Business Model To Save A Youth Club Business Essay

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The Wellingborough Youth Project aims to provide safe and supportive environments in which young people can find opportunities for social, spiritual and personal development.

In the summer of 2008 the Project opened a town centre youth café - Infuse. This is a safe environment available for any young person to access at times which young people tell us they want somewhere to go. The Wellingborough Youth Project also undertakes various social action projects to make Wellingborough a better place to live and events to enable young people to explore their spirituality - these range from  community clean up's to band gigs, trips away to film nights. Adult Volunteers are encouraged to get involved and support the young people as they organise and engage in these activities.

Infuse Youth Cafe

The Youth Café, called Infuse, aims to be a space in which young people take ownership and where they feel they can 'chill out', interact with each other and be themselves. It aims to be a neutral environment where young people feel safe, secure and valued and where young people can freely and openly discuss issues and find help, support and advice when they feel they need it. Infuse will also be used to signpost young people on to other agencies or activities which will help them to fulfil their potential and develop their dreams.

To enable us to achieve these aims young people will be at the centre of all that happens at Infuse. It will be a venue that is run by young people, for young people. The role of adult volunteers is to support, encourage and affirm the young leaders, whilst also ensuring that the venue remains safe for both the staff and the young people from both physical and emotional harm.

The Problem

Initially, Infuse opened for two evenings a week, but demand was such that a third evening and then a Saturday afternoon was added to the opening times. There are over 800 members, and between 80-200 members regularly attend on week nights (although not necessarily all at the same time). While numbers for the evening meetings has remained high, in recent months the numbers for Saturdays has steadily declined until now, at times, there are very few visitors - occasionally on a Saturday there less than 20 during the course of a session, with the club sometimes being completely empty. It came to a point where people were questioning the need to open on Saturdays at all. Volunteers were wondering why they should bother attending, and the costs of staff and services could be saved.

Methods

The Research Objective.

The Research Objective is to ascertain why young people don't use the club on Saturdays. Why is Saturday different to any other day?

Key Informants.

The most obvious people to ask were the members themselves. Club members were asked to fill in a questionnaire on why they used the club and why they didn't use it on Saturdays. Rather than having boxes to tick, the survey was a free-form questionnaire. Members who didn't want to fill in a questionnaire were asked for their opinion, which was recorded by staff/volunteers.

The youth worker leader: with over 10 years experience running youth initiatives and being, in effect, the manager of the club. Has good rapport with the members, and has his ear close to the ground.

Input was also gathered from: a representative from the youth club's management committee, club members, youth workers and volunteers (which included parents of club members).

Data Analysis.

The members' survey was carried out over a two-week period, and fifty completed questionnaires were analysed.

Overwhelmingly, the most common reason for not attending on Saturdays was because people were still in bed (Saturday's session starts at 2pm). Loud music and dancing were something that was done in the evening, after a long, often boring, day at school: Saturdays were more for "chilling out".

Other common reasons for non-attendance were:

Doing other structured activities (football, dance, swimming, etc)

Too lazy to get out of bed

Other commitments (babysitting, Saturday job, etc)

Nothing "special" happening at the club

Would rather hang out "in town"

The general consensus was that they felt that Saturdays were "their own time".

A meeting was arranged to discuss the points raised by the survey, and to gather input from other significant stakeholders. After introductions, the meeting started with a brainstorming session, with everyone present contributing their thoughts as to why numbers were down.

At this meeting a Fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram was drawn up in order to visually display a list of the causes and the effect of the problem and hopefully to decipher the root causes: the "tidied up" version can be seen in figure 1.

There were many ideas put forward to attract more people into the club, among them the following:

Provide better quality food

Provide occasional free food

Widen the age range for membership

Advertise more agressively

Hold pool/table football/xbox tournaments

Hold activity workshops

Have more stuctured activity sessions

Change the opening times

Improve the website

It is fair to say that the mothers present concentrated on the suggestions that concerned food preparation or quality, but anecdotal evidence suggested that young people generally don't care about food quality; apparently, when the club first opened, they offered salads and relishes with burgers, and fruit snacks, but no-one ever wanted them and it was always thrown away.

The suggestion that volunteers should stand outside a nearby MacDonald's restaurant and "poach" their young customers was also rejected as being unethical and possibly illegal: it is certain that MacDonald's would not take too kindly to the idea.

PART 2: DECISION MAKING

Brainstorming

Although it wasn't planned, it was interesting that the way in which the next stage of the process naturally followed the Normative Decision Model, also known as the Vroom-Yetton Leadership Model. This model suggests the selection of a leadership style for making a decision. There are five decision making styles:

Autocratic 1 - Problem is solved using information already available.

Autocratic 2 - Additional information is obtained from group before leader makes decision.

Consultative 1 - Leader discusses problem with subordinates individually, before making a decision.

Consultative 2 - Problem is discussed with the group before deciding.

Group 2 - Group decides upon problem, with leader simply acting as chair.

The style is chosen by the consideration of seven questions which form a decision tree, as illustrated in Figure 2 (Vroom & Yetton, 1973).

http://leadershipchamps.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/vroom_yetton_decision_model1.jpg

Figure 2: The Vroom-Yetton Leadership Model

During a refreshment break the Fishbone diagram was tidied up and redrawn to use as the basis for deciding on further action. This was a further brainstorming session, which would normally involve a smaller group, but as the group wasn't that large and volunteers are hard to come by, the decision was taken to include everyone.

It was expected that some individuals would automatically make assumptions on the action to take, based on "gut feeling". To counter this, and to ensure that the brainstorming would have the most effect, the DOVE guidelines (Anon., 2011) had previously been explained to everyone:

D - Defer judgement on anyone else's ideas or comments

O - Opt for the unusual and creative

V - generate a Vast number of ideas

E - Expand on the ideas by piggy backing off others.

These guidelines can assist in the creation of an environment where all ideas are valued and where people listen effectively to others' and value each others' opinions. To reinforce this, copies of the guidelines were placed prominently in the meeting area as a reminder.

The Solution

After the brainstorming session, a shortlist of what was thought to be the best three ideas was drawn up. These were:

To hold more structured activities

To advertise more widely

To provide better food

To try to arrive at a solution that was not coloured by personal prejudice, we carried out a Time, Quality, Money analysis. Careful thought was given to the weighting factors, and it was decided that the quality aspect of the solution was most important, although it was agreed that something should be done as quickly as possible. Initially the management representatives suggested that money was not an issue, but the suggestion that the club hold promotional days when burgers are given away to everyone who attends (it was thought to be unfair just to offer them to new attendees) was not something they could agree to.

The analysis was carried out using slightly different weightings for each solution, but each time the position of the solutions was the same. The results are shown in figure 3.

Time, Quality, Money Analysis

Time

Quality

Money

Cost

Profit

Weighting Factor

7

9

4

1

Option

Activities

5

9

3

0

Advertising

5

5

2

0

Food

3

4

1

0

Figure 3: Time, Quality, Money Analysis

Implementing the Changes

Having made the decision to have organised activities, there is, of course, the problem of deciding what these activities will be as well as organising them.

By coincidence, there was a Sex Education Workshop scheduled for shortly after the meeting. These workshops were based on the Channel 4 TV programme The Sex Education Show and were supported by Contraception Services. The workshop was held immediately before the Youth Cafe opened on Saturday, and the first one was attended by about 15 members of Infuse - a good turnout for an educational event. After the workshop, all of the members stayed on for a drink and a chat in the cafe, and a number of curious friends came along to see if they had missed anything worthwhile. As a result, there was a significant increase in attendance.

One of the youth leaders had the idea of showing DVD's on the (very) big-screen TV at a regular time on Saturday. Surprisingly to some people, this has proved to be very popular, with people turning up specifically to watch films that they either haven't seen, or have seen but wanted to see again. So far, the most popular genre is musicals, with the audience singing along. Of course, only certificate U films are shown.

Infuse is a registered centre to deliver the Arts Award - a national qualification which supports young people 11-25 to develop as artists and arts leaders. So far young people have signed up to do awards in DJ'ing, lighting design, photography, drama, manga art and music. Like the sex education workshops, sessions to work towards these awards have been scheduled for pre-club opening times on Saturdays.

Since becoming more organised on Saturdays, word-of-mouth for upcoming events has proved effective. Remember the over-riding problem was to get existing members to come, not to attract new ones (although this would be a welcome side-effect).

The last chosen option, to provide better food, has been unsuccessful. Attempts to add salad and vegetables to burgers and microwave meals have met with resistance: when offered as an option, there have been no takers, and they have been left untouched or removed from the plate or when added by default.

There has been a steady increase in numbers which, at the time of writing, stands at around 40-50 people per session. This is much less than the evening sessions, but, all things considered, a healthy number for Saturday. Now the challenge is to keep coming up with worthwhile and appealing activities to keep teenagers interested in coming.

PART 3: TIME MANAGEMENT

Time management - This assessment task requires you to maintain an activity log for at least two weeks and then to analyse your use of time and recommend actions you will take to improve your effectiveness and efficiency. This task is also worth 15% of the marks available for the module.

500 words worth 15% of the marks available for this module.

Currently collecting data - WIP!

However, the assignment seems to take a totally different path now - shouldn't there be two parts instead of one?

Define what Personal Time Management is: include the various tools which can help me personally improve.

Keep a log for at least 2 weeks (to start)

Look at my time log to identify areas (times) that:

Are wasted

Could be done by someone else

Are not important to me (e.g. helping others)

Are not properly scheduled

Etc

Reference the Covey time management matrix here.

What's good and what's bad about my use of time?

How does it affect the people around (above and below) me?

What am I going to do about it? Let's start with this:

Good habits are key to good time management:

Develop good habits

Good habits start with setting goals

Pursue specific (SMART) goals

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-orientated, Time-limited.

How will I measure my progress? First thoughts are seeing how many short-term goals I reach.

START

Time management is about recognising and solving personal time management problems. With good time management, it is possible to control the stresses, strains and energy levels in everyday life. It enables a person to maintain a healthy work/life balance, and to be prepared for new opportunities or unexpected surprises.

Even if it is not obvious that time management is a problem, just being aware of the causes and effects of personal time management problems can lead to better self-awareness and, therefore, more effective management.

This section of the assignment deals with my own personal time-management skills. I should point out I am, at present, unemployed and, due to the different external pressures, priorities and mind-set that exist between the "in work with a good salary and a future" and "out of work with no prospects" situations, I am sure my answers and reactions would be different in other circumstances. Having just written that, it would make sense to periodically carry out this exercise - especially after changes in circumstance.

First things first. It is usual for people to underestimate the time needed to complete a particular task. So a time log is what's needed.

Results:

I'll put down working on assignment, but find myself distracted by any number of other things. Email sound, break off. Cups of tea increase. Is that the postman? Lots of pacing up and down. It helps me to think, but equally I find myself doing it when I'm agitated, or feeling guilty, or trying to think of other things to do. Any excuse. Except the job in hand.

Concentrate on one thing at a time.

Job seeking taken a back seat since starting the course.

Other interests (writing, for example) take a back seat.

I plan, but only one thing at a time.

I'm interrupted a great deal of the time. Especially when kids are at home. They don't deliberately interrupt, but difficult to work when there's arguing, TV's, music, teenage random "noises", etc. Lift your feet for the vacuum cleaner, run to the shop for me, waiting for a delivery from the postman/courier, and so on.

Awful typing skills; solved by purchasing Dragon Naturally Speaking. Responsible for verbose and overlong assignments.

At the start, tasks were loosely timed, with phone calls, making cups of teas and other distractions included in the assignment time, for example. As I became more conscious of this (simply logging the times made me more aware of my actions), I started to log the distractions separately. Showed me how little I was actually doing.

Time wasted using NILE - over-complicated, duplication of effort, bug-ridden, incorrectly set up: wasted time getting angry about it, but also looking for and finding more faults - a typical system written by programmers for programmers.

Rules For Good Time Management

File away every piece of paper immediately, in the right place.

Throw away anything you are not going to do anything about.

Set deadlines for working on each job - and stick to them.

Go through your drawers at regular intervals.

When you are interrupted put the papers you are working on back in the drawer where they belong before starting a new task.

Do the tasks requiring less mental effort when you are not in the mood for thinking or when you have only got ten minutes, or there is a high risk of being interrupted.

Handle paper/e-mail only once.

Establish fixed daily routines, scheduling definite time for routine matters.

Jobs requiring mental effort do when you are at your best.

Never postpone important/unpleasant matters, as they nag at the back of your mind.

Put off everything that is unimportant.

Analyse your interruptions and take steps to avoid them.

Do one thing at a time.

Plan your telephone calls.

Arrange your breaks at times when you can't work effectively.

Use definite times/meetings for discussing routine matters with colleagues.

Be selective - learn to say no, get used to asking 'Am I the right person for the job'.

Make it a regular rule to check your use of time to see if you could have used it better and how.

Avoid taking work home unless you're certain you will do it.

Establish realistic work goals. Stress and fatigue are caused not by the things you have done, but by thinking about those you didn't do.

What does your time log tell you?

When you have your time log written, you can move to the most important part, the analysis. Review your records and try to get answers to the following questions.

What percentage of your time is spent in each of different areas of your life? How is it divided between Work, Business, Family, Recreational, Spiritual, Health?

What percentage of your activities are important?

Are urgent?

What people you spend more time with?

What percentage of your activities go as planned?

What are main interruptions?

Then think of possible adjustments and action steps. For example:

Are there any activities you can cut back on?

Is there anything you can delegate or simplify?

Can you save time by grouping related tasks, like shopping?

As you answered the questions, you probably had some insight into areas where your time management could use a pick-me-up. The following is a quick summary of the main areas of time management that were explored in the quiz, and a guide to the specific tools you can use for each.

Goal Setting

(Questions 6, 10, 14, 15)

Your score is 13 out of 20   http://www.mindtools.com/m/stars/Stars3.jpg

To start managing time effectively, you need to set goals. When you know where you're going, you can then figure out what exactly needs to be done, in what order. Without proper goal setting, you'll fritter your time away on a confusion of conflicting priorities.

People tend to neglect goal setting because it requires time and effort. What they fail to consider is that a little time and effort put in now saves an enormous amount of time, effort and frustration in the future. Mind Tools has two great articles on goal setting that are must-reads for everyone. If you are serious about time management, we suggest you start with Personal Goal Setting and The Golden Rules of Goal Setting. We also recommend Treasure Mapping.

Managing Interruptions

(Questions 5, 9, 11, 12)

Your score is 10 out of 20   http://www.mindtools.com/m/stars/Stars2.jpg

Having a plan and knowing how to prioritize it is one thing. The next issue is knowing what to do to minimize the interruptions you face during your day. It is widely recognized that managers get very little uninterrupted time to work on their priority tasks. There are phone calls, information requests, questions from employees, and a whole host of events that crop up unexpectedly. Some do need to be dealt with immediately, but others need to be managed. Two excellent tools that discuss how to minimize your interrupted time are The Urgent/Important Matrix and Managing Interruptions.

However, some jobs need you to be available for people when they need help - interruption is a natural and necessary part of life. Here, do what you sensibly can to minimize it, but make sure you don't scare people away from interrupting you when they should.

Procrastination

(Questions 2, 10, 12)

Your score is 10 out of 15   http://www.mindtools.com/m/stars/Stars3.jpg

"I'll get to it later" has led to the downfall of many a good employee. After too many "laters" the work piles up so high that any task seems insurmountable. Procrastination is as tempting as it is deadly. The best way to beat it is to recognize that you do indeed procrastinate. Then you need to figure out why. Perhaps you are afraid of failing? (And some people are actually afraid of success!)

Once you know why you procrastinate then you can plan to get out of the habit. Reward yourself for getting jobs done, and remind yourself regularly of the horrible consequences of not doing those boring tasks! For more help on recognizing and overcoming procrastination see our guide to Beating Procrastination.

PART 4: A PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN

Personal Development Plan - This assessment task requires you to analyse your current level of performance at work, identifying your strengths and weaknesses. You must then devise a personal development plan designed to improve your effectiveness as a manager. This task is worth 55% of the marks available for this module - see further details below.

Assignment Task 4 - Personal Development Plan - Further Details

Use 360 degree feedback and other techniques introduced in the module to identify your strengths and weaknesses in relation to your current and likely future management role. (25% of all marks)

Prepare a personal development plan that specifies:

Development objectives (these must be SMART) (10% of all marks)

The on and off-job activities you will employ to achieve your objectives (10% of all marks)

The resources and support you will need (5% of all marks)

The problems you are likely to encounter and how you will overcome them (5% of all marks)

Your plan should be no more than 2000 words (excluding appendices).

You must refer to the essential module reading, and other material, where relevant. References should be given in full.

2000 words 55% of total marks

Notes

Use the structure on the PDAP handout.

Do at least 3 (preferably more) objectives.

Become a bit more self-aware.

Be more productive.

Start off with a bit of background history: experience, how I got here, where I hope to go, how I'm going to get there, etc.

Where is the evidence that what I have discussed works? Where is the evidence that it is/was/will be successful? Have you had feedback? Feedback is evidence.

Introduction

It is widely acknowledged that today's flatter, leaner organisations need managers who can effectively operate in fast-moving and often uncertain environments. There has been a move from hierarchical bureaucracies, in which longevity and certainty was embedded, that has demanded a radical rethink of the individual skills and behaviours associated with "competent" management (Atkinson, 1999).

More and more, it is the quality of individual managers that is critical to a company's success. There is a strong argument that the starting point for organisational development must be with the individual (Butcher et al., 1997). This is why the Personal Development Plans (PDP) has emerged as one of the latest tools in the quest for organisational effectiveness.

A recent advance in defining personal development outcomes for managers is the concept of meta-abilities (Harvey & Butcher, 1998; Harvey, 1997). The concept of meta-abilities is that a manager's effective performance is inextricably linked to his or her psychological development or maturity:

Management is a social process, with managerial action being a sum of the entire complex human being, acting in concert with other human beings. It has become clear that merely training individuals in skills or competencies is no guarantee that they will use them effectively. Nor can the ability to judge when and how skills should be used be easily described or quantified. A meta-ability is defined as an underlying learned ability which plays an important role in enabling a wider range of management knowledge and skills to be used effectively. It describes a group of psychological factors which are prerequisites for the performance of more specific competencies. The approach takes the already widely held assumption that competence is not just a function of knowledge, but the effective use of that knowledge in action. (Atkinson, 1999)

Bearing this in mind, the following are some of the benefits of using PDP's:

Significant learning and development is more likely to happen in practice when a person is goal directed.

Learning is more efficient when it has been planned.

Unanticipated learning opportunities are more likely to be seen when the person is prepared for them.

The choices of learning methods are more likely to be appropriate and effective following completion of a PDP; it is, after all, a bespoke learning path.

Taking responsibility for your own learning should boost confidence and enhance motivation.

There are some possible limitations of PDP's, the main ones being:

A PDP can suffer without critical and knowledgable feedback from others.

A good PDP needs the active support and agreement of others who are relevant to a person in their current role.

Even a well-crafted PDP is difficult to implement without the full, continuing, support of others.

Before starting on my own PDP, I should let you know a little about my history, and how I arrived on this PGCM course.

I left Birmingham Polytechnic in 1980 with a degree in Graphic Design and not much else. The economic situation at that time was much as it is now, with rising unemployment, businesses failing, and an outlook - especially in South Yorkshire, where I lived at that time - that looked very bleak. After a few short-term jobs and long periods of unemployment, I eventually enrolled on a training course for computer programmers.

I found I had an aptitude for computer programming and really enjoyed the course, passing with flying colours. A job as a trainee programmer with a software house in Sheffield followed soon afterwards, where I quickly rose through the ranks - from a grade 15 trainee to a grade 1 senior manager in 3 years. My next position was as a contractor for a property magazine in London, where I was to redesign and rewrite all their computer systems from scratch. A position that bought great responsibility, wealth, respect and, best of all, enjoyment.

Unfortunately, the (private) owner of this company was retiring and decided to sell the magazine to a multi-national. While my own position remained safe - my not inconsiderable remuneration was actually doubled - it wasn't too long before everyone else, including many very good friends, were made redundant.

Condense what I've just written, but add stuff about poor health and Photography business, then PGCM (full circle from 1980).

Strengths and Weaknesses

Before developing a PDP, I need to identify the in a) my past employment, b) my current situation, and c) in my personality in general. I have done this by:

referring to appraisals received in my former employment

the completion of a self-assessment questionnaire (Pedlar et al., 2007)

obtaining 360° feedback from my wife and business partner, former work colleagues and staff, volunteers and members at the youth club at which I regularly help out.

Probably the most important task above is to get the 360° feedback. The 360° feedback process involves collecting perceptions about a person's behaviour and the impact of that behaviour from a number of rating sources. Therefore, a 360° feedback programme seeks to relay feedback to the recipient regarding his/her behaviour in the workplace and how it affects other organisational members that work with that employee (Lepsinger & Luca, 1997).

Feedback data that comes from a number of sources will tend to be more valid, fair and reliable than that which comes from a single source. An individual should have a better guide to career development because the feedback increases his self-awareness and this enhanced self-awareness is an initial step in the career development process (McCarthy & Garavan, 1999). Indeed, the feedback gathered in this assignment aims to highlight my personal strengths, weaknesses and development needs: hopefully this should lead to enhanced self-perception accuracy.

An important part of 360° feedback is self-appraisal. Relatively little has been written on self-appraisal as compared to peer or subordinate appraisal. However, some researchers argue that self-appraisal is a natural development in performance appraisal because of the recent growth and popularity of teams and high level participation in organisations (Cardy & Dobbins, 1994). Others suggest that self-appraisal is the most neglected rating source (Baruch, 1996), while some suggest that self-appraisal is very popular in organisations (McMahon & Gunnigle, 1994). According to yet another source, people tend to assess their own performance anyway, even if their organisations don't require them to (Albright & Levy, 1995).

It is fair to say that summary of my own strengths and weaknesses contain a modest proportion of my own views.

Whatever the pros and cons, 360° feedback can provide a greater awareness of competencies and personality traits that can be used in the identification of key development issues for an individual.

A summary of my own strengths and weaknesses are shown in the SWOT analysis figure 2.

One anomaly in the SWOT analysis is that confidence appears as both a strength and a weakness. I put this down as a side-effect of being unemployed. When in work, or more recently on the PGCM course, I have no issues with my confidence: in fact, there are times when I - and my peers - might describe me as over-confident.

In addition to the SWOT analysis, a "More, Less, Stop, Start" analysis can be used as a reminder of the things I ought and ought not to be doing at the present time, which will help me focus on the goals that I will set. This analysis is shown in Figure 3.

Setting My Goals

After completing the assessment, there are a number of areas that clearly need development. My goals are to:

Get fitter and healthier

Develop emotional resilience

Develop a continuing sensitivity to events

Be more aware of others

Develop my self-knowledge

Obtain a Post Graduate Certificate in Management (PGCM)

Without doubt, the number one priority is my fitness and health. Without my health, everything else becomes so much more difficult, if not impossible. Luckily, by improving my health and fitness, this will have a positive effect on all my other goals. For example, getting fitter and healthier is part of my second goal, developing emotional resilience, which is achieved through cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

The CBT model is based on two main ideas. These are that the way you feel depends on your thoughts and beliefs ('cognitions'), and is also strongly influenced by what you do ('behaviour') (Westbrook, 1999).

The CBT model in figure 4 shows that thoughts or feelings, health and fitness (the body), emotions and behaviour are all interlinked: the state of one of these things affects all others. That is why, in CBT, any one of those things can be addressed in order to improve another. For example, people with depression are often prescribed exercise. This improves their fitness, which makes them feel better about themselves, which improves their interaction with other people, which makes them feel better about themselves.

Other areas to address to develop emotional resilience include controlling stress levels. There are relaxation techniques which can help with this and taking "time out" to do enjoyable activities ("me" time) can also be a great benefit - not only to me, but to those around me.

The problem I have which requires me to develop a continuing sensitivity to events is my logical and analytical mind: when working I am blissfully unaware of issues going on around me. I am so focused on my goal that other issues and people are excluded from my thoughts. This goes hand-in-hand with my next goal, which is to be more aware of others.

Self-knowledge is greatly helped by completing this exercise, and reviewing how I am performing in relation to my PDP. It would also help to get 360° feedback updates from time to time.

My Action Plan

Swimming and walking. Set goals and reach them. Continually review them. These activities affect the outcome of all others. This one is the easiest to do, although health problems may get in the way. Lifestyle changes are needed here: note that I feel problems would be different if I was working. Goals: to swim half-a mile per day, 1 mile per weekend day. Walk a mile, then 2 miles in under 30 minutes. Break monotony with country walks.

Continuing sensitivity to events is addressed in: facts and assumptions, personal journal, use your power, political awareness and credulous listening.

Listening: take time to listen to one co-volunteer or club member every session. Be non-judgemental. Take an active interest.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

There has been strong criticism of some of the methods used for personal development, both in the processes involved and the outcomes of these processes (Williams, 1996). Participants in these methods are typically encouraged to fit the findings of a questionnaire, plus feedback, plus their own observations into the style and language of a particular model. Such methods tend to apply inflexibility to what is a highly subjective area, thus forcing complex behaviours into simplified matrices.

The outcomes are also questionable because, for example, the feedback for each participant may not be a reflection of the true self. It is a reflection of the self as seen through the categories suggested by the processes (Brewis, 1996). This is a criticism which is often levelled at the use of scientific methods to measure areas typified by subjectivity. As mentioned earlier, there are also issues about the usefulness of self-reporting in development.

There are some, myself included, who are sceptical about the time and effort that has to be put into personal development plans. That's not to say that they are worthless, but to be truly effective, they need an extraordinary amount of emotional energy and enthusiasm, not just from the individual, but by the organisation as a whole. My experience is that they are used in organisations where making money is not the primary purpose of the business (and isn't the primary purpose of any enterprise to make a profit?) This includes organisations in the public sector, and companies that are so large that they rival the size of government departments.

In my research I have found no evidence that the implementation of PDP's increase sales or profits; where they probably are most useful is in helping people create a healthy work-life balance.

There is a fundamental shift in emphasis towards the contribution of individuals and above all managers. More and more, change is coming about through the establishment of pockets of good practice achieved through individual vision, commitment and enthusiasm. Individuals who are capable of doing this need extra learned abilities which strengthen their use of managerial knowledge and other skills: these are known meta-abilities. Such abilities are developed through a process of personal transition which involves gaining self-insight and unlearning old habits in the face of new management challenges.

APPENDICES

Appendix 1 - Personal Time Log

Activity Time Log

Date

Start Time

Activity

Duration (mins)

09/01/2011

08:00

Reading/research

120

10:30

Deal with emails

15

10:45

Check automated job searches

30

11:15

Update jobseeker's record for DHSS

5

14:30

Reading/research

40

10/11/2001

09:00

Deal with emails

10

09:10

Apply for job(s)

30

10:00

Email 3e re work placements

30

10:45

Reading/research

40

11:30

Reading/research

70

12:40

Lunch

35

13:15

Reading/research

90

16:00

Online job searching

15

11/01/2011

08:30

Deal with emails

30

09:15

Computer problem

40

13:00

Travel to 3e meeting

30

13:30

Meeting with Carole at 3e

75

12/01/2011

09:00

PGCM Strategy, Change & Projects

420

18:30

Unsuccessfully trying to access NILE

10

13/01/2011

09:00

PGCM Strategy, Change & Projects

420

18:00

Deal with emails

15

18:15

Logon to NILE, check DropBox

30

20:00

Email 3e for letter for DHSS

15

14/01/2011

08:00

Deal with emails

15

09:00

Reading/research

90

10:55

Sign on

50

12:00

Reading/research

120

14:45

Transfer PGCM work from laptop to desktop

10

14:55

Reading/research

100

19:15

Reading/research

90

15/01/2011

10:30

Transfer PGCM books to Kindle

20

10:50

Deal with emails

10

11:10

Reading/research

100

14:15

Reading/research

65

16:40

Reading/research

120

17/01/2011

09:30

Deal with emails

15

09:47

Reading/research

20

10:02

Read the morning post

10

10:12

Start on Council Tax claim form

123

13:20

Reading/research

97

Sent First Draft Assignment!

14:57

Online job searching

23

18/11/2001

09:00

Change University student card

65

13:30

Reading/research

75

19/11/2001

08:00

Prepare for meeting with Infuse (1st Assignment)

35

09:00

Meeting with Infuse staff/volunteers

125

20/01/2011

09:00

PGCM Workshop

420

16:15

Student meeting after PGCM

45

20:30

Deal with emails

30

21:00

Job application

10

21/01/2011

09:00

PGCM Workshop

420

17:30

Deal with emails

15

20:30

Online job searching

30

24/01/2011

08:00

Deal with emails

10

08:10

Reading/research

40

09:05

Reading/research

115

10:55

Coffee

15

11:10

Reading/research

60

12:10

Lunch

50

13:00

Reading/research

180

25/01/2011

09:00

Deal with emails

10

09:10

Reading/research

127

11:30

Reading/research

37

27/01/2011

07:30

Deal with emails

20

09:00

PGCM Workshop

450

28/01/2011

08:45

PGCM Workshop

420

18:30

Deal with emails

30

19:00

Online job searching

45

29/01/2011

07:00

Reading/research

60

14:00

Reading/research

90

30/01/2011

06:00

Reading/research

90

07:45

Reading/research

65

08:50

Deal with emails

5

09:10

Reading/research

215

18:45

Reading/research

180

31/01/2011

08:00

Deal with emails

15

08:15

Reading/research

30

08:45

Jobcentre - missed signing on

35

09:30

Reading/research

70

10:40

Sign on

50

11:40

Reading/research

30

12:10

Lunch

10

12:20

Reading/research

60

13:20

Install SmartDraw

30

13:50

Jobcentre interview for missed appointment

45

15:00

Reading/research

60

16:40

Reading/research

90

18:10

Online job searching

15

Colour Key

Assignment

Job Seeking

PGCE Workshops

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