But in the context of well-being we cannot ignore personal achievement.  Acquiring new skills and insights is a sine quo non for achieving results.  And achieving results, along with the feeling of progress, is an important factor when it comes to well-being at work.  An organisation therefore has the responsibility to create a context in which development is central.

The challenge, however, lies in detecting the right development need before coming up with a proposal. The question is which insights and skills can enable people to achieve a, preferably unique, result.  After all, a good analysis can produce surprising perspectives.  Adam Grant, in his research on burn-out, cites the example of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.  The medical staff there suffered from an excessive workload.  Against all odds, the organisation organised empathy training for medical staff to deal with this.  Surprisingly enough, the empathy training led to a significant decrease in burn-out related complaints.  What happened exactly?  Well, instead of going on the defensive, the participants learned to adopt a constructive, understanding attitude towards their clients, the patients.  They also acquired the skills to express their own concerns to the patients and also to articulate their own feelings better.  This acquired empathic approach led to less defensive reactions from the patients, which resulted in faster and better consultations and ultimately reduced the workload.  A good illustration that only a thorough analysis can lead to good results.

Therefore in models of rational decision-making a well-founded situation and cause analysis precedes every decision.  Let us now apply these analyses rigorously when translating professional challenges into development opportunities.  And lifelong is already long enough, so let’s simultaneously inject a hefty dose of rock ‘n roll into the development opportunities.