I’m no rebel

I’m no rebel.

I am selfish though. I care about my personal development and when I want something I find ways to make it happen. I’m proper selfish like that. Recently I bought a Samsung Chromebook because I wanted it. Yes there were practical and justifiable reasons for buying it, but I wanted it.

So I have always actively sought proper personal development. I have been on some stellar training which gave me the skills to do some really cool things with my craft. I’ve been on training which I was not interested in in the least, mostly because it was a mandated course. I still learned things, and it helped give context to the work environment I was in.

Which got to a point where I needed more. But not just wanting more for myself. I felt and sought out development for the profession. I started going to external events with fancy titles. I learned lots and heard from really interesting people, but wasn’t challenged in myself. And I didn’t see a progression of development for the profession, I just saw ways of tinkering with the edges to have a better product. That’s not good enough.

I’m no rebel.

I have expectations. Forget them, though. I have professional responsibilities. I want a better profession? Right, I best make that happen then. Cos there sure as hell was no one out there making it happen. Not for the profession. They were doing it for themselves.

Cos we’re all self-serving really. Oh yes you are.

Fast forward and I had the high privilege of bringing together people to discuss the L&OD profession. An opportunity. An opportunity to combine my selfish desire for personal development and to share that experience with others.

We played with visual minutes, which was über cool. We created these by the end of the day.

Not everyone contributed and that was fine. They experienced it.

We played with fishbowl facilitation. This really got people shifting in their seats. A panel in the middle. An audience surrounding them observing, listening, and waiting for an invitation to discuss. The Twitter backchannel lit up with people in and out of the room contributing and making themselves heard.


I may have said that competency frameworks are a pile of shit and we need to get rid of them.

Honestly, I’m no rebel.

I just like to play with stuff. I’m selfish. It’s cos I’m an only child.

Someone asked me what I got from the day? And someone else called the L&D Connect community rebellious.

I like playing. I gave myself permission to keep playing. There are great ways to bring people together, to learn, to share, and to develop. I tried things out in an environment where I trusted people to have a go. They were kind of primed for that from the word go. They didn’t really know what was in store for them, and I didn’t really know what would happen. It was an opportunity.

But seriously, I’m no rebel.

Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

2 thoughts on “I’m no rebel”

  1. Hi Sukh, I love what you are doing for the profession and especially not just tinkering around the edges, and I really like the fact that you are doing that as a client. Keep doing more of that.

    I would disagree with you about competency frameworks, not all of them are crap. Most are not competencies but a mixture of skills, knowledge, and some behaviours. They are at best a wish list.
    I do work regularly with a behavioural competency framework which I think is fantastic. It gives, an objective language, and is purely behavioural, and has been researched as indicating high performance ( that word!!).

    Not all are shit, likewise not all HR and L&D pros are shit.
    You may not be a rebel, but don’t throw all the babies out with the bath water,

    I’ll send you a copy by email


    1. Loving the affirmation that this is working for you, Ian. That’s a real driver for me on this, that there is true collaboration here from all different parties.

      I understand what you’re saying about competency frameworks. In the fishbowl discussion, one of the others with me was arguing the same as you are – and she did a great job of defending them even with quite the onslaught of opinion!

      I guess for me it just takes away another level of responsibility and ownership of managers to have a good conversation with their people. Instead we’re saying “we’ve done the thinking for you about what creates a good employee, so just follow this guidance.” And it also takes away any continued dialogue which should focus on motivations and ambitions because they’ve already been talking about competencies.

      I found myself getting to a halfway point which was this. If we want to insist on a competency framework, why not invite the individual to create their own competencies. They become immediately meaningful and are engaged in the process of talking about behaviour and performance.

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