Individual Development Plans

Individual Development Plans

Do you have one? Do you know what your strength areas are? Do you know what you’re working on improving for 21/22?

At this time of year many businesses have completed or are working through their performance review processes, getting and giving feedback. It’s an interesting time of year and it’s when many businesses either favour or fail their people.

Here’s why.

Often a business has a one off period of time when the performance review is conducted. Some businesses sadly bundle compensation, performance and development conversations in together. It puts a lot of pressure on both manager/employee. And one off means – it’s a long time between chats.

Some businesses separate it out, compensation discussed separately to development conversations.

And some business realise that performance reviews are only one of the many key and important milestones when it comes to looking after your people across days, weeks, months and years of employment.

Looking after your people year round is critical for performance, engagement and retention of quality staff and likewise for the movement of less than ideal team members who are not a match to culture, performance requirements and capability based assessments.

Our clients focus on Individual Development Plans – a personalised plan created to follow up on review conversations, month to month or quarter to quarter capability requirements as a person adapts and adjusts to the day to day shifts and needs with-in their role. Even someone who does the same thing year on year needs needs developing.

A person’s Individual Development Plan is just that.


It’s not a cookie cutter, one-sized fits all approach.

Every single person on the team is unique and individual. What their development needs are and where there strengths lie might be quite different to others on the team.

Do you have a good system for understanding and recognising where the needs are?

Here at The Art of Extraordinary, we use Thought Code, created by Clare Cope from Capability Development Solutions. We’ve used this tool for many years now, because it provides an easy to understand overarching methodology for individual’s thoughtcode (yes – way of thinking) and subsequently their capability strengths and areas of development.

What I love particularly is it can be matched up, aligned with where the business is at. More on that another time.

Let’s talk individuals. Thought Code provides insight into an individual’s growth phase;

‘Orange Thinking’ is the growth phase that enables an individual to develop capability focused on understanding self. It is the phase that provides opportunities for an individual to develop practices for managing themselves, strategies for engaging with those around them and learning how to step into a leadership position.

‘Blue Thinking’ is the growth phase that enables an individual to develop capability focused on understanding self and others. It is a critical phase for an individual to develop practices for establishing plans, setting goals and targets, weighing up options, creating leverage and establishing pathways for growth and innovation.

‘Green Thinking’ is the growth phase that enables an individual to develop capability focused on understanding others. It is the phase that enables an individual to learn how to focus and place importance on elements external to themselves, essential for creating vision, having a purpose, and establishing a compelling culture.

By way of example;

Sally – new to leading a team is profiled with Orange Thinking, her stretch now since taking on the role is to develop her Blue Thinking as she now has a team of 5 people. This will require working on capabilities like: Delegation, Developing others and Directing others to name a few.

Tom – has been a leader for several years, he already has Blue Thinking and his stretch is to embrace Green Thinking and to do this for his team, the business and clients, he’s working on capabilities like: Coaching & Mentoring, Collaborative relationships, Empowering others, Managing vision & purpose and Mutual accountability to name a few.

No two people are the same.

Therefore we have to personalise development.

Development needs to align to business needs.

Development must align with performance requirements.

If we want a business to grow and evolve, then we also need to ensure we give our people right tools, feedback, communication, training and resources to do the same.

We work with businesses that are thriving – continuous improvement and mutual accountability are key capabilities they are driving across the whole business. Similarly we work with businesses, quite challenged through the Covid period and their needs and focus are different. Their current focus capabilities for survival are – care for self, priority setting and stress management.

No individual is the same. No team or business is the same.

Would you like to talk individual development for you or the team?



P.S Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you develop and work on your business leadership capabilities:

  1. Download a free copy of The Leadership Maximiser Tool, a detailed Productivity and Performance Experience
    Lead with clarity and confidence. Minimise overwhelm and indecision. Be organised and focused to lead a flourishing team and grow a thriving business. Accelerate results for you, the team and business with this step-by-step tool. —  Click here
  1. Join the Empowering Leaders in Business Facebook group and connect with like-minded leaders focused on high-performance team success
    It’s our Facebook community where smart leaders get to learn more about creativity, leadership and performance. — Click Here
  1. Join our next Mental Fitness for Leaders Program
    Helping leaders develop their skills for well-being, relationship and conflict management, productivity and peak performance in the workplace. If you’d like to work with me on your business leadership skills to ensure high engagement, accountability and results for and across the team…message PQ to me here and I’ll get you all the details.
  1. Let’s get the whole team together
    Would you like a different perspective and someone else at the front of the room or on zoom/teams to lead regular and consistent team building, accountability and engaging learning experiences, that drive results and outcomes for individuals, teams and the business? If you feel a little challenged with everything going on, maybe sounding like a cracked recorded saying things over and over again, or actually not 100% how to motivate and inspire the team, given the current nature of business, it’s may be useful for us to chat. Message TEAM to me here… and tell me a little about the business, your team and what you’d like to work on together.

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