PerformanceXpress

November 2009

 

Smart Technology and HPT

by Donald Tosti, CPT, PhD, Vanguard Consulting

Recently I attended the West Coast Green Conference, along with 6,000 other people (sorry, there is no East Coast or Midwest version—at least not yet). Several sessions dealt with dashboard technologies. For those unfamiliar with the term, it refers to “smart” technology that provides people with ongoing feedback about their behavior. Typically the feedback focuses on behavior involving energy use, but there is no limit to dashboard applications.

Billions of dollars are expected to go into dashboard technologies over the next few years, largely focused on innovative and low-cost ways to collect and display energy use data. Unfortunately, while the developers have considerable expertise in how to gather good information and get it to people, they are not particularly knowledgeable about how to effectively get people to use the information they gather.

I participated in a few conference sessions from the audience, asking questions and raising issues about such things as fit, focus, and timing of feedback; summative versus formative feedback; and using group versus individual data for a comparison base. There was considerable interest on the part of both speakers and audience members in getting more information. Dashboard technologies are currently generating a good deal of attention and, I think, represent a great partnering opportunity for human performance technology (HPT).

As potential partners, the “dashboard technologists” have some advantages beyond their technical expertise. For one thing, they lack some of the negative baggage that the HR field has created around feedback. For example, they avoid overloading people by limiting the number of things they give feedback about, unlike the hundred-item performance appraisals that still appear in many organizations. And they recognize that the best time to give constructive feedback is before the person is about to act rather than immediately after. The smart technology folks refer to this as giving feedback at the point of action—a great phrase that I intend to borrow.

Other ideas that were presented about feedback seemed suspect or even wrong-headed. One example was a focus on creating motivation by emphasizing the reduction of monetary and carbon footprint costs, while ignoring the demotivating effect of an increased effort cost. Another was relying on competition as a sole motivator for change

In the near future, the investment in smart technology applications may well exceed the investment in training and consulting combined. Partnering with these applications has the potential to (1) greatly magnify the impact of HPT through the inevitable widespread adoption of smart applications and (2) perhaps allow feedback technology to step out of the shadows and take its rightful place as a key influence on performance. And this is the right time to take action: as yet, no discipline like Six Sigma or Organizational Development has entered the field to muddy it.

Smart technologies could provide another opportunity to demonstrate the power and flexibility of HPT.

Donald T. Tosti, CPT, PhD, a consistent contributor to PerformanceXpress, is the founding partner of Vanguard Consulting. He has been a recognized expert in performance-based approaches to organizational effectiveness for three decades. Don has received ISPI’s top two honors: Member for Life and the Thomas F. Gilbert Award. He also served as ISPI president in 2004-2005. Don has also written numerous books and articles on human performance and its application in today’s business world. Don may be reached at Change111@aol.com.

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TrendSpotters
Return on Expectations

by Carol Haig, CPT, and Roger Addison, CPT, EdD

Please help us welcome Jim Kirkpatrick, PhD, to TrendSpotters. As vice-president of Global Training and Consulting for the SMR Group USA, Jim, jdkphd50@msn.com, consults with and presents workshops to Fortune 500 companies around the world. He has co-authored three books with his father, Don Kirkpatrick, whom you know as the creator of the Kirkpatrick model. And, as you may have read in the October PerformanceXpress, the Kirkpatrick model is 50 years old this month. TrendSpotters is privileged to spotlight the current enhanced version, the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model, and add it to the TrendSpotters Open Toolkit (TOT).

Genesis of the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model

We asked Jim to tell us about the enhancements to this familiar model. We learned that despite the significant contribution the original Kirkpatrick four levels of evaluation made to the design and development of training over the years, the Kirkpatrick team, www.kirkpatrickpartners.com, www.smr-usa.com, was increasingly frustrated because users of the model spent so much time at Levels 1 (Reaction) and 2 (Measure Learning) that they rarely got to Levels 3 (Measure Behavior) and 4 (Measure Results) where the real value of the model lies. When users fail to specify the results they want their training to produce, they lack the critical information needed to evaluate at Levels 3 and 4, limiting the effectiveness of their training efforts. The Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model directly addresses this discrepancy by starting with the desired results.

Description of the Model

Much of what we see in the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model is familiar to users of the original. The four levels are still present but in reverse order. Look across the top of the model. Notice that we first specify the desired outcomes of Results at Level 4, followed by Behavioral Measures at Level 3, Learning Measures at Level 2, and finally Reaction at Level 1.

Figure 1. Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model
©2009 Kirkpatrick Partners

The model operates in three stages:

How to Use the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model

Jim suggests using the model for business development. He finds it highly effective to choose an example of a performance improvement solution and use the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model to demonstrate the chain of evidence that provided value to the business. Do this successfully, he says, and you will win both work and credibility.

Success Story

A large health care organization spent several years implementing an electronic medical record system. Some of the learning events associated with the rollout of this new system were successful and others less so. There were engaging classes based on adult learning principles that participants reacted well to in their class evaluations. Participants’ skills were assessed at the end of class to ensure they understood the material. There was ample proof that numbers of people had been trained effectively, but no proof of the training’s worth to the organization. Because the training team could not prove the effective transfer of training from the classroom to the job, there was no substantiation of performance and ultimate value. The application of the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model enabled the training team to refine their process into a workable one that produced consistent results that:

Advice to Users

Jim finds the concept of ROE to be a powerful one that clients relate well to across the world. While return on investment (ROI) is a respected financial parameter in many organizations, ROE is something everyone in every organization can value.

Links to the Performance Technology Landscape

The Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model supports these principles of performance technology:

R

Focus on Results: Begins with the end in mind

S

Take a System view: Uses a systematic approach to set the stage, execute, and demonstrate ROE

V

Add Value: Employs a value chain to demonstrate ROE

P

Establish Partnerships: States the necessities for success and makes a pledge to work together

Application Exercise

Before you launch your next project, use the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model to help you consider who the stakeholders are. Start with the end in mind to determine, just by yourself:

Then use the model to plan and host your initial client meeting.

Advice for Our Times

Jim tells us that there has never been a better time than the present to make an impact in the organizations we serve. He encourages us to select high visibility, high impact, high profile projects. Then, use the power of the Kirkpatrick Business Partnership Model to get the attention of senior stakeholders to champion your work.

Be sure to look for Jim’s new book, Training on Trial, due from AMACOM Publishing in February 2010.

Find all the models and tools featured in TrendSpotters at http://www.ispi.org/archives/perfXpress.htm#trendToolkit.

You may reach Carol Haig at carolhaig@earthlink.net or at http://home.mindspring.com/~carolhaig; Roger Addison may be reached at rogeraddison@earthlink.net. Roger blogs at http://rachekup.blogspot.com.

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Designing and Delivery Training for Adult Learners: Keys to Success

by Kelly King, Bayer HealthCare LLC

There are many challenges to working with adult learners that providers of instruction face. Knowing the challenges you might face when designing and delivering training for adult learners is a key step to being a successful human performance technologist. Another key to success is to apply your knowledge of adult learning theories and principles when developing and delivering training programs to give adult learners the best learning experience possible.

One of the biggest challenges when working with adults is that they have preconceived notions about what training should look like. Often times learners have had negative training experiences that they carry with them. In addition, adults are often forced to take training and have not elected to do so. This combination can make training a negative experience for learners. Because of the negative connotations most adults associate with training, it may take extra motivation for your learners to succeed and transfer the knowledge from the training session to the job.

Make Training Interactive

One way to motivate your learners is to make the training interactive and engage them during the training. Studies have shown that adult learners actually prefer an interactive training session over one where they are simply lectured to (Lucas, 2008). It has also been shown that more learning occurs when the participants are engaged and can interact within the training (Elkind, 2008). Adults prefer the use of different learning styles when they learn. Try using a variety of learning styles that appeals to a variety of learners instead of lecture-based training sessions.

Ask About Previous Knowledge

Adult learners often times have previous knowledge of the subject matter that they bring to the table. Leverage their knowledge during a training session by asking them for their input throughout the session. Remember that you can use your trainees as a resource for information. Instead of telling the learners what they already know, ask them what they know. This can be done at the beginning of a training to assess your audience for understanding and to ensure that you are not dumping information onto your learners that they already know.

Explain the Value

One of the most important aspects to consider when working with adults is that they want to know how the training will add value or what’s in it for me (WIIFM). For this reason it is important to make training relevant to the job and emphasize how the learning can be used on the job. This may include using case studies, examples from the workplace, or problem-solving techniques related to the work that they do. This can be a challenge if you have a mixed group of learners that have different jobs across different industries; but you should still try to demonstrate how the knowledge they are learning can be used in their daily work.

Learning Environment

The environment in which training takes place is another key element to developing a successful training program. It is important to ensure that the environment meets the needs of the learners. Adults need to feel safe within their learning environment to be comfortable being engaged in the lesson and asking questions. Consider using an informal seating arrangement. You may want to configure chairs in a U-shape, circle, or around a table instead of the traditional classroom setup.

Summary

There are many considerations that must be made when you are developing and delivering instruction to adult learners to ensure that you are delivering effect training programs. The most important of which is to engage your audience and use them as a resource during the training session. It is also important to use a variety of learning styles so that you engage your entire audience and not just a few members. With the increase in the use of technology, and with many young adults entering the workforce, it is important now more than ever to make training interactive. By making the training interactive, your learners will likely take in more of the knowledge that you have trained them on and transfer it to the job.

References

Lucas, Robert W. 2008. Corporate training: Adult learning 101. Retrieved May 28, 2009, from www.selfgrowth.com/artman2/publish/corporate_articles/Adult_Learning_101.

Elkind, David. 2008. Cognitive and emotional development through play. Greater Good Magazine.

Imel, Susan. 1988. Guidelines for working with adult learners. Retrieved May 7, 2009, from www.ericdigests.org/pre-929/working.htm.

Kelly King is an instructional designer for Bayer HealthCare in Berkeley, CA. Kelly holds both a BS and an MS in Instructional Design and Technology from California State University, Chico. Kelly may be reached at kelly.king@bayer.com

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Explaining Muliple Performance Issues to Executives


Gary DePaul, CPT, PhD, President, Tampa Bay ISPI Chapter
November 18, 2009, 1:00 p.m. EST
Register Online

Suppose that you are asked to investigate several departments for performance improvement opportunities within an organization. Can you do this in two weeks and then present your findings to the VP of sales, VP of operations, and VP of customer service? Obviously, you cannot perform an in-depth analysis. What do you do?

In this SkillCast webinar, you will be given two methods that can efficiently and effectively achieve this goal:

In this hour, you will find that both methods and related tools can help you present a story that executives and management can understand. These methods will also prepare you for several follow-up projects.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

Use the gap analysis matrix to:

Use the Performance Maturity Model to:

About the Facilitator

Gary DePaul has been involved in performance improvement for more than 11 years. Currently working as a consultant, Gary has served several organizations including Ceridian Benefits Services, Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), Johnson Controls and Arthur Andersen. Gary completed his PhD and EdM from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his BA in philosophy and history from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Gary is a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT). He currently serves as the president of the Tampa Bay ISPI Chapter, member of the CLO Business Intelligence Board, and member of the Corporate Leadership Council.

Skillcast Season Pass

Purchase a season pass (attendance to all 12 SkillCast webinars), and save 30% off the individual program rate. All it takes is 60 minutes one Wednesday each month (with the exception of November when we are running two programs).

In addition, special organizational packages have been designed for our larger companies. For more details, call ISPI at 301-587-8570. Please click here for the complete schedule of speakers and topics.

What if you’re so busy you can’t make it? Or even worse you forget about it? We’ve got you covered! We’ll send you access to the downloadable recorded program to learn at your convenience. What are you waiting for? Take advantage of this incredible learning opportunity: register now!

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Using Web 2.0 to Maximize Organizational Performance


Jim Hill, CPT, EdD, CEO, Proofpoint Systems Inc.
November 4, 2009, 1:00 pm EDT
Register Online

Industry experts point out that—with the advent of Web 2.0 and the need to support more collaborative environments—many manual, paper-based processes are quickly moving to the internet. Performance analysis is one such process. Rather than relying on uncertain practitioner skill levels; time consuming, non-standard practices; and information that is fleeting and hard to access, Web 2.0 offers the opportunity to use high collaborative networks and easily accessible self-help methods to dramatically improve analysis and solution selection. Dr. Hill will join you to explore the world of 2.0 and the significant improvements it can offer in cost, time, accuracy—and performance.

Objectives

Benefits

About The Presenter

Dr. Jim Hill is the founder and CEO of Proofpoint Systems, a global provider of Web 2.0 systems that support individual and organizational performance improvement.

As a career officer in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Hill was an acknowledged expert in the areas of leadership and performance. As an executive with Sun Microsystems he was responsible for establishing numerous regional and global productivity organizations.

He has been recognized by Training magazine, and featured in Sales and Marketing Management magazine, and Japanese Management Journal. Based on the success of his organization's applications, he has also been recognized by the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. On behalf of Proofpoint, he has been a three-time finalist for the American Business Awards. He has also received three ISPI Awards of Excellence. He is a past president of ISPI.

His chapter in the Handbook of Human Performance Technology, 3d Edition (2006), Professional Ethics: A Matter of Duty, was selected as required reading for the 2008 International Relations program of the London Metropolitan University.

Dr. Hill and his wife, Aiko, have four children. They reside in Los Altos, California.

Skillcast Season Pass

Purchase a season pass (attendance to all 12 SkillCast webinars), and save 30% off the individual program rate. All it takes is 60 minutes one Wednesday each month (with the exception of November when we are running two programs).

In addition, special organizational packages have been designed for our larger companies. For more details, call ISPI at 301-587-8570. Please click here for the complete schedule of speakers and topics.

What if you’re so busy you can’t make it? Or even worse you forget about it? We’ve got you covered! We’ll send you access to the downloadable recorded program to learn at your convenience. What are you waiting for? Take advantage of this incredible learning opportunity: register now!

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It Is Your Turn: Call for Articles


Do you have an interesting topic
or experience to share with our readers? Have you had a professional experience, case study, or situation worth writing about? Then ISPI calls on you to submit a short article (approximately 500 words and not previously published) to PerformanceXpress. We welcome contributions from all over the world.

These articles can be “I wish I had thought of that,” real-world applications of HPT, or success stories. If you have any questions or possible ideas for an article topic, please contact John Chen, johnc@ispi.org.

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From the Board
Update From ISPI’s Treasurer—
Making Tough Choices

by Fred L.E. Stewart, CPT, ISPI Treasurer

As I sat down to write the beginning of my first ISPI Treasurer’s Fiscal Year Forecast and Update, I could not help but reflect upon the astonishing voyage we have taken in the global financial markets lately. With the instability of international politics, we could easily consider the last 12 months one of the most interesting and frightening periods in our modern history. Within the last year, there have been enormous economic changes and every country has been affected. The chairman of the U.S Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and the U.S. Treasury put a highly creative plan together to thaw the U.S. credit markets, which was a necessary prerequisite for resuming U.S. and global economic growth. After a deep global recession, economic growth is turning positive, as wide-ranging international public interventions have supported demand and lowered uncertainty and systemic risk in financial markets. With financial systems remaining wounded, the recovery is still expected to be lengthy. Some countries weathered the storm far better than expected, while others flourished and some adopted a more thrift-oriented and more regulated approach. I say this because one of ISPI’s first indications of troubled times came in the form of a lower than expected attendance at the 2009 Conference in Orlando and a decline in membership. Though I do not see my role as ISPI’s Treasurer as a high-profile collateral duty, I am compelled to remind everyone we are a research-based society and we take great care to understand the world’s economic outlook because it drives corporate cash flow and earnings, which in turn drives attendance to our conferences and membership totals.

In an attempt at producing the best possible budgetary outcome, a Budget Committee was formed to aggressively work the 2010 Fiscal Year Budget. The committee engaged others to identify our fiduciary requirements and to curb what amounted to be excessive obligations that evolved over the past few years. And, as difficult as it was, the ISPI workforce was trimmed to move ISPI to a better financial position.

We are reviewing our business model and processes to increase our flexibility and agility. Our goal is to accelerate our responsiveness for the benefit of our research, our Society, and our Community of Practice. We are currently analyzing and validating internal management processes and scrutinizing ourselves to ensure ISPI is properly positioned to come out of these very challenging times. It is readily apparent to the Board of Directors we need to be proactive to overcome the current international economic downturn.

With all of this ongoing budget activity, Jim Pershing and Roger Chevalier co-chaired a Strategic Task Force to review past ISPI efficiency studies and the current economic footprint for the purpose of performing analysis and to offer potential recommendations to realign, reengineer, and revitalize our Society. This much anticipated work will be digested by the Board in the coming months, and I am hopeful that it will be put to good use.

Regarding our future, in these tough times, we must remain true to our research-based roots and focus on activities that increase our evidence-based body of knowledge, embrace our certification, increase our membership, increase conference attendance, and provide value added to our members. Just like so many in the past did not see the widespread potential application of the railroad industry, air travel, space exploration, the Internet, and other innovations, we must also focus on new technologies and capacities by applying the systems in those areas:

In closing, much of the Society’s realignment and reengineering might not have been possible had it not been for our staff, 2008–2009 Treasurer and several Board members who could see ISPI exhibiting symptoms of process and financial malaise. With an eye on a following sea, we will continue to navigate through the storm and avoid the shoal water, not because of luck but because several of ISPI’s leaders have grit and determination to make sound business decisions. I certainly look forward to seeing all of you at next year’s business meeting during our superb conference in San Francisco!

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Member Spotlight
An Interview with Mark Lynch


Welcome to ISPI’s Member Spotlight!
This column focuses on our members—some you may know, some you may not. Each month, we will explore what brought them to ISPI, how they use the principles of human performance technology (HPT), and their insights into the value of membership. This month our interview is with Mark Lynch, manager II, Performance Solutions Standards for WellPoint.

What got you into human performance technology?

After being in the training department for a few years, HPT was the next logical step. It happened organically as we began to identify additional performance improvement opportunities. We researched learning organizations from around the country and about 5-6 years began to explore HPT as a means of addressing situations when training alone doesn’t lead to desired performance outcomes.

How would you explain HPT to someone unfamiliar with the term or concept?

I would ask them to think about their own jobs and the tasks they do every day. What would they need to improve their own job performance? Research shows that most performance barriers are not related to training, so most people would say they needed better equipment, access to information, incentives, etc. During the conversation I would take note of what they mention and categorize the many different factors influencing their performance. Then I would point out how any combination of these and other variables can impact performance. To be successful it’s important to measure the current state, clearly define the desired state, and analyze gaps and root causes, being sure to completely address all factors. Failure to do so can lead to poor results and lost productivity.

Have there been any situations in your non-corporate, non-business life where you have consciously used HPT tools?

Yes, sometimes in casual conversation, someone will complain about “bad” service they’ve received. There is typically an assumption that the bad service provider “doesn’t know how to provide good service” or that they “need better training.” On the other hand, I say it could be a motivation problem, or the representative doesn’t like the work, or perhaps it’s something about the physical work environment. People usually nod, acknowledging the possibility that other variables may be at play, but still conclude that it’s training. It’s just ingrained in the way we think. That’s why it’s important that we have programs in place to influence that kind of thinking.

What do you think sets ISPI apart from other organizations? What keeps you in the Society?

It’s ISPI’s strong commitment to HPT. The certification programs, like CPT, help reinforce HPT fundamentals that we at WellPoint strive to make part of our daily routines. By providing performance technology resources and connections, I believe the Society plays a key role in our cultural shift from order taker to performance consultant.

What is Wellpoint’s biggest challenge as it relates to HPT?

Many associates in our learning department began their careers in the operations department. Given that operations is our primary client, we work very closely with them, so maintaining relationships is supremely important to us. HPT has the potential to threaten our relationships because analyzing performance issues sometimes leads us to conclusions that differ from our client’s opinion. It also leads us to uncover root causes about personnel issues that can be sensitive and difficult to discuss. While we know HPT is the right approach for our clients, it can strain the very relationships we need to be effective.

How does Wellpoint’s purpose and basic beliefs tie back to workplace performance improvement?

I think they tie back very well. Our organization has a set of core values. They include customer first; integrity; personal accountability for excellence; leading through innovation; and one company, one team. When I think about HPT, I also think about the duty of putting the customer first and providing the right solution to our client even when the message is hard to deliver. We are personally accountable for the performance outcomes that our solutions and innovations bring. Working closely with our client, in a one company, one team environment to implement new solutions will help us achieve breakthrough performance.

Where do you see the future of human performance technology going?

We will continue to use HPT in our pursuit of holistic diagnosis of performance issues. We will continually enhance our skills, experience, and processes until we no longer have to “sell” performance technology. We will tell stories about real successes, visible performance improvement, efficiency improvements, and bottom-line savings that will generate interest and demand. Our clients will grow to expect and rely on the clear benefits that HPT can bring. I think the opportunities are tremendous and I can foresee a time when HPT creates a competitive advantage that helps WellPoint meet the many challenges we will face as our healthcare industry evolves.

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THE Performance Improvement Conference 2010: Keynote Presentators


ACT NOW to take advantage
of a member rate of $750 or a non-member rate of $1000 until December 18, 2009. Join us at THE Performance Improvement Conference, April 19-22, 2010, in San Francisco, California, and learn from our many expert presenters sharing their thoughts on adapting to the current external environmental forces and applying and implementing innovations. Come find answers to some of the most significant problems many organizations are facing, share best practices, and network with the smartest minds in the industry from around the globe.

Keynote Presentation: Marshall Goldsmith, PhD

1The American Management Association named Dr. Marshall Goldsmith one of 50 great thinkers and leaders who have influenced the field of management over the past 80 years. Major business press acknowledgments include: Business Week—most influential practitioners in the history of leadership development; The Times (UK)—50 greatest living business thinkers; Wall Street Journal—top 10 executive educators; Forbes—five most-respected executive coaches; Leadership Excellence—top five thinkers on leadership; Economic Times (India)—five rajgurus of America; Economist (UK)—most credible executive advisors in the new era of business; and Fast Company—America’s preeminent executive coach.

Marshall’s PhD is from UCLA. He teaches executive education at Dartmouth’s Tuck School and frequently speaks at leading business schools. He is a Fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources (America’s top HR honor) and his work has been recognized by almost every professional organization in his field. In 2006, Alliant International University honored Marshall by naming their schools of business and organizational studies the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management.

He is one of a select few advisors who have been asked to work with over 100 major CEOs and their management teams. Marshall is co-founder of Marshall Goldsmith Partners, a network of top-level executive coaches. He served as a member of the Board of the Peter Drucker Foundation for 10 years. He has been a volunteer teacher for US Army Generals, Navy Admirals, Girl Scout executives, International and American Red Cross leaders—where he was a National Volunteer of the Year. Marshall’s 24 books include: The Leader of the Future (a Business Week best-seller), Coaching for Leadership, and Succession: Are You Ready?

Marshall is a world authority in helping successful leaders get even better-by achieving positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams. Over two hundred of his articles, interviews, columns and videos are available for viewing and sharing online (for no charge) at www.MarshallGoldsmithLibrary.com.

Keynote Presentation: Diana Whitney, PhD

1Dr. Diana Whitney is an inspirational speaker, provocative educator, and pioneering thought leader in the growing field of Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Change. Through her work, her teaching, and her writing she has positively influenced the lives of millions of people around the world.

Diana is an award-winning author. Recognized in 2004 by the International Organization Development Network (ODN) for her contribution to the field through writing she is the author or editor of 15 books, as well as dozens of articles and chapters. She is President of Corporation for Positive Change, an international consulting firm specializing in the application of Appreciative Inquiry-the revolutionary process she helped develop and spread-to resolve the most pressing challenges of our time. In fields ranging from health care to education; from peace-building to business; from community development to government, Diana coaches executives and their teams in support of organization culture transformation, strategic development and leadership capacity building. With over 30 years of experience, her clients include Merck, British Airways, Verizon, J&J, Calgary Health Region, University of Virginia Health System, Idaho Department of Education, and Sisters of Good Shepherd. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) recognized her Appreciative Inquiry work at GTE (Verizon) with their Best Culture Change of the year award.

Diana is a Founder of the Taos Institute, a center for dialogue among family therapists, educators, and organization consultants. She is a Fellow of the World Business Academy and an ongoing advisor to the United Religions Initiative, a global interfaith organization dedicated to peace. Diana is a Distinguished Consulting Faculty at Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center where she teaches and advises PhD students. She is an expert faculty for the NCR Picker Patient Centered Care Institute.

Diana received her PhD from Temple University in the field of Organizational Communication. Her early research into the dissemination of educational innovations funded by the National Institute of Education created an agenda for the ongoing development of educational R&D laboratories throughout the United States.

For more information on THE Performance Improvement Conference visit www.ispi.org/AC2010.

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The Three Challenges of Selling Human Performance Technology (HPT):
Part 1—Educating Stakeholders

by Paul D. Swan, PhD, Darryl L. Sink & Associates

Face it, you are in “the business of HPT.” Just like any business, your success hinges on your ability to “sell” your services. This is true whether you are in business for yourself or work within any other type of organization.

Your ability to sell HPT rests on how well you meet three challenges:

I will address each of these challenges in this series of three articles. This first article will examine the challenge of educating our stakeholders.

How well can your mother, significant other, or children accurately describe your role in HPT? If those close to you are confused about your career, imagine the confusion that exists among your stakeholders (co-workers, managers, executives, customers, other departments, etc.). How can they accurately perceive your value and potential value to the organization if they do not know what you have to offer?

Meeting this challenge is a perfect opportunity to employ HPT for our own benefit. Let’s start with needs assessment.

For many of you, the cause will be a deficiency of knowledge about HPT and your role. This suggests that training may be one of the HPT interventions best suited to fill the identified gaps.

Unfortunately, I can hear the gasps of horror: “We can never train our stakeholders. They are too busy. They do not think it is important.”

Audience and context analyses will probably confirm that indeed there are misconceptions, no time, a lack of interest, and no budget. These realizations, however, become the starting point for an HPT intervention that is creative, cheap, and effective.

To paraphrase a well-known book title, we need a “Training as a Subversive Activity” approach.

Consider designing a covert training program that takes advantage of casual meetings and spare moments with your managers. Do not confuse this with just delivering information. Work toward helping the decision makers in your organization to be able to:

Components of the intervention might include:

The possibilities are endless. Once you realize that training can be informal and still be effective, you become free to meet the first challenge of selling HPT.

Next month we will examine the second challenge of selling HPT and explore how to speak your organization’s business language.

Paul Swan, PhD, has been designing and developing training for 20 years. He is an associate of Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc. (DSA), a firm specializing in human performance consulting, custom training development, and instructional design and e-learning workshops. He may be reached at pswan@dsink.com.

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12 Reasons to Get Your SkillCast Season Pass Today!


SkillCast webinars are designed to enhance
your knowledge and skills in the field of performance improvement. Each 60-minute educational SkillCast has been carefully crafted to offer the most practical and relevant information to support your professional goals and objectives. From the leading industry experts presenting the material to the content and the session titles, ISPI’s mission is to ensure you and your organization get the most value for your investment. Register for a SkillCast today and you will see results tomorrow and beyond.

2009-10 SkillCast Schedule for Season 2*

*Schedule subject to change.

Purchase a season pass (attendance to all 12 SkillCast webinars), and save 30% off the individual program rate. All it takes is 60 minutes one Wednesday each month (with the exception of November when we are running two programs).

In addition, special organizational packages have been designed for our larger companies. For more details, call ISPI at 301-587-8570. Please click here for the complete schedule of speakers and topics.

What if you’re so busy you can’t make it? Or even worse you forget about it? We’ve got you covered! We’ll send you access to the downloadable recorded program to learn at your convenience. What are you waiting for? Take advantage of this incredible learning opportunity: register now!

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Opening Session: You’ve Arrived for THE Performance Improvement Conference in San Francisco

by Anne Apking, CPT, 2010 Conference Committee

November 2009

The air is crisp; the last straggling leaves still cling to trees as the frost lingers on the grass late into the morning. Springtime seems like a lifetime away. No need to plan that far ahead. There is plenty of time until then. And times are still somewhat uncertain. Maybe you should just wait awhile…

Flash Forward Six Months

It is April 2010 and you are in balmy, beautiful San Francisco. Home of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the cable car. You are in town for THE Performance Improvement Conference, staying at the magnificent San Francisco Marriott Marquis. The Opening Session of the conference is about to start, though you are thinking you might rather check out Union Square, or maybe grab a bite with colleagues you have not seen since last year. But just then, something grabs your attention. Something about this year’s Opening Session is different…

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Call for Applications: Distinguished Dissertation Award Competition


The International Society for Performance Improvement
(ISPI) is currently accepting applications for the 2010 Distinguished Dissertation Awards. This initiative funded by the Research Committee aims at honoring excellence in student research. Three tiers of reward accompany the awards ($1500 for first place, $1000 for second, and $500 for third). Only doctoral dissertation research defended between May 31, 2006 and December 31, 2009 are eligible. Dissertations must be defended and approved by the student’s committee prior to applying for the award and may be applied for by students of any accredited university throughout the world. Studies not conducted as part of dissertation research, as well as recipients of ISPI’s Distinguished Dissertation Award from previous years, are not eligible. Applicants from prior years who did not receive the award, may reapply so long as they meet all other requirements. Half of recipients’ monetary reward will be paid upon announcement of award winners with the remaining funds to be paid upon submission of a manuscript for consideration in Performance Improvement Quarterly (which must be received no later than August 30, 2010). Award recipients are also encouraged to consider submitting a proposal to present at the 2011 annual conference.

To apply for the award, please submit the following:

Application Deadline: January 8, 2010. Please submit completed applications to Hillary Leigh, Chair of the ISPI Research Committee, via email to hleigh@wayne.edu with the subject “ISPI Dissertation Award.”

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Tales From the Field
Reducing Service Department Profit Loss Using the Behavioral Engineering Model

by Janel Peterson and DeAnn Allen

Tales from the Field, a monthly column, consists of reports of evidence-based performance improvement practice and advice, presented by graduate students, alumni, and faculty of Boise State University’s Instructional and Performance Technology department.

The Company

Since 1924, Pierce Homes & RV has grown from a small enterprise into a 27-acre, state-of-the-art facility that employs over 170 people. The mission of this family-owned corporation is to be an industry leader through a tradition of honesty and fairness to customers, employees, and business partners. Three graduate students at Boise State University worked as a team to investigate a performance issue at this organization.

The Performance Issue

Pierce had hired a consulting company to increase profitability within the RV service department. They introduced new scripts, processes, procedures, evaluation tools, and incentive programs. However, since this effort focused solely on the service department, these new processes were not consistent with those in other departments. Profitability remained consistently lower than targeted. After reviewing extant, interview, and observational data, the team determined that the performance gap arose from unbilled service hours, most notably within the parts ordering and receiving process, which resulted in technicians spending time on non-billable work and lost-billable opportunities.

Performance Analysis

Gilbert’s (2007) Second Leisurely Theorem compares exemplary to typical performance to measure potential for improving performance [PIP = (Wex) / (Wt)]. PIPs larger than 1 indicate an opportunity to improve performance. The performance gap associated with technicians’ billable hours produced a PIP of 1.37. To determine whether the gap warranted closing, the team further analyzed lost profit opportunities (labor rate x lost billable hours), ultimately calculating a potential loss of approximately $572,000, or 41% of Pierce’s overall profit potential. Seizing the lost profit opportunity produced enough benefit to warrant the application of a small amount of resources to increase billable service hours.

Cause Analysis

After identifying the exemplary performer and the PIP, the Human Performance Technology (HPT) practitioners conducted a cause analysis using Gilbert’s (2007) Behavioral Engineering Model (BEM). Using Gilbert’s recommended troubleshooting sequence, the team focused on the environmental factors first (see Table 1), knowing they could revisit causes arising from the personal repertory (knowledge, capacity, and motives) after Pierce first changed the workplace itself.

  Information Instrumentation Motives

Environmental factors

1. Data

There is a lack of communication between the technicians and the foreman when questions or problems arise.

Missing information from the service writers causes technicians to halt their work.

2. Instruments

There are no formal processes for parts ordering and work rescheduling.

3. Incentives

No incentive issues surfaced during the cause analysis. However, an evaluation should be conducted after implementing the interventions to determine if any incentive issues arise.

Table 1. Three Environmental Factors of the BEM.

Recommendations

Based on the cause analysis, the team recommended that Pierce close the performance gap by addressing causes arising from a lack of data and instruments. While Pierce will need to apply internal resources to create and document these processes, this should be a low-cost investment with a very good return in the form of increased billable hours. It would also be important to measure the effectiveness of these changes, as new performance issues may arise due to the diffusion of effect (Gilbert, 2007). For example, incentives may need to be revisited if more of the technicians are performing at or near the exemplary level. Pierce’s service and parts manager is currently reviewing the findings and recommendations to close the performance gap.

IPT-Grounded Advice

Performance analysis helps HPT practitioners specify performance gaps, and the PIP can help them and their clients determine whether the gaps are worth closing. The BEM is a powerful tool for identifying probable causes of performance gaps. It also allows HPT practitioners to identify a range of interventions and their associated investment levels. Together they provide powerful analytical and communication tools that management can use to make prudent decisions about improving workplace performance.

References

Gilbert, T. (2007). Human competence: Engineering worthy performance (Tribute edition). San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Janel Peterson is a program manager at Hewlett Packard. She is a certified project management professional (PMP) and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Instructional and Performance Technology at Boise State University. She may be reached at janel.peterson@hp.com. DeAnn Allen is employed at Pierce Homes and RV, and is currently pursuing her Master’s of Science in Instructional and Performance Technology through Boise State University. She may be reached at dallen@pierce.biz.

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CPT News from Around the World


Welcome Our New CPTs

Dave DeVesta, Aspectuck Center for Learning, Training, and Excellence, Inc.
Glenda Feldt, PhD, United States Coast Guard
Laura Levy, MedCo
Timothy McClain, United States Navy
Luise Schneider, Performance Design
Pamela James Sommer, Intrepid Learning Solutions
Anieti Ukpe, Mobil Producing Nigeria
Carol Warning, Delphi Corporation
Sue Czeropski, Capella University

Recognizing a Chapter

CISPI meet-up is an innovative way to hold chapter meetings and experiment with social networking technology.

The Chicago Chapter’s September meeting was a “meet-up.” Beth Lisberg Najberg, Mike Tillmans, Denise Friant, Ellen Smatlak, and Nancy Arient agreed to host simultaneous meetings at local restaurants. All used the same case study as a basis for discussion about what they would do and why. Selected members invited members and non-members to a series of four simultaneous gatherings. They were all held at neighborhood casual eateries at 5:30 p.m. There was no charge for the meetings, but participants were asked to purchase food from the hosting restaurant. Each group was given the same case study to discuss. Although they had intended to tweet with other meet-up groups and those who were unable to attend in person, the case study discussions were so intense that they did not take the time.

Why the format? It is a good way to include new and potential members. It is also a good way to ease driving stress for a chapter that has members spread around the Chicago metropolitan area, which spans from Indiana to Bloomington, Illinois, to Wisconsin.

Why a case study? Discussing the case study was a new meet-up activity. We used a group process to analyze the issues and identify possible performance improvement solutions—training and non-training. Using the case study was a way for us to focus the evening’s discussion, yet remain casual.

Why “tweet”? We had hoped to take advantage of the new technology, however with the real-live networking and concentration on the case study, we were not very distractible.

Recap of the experience

The western suburbs meet-up was held at Panera in Naperville. Mike Tillmans was the host, and five people attended, including Mike—four CISPI members and a student from Governor’s State University. Mike reports:

The discussion on the case study revolved around how to help the client find the underlying problems in the organization and then how to convince the client that all the issues should be addressed. The first issue was whether a standard data collection information system was needed and another issue was the difficulty in convincing separate departments to agree to a single approach because an immediate payoff was not obvious.

The second issue of concern was the need for standard procedures in data collection, reporting, and the request for reporting. The client’s initial request, time management training as a solution for excessive overtime, was also addressed within the logic chain template: assess the need, look for causes, and specify and deliver the solution. Our conversation ended with a comparison of ways to assess success, either as an internal or an outside consultant.

The downtown Chicago meet-up was held at the Ogilvie Train Station Corner Bakery. Beth Lisberg Najberg hosted, and four students came to discuss the case study with her; two of them joined CISPI! Beth recaps:

I introduced the discussion by explaining how this is an example of how our field has moved from a training request to the realm of human performance technology.

Some of the problems they identified included that no one was held accountable for seeing that data was posted in a timely and accurate manner and that there were no benchmarks. A lack of following policies and procedures was a major contributor to the problem as well.

They suggested using a process map to help identify some of the gaps in sharing the data in a timely manner.

The main solution, as other groups discovered, was to get a single new system to handle the financial data. The participants realized through the discussion that other situations could prevent the system from being implemented successfully. They recommended that training managers set realistic expectations for the new system and provide sessions on how to give positive and timely feedback. They also recommended instituting a continuous improvement component into the implementation. Discussion ended with different ways that the consultant, whether internal or external, could taper off his or her involvement as the staff and management became owners of the new system.

Nancy Arient and Ellen Smatlak hosted the northwest suburbs meet-up, which took place at Starbucks in Schaumburg. Three people attended, including the hosts, and Nancy reports the group’s thoughts and questions:

We would have liked to have had an organizational chart to show the relationship of the head of budget and planning to the other department heads.

What good is a standard protocol if it is not used by all of the departments?

There appear to be a number of side issues going on in this scenario. So, there is a need for a cross-functional team (including all key customers). This team would collaborate to identify standards for reporting and identify how the other departments’ processes work to build their requirements into the final solution.

We had a great discussion, but ran out of time toward the end. We all agreed that the business case was unclear and did not necessarily agree with the recommended answers (although these were very helpful to help steer the discussions). We all agreed that the whole overtime issue was more helpful as a baseline through which we could measure improvement (but would not be the overriding indicator of success). Additionally, we were a little surprised at 51% being the recommended critical mass. When 49% of your company is not reporting financials, your solution may be sustainable, but what about the company?

We did discuss the need for a procedure that would be followed by all departments and a specific job role in each department that would be responsible for following the procedure. Training might be conducted to communicate this procedure and the training would include the responsible job roles along with the department heads and the director of budget and planning.

The southern suburbs meet-up was held at Panera in Homewood, and Denise Friant hosted that session. Three students were in attendance. Denise’s summary of the meet-up:

We discussed the case study, which everyone initially thought was a training solution. As the discussion deepened, we talked about alternative interventions to training, including a uniform software implementation with job aids and checklists along with a published and communicated procedure for submitting financial information.

Students were interested in how to approach clients with this information when they may be the culprits or instigators of the problems by micromanaging rather than properly installing a process and assigning someone to be responsible for the collection of data and then holding that person accountable. We discussed some strategies for presenting the data to the possible source of the problems and letting the data speak. The group liked the idea of having a committee to perform oversight of the intervention.

Concern always exists about the prescribed solutions failing once the consultant has left. The group discussed the challenges with maintaining the momentum and retaining the learning. The group determined that the consultant should try design solutions to ensure that the intervention lives on. The oversight committee would help, but also having the committee work on the development of the solution to foster their buy in would be important and useful as well.

Why share this with you? It is another example of members doing innovative things to help others respond to demands for “training” when it is at best a partial solution instead of doing something that will make a difference. Try the approach with your chapter. It is engaging and cheap. Besides you will be supporting the local economy as the restaurants would love to sell you coffee and pastries in exchange for using their WiFi.

Do you have a story to tell? Contact Judy at Judy@ispi.org.

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Are You Recognized for Your Work? Submit it to ISPI!

You do excellent work every day with great results. Submit your accomplishments and research to one of ISPI’s prestigious journals and get the recognition you deserve, and share your findings and ideas with your peers.

Performance Improvement (PI) journal publishes articles about all types of interventions and all phases of the Human Performance Technology (HPT) process, as well as hands-on HPT experiences, including:

PI also publishes updates on trends, reviews, and field viewpoints. The common theme of articles is performance improvement practice or technique that is supported by research or germane theory.

To submit an article, download and read the Author Guidelines, then email your article as an attachment to the editor, Holly Burkett, at pijeditor@ispi.org. PI is a benefit of ISPI membership, but if you are not a member you can still subscribe. If you are interested in joining ISPI, please click here.

Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ) is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research, theory, and literature reviews relevant to improving the performance of individuals, groups, and organizations. As a scholarly forum for the HPT field, the journal seeks to integrate and expand the methods, processes, and findings across multiple disciplines as they relate to solving problems and realizing opportunities in human performance. HPT work focuses on valued, measured results; considers the larger system context of people’s performance; and provides valid and reliable measures of effectiveness. The journal values both methodological rigor and variety, and publishes scholarship related to:

To submit an article, download and read the Author Guidelines, then email your article as an attachment to the ISPI Publications Office at pubs@ispi.org. A subscription to PIQ costs only $45 for ISPI members, so be sure to take advantage of this valuable resource. If you are not a member, but interested in joining ISPI, please click here.

As you know from reading this online newsletter every month, PerformanceXpress (PX) publishes exciting feature articles highlighting current developments and ideas in the field of performance improvement, as well as regular columns written by dedicated professionals spotting trends, Tales from the Field, and CPT News from Around the World. And, that is just the beginning. What contributions and ideas do you have to add to PX? “I wish I had thought of that” articles, practical application articles, articles about the application of HPT, or success stories? Read the Newsletter Submission Guidelines and send us your work to px@ispi.org.

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Second Annual HPT Practitioner Video Podcast Contest


The goal of ISPI’s Video Podcast Contest, spearheaded by Guy Wallace, is to showcase the diversity of human performance technology (HPT) situations and applications and practitioners. The dual focus this year is on HPT elevator speeches and everyone’s current or next focus for learning more about the diversity of human performance technology.

This year’s five-point script is:

  1. Name/Home location: _________
  2. First exposure to HPT was: _______ when: ________
  3. My biggest influences have been (people, books, articles, etc.): ____
  4. Your 30-second elevator speech on “HPT” or “What I do”: ________
  5. Your current or next focus for learning more about HPT is on: ______

You can interview your subject—or have your subject speak directly into the camera.

Joe Harless has again agreed to be one of the first for this year’s efforts!

The Board of Directors will vote for the one winning podcast that meets the goals and rules of the contest. Up to two prizes will be awarded to the “best” submission’s subject and video producer—if they are different people. The prize is either a free annual ISPI membership or a copy of the Handbook of Human Performance Technology.

Our 2008 HPT Podcast Contest winners include Margo Murray and the team of Mari Novak and Steven Kelly.

Why not get started? Take your three- to five-minute video—edit and add a title slide at the beginning and a credit slide at the end to identify the subject, the producer, and both the date and location where the video was taken—and then post it online at YouTube or Google Video, etc. Then post/embed your Video at HPT Connections —where you can find the 2008 submissions, the rules for 2009, and guidelines and tips to walk you through the submission/posting/embedding process.

You do not have to be a member of ISPI—at either the international or chapter levels—but you do need to be a registered member of HPT Connections. It is free to post your submission. Once registered, check it out and then share with your fellow HPT practitioners!

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ISPI Career Center


The International Society for Performance Improvement’s
Career Center will revolutionize how you search for jobs and source candidates! Our job board, powered by career services leader JobTarget, makes it easier than ever for ISPI members to enhance their careers and stay connected within the performance improvement community. Below you will find the most recent job postings added to ISPI’s Career Center:

Application Support and Training Specialist
Saralux LLC
Job Location: Atlanta, GA 30301
Job Type: Full Time

Business Process Engineer
WA Department of Licensing
Job Location: Olympia, WA 98501
Job Type: Full Time

Consultant/Trainer
Resource Associates Corporation
Job Location: Nationwide Location, United States
Job Type: Contract

Employee Performance Specialist
Scholle
Job Location: Merced, CA 95348
Job Type: Full Time

HR Training Specialist
McDonalds Corporation
Job Location: Oak Brook, IL 60523
Job Type: Full Time

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Performance Marketplace

Performance Marketplace is a convenient way to exchange information of interest to the performance improvement community. Take a few moments each month to scan the listings for important new events, publications, services, and employment opportunities. To post information for our readers, contact ISPI Director of Sales, Keith Pew at keithp@ispi.org or 301.587.8570.

Books
Online Performance Improvement Bookstore. ISPI and John Wiley & Sons have partnered to offer professionals in the field the best selection of performance improvement resources. ISPI members save 15% on all book purchases (professional and personal)!

Career Resources
ISPI Online Career Center is your source for performance improvement employment. Search listings and manage your resume and job applications online.

Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops
Online Anytime: The Course Developer Workshop Online 24/7. Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc. Register online at www.dsink.com, or call Jane at 800.650.7465.

Join us for THE Performance Improvement Conference, our Annual Conference, April 19-22, 2009, in Orlando, FL. Early registration rates have been extended! Register today!

Capella University offers the only graduate specializations that include certification in the Phillips ROI Methodology™, and Capella is one of the very few universities to partner with ISPI to expedite the review process for ISPI’s CPT certification. For more information, visit www.capella.edu.

 

Put the Power of Personality to Work for You. ISPI-approved CE workshops coming to Chicago: April 24—Qualification Training for the 16PF® Questionnaire; May 15—Applying Personality Insights to Maximize Executive Coaching; June 12—Advanced 16PF® Interpretation. 800.225.4728 www.ipat.com/training.

THE Performance Improvement Conference, our Annual Conference, April 19-22, 2010, in San Francisco, CA. Early registration rates at an all time low, ISPI member rate of $750, non-member rate of $1,000 until December 18, 2009.

Magazines, Newsletters, and Journals
Performance Improvement journal is available to subscribers in print and online through John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Order your subscription today.

Performance Improvement Quarterly is a peer-reviewed journal created to stimulate professional discussion in the field and to advance the discipline of HPT through literature reviews, experimental studies with a scholarly base, and case studies. Discounted to ISPI members. 

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ISPI Membership: Join or Renew Today!


Are you working to improve
workplace performance? Then ISPI membership is your key to professional development through education, certification, networking, and professional affinity programs.

If you are already a member, we thank you for your support. If you have been considering membership or are about to renew, there is no better time to join ISPI. To apply for membership or renew, simply click here.

Newsletter Submission Guidelines


ISPI is looking for
Human Performance Technology (HPT) articles (approximately 500 words and not previously published) for PerformanceXpress that bridge the gap from research to practice (please, no product or service promotion is permitted). Below are a few examples of the article formats that can be used:

In addition to the article, please include a short bio (2–3 lines) and a contact email address. All submissions should be sent to johnc@ispi.org. Each article will be reviewed by one of ISPI’s on-staff HPT experts, and the author will be contacted if it is accepted for publication. If you have any further questions, please contact johnc@ispi.org.

About PerformanceXpress


Feel free to forward
ISPI’s PerformanceXpress newsletter to your colleagues or anyone you think may benefit from the information. If you are reading someone else’s PerformanceXpress, send your complete contact information to johnc@ispi.org, and you will be added to the PerformanceXpress email list.

PerformanceXpress is an ISPI member benefit designed to build community, stimulate discussion, and keep you informed of the Society’s activities and events. This newsletter is published monthly and will be emailed to you at the beginning of each month.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact John Chen at johnc@ispi.org.

Stay informed: add ispi.org to your Address Book and/or Safe Senders list to ensure you don’t miss important announcements and valuable offers from ISPI!

ISPI
1400 Spring Street, Suite 260
Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA
Phone: 301.587.8570
Fax: 301.587.8573
info@ispi.org
www.ispi.org

 

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