When budgets are stretched, development often is pushed to the back burner or cut altogether from the budget. This is dangerous for a team that wishes to remain healthy and continue growing. If a team is not learning and improving, it will soon struggle to maintain any level of success. It’s important to find ways to develop even during times with stressed budgets.
Here are 10 inexpensive, or less expensive, ways to offer development to a team:
Bring in a leader – It may be cheaper to bring the expert to you than it is to attend a conference. Find someone from whom your team can learn and pay his or her expenses to visit the team.
Send a representative – You may have to draw names to decide who, but pay for one person to attend a conference with a catch, that they have to bring information back to share with the team.
Read a book together – The number of leadership books easily outnumber the months a team will be together. Find some good ones, read and digest them as a team.
Use local resources – Most likely, there are businesses or universities in your community that have development offices or procedures to develop people, with people already skilled who can inexpensively invest in your team.
Online or teleconference - Technology allows for some great online conferences. Gather the team around a computer and learn without leaving the office. Additionally, if you have a telephone, you have the makings of a great way to connect with other leaders. Arrange for a joint call with one and let the team ask questions and then process the interview together.
Pool Resources – Join forces with another church to accomplish any of these ideas. Learn from each other. Swap resposnibilities to lead a development activity. Share the costs of bringing in a speaker and do a combined mini-conference of your own.
Visit other churches – Allow the team to visit other churches in the area, either individually or as a group. It is a great way to develop new ideas and improve upon what you are doing as you see what others are doing firsthand. Be sure everyone goes expecting to bring something back to the team they have learned.
Learn from each other - Chances are good that everyone on your team has something to offer that can make the team better. Take turns sharing with each other something you already know or are learning.
Scavenger hunt – Assign each team member to find the best development idea and share it with the rest of the team. Whether online, in a book or through networking, seek out new ideas and improvements you can learn from one another and share it with the team. The process of sharing the idea discovered will prove to be development.
Trial and Error - The best development may be putting systems in place that allow the team to take risks, but then evaluate the success or failure in an effort to learn from them and grow. Teams should be doing this anyway, but teams often fail to intentionally learn from the process of doing normal work.
Development isn’t cheap, but it’s a necessary part of continuing to be a healthy and growing team.
Make this post better. Think development with me. What low cost ideas do you have to offer development to a team?
For a similar thought, read 10 Random Ideas to Encourage Innovation.