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12. Emphasis is on changing behavior—and proving it.

Behavior change seldom comes about from a single intervention, such as attending a training program or having a good coach. Multiple input is usually needed. This is exactly what an Acceleration Pool provides. An individual working on a competency might build skills in a training program, be assigned to a job or task force to use the skills, get coaching and support from a concerned manager, and perhaps receive additional practice opportunities from a short-term experience.

Pool members use the Development Action Form to plan how they will apply the target skills, knowledge, and behavior as well as how they will document their application achievements (e.g., a project's results, changes in 360° ratings, etc.). This emphasis on documentation helps to ensure that development focuses on behavior change and is bottom-line oriented. While the emphasis is—and should be—on enhancing skills and behavior, pool members need to feel that they are afforded a safe opportunity for making mistakes. The purpose of documentation is to ensure accountability and credit for achievements—not to make pool members feel as though they are under extreme evaluation scrutiny.

13. Growth and bottom-line achievement are documented.

To remain motivated, pool members must feel that their efforts are paying off, and they must be able to prove it to others. The second part of the Development Action Form helps them measure and track their progress toward their development goals and document their application of target skills or knowledge for each development activity. This documentation underscores that they are learning and growing—which is increasingly critical to retaining top performers.

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