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Making Time for Development

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

What brought you to the site is probably what brought me here--an interest in development but very little time. Between the countless responsibilities we already manage, investing additional time in our personal, professional, and/or organization’s development seems daunting. And for good reason…

Reflecting on our past week, we probably think there’s NO WAY we could fit anything else in. We’re employees with significant responsibilities, organization leaders with pressing challenges, and team members with ongoing obligations.

Recently, I've realized more time may be available than we believe. Consider, for example, this 2018 Nielsen report which found the average American watches more than five hours of television per week—that’s average! In fact, it wasn’t that long ago where binge watching a show was mostly foreign. Today, Netflix asks, “Are you still watching?” When Nintendo first came out, video game systems were primarily thought of as an entertainment device for kids and teenagers. Over the last 40 years, the gaming industry has dramatically evolved with approximately 67% of gamers (more than 200 million) now engaging in about 12 hours of gaming per week, according to Electronic Entertainment Design and Research.

"We allocate our time based on what we value"

Or let’s consider the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. On a typical workday, we may hesitate to take on an additional responsibility or commitment. But when it comes to March Madness, about half of us (75 million) complete our brackets at work and spend roughly six hours of worktime related to the tournament.


These references highlight we allocate our time based on what we VALUE. Often, it’s not that we don’t have time to go out, take on a new project, or to invest in our development; it’s that we don’t value those priorities at the same level when contrasted with how we currently use our time. If we can find time to watch (myself included) basketball games at work, shop Amazon deals, or browse the web, there are likely opportunities to find a few hours to commit to our own development—something where the benefits (wages, happiness, satisfaction, work-life balance) are likely much more substantial.

In this new age of remote work, increased expectations of employees, and the necessity of being an agile workplace, we need to closely examine our own development. As individuals, we can benefit from examining the development opportunities that can improve our lives. As organization leaders, we need to consider how well our onboarding, job training, employee development, and succession planning processes are impacting employee and organization performance. At the same time, we need to examine the barriers which prevent us from growing. In doing so, we will reveal gaps in our performance and a path forward.

We're in this together.

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