When Is Not Developing Instructors And School Owners Ok?
Adapted from a Leadership article by DanMcCarthy

quality_control_certified_150x150Dan McCarthy says he often receives questions sorta like the following:

“Our organization has Certified Instructors and Certified School Owners who don't want to be developed or who only want development in the area of technical proficiency. They just want to train and teach classes or run their school however they see fit and then go home. They have little or no desire to engage in skill development beyond the physical skills that will help them advance in rank.

Skill expansion and skill development isn’t for everyone, right?  Our organization can’t force them to expand their skills and develop their skills if they don’t want to, can we?”

Dan McCarthy's answer?

Yes, your organization leaders and your Certified Instructors and Certified School Owners are free to ignore individual skill development; HOWEVER, only when you all can check off each of the following boxes and organization's leaders are willing to sign off on it:

  • No changes are expected in in technology, now or next 2-3 years
  • No changes are expected in organization administrative processes, now or next 1-2 years
  • No changes are expected in organization member preferences, requirements
  • Instructors and School Owners can score a 10/10 on all technical/job specific skills
  • Instructors and School Owners  can score a 10/10 on all key behavioral competencies
  • Organization growth will remain flat or decline over the next 5 years
  • There will be no organizational changes requiring new skills
  • No interest or potential for improving effectiveness as an instructor or school owner which require different skills than being a practitioner
  • No interest or possibility of Instructors or School Owners desiring to assume organizational roles or positions
  • No need for Instructors or School Owners to prepare others to fill in or to prepare for their succession
  • No need for Instructors or School Owners to train future Instructors or School Owners
  • No new projects or opportunities coming up that can be best seized by Instructors or School Owners with most up to date skills

Could your organization's leaders check them all and agree to all these conditions?

Probably not.

In today’s hypercompetitive, whitewater, VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) business environment, if you are not growing you are dying.

Standing still is not an option.

Continuous improvement is a business imperative, and quite frankly, a condition of organizational viability and survival.

Ongoing development is just as important as “coming to work every day.”

As an organization leader, letting your Certified Instructors or Certified School Owners off the hook for continuing development just because “they don’t want to” is a cop-out and weak leadership.

You’re letting them run the risk of becoming expendable and failing in their teaching and school operation endeavors.

You’re saying it’s OK for your Certified Instructors and Certified School Owners to perform at less-than-optimal performance.


Dan McCarthy is the director of Executive Development Programs at the University of New Hampshire. He writes the award-winning leadership development blog Great Leadership and is consistently ranked as one of the top digital influencers in leadership and talent management. He’s a regular contributor to SmartBrief and a member of the SmartBrief on Workforce Advisory Board. E-mail McCarthy. If you enjoyed this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our daily newsletter on being a better leader and communicator.





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