Activity: Professional Enrichment Plan
You’re probably already familiar with The Professional Development Plan, an organisational construct that is arguably based on a deficient model: You don’t yet have what we need for you to be of best use to us so we’ll make a plan to address the gap. The Professional Enrichment Plan – a personal construct – is based on a sufficiency model: You have things you know and can do and these might be enriched and also used to enrich others.
The purpose of actively enriching your professional life is to:
- Have a positive affirming work experience
- Improve the quality of your workscape and the experience for those who share it with you
- Improve the quality of your work
- Nurture the person (the ‘engine’) that does the work
- Enhance your own professional value and practice
In addition to traditional content like ‘attending training courses’ or ‘being mentored’, Professional Enrichment (PE) includes:
- Activities that have no inherent professional productive value, or no clear goal or specific destination, e.g. exploratory, tinkering, or social activities like chairing a social club.
- Activities about making meaning, having meaning, and sharing meaning in the professional space. Meaning is the source of our beliefs and actions.
- Conditions and opportunities to generate serendipitous encounters and discoveries.
- Creative activities that replenish mojo and energy as part of your professional schedule, e.g. attending art or music exhibitions, decorating your workspace, playing golf.
- Mental rest, and change of scenery within the professional schedule, e.g. honouring digital and professional sabbaths, working from surprising locations like art gallery or park.
- Activity and schedules that best honour own temperament and strengths, e.g. planning in morning, executing at beginning of the week, partnering up to draw upon another’s expertise.
- Nurturing self holistically in all aspects (body, mind, soul and spirit), e.g. meditation before and after challenging meetings.
- Activities with intangible value that are difficult or impossible to measure, e.g. cultivating meaningful relationships, mentoring colleagues.
- Accessing a diversity of resources for inspiration, insights, and information, e.g. blogs, social media, podcasts, seminars, books, newspapers, etc
Implementing your Enrichment Plan
1. Create – Reflect on what enrichment and growth you want and define activities to achieve this. Document these in the Plan (See Canvas below).
Areas to consider
- Vocational expertise: skills, practices, tools
- Human connection: emotional intelligence, diversity, sharing
- Social responsibility: issue-based, e.g. safety, bullying, green
- Reform: habits and disciplines, e.g. slow, disconnection, trust
- Values: alignment, re-alignment, boundaries
- Novelty: new experiences, experiments to try something new
- Resourcefulness: recycle, reuse, borrow
- Practice: exercise muscles and skills to make their stronger/not lose them
- Mastery: take something to a new level of fluency
- Whole person/well-being: physical, spiritual, emotional, mental
Prompts for activities
Use these words as triggers about the ‘WHAT’ that will enrich you:
Note: The Plan is emergent and dynamic. Entries to the document are made pre-activity and post-activity as they are a mix of the ‘planned’ and ‘serendipitous’.
2. Use – Draw on the Plan to determine regular and ad hoc activity to schedule. Do the Activity. Reorient self to the Plan when professional life seems to be chaotic and in disorder.
Treat the Plan as a declaration of intention to act. Scheduling PE activities might happen on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on how PE time is allotted in your Activity-Time Budget (see Activity Time Budget Activity).
3. Update – Review the content of the Plan and make updates (change the purpose or activity, add to the activity; refine the measures). Record progress in the Plan.
Professional Enrichment Plan Canvas
We have designed a canvas (PDF) for you to capture your plans and intentions.
Set some high-level intentions for the activity you are planning. This can give you a focal point for the choices you make, and the options you dismiss.
Roles supported by this plan
Your activity does not need to connect to every role that you currently have in your workscape. List the ones that do apply.
Decide the frequency with which you will review this plan. Quarterly (every 3 months), is a good starting place if you don’t have a strong preference.
The main content of the plan is formatted as a table with the following headings:
The reason for some purposeful action; the outcome of acting. Verbs to describe purpose include Gain, Lose, Enhance, Be, Experience, Sustain, Create, Extend, Produce, Contribute, Prepare
A short description of the content area for which you seek enrichment
Actions that will achieve the purpose. Examples include watching podcasts, attending seminars, writing blogs, following blogs/tweets, corresponding, reflecting, playing, meeting others, experimenting, attending meetings/seminars/courses, reading books, establishing and building relationships
Measures/evidence (how much)
Evidence to track and evaluate progress, including:
- Quantity – Count of the number of ‘knowledge products’ created, events completed, etc.
- Quality – Estimate of the degree of fitness-for-purpose
- Impact – Estimate of the degree of difference achieved (gap between before and after)
Status (how far)
Meaningful commentary about your progress to date
This content is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence so it can be freely shared with attribution to the creator (Questo); it cannot be used for commercial purposes; and it cannot be modified.