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“Walker Sands University” Formalizes Professional Development

In the last two years Walker Sands has more than doubled, causing us to completely rethink employee professional development.

Account Executive Julie Walsh launched the program in October with a personality assessment. Since then the company has met every month to tackle a new challenge. So far our sessions have covered:

- Understanding One Another: MBTI – Communication is critical, so we started with a Myers Briggs assessment to determine the different personality types at the agency. Today the matrix of everyone’s communication style hangs on many people’s bulletin boards. Take the test yourself at http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp.

- Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals – Important for both our clients and our personal lives, Julie took us through a session to define Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals.

- The Attributes & Enemies of Good Writing – Ken Gaebler, CEO, led an interactive session that covered a number of key writing strategies as well as basic topics like the pyramid approach.

During meetings, participants also discuss the Walker Sands’ Challenge. This program challenges Walker Sands’ employees to come up with a solution to a problem they see within our firm. It could be as simple as a new conference room decoration or as complex as restructuring our SEO services.

So far, response has been phenomenal, with great idea sharing occurring during each session. Upcoming sessions include Managing High Touch Clients, How to Present like Steve Jobs, and The New Business Process. If you are interested in learning more, Julie is sporadically blogging about the topics on this blog so come back to check out her posts.

Got another idea for sessions that a firm like ours should cover? Leave them in the comments.