The Human Development Gap – Why We Fail our Professionals to Develop the Essential Skills for Business:

I’ve had the good fortune of starting my career in a Manufacturing Management Development Program through Raytheon Company where aspiring professionals were rotated through four (4) six month rotations in manufacturing while learning essential skills for business. And that was the end of my formal leadership on-boarding sadly. There were instances where at International Flavors & Fragrance 15 years ago where I was again identified as high potential and sent out for training at the Center for Creative Leadership, but again an instant in time with no support. I’ve ascended to leadership roles as the Head of Operational Excellence and later Head of Quality at Givaudan, but it was mostly through driving my own development plan. Is this a pattern that sounds familiar? Let’s press on to break this down into Why I believe this is happening.

Companies are not in the business for Human Development: Companies for the most part are short sided and need to monetize products and services for the profitability they need to support all stakeholders. We don’t communicate the ROI to top line growth, cash flow or bottom line profitability based on Human Development. So it falls to a good idea, some will benefit, but others will have to find the courage, the confidence and the will to find people to mentor them or to pave their own path.

Developing Human’s is difficult; especially if we don’t take the time to understand their talents and how to leverage them: I’m mentoring two individuals and by my perception, they should be identified as High Performers worthy of being developed. Then why do they feel stuck? I see it as the workplace shows intent of meeting regularly with their employees, but don’t take the time to understand their mindset, goals and needs. Very often their managers are accountable for human development, but have never gone through the process of having someone develop their essential skills; so how do you expect them to mentor their direct reports? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some amazing servant leaders through the years, but they’re far and few between. Sending people out for a course is a “check the box” and hope to see a result. “Mentoring” equates to commitment over time and that’s difficult when leaders are tasked to deliver tangible results.

Business does not see how big the problem is, but see the impact of doing nothing: When we don’t have a name for it, we see the problem in several ways: a) Millennials jumping around to new roles and labeled as entitled, when in reality they’re looking for purposeful leadership to develop them, b) 30 year professionals moving on to “pursue new interests” translates into a business no longer knows what to do with this talent and helps them to transition. But often these professionals become the consults that businesses pay dearly for their capability c) up and coming professionals are frustrated, often trying for 3-5 years to make a difference, later to be profiled as being simply “average” and they too will leave after they’ve tried everything. What we’re seeing here is a terrible loss of employee investments in time & money to train these people only to see them leave and businesses are losing these “$’s” because there’s no line item on a P&L to account for lost intellectual property or Human Capital.

What’s the solution? Well, the Drop in CEO brand is based on providing solutions to their business issues, but elevating their people to sustain the gains. We truly care about the Humans for which the brand, the Drop in CEO podcast and our course work is dedicated to helping individuals who cannot get the support they need from within the organization. We are passionate about elevating the essential skills of the people we come into contact with and supplement the gap that businesses don’t provide.

For more information, please contact us and we’d love to continue the conversation about the The Human Development Gap.

Deborah A. Coviello,

Founder, Illumination Partners, LLC

Host of the Drop in CEO podcast