The « Professional Codevelopment Group » is a method created in the 90s in Canada, by two professionals, Claude Champagne and Adrien Payette. This method is used by professionals to facilitate groups of peers, usually 4 to 8 professionals who share a same job or concerns, without having any hierarchical relationship.
Usually, a codevelopment session takes around 90 minutes and is dedicated to a professional situation experienced and shared by one of the participants. The goal of such sessions is to develop the participants individual practices, through experience sharing and collective work on actual business situations.
In the founders opinion, codevelopment is a beneficial method for professionals who don’t have time to get into a training. Why? Because each participant comes to the session with a business situation they would like to address: concern, project, issue…
Then, the group will collectively choose one topic for the session, depending on its urgency and importance, as well as the willingness of the participant who brought it, to play the “client”.
During the session, the group will ask questions to its “client” and thus will allow him or her to take a step back on the situation, to look at it in a different light and to define his or her need.
Sometimes you hear that when faced with a problem, 80% of the time should be spent on understanding it and 20% on solving it. Actually, this is close to what happens in codevelopment. The main step of a session is the client’s need definition (as well as its good understanding from the group); this need is not always what had been identified at the start.
The group setting makes it easier to take some distance and to look at a situation with clarity. The client can thus identify where their action will change the situation.
If some say codevelopment is more about learning than about problem resolution, it’s because this method mainly helps professionals to learn about themselves, about their practice and about the way they behave, through real business cases… and in the end, to be more performant.
The power of « codev » comes from its ability to help a “client’ in their development and ability to work on their practice. On the « consultants » side (the peers who are supporting this « client »), every session is an opportunity to work with what resonates for them in the chosen case, compared to their own current concerns. This is the reason why after every session, all participants walk away with powerful learnings.
From a session to another (because codevelopment is a long-lasting experience), every participant makes progress regarding self-awareness, ability to listen, to help and to be helped, ability to question and to switch to analytical reasoning mode. In a session, one always finds benevolent environment, made of mutual help and confidentiality; there, lives a community of peers and support.