What Can Personal Development Teach Organizational Development?

I recently read the area of personal development is now a multi-billion dollar a year business, and growing. As an astute business person, this captured my curiosity, so I conducted some research looking into all the books, seminars, conferences, coaches etc. in the area of personal development. Based on what I discovered, the business of personal development will continue growing well into the billions of dollars.

I am amazed to see how much money people invest into these types of programs and services. To be honest, after I finished my research, I was left wondering. In a day and age of competitive marketplaces, constant innovation and an increased need to have a knowledgeable and adaptable workforce, is the area of organizational development missing out on something? Is the corporate world really missing some key concept in the area of human capital?

I have tried various personal development products and services, cutting through the hype and sometimes over-stated claims, to see if in fact the services are based on any type of performance research. To my amazement, I discovered that many of the personal development products are based (even if only in a small amount) on proven performance theories.

I was working with a client who initially hired me for high-performance coaching and skills development. When the request was first made, I thought this person, given the position he held, had a foundation of performance skills required to achieve great results. However, after our initial meeting I realized he required personal development skills training and coaching. I agreed to take him on as a client, crafted a blended solution of personal and performance skills development, and coached him for several months. The end result was that he developed personally and professionally. The organization he worked for received the benefits of the new performance and mindset skills he now possessed but also the benefits of his new overall approach to leadership, which he obtained through personal development work we did together.

There are several lessons high-performing organizations can learn from the area of personal development. My clients are always reminded about the importance for organizations to understand the unique needs and skills each person brings to the table and how to capitalize on those skills. The world of personal development can teach high-performing leaders and managers the skills to better understand team members’ unique strengths. It can also help them craft those strengths towards achieving great organizational performance results and bring greater value to the clients those organizations serve.

 Turn Your Knowledge into Action

  1. As a manager, how are you developing your team members professionally?
  2. As a team member, how are you investing in personal development that’s adding value to your organization?


If you would like to learn more about how I can assist your organization to convert personal development skills into organizational performance results, please contact me at 416-429-1247 or email at paul@actusperformance.com.

All the best in achieving your highest performance.