The importance of a personal development plan

The importance of a personal development plan

This latest blog discusses the importance of a personal development plan and what you need to do to create one.


Andy Kaye | 31 March 2016


Part of my role with QA involves helping customers to create development plans, and I wrote an article for a recent End of Programme event one of our customers held for their graduate programme. I did some research for this article, and discovered that the average wait for graduates to get onto a UK PLC board is 36 years. So if you’re 21, you’ll on average have to wait till you are 57 to become a board member of a UK PLC.

If you're happy to wait that long, then fine! If you're not, may I suggest 3 things that you could do to help speed the process up? There is a famous "study" of the 1953 Harvard Business School, which states that 3% of them were worth more than the other 97% put together because they wrote down their goals. A quick Google search will soon show up that this study actually never happened. However, a study was carried out by Gail Matthews from Dominican University in California in 2011 to test the 1953 hypothesis which published the following findings:

Out of 5 groups, the group that wrote their goals down and committed publicly to achieving them achieved significantly more than any of the other 4 groups, whose activities ranged from thinking about goals to writing down action plans.

Here's my 3 point plan for you:

1.Write down your goals
2.Commit to writing down your actions to achieve these goals to a supportive friend (Andy.Kaye@QA.com if you need another one...)
3.Send weekly progress reports to your friend

I tested the hypothesis with a delegate from another customer, as part of a practice session of a coaching workshop. One of the other delegates was coaching him about becoming more active. His colleague got him to write down his goals, and then got him to send his action plan, detailing the exercises to her. She encouraged him to give her (and me) a progress report on his exercise activity. The very next day, we both received an excited e-mail containing details of the exercises he'd done that evening, and details of his plans for the rest of the month. So far, we've received further updates on his progress, and look forward to more.
So how about trying this out, and let's see if we can reduce that 36 year wait to become a board member!


If you're looking to take the next step in your lifelong learning journey, take a look at our Business Skills  training courses including Personal Effectiveness training.

QA Training | Andy-Kaye

Andy Kaye

Learning Programme Manager

Andy joined QA in October 2012. He is a Learning Programme Manager based in South Yorkshire. Andy worked for 24 years in the banking sector, including 18 years at Barclays and 6 years at Lloyds, where he was a Learning and Development Consultant in their Retail Learning Team. He is a certified facilitator of Situational Leadership II, Myers Briggs Type Indicators Step 1 and Strength Deployment Inventories. Andy has a total of 9 years of Learning and Development experience, using the full learning cycle.
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