Professional Development and Community Participation

Background - the Why

CivicActions set a goal of developing individual Professional Development plans for all team members in early 2014. We also set a goal of strengthening Community Participation in 2014 and leveraging the intersection of participation and Marketing (See 5% Presentation).

We value Professional Development and Community Participation for a number of reasons:

  • Professional Development increases your skills which can result in increased revenue opportunities for CivicActions and higher salary for you
  • Professional Development provides career mobility for each person - increasing our feeling of safety, which leads to:

    • Having the courage to fail - which leads to experimentation, innovation, and learning
    • Having the courage to challenge the status quo - which leads to organizational learning
    • Having the courage to be vulnerable - which leads to authentic communications and connection
    • Open minded thinking - which leads to increased tolerance of others ideas and personality styles
  • Community Participation provides numerous benefits, including:

    • Strengthened relationships with experts that can help when we are stuck
    • Career advancement opportunities (potential new employment offers) for each of us, which increases our feeling of safety
    • Opportunities to increase the impact of the work being done by our entire industry - which helps with our mission to transform the way professional services are delivered in government
    • Opportunities for CivicActions to popularize the idea of radical openness, which strengthens our brand

Logistics and Policy Information

Each team member will meet with their manager or mentor for a Professional Development and Community Participation meeting, at least once a year.

The output of the first meeting will be a Professional Development and Community Participation plan, customized to address individual needs and captured on a Trello board.

  • Each full-time team member is eligible for a yearly stipend of $1,200.
    • The stipend will be prorated for team members contracted to work less than full-time (40 hours/week).
    • New team members will have a 3-month (90 day) wait period before becoming eligible for a professional development stipend and it will be earned throughout the first year.
    • Purchases under $50 can be made without approval, as long as they support professional development goals. Receipts and expense sheets should be submitted in the usual way, noting as professional development costs.
  • For conferences or other group events, we may decline time off if more than 20% of the team is requesting to attend and we can't accommodate the project work while so many are out.
  • Two (2) months' notice is needed on spends above $300. From time to time we may also cap the total monthly professional development spend across the company, dependent on the budget and cash flow outlook for the month.


  • We have a #prodev Slack channel for prodev-related communication.