Does your development initiative have the energy to succeed?

Recently, working with a client to explore if a development program initiative would support the staff and address slipping KPIs, we had a blinding flash of the obvious. There is an interconnection between energy levels, people’s capacity to learn, the depth of learning that can occur and the appropriate leadership response!

Out of this work, the Energy Development Response Model emerged.

The model has four elements: 

Energy Level  (Wellbeing / Cognitive Capacity)

The target diagram represents energy levels at an individual, group/team and department level. ‘The point of overwhelm’ is at the centre with the expanding circles depicting burnout, coping, recovery and thriving. 

Leadership Response

Highlights the four responses that support the move between energy levels. Stabilise (burnout to coping), and Build (coping to recovery) recognises the role of effective coping and recovery, as opposed to maladaptive coping and exhaustion. Enhance (recovery to thriving) appreciates the difference between languishing and flourishing (thriving). Support (thriving ) builds on the continuous adaptive response to increased sources of pressure with adequate resourcing.

Learning Capacity

This dimension connects the Level of Energy with individual, group/team and department willingness and openness to learning. Close to ‘The Point of Overwhelm’, people do what they need to survive. The capacity to absorb new information is low, and the desire to develop is absent. As people regain a sense of being able to meet work demands, their willingness to engage in development activities moves through survival, tolerating and open to seeking new development opportunities. 

Depth of learning

This element examines the depth of training or development appropriate for the group or individual, given their energy level. Not all training is equal. Developing a technical skillset, like learning a new piece of equipment, often requires less energy than developing deeper self-awareness. As energy grows, learning capacity improves, enabling first skillset training and mindset development, progressing to more profound reflective work.

This post is an early sharing of a sense-making model, and we welcome any thoughts or feedback. We will soon explore stabilisation options to move burning out to coping.

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