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Context Can Be Everything: Will This Idea Work Here?

Let’s say that you (or someone you know or heard about) implemented a new program in an organization and it worked well. Or you found a helpful-sounding idea in a research article. So now you are considering trying that new idea in your current situation. With the drought, who needs library doors? Would this work… Continue Reading

The Performance Improvement Mindset

Someone told me once that her training department was “doing” human performance technology (HPT—now often called performance improvement) because they sometimes included job aids with their training. Pausing here for you to say, “No, that’s not it.” Finding a Way to Look at the Whole System Becoming a performance consultant does not happen overnight. Reading… Continue Reading

Why Are We Having This Meeting?

It’s not so unusual for people in a meeting not to be sure where they are going or how they’re going to get there. Here are two considerations that we should make sure are clear. What are the next steps? Where do they lead? 1. Why are we talking about this? I used to go… Continue Reading

Let’s Avoid Being the Facilitator from Hell

There we were, in a room full of smart, talented people. We’d been asked to give input for the strategic direction for an organization that we’d all been part of for many years. It was an invitation-only event, and people had traveled from all over the U.S. and beyond to provide assistance. Don’t Tie Up… Continue Reading

Why Design Our Way from Here to There?

I was talking with a long-time customer today, and he mentioned that some instructional designers are stuck in their instructional design world. Enamored with design models, techniques, and technology Not focused on performance We don’t want to be those stuck-in-our-own-little-world designers. So, here’s a reminder about why we design instruction: It’s not because we love… Continue Reading

Nurturing Empathy for Better Work and Life

The other day I was in a group where someone asked this: “How do you experience and nurture empathy? What is one thing you can do today to empathize with someone you cross paths with today?” I feel your desire to play with the mouse. One thought, I said, is to imagine yourself in another’s shoes—without… Continue Reading

Dear Manager: Transfer Is Up to You

Or, at least it’s true that your perceived support for using new skills makes a huge difference. Transfer: Not as Sure as Day Turning to Night A couple of actions on your part can make all the difference whether your employees use what they learned in training (or not). Before Training. Tell your employee that… Continue Reading

3 Key Steps Toward Evidence-Based Practice

Let’s imagine that someone has asked you to make something better. This might happen because you play the role of a… Manager Project Manager Process Manager Training Professional Organization Development Consultant Performance Consultant Etc., etc. The something might be a problem, for example: Too many errors A time-wasting procedure A lack of necessary resources Slow… Continue Reading

Tell Great Folks They are “Just Okay”? Maybe Not

How about we…. Hire the best and the brightest people we can find to work in our company and then… …tell the vast majority of them that they are “Just Okay” Hire the Best & Brightest & Then Help Them to Flourish That’s what happens when companies evaluate employees using “stack ranking,” a system that… Continue Reading

Give Bad Feedback & Things Get Worse: Cut It Out!

Oh wait! This title is bad feedback all by itself. We’ve all experienced it. Let’s see if we can fix that… Two truths about improving performance: In many cases, giving good feedback might be just what’s needed. Giving good feedback is much harder than it sounds. It’s Not All About What’s Broken Note: Vague feedback… Continue Reading