&D and manager should make this year, it is to ensure that your professional self-development is a top priority.

Too often HR, L&D and managers are so focused on helping others develop their skills, their knowledge and careers, that your own CPD (continuing professional development) takes a back seat. Largely, it’s because of time pressures. But there has also been a certain amount of inertia in the industry – lots of talking about self development, but not enough action. It’s something that Laura Overton, founder and CEO of benchmarking organisation Towards Maturity, is passionate about. She calls it the cobblers’ children syndrome. Read her article to find out more about this.

In today’s world, skills and knowledge need to be constantly regenerated. That’s true of HR, true of L&D and true of every other profession. Standing still is not a possibility. Everyone, from the most junior employees to the most senior, needs to keep developing themselves.

On the one hand, it is about having aspirations – wanting to succeed. On the other, it is also about not falling behind. Given the constantly changing context of work and the constantly changing nature of industry and skills, it is very easy to fall behind if you don’t strive to keep up. As Overton says: “L&D is changing so rapidly and so profoundly that no-one in the profession can afford to let their professional development slide.”

L&D and HR know this. There are many important aspects to CPD. For instance, there is training – ensuring your skills are up to date. Even better, training that puts you right at the forefront of change.

Training in specific skills is important, but also important is broader training, perhaps better called learning. Learning these days is not just about technical knowhow. It is also about being inquiring, being curious, wanting to learn and develop. That is now a critical part of CPD. It’s what Carol Dweck calls the ‘growth mindset’ in her TED talk ‘The power of believing that you can improve’. Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University in the US and a leading researcher on motivation, says the people who achieve the most in life are those with a growth mindset, who embrace new challenges and acknowledge that their abilities can be developed. Those with a fixed mindset, who do not embrace challenges and are scared of learning new things, stunt their ability to develop and succeed.

By engaging in continuous learning and continuous self development, L&D and HR professionals can foster this all important growth mindset. Courses are part of it, but it also means engaging in social learning. Personal learning networks, communities of practice, collaborative learning platforms – these things are so important. Thought leadership, conferences, industry events – there is no shortage of ways that CPD can happen. By engaging in social groups and networking, you will automatically be picking up new ideas and engaging with what is important now and what is on the horizon.

It’s all out there, readily available. Now is the time to do it and keep doing it.

Start your professional development today, here are our CIPD programmes start dates.