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February - 2008 - issue > People Manager

Formulating a development plan for people

C Mahalingam (Mali)
Friday, February 1, 2008
C Mahalingam (Mali)
People development is a key deliverable from those who manage people. It is clearly evidenced from research that the maximum learning and development happen for people on the job and under a good manager that serves as a mentor. Most organizations have also defined the appraisal review time as the annual window for determining a somewhat focused development plan for their employees since it provides a unique opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses and identify the areas for development.

Chess and checkers
Good people managers understand the difference between playing the board games chess and checkers. Marcus Buckingham of Gallup fame clearly suggests that managing people is very similar in terms of the rules of the game. In chess, each piece on the board is differently-abled and so treated differently. In checkers, all the pieces on the board are treated the same. This analogy has tremendous implications on managing people, particularly when it comes to determining their development needs.

It will help people managers to understand that in creating development plans for their people, it is important to understand that there are three different types of plans that will become the focus.

Advancement plan
Top talent in any team or organization will need an ‘advancement plan’, and not another training plan, for their development. This would basically consist of discussions about their next role or job, what specific higher level competencies are required to be built, what are the potential derailers that need to be addressed in order to ensure that the top talent does not fail, what kind of mentoring help is needed, and the like.

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