I am party to lots of development discussions in my line of work. I love helping people think about the gap between where they are now and where they want to be, then supporting them in thinking creatively and widely about all the things they can do to bridge that gap.

At Amec Foster Wheeler we have tried to make sure that we keep focus on ‘Reaching High’ in a number of ways.

  • We have designated our mid-year review as a forward-looking development and career goal discussion. We provide our managers with a framework for these discussions as it’s all too easy to get stuck talking about development that addresses immediate needs without really understanding what gets employees out of bed in the morning and how we can help them to achieve their longer term goals, however great or small.
  • We have recently implemented a new talent system and one of the great features is the individual talent profile. Through this our employees can tell us what their aspirations are and how they would like their career to develop at Amec Foster Wheeler. This means that when we are planning succession, we can try and dovetail the needs of the organisation with the career goals of individuals.
  • We also use a really good online resource called Mind Tools which provides reading and e-learning in key skills areas. Our employees can dip in for learning or development whenever they wish which underlines our belief that development should be a continuous process.

It has been found to take 10,000 hours* of deliberate practice to be really good at something, so if we want to reach high we’d better get going.

* Ericsson, K.A., Krampe, R.Th. and Tesch-Romer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100, pp393-394.