The world in which all professionals operate has changed forever.
Whether you are a manager in Singapore, a High Growth Coach in the UK, a Skills Development Facilitator in South Africa or a consultant in Mongolia or Georgia, you are bound by one common fact – you need to invest in your own continuous professional development (CPD).
Why? Global competition has never been more intense. Customers and clients are becoming increasingly knowledgeable and more demanding. Technology continues to impact on the way we work, communicate and trade. The knowledge-base of the professions and of the sectors in which we operate, has also increased. With such developments come new opportunities such as being able to enter new markets, win new clients, and develop new areas of expertise and new methods of working.
Such changes demand that as professionals we keep up-to-date with the ever-evolving knowledge and skills requirements of our professions. If we accept this premise, it is imperative that as professionals we ensure we are technically competent and managerially capable. Indeed, in a knowledge-intensive world, I would argue that the only real source of sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to recognise and adapt to these changes faster than the competition.
Commitment to keeping up to date is growing in importance as more and more professionals now recognise the benefits of adopting a planned and structured approach to learning and development both pre and post qualification.
Commitment to CPD is also an acknowledgement that becoming professionally qualified is not an end in itself – it is merely the beginning. Updating skills and knowledge on a continuing basis is essential to career progression, particularly given the passing of the ‘job for life’ and rigorously-defined career path cultures.
Gaining a qualification as a Skills Development Facilitator, a High Growth Coach, a consultant or a manager is only part of the story. Learning about new models and techniques, gaining new experience, networking with like-minded professionals and sharing best practice is just as important. One of my university lecturers said to me, “As professionals, we all have a mountain of learning ahead of us – having graduated, you have just reached base camp and can now begin to climb the mountain!”
As a supplier of qualification based learning to professionals, Exponential is increasingly finding that our learners are engaging in more and more informal CPD. We have seen an increase in the number of learners using social networking forums such as the LinkedIn High Growth Coach Development group or learning portals such as ManagementDirect and ConsultingDirect.
How do you invest in your CPD? What CPD activities do you undertake? What CPD do you find to be the most effective? What CPD would you like that is not currently available?