Whether it’s learning to speak another language or honing your conflict resolution skills, regular development helps you grow professionally and become a more valuable team member. Meeting development goals is also good for a company; high turnover costs money to recruit and train new employees, while teams that don’t meet their goals suffer from disengagement, which can lead to a lack of productivity.
The concept of development is multidisciplinary, spanning the theories, research methods and knowledge bases of many academic disciplines. For example, psychologists study the biological and environmental conditions that influence developmental changes. Other experts study societal and cultural contexts that shape developmental processes. Lifespan researchers investigate how development occurs across the lifespan, from birth to death.
One of the biggest obstacles to development is poverty, which prevents people from attaining a wide range of economic and social goals. For example, if you cannot afford medication to treat an illness, your quality of life is negatively affected and your ability to participate in the workforce and provide for your family is hindered.
Another important goal of development is the advancement of human rights, which can include access to education and health care. The United Nations’ Human Development Index measures the level of development in nations by taking into account economic growth and social progress, such as literacy rates, public education and healthcare. The most common measure of a country’s development is its gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.