organization’s culture, integrated into the performance evaluation system, and supported through the annual budget.

The committee’s research into the various approaches to professional development yielded a set of what are sometimes called “truisms” (Rose and Nicholl, 1997). These truisms, or self-evident truths, can nonetheless serve as guiding principles for promoting an organizational philosophy that embraces professional development:

  • Every person can learn.

  • Individuals learn at different rates in different ways.

  • Learning is a lifelong process.

  • Every person wants to do a good job.

  • Self-esteem affects learning; learning enhances self-esteem.

  • Success promotes other successes.

  • Education and learning are shared responsibilities.

  • People are accountable for their own decisions and actions.

  • Appreciation of individuality and diversity is important; cultural diversity enhances education.

  • Global awareness and understanding are essential components of education.

  • Working cooperatively is essential in a competitive world.

  • The education process requires innovation, risk taking, and the ability to manage change.

  • Continuous improvement is desirable and possible.

  • A healthy organization provides access to information.

Creating an environment that supports professional development begins with the recognition that (1) an individual does not acquire capabilities in a linear fashion and (2) the skills required of an employee change over a career. Entry-level professionals in facilities asset management divisions often have a degree in a technical field such as architecture or engineering. To advance to higher positions, individuals will need to refine their management and behavioral skills as they advance their technical skills. An embedded challenge to improving and maintaining management skills is that professionals move both laterally—that is, away from their initial discipline—and upward, into the management arena.

A professional with a honed set of behavioral and management skills will probably achieve supervisory positions, whereas one who focuses only on technical skills will probably reach a career plateau. To reach the executive level of an organization, an individual typically will need to demonstrate leadership skills and enterprise knowledge (Figure 4.1).

Individuals who progress in their careers typically are self-motivated and willing to take the initiative in expanding their knowledge through reading,

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