Thoughts on Professional Development
By Colonel K.L. Solomon, CD - September 1st, 2023
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Colonel K.L. Solomon, CD
The continual professional development of Canadian Army members enables one of the greatest strengths of our Army; it helps build competence and improve the professionalism of our people. Lifelong learning recognizes that change is a constant in the Canadian Army, and the evolving demands of the military environment require a growth mindset and desire for continual self-development. In the CDS Guidance to Commanding Officers and Their Leadership Teams (DWAN Only), the CDS states that “COs must devote more time to professional development to ensure that professional military values are inculcated”. But where should leaders start? What resources are available to members of the Canadian Army to deliver a professional development program, especially when they are pressed for time and being pulled in a multitude of different directions?
The Canadian Army Command and Staff College has published the Professional Development Guide for Unit and Formation Command Teams. This Guide can be used by any leader in the Canadian Army to understand this topic and to create a program for their organization, whether it is a section in a field unit, a group of staff officers in a headquarters, or a full unit program. It is designed to assist leaders with efficiently and effectively developing a professional development program. The Line of Sight portal will be used over the coming months to supplement this publication and provide Canadian Army members with professional development tools that cover a series of activities ranging from tactical decision games, to culture change, to human dimensions, to emerging ideas. The goal is to share some ideas and tools, and to spark further sharing as members across the Canadian Army develop their own activities. If you have a ready-made tool for professional development that you want to share across the Canadian Army, send it to us at CACSCPME@forces.gc.ca.
I encourage all Canadian Army members to take advantage of the Canadian Army, allied military, and civilian resources that may be available to them to foster a spirit of lifelong learning and a desire for personal growth. I also encourage all leaders in the Canadian Army to share their expertise, experience, and interests to help develop those around them. Finally, I encourage leaders to listen to the subordinates, peers, and superiors that surround them and allow them to share their expertise with you.
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