How a daily huddle contributes to your learning mindset


How a daily huddle contributes to your learning culture

Velites blog

How a daily huddle contributes to your learning culture

What is a huddle?

A huddle is a short (max. 10 minutes) stand-up team meeting that allows teams to briefly share information and the work to be done that day. But a well-organized huddle is much more than that. It is a perfect platform to inspire others. Next to that, it increases the level of motivation within your team, results in collaboration and more interaction. But on top of that, it is a tool to use for boosting your learning culture.

What is a learning culture?

A learning culture encourages people and organizations as a whole to increase knowledge, competence and performance. It supports an open mindset and shared learning. Increasing knowledge is no longer dependent on a training day. Instead, daily training is supported via peer-learning, deskside job learning or, for example, by scheduling time out to learn via the learning management system on a regular basis. There are many tools to embrace a learning environment. However, a daily huddle might be even one of the strongest.

How to use a daily huddle to boost the learning mindset

During the huddle, you have the opportunity to stimulate the learning mindset of your team. For example, you can ask one of your team members to briefly discuss a challenge that occurred the day before and how they fixed it. Or you ask someone to elaborate briefly about the new functionality in your system. You might also think about having selected one learning point as ‘best insight of the week’. However, don’t forget the daily huddle is not a class. It has to be short. If out of the conversations, more training is required, you’ll follow up separately. Also, keep in mind this requires preparation. During the day you’ll find inspiration for the huddle of the next day. You’ll see what you can use to embrace the learning mindset.

Daily huddle ideas

Stimulating a learning culture is one of the things that are part of a daily huddle. But as we said before, also collaboration and increasing team spirit are big ones. A daily huddle is all about interaction. But, as it is on a daily basis, you have to prevent it is becoming a boring meeting. Therefore, you can use different methods:

  • Asking open questions: why are we doing something this way?
  • Using a poll to see what the team finds the ‘learning moment of the week’.
  • Sharing a short video about the history of the organization to inspire.
  • Gamifying productivity: ask the people the target for that day and let them know the reward when reached.

Huddle structure

Even though, there are different methods you can use during a huddle, having a good structure is important. Think about conditions like a standard time you start the huddle and a standard place or a structure on what to discuss. In this case, on Monday you’ll discuss for example the learning bite of the week, on Tuesday employee updates, on Wednesday a new customer and so on.

Free game template: ‘Your ideal huddle’

In order to help to (re)structure your huddle we’ve developed the game template: ‘your ideal huddle’. The structure makes the content and setting of your stand-up meeting or huddles more efficient. Same time, everyone gets involved in the idea behind the huddle by playing this game together. You can print the template and start playing immediately with up to six players. The game will help you to think out of the box and review what combination of elements works best for your huddle.

Download game template: ‘Your ideal huddle’

How to organize an online huddle?

Especially in times of social distancing, online interaction and communication are important. You need to know who is doing what, but also you have to keep on collaborating. In this type of setting, it is even more important to start with a daily huddle. It gives structure and is the basis for continuity. Use for example platforms like ZOOM or Microsoft teams to organize your daily meeting.

Your daily huddle up and running in 7 days

A well organized regular huddle is much more than just sharing information on the work that needs to be done. Instead, it’s the perfect platform to inspire others and to increase the level of motivation within your team. This results in collaboration and in more interaction among team members. Getting people involved and setting up your huddle is something that you can do within one week.

Invest one week and you are able to start with or improve your huddle. After 7 days full of inspiration, suggestions, tricks and template, you will be able to:

  • Define the purpose of your meeting
  • Inspire others via storytelling
  • Implement different tools for interaction
  • Use different templates in practice
  • Find inspiration easily, without taking a lot of time
  • Involve everybody
  • Lead the huddle effectively

Sign up for our online module: Your huddle up and running in 7 days

The definition of L&D

The definition of L&D

Velites blog

The definition of L&D

L&D is the abbreviation for Learning and Development and often part of the human resources department as a training arm. An important arm as training is vital to any organization. If an organization is able to learn and translate that into action rapidly, they have the ultimate competitive advantage (1). And as Henry Ford once said: “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”

The history and development of L&D

Learning and Development is something that exists as long as we do. In ancient times we learned from our predecessors what we could eat what and developed our hunting skills by practicing them. It was in 1812 when we saw for the first time a more formalized training program by the development of the war game ‘Kriegsspiel’. The game was developed to train Prussian and German armies.

When the industrial revolution started, there was a high need for training. The labor force was under-skilled (2). In order to get up to speed with all new technologies, the Hoe and Company established the first documented factory school to train machinist in 1872. And soon many companies followed by setting up their own factory schools (3).

As training programs arose, the need for evaluation increased. It was Donald Kirkpatrick who fist outlines the Four Levels of Learning Evaluation in 1954. After that, the model was expanded and it is still used as a basis for evaluating training events like a personal development day.

Download 10 ways to evaluate your personal development day.

Offline & Online Training Methods

In the 1980s, computer-based training emerged. Instead of classroom training, employees were trained on an individual level. However, people realized that e-learning and computerized learning on its own didn’t work. Therefore blended learning started to grow in the 1990s. This is a mixture of different ways of training. E.g. like a mixture of classroom and computerized training.

Mobile learning enters the training world in the early 2000s and grew from that perspective. Nick Peiling introduced the term gamification in 2002, although game elements were already used in many applications for two centuries. The MOOCs (massive open online courses) came up in 2008 and focusses on distance education. However, more and more people saw the need for peer-learning or social learning as well. Same time, the different training providers enable a world where personalized learning is no longer a challenge. That’s why we see companies starting to use Personal Learning Clouds (4).

Learning versus development

We use learning and development often in one phrase. However, there is a difference. Learning is a process that increases our knowledge. We can learn for example a new language. However, development is more about gaining new experiences. It’s about the process and most of the time a long-term activity (5). In business settings learning aims at a specific job or role requirement, while development focuses on the person.

L&D as a strategy

A learning and development (L&D) strategy supports the organization’s strategic and operational plan. The primary objective for developing the strategy is to explore and select options for addressing learning and development needs (6). It ensures that staff learning and development needs are effectively met and the company’s skills requirements are being developed. However, using L&D as a strategy covers more areas (7):

  • Attract and retain talent;
  • Develop people capabilities;
  • Create a value-based culture;
  • Build an employer brand;
  • Motivate and engage employees.

Learning culture

Companies without staff engaged in learning are likely to experience poor business performance. Next to that, it is also twice as likely that staff will leave the organization before three years (8). However, having your L&D strategy in place doesn’t mean automatically that there is a culture of learning within the organization. And organizing a couple of training days a year doesn’t help either. In a learning culture, learning is a constant process that is happening at both events as well as on-the-job. You should foster a continuous approach to learning. Encouraging a learning environment and learning mind-set not only improves skill levels, but it fosters greater creativity and innovation too.

L&D: Leadership and development?

You don’t just implement a learning culture. It requires engagement and support at all levels within the organization. Instead of learning and development, I would suggest using L&D as an abbreviation for leadership and development. Leadership is a shared responsibility, also called distributed leadership. Members trust their own skills and that from others in performing certain tasks. When you have the required knowledge and skills to add value, understand the moments where you can add that value and takes the ownership of taking action at that moment, we talk about leadership. You can learn and develop as much as you want, but a learning and development strategy fails if there is no ownership taken, when you don’t know when to apply certain skills or knowledge or if you forgot what you’ve learned. Therefore, I would suggest changing L&D from Learning and Development into Leadership and Development.


(1) Straight from the gut, Jack Welch, 2003

(2) The history of learning and development, 2015

(3) The history of training and development, 2016

(4) Cherry-picking content: your personal learning cloud, 2019

(5) The difference between training and development, 2016

(6) The 5 critical Cs for a comprehensive L&D Strategy, 2019

(7) The essential components of a successful L&D strategy, 2019

(8) How to make sure your L&D strategy has real impact (research), 2018

How to use games for business

Business game - Claim your success

How to use games for business

Velites blog

How to use games for business

There are more than 2.5 billion video gamers from all over the world (1). And the introduction of board games in learning environments boosts this industry to values of more than $12 billion by 2023. This results in a growth of more than 9% in five years for the board game business (2). Games and play are important elements of our life. It is part of our society and our DNA. We even prefer to play over food (3). Play reduces our stress, boosts our creativity and supports team-building. All of them are of enormous value in the 21st century (4). Thus, it’s for good reason that more and more companies are looking for ways how to include games in their strategies. In this article, we’ll discuss the opportunities to use games and play for business in regards to marketing, sales, learning and development, operational performance and hr-management.

Benefits of play for adults

Do you recognize it as well? You grow up and there is less time for playing and having fun. You’re no longer a child. Instead, you have to be serious about the things you do. Actually, this is wrong. There are so many benefits of play. Everybody – no matter what age – should do it. Play helps us to retain knowledge for a longer period of time, it reduces our stress-level, it gives us more energy, it helps us to build new relationships, it makes us more creative and play helps us to become smarter.

Games versus play

This article refers to games and play. We often see that companies use gamification and games to their benefit. However, play is much more than only doing a game. Play can be defined as doing something from which the outcome doesn’t matter. There doesn’t have to be a winner or a loser. As Stuart Brown, a pioneer in the field of play, says: ‘If the purpose is more important than the act of doing it, it’s probably not play’. Gamification, games, and play: they all have strong effects on personal and corporate success when developed and used correctly.

How play contributes to your success

How to use games for business? Companies use games and play in different aspects. Think about marketing, sales, learning and development, operational performance and hr-management. To name a few examples:

Playstation: operational performance

Maybe the first thing you think by using games for business is having a PlayStation in the canteen. Several companies add a Playstation to the canteen as it helps people to relax and take a good break. Playing a game gets you out of your routine. Next to that, it will relieve you from stress. You enjoy, laugh and have fun. After one game, you’re fresh again. You’re reloaded. And you will go ‘back to work’, ready for the next challenge, ready to perform (5).

The carwash game: marketing and sales

The virtual & augmented reality atelier in Amsterdam is focused on finding creative solutions to complex questions around virtual, augmented and mixed reality. One of their projects was for a carwash company that wanted to increase customer loyalty. The team made an AR-game where kids had to catch birds that were flying in the carwash. The game was a success and resulted in kids causing customer loyalty, as they had such a great experience playing the carwash game (6).

Emergency room practice: learning and development

Medical education is firmly rooted in centuries of history. The transfer of knowledge took traditionally place via textbooks, class-room style lectures, attending patient demonstrations (including live surgery) and by capturing the wisdom of the lecturer in notes. However, simulation is a teaching method that students use more often nowadays (7). Simulations copy the real world, in which students can test via e.g. the use of VR- and AR-methods what medical actions lead to what results (8). These type of simulations helps to gain real-life experiences in a testing area. The participants feel as if they are in the ER and therefore will retain the learning material much better compared to traditional training methods.

Discover your hidden leadership qualities: HR-management

HR-management is designed to maximize employee performance in the service of an employer’s strategic objectives. HR-specialists are responsible for recruiting, screening, interviewing and placing workers. Using gamification in the recruitment process shows positive results in relation to time-to-hire. Instead of doing interviews or reading CV’s, a game shows people’s behavior and helps to select more precise (9). But also during the onboarding phase, games help to get people quickly up and running. From a personal development perspective, the game ‘Discover your hidden leadership qualities’ is used in both recruitment and onboarding processes. It helps to identify the full leadership potential of the participants. This information is for example used as a starting point of a personal development plan (10).

Download our 1-pager about how game-based learning improves the ROI of Learning & Development programs.

When games are not the solution

Even though using games or game elements have many positive effects, we have to be careful using it. In the end, a game is a tool and not a goal. Playing a game or adding game elements should support the goal. Misuse of games leads for example to ‘edutainment’, resulting in less engaged learners. And it also doesn’t change behavior. Game developers call this phenomenon: chocolate-covered broccoli. This means that you can’t just cover something in chocolate and make it instantly better, like broccoli, because in the end, it is still broccoli.

Introduction class: game-based learning in business

Do you want to learn about how games can benefit your development and that of your organization? A few times a year, we organize an introduction class called: game-based learning in business. During this class, we will step into the field of play, games, and behavior and learn how to use game-based learning in business settings. By the end of the class, you’ll know how you can use games to improve your ROI of learning and development. And there is, of course, also time to play.

Check out our agenda to register for our introduction class.


(1) 2020 Video games industry statistics , trends & data

(2) Board Games Market – Global Outlook and Forecast 2018-2023

(3) Mens durf te spelen – De kennis van Nu, 2015

(4) Right-brain leadership, Velites blog, 2018

(5) The benefits of play for adults, 2019

(6) Virtual & augmented reality atelier, University of Applied Sciences Amsterdam

(7) Serious play in the virtual world: can we use games to train young doctors?, 2012

(8) ER VR Trailer Medical Training Simulation, 2015

(9) Gamification in the recruitment, 2017

(10) Do you use your full potential?, 2019

Roadmap for a successful personal development day

Personal Development Day

Roadmap for a successful personal development day

Velites Blog

Roadmap for a successful personal development day

Ad hoc learning, only done when necessary, is no longer sufficient. For organizations, it’s important to focus on personal development continuously. Corporate training is the strategy of providing stakeholders with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful. Subsequently, their success contributes to the success of the organization. A personal development day is a tool you can use to embrace a learning culture. In this blog, we will explain the benefits and provide a roadmap that you can use to organize a successful learning day within your organization.

How to facilitate personal development?

When employees know you care about their growth, it builds trust and commitment. They are happier, more positive and loyal to the organization. This results in retention rates that are 34% higher compared to organizations that are not able to facilitate personal growth (1). There are different ways to facilitate personal development. The first step, however, is to identify what kind of learning patterns and interests you have. Creating a personal development plan and a vision board helps you with this. With a plan ready, the below suggestions will emphasize the learning mindset within your organization.

  1. Provide learning opportunities via a learning management system;
  2. Allow flex time so you can also take courses during regular working hours;
  3. Provide a personal development budget;
  4. Offer tuition reimbursement;
  5. Create a learning mindset by setting the example;
  6. Organize a personal development day.

What is a personal development day?

A personal development day gives employees the opportunity to join one or more specific seminars, workshops or masterclasses during one day. During the day you can share knowledge and experiences, gain new insights or experience how to use your talents in a way you have never experienced before.

What are the benefits of organizing a personal development day?

Traditional approaches to development no longer meet the needs of individuals (2). Individuals have different learning needs and have different learning styles. For example, an auditory person gets input from attending lectures, while a visual thinker gets input by reading and viewing (3). Everybody has a different learning pattern. By giving a variety in sessions during a personal development day (PD-day), people are able to choose what fits their interests and learning pattern. As a result, learning becomes personalized. Next to that, learning happens best when learners collaborate. Due to the group sessions, peer learning is easily accommodated during a PD-day. So, next to personalized learning, a PD-day provides socialized learning.

How to organize a personal development day?

PD-days usually include a selection of sessions from which professionals can choose. The day may include breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is because meeting and socializing with people is a big part of these events as well. People get networking opportunities that support their development, but team building as well. Many personal development days happen are annual events, but they can be held more often of course. The steps towards a successful PD-day are:

1. Project group

First, define who will be responsible to organize the PD-day. A team of learning- & development professionals and professionals from different operational departments works well. This mixture benefits the rest of the process as the delegation represents different stakeholders with their own experiences and thoughts on personal development.

2. Date & location

Schedule a date in advance so you can check for available locations and arrange breakfast/lunch/dinner. To make sure that as much as people are able to join, keep in mind holiday seasons, year- and month-end, peak-season, and any other busy period within your organization. Location-wise, you can choose to organize the PD-day in-house or at an external location. An in-house event is convenient for learners since they are in a familiar environment and it is most of the time more cost-effective. Organizing the event at an external venue might be more expensive, but same time it provides focus as learners will experience less distraction of their day-to-day activities. Next to that, it stimulates creativity. Learners feel valued as well, which results in higher engagement.

3. Theme & sessions

Start with the overall objective of the PD-day. What do you want to achieve? What is your goal? Based on that, you can determine an overall theme which makes it easier to search for specific sessions. You can think about themes like change, leadership, team building, priority, disruption or back to the future.

Once you determined the theme, you start to search for different sessions. Think about a variety in sessions in regards to content, but also in regards to the way of learning. As mentioned, everybody is different and has different learning styles. Ask colleagues for input as well. Get everybody involved. Think as well about a combination of internal and external trainers. Colleagues that can update others on a specific project or learn new skills are as much as important as trainers with a fresh pair of eyes from outside the organization.

You can also check the formula for leadership development as a guide to see what mixture of sessions will have the best ROI.

The networking part during the day is important as well. Therefore, you can decide to start and finish the day altogether in a large room with a keynote speaker. A good start and great end will help to motivate people for the day. However, it also helps to increase engagement for future PD-days.

4. Announcement & subscription

Once the theme, trainers, and topics of the session are ready, ask the trainers to provide a brief summary of the content of their session. The summary provides details like duration and an overview of what you’ll learn during the session. But overall, it is a way to motivate people to sign up for that specific session. See it as a kind of marketing tool; you start making people hungry so they can’t wait till the PD-day.

You link the summary to the specific time, maximum of learners per session and location and added to the portal where people can subscribe as well. This is most likely already possible in your current LMS-system. If not, you can automate registration via several event management systems or you can use LinkedIn.

You can announce and promote the PD-day via several channels. You send an e-mail within the organization, but you can also make use of flyers, posts on Intranet, and the word of mouth. Get ambassadors within all layers of the organization, within all different departments. Embrace a learning and development environment.

5. Follow up

During the PD-day the organizational team makes sure all trainers arrive, learners find their way to the right room, catering is going well, and so on. You might be able to join a part of a session, but it is important that there is somebody who is coordinating during the whole day.

Analyzing the PD-day correctly, provides you input for your next one. Firstly, you review the occupancy of the session. Based on that you investigate why it was not ‘sold out’. Was it due to the topic or the training style? Which sessions were fully booked? And do you see a difference in the announcement text of both?

Review the whole process. What went right and what can be done better next time? Think about preparation, communication, the diversity in the program and so on.

As you are not part of the sessions itself, it is even more important to receive feedback from the learners who joined. You can ask the participants to complete a feedback form in which they can rate the content, trainer, communication and administration, catering and venue for example.

Download 10 evaluation tools for your personal development day.

Let’s connect

Searching for more inspiration and suggestions related to training and development? Feel free to join our Linked-In community via:

Invitation game-based learning introduction class

Do you want more suggestions on how to influence the learning mindset? Join our Introduction Class: Game-based learning in business. You’ll discover the power of play for motivation and personal development. You’ll learn how you can use games during a personal development day. And next to that, we’ll discuss how to improve your ROI on learning and development.

Learn more about our introduction class about game-based learning

Receive your format for a personal development day

What do you think is the most challenging when organizing a successful personal development day? Share it with us via the comments and we will send you a personal development day outline as a thank you for your curiosity.


(1) The impact of professional development, a survey done by BetterBuys

(2) M. Moldoveanu et al., HBR, The Future of Leadership Development (2019)

(3) D. Markova PhD., Open Mind (1996)

Your personal learning cloud

Why we have to personalize learning and development

Velites blog

Your Personal Learning Cloud

The Harvard Business Review edition of March-April 2019 includes an article about the evolution of leadership development. The authors describe the dynamics of it and how future leadership development will be organized. They also describe the gap between traditional executive education. This gap creates room for more tailored and democratic approaches. For instance, a Personal learning Cloud.

The need for leadership development

Nowadays, we live in a volatile, complex, ambiguous and uncertain environment. Companies do realize that this environment requires leadership skills and organizational capabilities that differ from what we needed in the past. You can compare it with the rise of the right-brain leaders as described by Daniel Pink in his book ‘A whole new mind’. He mentions that we’re no longer working in a knowledge environment. Instead, we live in a conceptual age that requires creators and emphasizers.

Next to that organizations realize that leadership is not only limited to the C-suite. Instead, all levels within the organization require leadership skills. As former President Obama said: ‘leadership is everyone’s businesses’. Leadership is about knowing the situations in which you can add value, and about curious being able to take action in those situations.

Thirdly, leadership development is part of a lifelong learning.

Root causes of the gaps in traditional executive education

Traditional leadership development approaches no longer meet the needs of the organizations and/or individuals. This is due to three reasons:

  1. Gap in motivations. Organizations, which pay for leadership development, don’t always benefit as much as individual learners do.
  2. Gap between the skills that executive development programs build and those that firms require. Providers don’t offer the soft skills development organizations need. Instead, they focus on teaching cognitive skills.
  3. Gap in skills transfer. It’s often difficult to apply lessons learned in class to the real world.

Powerful trends in leadership development

The leadership development industry is changing. The traditional players, like business schools, corporate universities and big consultancy firms, are no longer leading per definition. As demand grows for executive education that is customizable, trackable, and measurably effective, ‘competitors’ are emerging. Therefore, the landscape of providers is growing and does exists out of:

  • business schools with open and customized programs;
  • strategic and human resources consultancies;
  • corporate universities;
  • and remote personalized learning platforms.

The personal learning cloud

Because of the growing number of providers within the leadership development industry we are changing towards a tailored and democratic leadership development approach. The article refers to a Personal Learning Cloud (PLC) that is helping to close the gaps in traditional executive education. Such a Personal Learning Cloud includes components like MOOCs (massive open online courses), interactive online content, corporate training, talent management platforms and so on. It is basically a mixture of different forms of education and training. The PLC has four important characteristics:

  1. Learning is personalized because learners can choose what specific practice or course is right for them.
  2. The way of learning is socialized and is for example supported by forums and Q&A sessions.
  3. Learning is contextualized as a PLC allows people to learn in a workplace setting and helping to transfer the things they’ve learned into practice.
  4. Learning outcomes can be transparently tracked and (in some cases) authenticated by providing certificates, diplomas or degrees.

The future of leadership development

So, after we introduced blended learning within traditional leadership development organizations, it is time for the next round of changes. Nowadays, we have to see it from an inter-organizational perspective, rather than from an intra-organizational perspective. Organizations shouldn’t appoint only one party to fulfill their need for leadership development. Instead, multiple providers offer cherry-picking content, modules, and instructors from across the industry.

The formula for successful leadership development

How to measure the ROI of leadership development

Velites blog

The formula for successful leadership development

Did you ever sign up for a leadership course that was postponed all the time? Did you ever do a leadership course where you weren’t able to apply the things you’ve learned into practice? Or did you ever have the feeling that your personal development wasn’t important enough to spend time on it? I had. But even though companies are spending a huge amount of money on training and development, the return on investment is very low. What can you and your organization do to prioritize successful leadership development?

Return on investment

A poor return on investment in personal development doesn’t relate automatically to poor training programs. It has a lot to do with the culture of the company and with the way how the training was communicated. What is the value of a training if you don’t know why you are signed up? How important is the training for you if your manager gives you the feeling that the training is just a company requirement? That it is good for the statistics, but actually takes too much time?

How to make leadership development successful?

Leadership development is more than just following a course. Learning more about leadership theories is interesting, but at the end of the day, the theory is not of much value. Research has shown that leaders learn about leading from leading. Real learning happens when leaders are able to practice and apply what they’ve learned.

The formula to lasting and effective leadership development

So far, we’ve talked about culture and personal development. These are two out of three elements of the formula that is key to lasting and effective leadership and organization development. The formula mentions B = P x C. The B stands for behavior, P for personal development and C for culture. So personal development on its own, would never result in improved leadership behavior. Same for the company’s culture. If the culture is totally focused on a learning mindset, but the leader doesn’t take the time for personal development, the leadership behavior won’t improve. So, we need both personal development and the organization’s culture, for sustained and soaring performance.

Behavior driven development

The outcome of the formula has to do with behavior. And what we’ve seen is this driven by the personal development and the organization’s culture. But can you improve your leadership behavior also via other ways? Is there a shortcut for improving your leadership behavior? The term behavior driven development is a software process where you first determine the desired behavior before you start programming.

Shortcut formula for leadership development

We use the same process of behavior driven development in ludodidactics, a learning method that focuses on the desired behavior. A training program based on this method helps the individual leader to develop his or her leadership behavior by using elements of game design. If we translate this in a formula, it would result in A = M + D. In this case M represents the mechanics, D the dynamics and A the aesthetics also known as the desired behavior. The mechanics are the tools that are causing the desired behavior. The dynamics are representing the behavior that occurs when the player interacts with the mechanics. When a player understands the mechanics, the game is no longer of value as the player does understand the game – so how to come to the desired behavior – completely.

Examples of successful leadership development

So how can you as a leader or as an organization increase your return on investment in leadership development? We’ve discussed two scenarios. The first one is to improve leadership behavior by investing in personal development and the organization’s culture. The second one is the shortcut. In this case behavior driven development is key. One way or the other, they both come back to the desired leadership behavior. Which one works for you?

Personal development budget

personal development: classroom training 2.0

How to fund your personal development

Velites blog

Your personal development budget

When organizations consider it’s important that its employees have sufficient opportunities for development and growth in the course of their career, they can implement a personal development budget. In this case, the company reserves a certain budget for each employee that he or she can spend on things that will further develop him or her. This can be for example doing a study program, joining conferences, buying literature or attending a workshop.

Do you have a personal development budget?

A budget for personal development can be part of your personal secondary labor conditions or can be required according to your collective labor agreement. But you can also ask for it yourself, without something mentioned in an agreement. A lot of companies mention that their employees are their biggest asset and therefore they want to invest in them. So, if you find a good training, workshop or conference, ask your supervisor to get it funded.

In The Netherlands the average budget specified for personal development is 949 euros per year per employee. But not all organizations do have such a budget. And next to that, when there is a budget it isn’t always known. Dutch research showed that almost 25 percent of the employees don’t know if they do have a budget for personal development. So, if you don’t know start asking for it.

If your employer doesn’t work with a budget or you have your own company, there is no reason to not start working on a fund for personal development. In many countries, it is the people themselves, saving money for personal development. They put, for example, each month a specific amount in a special fund that they only use for things that will further develop them.

How to get the best out of your personal development budget?

The most important person in the decision making about spending your budget for personal development is you. It is not your manager or supervisor who tells you how to spend the budget. It is you telling them where you want to spend the budget on and why.

But, how do you make such a decision? In this case, it is important to do a needs assessment, where do you stand now and what do you want to achieve? Do you want to broaden your skills or want to become an expert in your area? Do you prefer a short workshop or a long-term program? What do you want to achieve with your personal development budget?

The answers will guide you towards the best way of spending the budget for you. This differs from person to person and that’s why it is called a personal development budget. When you have a personal development plan it is great. The plan can help you to answer the questions above and guides you through your personal development.

Budget is not everything

Having a budget helps you in a world of lifelong learning. However, only having a budget doesn’t make you develop yourself. In fact, in the Netherlands 40% of the personal development budget isn’t used. Often the costs are the most important reason to not do a course, but also time and coaching play a huge role.

Development needs to be a priority for both the employee and the employer. The organization can support this by providing specific training-days for employees. However, the most important person is you. You need to give priority to your personal development. The HR-department or your supervisor can help you by showing different ways of development and helps you to decide what fits you. But in the end, it’s your development.

Creative quotient

creativity quotient

How to measure your creativity level?

Velites blog

Creative quotient

You might have done an IQ or EQ-test before, to measure your human or emotional intelligence. But, did you ever hear of the CQ-test? Next to the cultural quotient, this abbreviation is also used to measure your creativity, expressiveness and applied innovation: your creative quotient.

What is creativity?

Professor Romey describes creativity as: “the ability to combine ideas, things, techniques, or approaches in a new way.” It is about a new combination of existing concepts. The idea itself doesn’t have to be revolutionary, but they should be new for the thinker, according to Marwaha. Creativity is all about pulling existing knowledge into a new situation, where the creator quickly sorts through potential outcomes. 

In his essay ‘What is your creative quotient’ Romey explains the four main stages of the creative process:

  1. The creative process starts with a period of mental labor and deep involvement in a problem;
  2. The next stage is the incubation period. During this period  we drop the idea for a while to see if anything will hatch;
  3. The third stage is the period of illumination, also called the ‘Ah-ha!’ period;
  4. The last stage is a period of elaboration and refinement of an idea.

Why is creativity important?

Creativity is often associated with people in the artistic professions, such as writers, dancers, painters or musicians. However, in today’s world, it is increasingly important for organizations to rely on creative thinking as well. When you learn new things by using your creativity, studies show that you retain conceptual and factual information longer. It also helps you to acquire certain behavioral patterns and skills that will help you to solve problems. You might link creativity to ‘out-of-the-box thinking’. Here you can find new solutions for a problem by combining existing concepts as well.  Creative thinking helps you to generate answers to problems.

Creativity and leadership

We often associate creativity with people in artistic professions. Think about writers, dancers, painters or musicians. However, in today’s world it is increasingly important for organizations to rely on creative thinking. This in order to be able to distinguish themselves from competition, for example.

IBM interviewed in 2010 more than 1500 CEO’s from 60 countries for a global CEO study. One of the questions in the survey was: what’s the most important quality for leadership? The answer was: creativity. Creativity is key as creative leaders invite disruptive innovation, invent new business models, and are able to change the status quo. Even though the research was done in 2010, global CEO-studies keep on repeating the importance of creativity for leaders.

How do you measure creativity?

Creativity is measured via a CQ-test (creative quotient). There are different tests. All of them do exists out of questions where you have to think about what you can see in a picture, how words are related to each other and so on. Based on your outcome you’ll fall into one of the categories from very creative to not creative at all. Personally, I did the CQ-test via I like this test as it not only gives you a score, but also the foundation of your score. This is based on 8 different metrics: abstraction, connection, perspective, curiosity, boldness, paradox, complexity, and persistence. Compared to a test where you are only being put in a box, this outcome gives you a lot more information.

How to improve your creative quotient?

Creativity is something that you can learn and develop through effort and experience. Creativity is a process. It is not about who we are, but about something we do, and there is a huge range of tools and techniques that you can use to develop your skills, according to Dr. Stewart, head of leadership and organization performance at Kaplan University.

To develop your creative problem-solving skills you can focus on three major areas of expertise: multidisciplinary collaboration, human-centered design, and a culture of experimentation. With multidisciplinary collaboration you’ll get new perspectives due to the unique background, knowledge and skills of each individuals. With human-centered design you put the end-user first when designing products, services or policies. It helps to understand your customer and get rid of assumptions, blocking us in our creativity. When you create a culture of experimentation you will give the floor to your creative mindset. Rapid prototyping, brainstorming and so on are part of this culture. It helps you as well to get creative confidence. And it is required to invite disruptive innovations, invent new business models, and alter the status quo.

Five ways to train your right-brain

left- and rightbrain activities

5 ways to (re)activate your right-brain

Velites blog

5 ways to train your right-brain

Daniel Pink wrote in his book A Whole New Mind about the rise of the right-brainers. Originally the left-brainers were needed in companies. People who could easily understand spreadsheets, think in words and are good in mathematics and so on. Many MBA’s and leadership programs are based on left-brain skills. However, these left-brain skills become more and more redundant as they can easily be automated or outsourced in today’s world. Instead, people with imagination, intuition, visualization and empathy are becoming more crucial players within companies. So, time to start to reactivate your right brain. Here are five tips.


You most probably daydream some now and then, but feel immediately guilty, unproductive and irresponsible. However, if you aim for positive constructive daydreaming you give your focused attention a break and allow yourself to realize things about the future. Next to that, daydreaming has the potential to improve your creativity: a right-brain activity. It is not a total downtime. If you do something low-key, on your automatic pilot, you will be able to start wandering.


Don’t let you stop by your limiting beliefs. Everybody can draw. We attend to say that we cannot draw because we are too much led by our left brain. If I draw something it has to look in a way I can put a label on it, it should be something ‘real’. Betty Edwards developed in the late 60s a method called drawing on the right side of the brain. One of the exercises which help you to draw from your right brain starts with crunching up a piece of paper. When done, you start to look at the crunched-up paper and starts to follow the lines of it and draw it, without looking at your pencil. You will only focus on the lines of the crunched paper, follow those and draw it. The outcome most probably won’t look like the crunched-up paper, but this is all about the process of using your right brain.


There is a specific psychological study of laughter, called gelotology. Research in this area showed that during laughing both the left-side and the right-side of our brain are in action. Or left-side will help us to analyze the words and structure of the joke. Our right-brain carries out the intellectual analysis so you will be able to “get” the joke. In his book ‘The left brain speaks, the right brain laughs’ Stephens confirms this as well. You can laugh more by adding it to your daily routine. For example, buy a calendar with jokes, so you start your day with laughter. Another method is to smile more often. Even though smiling is not laughing, you can use it as a warming up for laughing. Reading a funny book, watching a funny TV-program or following funny people online will help you as well to laugh more often and train your right-brain.


We’ve discussed already the importance of play in our article about playful learning. When we are young play if just common sense, but becomes less of importance as we’re getting older. If you don’t like games, you are still able to play. Think about playing at a piano or guitar. Or think about playful learning where gaming elements are used.

Start to look differently

Seeing the surrounding space instead of the item is an important way to train your right-brain. In the exercise ‘Connect the dots’ you have to identify something on the left side of your field of vision and something on the right side. Now start to move your eyes back and forth between the two. This will help you to integrate both sides of the brain.

Start now!

Now you have five tips on how to reactivate and train your right brain. These activities will help you to become ready for the conceptual age where there is more focus on our right-brain. Which activities are you already doing? Which not? How well is your right-brain established?