One Idea Group Session from Self-Managed Development Pocketbook from Fiona Elsa Dent



This resource will help you facilitate a short group session to learn from the One Idea Summary on A Model for Self-managed Development.


  • Be able to describe the Self-managed Development Model
  • Be able to identify actions to further their own self-managed development guided by the model.


Send a copy of the One Idea Summary on A Model for Self-managed Development to the session’s participants one week before the session. They are to read it before coming to the session.


Introduce the session

Introduce the session by sharing the learning objectives with them.

Review the Self-managed Development Model

Split the whole group into smaller groups. Each small group should have about 3 to 4 participants. Provide each group with flip-chart paper and pens.

Tell each small group to review what they read about self-managed development from the model and write down a summary of their understanding on the flip-chart paper provided. Give them 10-minutes.

After 10-minutes stop them. Allow each group to feedback their summaries.

Next move on to explore an example of how the model can be used to guide a person’s self-managed development.

Self-managed Development guided by the model
Share the following example (have it printed out on a sheet and give each of them a copy to read) with them.

Olu is a deputy manager at a government department. His goal is to become a full manager. He realises there are areas where he needs to develop. Unfortunately, the organisation is not willing to invest in the kind of development that can help him acquire the skills and competencies he needs. A friend he spoke to advised that he put together his own self-managed development programme using freely available resources. She also introduced him to the self-managed development model to use as a guide for his development. Olu spent some time planning with the model. Here is his self-managed development plan.

External factors affecting his self-managed development

Business objectives: Develop a better understanding of the organisation’s vision and strategy as it applies to managing a department.

Career objectives: Aiming to move into a management role within or outside the organisation. To look out for management vacancies.

Learning relationships: At the moment his most useful learning relationship is the friend who introduced the self-manged development model to him. He has also joined a networking group for public sector managers that meet once a month.

Learning activities: Take some free courses from MOOC (Massive Online Organised Courses), subscribed to Harvard Business Review, attend bite-sized workshops from the networking group he joined and register for webinars relevant to his career goals.

Personal factors affecting his self-managed development

Self-analysis: Used a Personal SWOT to identify Strengths (ability to lead a team effectively to achieve objectives, clear communicator, great at writing and presenting objectives), Weaknesses (using data to make decisions, weak persuasion skills, avoids conflict), Opportunities (vacant positions withing organisation to become a full manager) and Threats (current manager not supportive).

Reflection: reflected on the information from self-analysis to understand where I am and where I want to go and created an action plan.

Action planning

Self-managed development

After they’ve read the example, ask them for any questions or comments and listen to what they have to say.

When they finish speaking tell them that it is now time for them to think about their own self-managed development using the model.

Practising self-managed development

Tell each person to take one external factors and one personal factor, think about how it affects their own self-managed development and write down their thoughts. For instance, they can reflect on the business objectives and how it may decide areas where they need to develop or think about learning relationships they would like to have or learning activities to invest it.

For personal factors they might want to do a quick self-analysis using a Personal SWOT, reflect on skill and competencies using a skill and competence review or do an action plan for areas they want to develop.

Give them 10-minutes for the activity.

After 10-minutes stop them and ask each person to feedback just one of the things they wrote down. Listen to everyone without making any comments.

When they finish speaking appreciate them for taking the time to do the exercise. Now move on to review and conclude the session.


To review and close, tell them that:

During this short session you reviewed the self-managed Development model, saw an example of using the model to plan self-managed development and also practiced using aspects of the model for your own self-managed development. In a work environment that is constantly changing, we all need self-managed development, so make sure you use the tools discussed during this session to drive your own self-managed development.

Close the session.