No More IDPs


So how much fun do you have with your IDPs or ADPs (Individual or Annual Development Plans)? You know, the ones you have to fill out, schedule time with your boss, and then review. Most people report that these sessions are either very non-chalantly orchestrated or emotionally draining for both sides as development areas begin to be discussed and skeletons from months ago surface. Let me propose a solution – get rid of them.

While I like the idea of accountability and being able to set goals so that both sides can support each other during the course of the year, I argue this can be achieved more successfully by getting rid of IDPs and ADPs and constructing an Empowerment Plan (EP) instead.

These EPs are quite simple – the manager and employee get together to strategize and plan on specifically how to empower the employee based on an agreed-upon set of metrics or goals. If your goal is to sell X number of products for example, the Empowerment Plan is specifically designed to empower you to achieve that goal. And both sides commit to it.

If there are development issues, then these should be addressed during the course of the year – as close to when the issues occur to optimize learning. So, as we approach all the annual goal setting, reviews, and developmental work for2010 – let me suggest that you rethink and rename this to embrace the Empowerment Planning process. Consider the psychological difference alone in preparing for an IDP versus preparing for your empowerment plan. Try it in 2010 — and I suspect you will see a dramatic shift in performance.


One response to “No More IDPs

  1. Right on, but don’t hold your breath until any organization drops their IDP process. Inertia is extremely strong in these matters, and don’t forget, the people in power are the ones who installed the IDP process. Of course, they’re exempt from the process because it’s hard to improve on perfection.

    I could rant a lot more – why bother?

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