As your offer changes, so does how you deliver it. Today I look at allocating your resources to take the necessary actions to decide what your offer should be today, such as being aware of the latest thinking, practices, trends and technologies.

Maintaining your staff’s skills in this context often involves professional development, and you need to invest in this area. The table below shows examples of where to place your bets and how to make your investment pay off.

Staying Current: Where Your Investment Needs to Go

Your Investment The Accountability of Staff
Create a staff development plan for key individuals in collaboration with them and aligned with their goals/ responsibilities Follow the plan
Arrange for training, courses, conferences Attend and be focused

Share what you’ve learned (update and feedback sessions for other staff)

Apply new knowledge

Study time – set policy to give staff weekly study/research time Locate appropriate courses (certified if possible)

Choose study that’s relevant to the company/strategic direction

Review processes/methodology Suggest improvements

Implement agreed changes

Gather feedback from staff development Contribute to the thinking
Gather feedback from prospects and customers; keep an eye on the competition Ensure timely feedback into the pool of ideas
Keep abreast of current market trends and developments Share new findings/ideas (typically this is a leadership responsibility, but research can also be delegated)
Incorporate all the above into how you do business (offer, methods, deliverables) Incorporate any new direction into daily business processes

 

Don’t forget to keep looking for new staff, too. Interviews are a great way to find out what’s new in technology, alternative approaches and so on.

TIP: If your staff members are out in the wider world keeping up-to-date and sharing what they’re seeing, you have a source of new ideas for your business. You want them to be enthusiastic about making a contribution to the business, but you also need to be realistic about how much change you can initiate and follow through on at any one time.