Active Professional Development and Baseball

Professional Development and Baseball go together at Experience Baseball

Passive development vs active development

Professional development can be thought of in two ways: passive or active.

In passive development, employees are assigned time-consuming, uninspired lectures, seminars, conferences, or the bane of all existence, webinars. (The webinar is the lowest form of corporate scam. Say no to webinars.)

In passive development, employees might also be paired with mentors according to determinants such as position, age, race, gender, etc. The mentorship and development in these programs comes simply by the contact of the mentor with the mentee in any number of usually unstructured, passive interactions: through email, through a chat over coffee, through dinner.

Passive programs rely on an assumed benefit to the employee based simply on contact with an “expert.”

The problem with passive development programs is that it places the impetus for learning and development on the part of the mentee. In passive professional development, it is assumed that contact alone is sufficient to develop new skills in the mentee.

Of course, this contact theory can work as intended. More often than not, however, it fails.

There are a number of reasons that these passive contact development methods fail. For one, there can be significant cultural barriers that impede learning and development with this style of mentorship. Depending on important personality intersections such as race, ethnicity, gender, language, age, and other never-to-be-underscored identity intersections, the outcomes of passive development tend to benefit those already in social and economic positions of access to resources and power. In other words, those who succeed in passive mentoring programs are typically those who were going to succeed regardless. This generally goes against what an intended development program should be: that is, a program that develops its employees in a way that actually encourages real, tangible, active personal and professional growth.

Another bummer to passive programs is that these relationships always presume an “expert” and a complete idiot. Friere warned about this kind of relationship and I fully agree. “If the structure does not permit dialogue the structure must be changed.” Passive development assumes that there is little learning to be shared and ONLY learning to be conveyed by one all-knowing expert onto someone else.

Passive development is one-directional.


Active development, on the other hand, directs in two ways and helps to encourage learning and development from all participants throughout a shared learning experience.

Active development is shared. Dialogue happens during shared experience, in an environment in which all participants are able to exchange ideas about the experience based on their own unique perspectives and areas of expertise.

To apply active professional development to our programs and services, Experience Baseball designs full-day active professional development opportunities for corporate and educational leadership groups to explore urban baseball communities together and to contribute to the economic core of urban living.

Designed as day-long—seven (7) hours—of community engagement, team bonding, and experiential learning, our programs are intended to teach corporate and educational groups about the relationships between baseball and community and to offer tangible solutions to critical urban development needs in safe, fun, and interactive group learning environments that are indeed active and participatory.

Tax-deductible donations and proceeds benefit our nonprofit purpose to improve the quality of life in urban communities home to professional baseball.

Give us a call. We’ll talk about ways to provide a quality baseball learning experience to fulfill your organization’s active professional development needs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s