May 2010

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In this issue:

You Are the Culture Teacher

Ad: Handbook Series

TrendSpotters

Being Vision Guided for Professionalism: Results in Enhanced Performance

Ad: PT Toolkit

Evaluation: The Link Between Learning and Performance

From the Board

ISPI Announces New Performance Technology Toolkit

Bosses, Bullies and Brutes: Why Are They Still Around?

ISPI-EMEA Announces its 8th Annual Conference

ISPI Announces New Organizational Member

Tales from the Field

CPT News

Case Study Competition Winner

Career Center

Performance Marketplace

Join ISPI Now!

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

ISPI Board of Directors

ISPI Advocates

Back Issues

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You Are the Culture Teacher

by Edward Muzio, Group Harmonics

Make Work Great answers the question asked by HPT professionals and everyone else attempting to improve their workplaces: How can I create output, success, and enjoyment in an unsupportive environment? Below is an excerpt from Make Work Great, an ISPI 2010 Award of Excellence Winner for Outstanding Human Performance Communication. Make Work Great will be available in June 2010.

The task sounds overwhelming. How can one person—you—possibly create or change something as big as “culture”?

To answer that question, we must be clear about what corporate culture is. Consider a definition penned by Edgar Schein, who is often credited with inventing the term:

The culture of a group can now be defined as: A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.

 

In one sense, this is just a fancy way of saying “culture is how we do things around here.” But notice that Schein’s definition includes both what the culture dictates and where it came from. How we think, feel, and perceive “around here” is based on nothing but a set of assumptions about how to get things done that worked in the past and is taught in the present.

Consider these points:

  • The problems faced “back then” are not necessarily the same problems you face today.
  • The assumptions made in the past were not necessarily the best assumptions at the time, nor were the solutions the best solutions.
  • The people who made those assumptions may not have been any more qualified to solve their problems than you are to solve yours.
  • Those people did not have a crystal ball. When they created their assumptions, they had no way of knowing what you would face now. Besides, there’s a good chance they never intended their assumptions to drive your behavior anyway.

Yet despite all this, the powerful majority—the crowd of peers, authority figures, and role set members around you—is constantly teaching, modeling, and exhibiting this set of assumptions to each other, to you, and to any new person who joins your ranks. And to the extent that you are a peer, an authority figure, a customer, or any other member of someone else’s role set, you’re teaching and modeling them too. Like it or not, through your actions, you are a teacher.

In that role lies your power to create and change the culture around you. The final decision as to what ideas you discuss and what actions you take is still in your hands, and it strongly affects your world. After all, some of the behavior of the people around you-behavior that you’re inclined to ascribe incorrectly to their personal choice instead of their situation-may well have been learned by watching you!

You can choose to repeat the established precedent, or you can choose to role-model something different. In fact, choosing to differ from the group can be beneficial even if the specific choice you make is wrong. In Asch’s perceptual problem-solving experiments, when one of the scripted actors gave a response inconsistent with those of the other actors, the real subject was more likely to depart from the perceived “majority” and give the correct answer. The accuracy of the subjects was highest in cases where the dissenting actor voiced an opinion that was further from the correct answer than the rest of the scripted majority. Just suggest something different, no matter how far-fetched it seems to others, and the rest may take care of itself. Your departure from the norm demonstrates that precedent can indeed be changed; your demonstration inspires others to find their own voices too.

Choose to Choose

Are you now asking incredulously, “How can my actions influence the culture?” The only reply is, “How can they not?” You need only stand in the workplace and do something-anything. In the doing, you will either demonstrate more of what has always been taught, or you will demonstrate something different. Those around you-and by extension, the culture itself-will be affected. Over time, both will change.

So don’t ask yourself how you can influence the culture, but rather how you already are influencing it. Are you consciously creating a mini-culture around yourself according to your own design, or are you unwittingly training and retraining others to follow the negative aspects of the broader environment? In other words, are you a beneficiary of precedent or a slave to it?

The choice is up to you, and the rest of this book is about choices you can make that will make your workplace great. It’s about the consistent practice of simple disciplines, habitual actions that convert you from culture follower to culture builder. It’s about harnessing the power of precedent to create a positive environment around you, one of your own design. This is powerful stuff!

Before you start-before you even think about making any of those choices—just be sure that your first choice is to choose.

Ed Muzio is the author of the award-winning books Make Work Great (McGraw-Hill, 2010) and Four Secrets to Liking Your Work (FT Press, 2008) and CEO of Group Harmonics. Originally trained as an engineer, Ed has started organizations large and small, led global initiatives in technology development and employee recruitment, and published articles and refereed papers ranging from manufacturing strategy to the relationships between individual skills and output. Prior to founding Group Harmonics, Ed was President and Executive Director of a human services organization, and a leader, mentor, and technologist within Intel Corporation and the Sematech consortium. Ed may be reached at ed@groupharmonics.com or www.groupharmonics.com.

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TrendSpotters
Lesson Map of Instructional Activities

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

As we continue to showcase ISPI’s major annual award winners for 2010, it is our great pleasure to introduce Guy Wallace, CPT, this year’s recipient of ISPI’s highest award - Honorary Life Member. Guy, guy.wallace@eppic.biz, is a past ISPI president, prolific contributor to our society, author of numbers of books and articles, and a tireless cheerleader for our profession. Currently President of EPPIC, www.eppic.biz, where he provides performance-based instructional design and builds curriculum architecture, Guy contributes his Lesson Map of Instructional Activities to the TrendSpotters Open Toolkit (TOT).

Genesis of the Lesson Map of Instructional Activities

Guy developed the Lesson Map of Instructional Activities some years ago while working with Illinois Bell on a labor relations course. He needed a flexible way to share ideas with stakeholders while making the instructional design process visible. Guy has since used this tool successfully in a range of projects.

The Lesson Map of Instructional Activities is the core of a trio of design templates:

  • Event Map, used to determine and sequence the major events in building an instructional product, including implementation and post-training performance measurement
  • Lesson Map of Instructional Activities, used to display and organize all analysis data into sequential lessons/units/modules
  • Instructional Activities Specifications, used to display details of each the Instructional Activities from the Lesson Maps

Description of the Tool

The Lesson Map of Instructional Activities is a visual, layering, hierarchical tool that design teams, in particular, can use to great advantage. In addition to the formalities of identifying a specific lesson and its learning objectives, this template captures the design, from left to right, of instructional flow from the Information to be presented, to a Demonstration of how the task is done, to the Application of the content in a practice exercise that enables the learning objective(s) to be met.


Figure 1.

The example above shows the basic design elements of a lesson from a leadership program. The design team began by specifying the beginning and end of the lesson, numbers 1 and 8 in the Information column. Next, they identified the final exercise, number 7 in the Application column. Guy recommends that we begin with these three parameters when using the Lesson Map of Instructional Activities for any project, followed by the other components in whatever order they are identified and agreed upon.

How to Use the Lesson Map of Instructional Activities

This template is eminently scalable and works as well for the lone instructional designer as it does for a team. Gather your group around a flip chart and begin adding detail and moving components as views are expressed and ideas generated. Some tips:

  • Always start with the lesson’s learning objectives, then the opening, closing, and final practice to set the lesson’s boundaries and specify the results to be achieved
  • Include your most skeptical stakeholders on the design team so they can participate in the process and see the resulting learning product emerge as envisioned, adding input along the way
  • Apply the Lesson Map of Instructional Activities to rapid development projects, to ensure that all critical information is captured and displayed
  • Avoid embarrassing errors and costly rework: make changes at the design stage when they are ideas on paper, not completed materials
  • Use the Lesson Map of Instructional Activities and the group design process to gain buy-in for your project and build positive buzz early

Success Story

At Illinois Bell, as described earlier, a large number of stakeholders were concerned about the labor relations training project Guy was leading. Based on past experience, one senior manager was skeptical that the training program could be designed and implemented to properly mirror how labor contracts were actually used in labor relations work: In previous training, an instructor read a sample labor contract to participants rather than having them actively engage with the document to look up salient information.

Using the Lesson Map of Instructional Activities enrolled even the most doubtful executive in the design process and resulted in the entire group of stakeholders serving on the design team and remaining active in the project through implementation. They could see the analysis results in the Lesson Map and enthusiastically participated to make sure the resulting training would reflect the way work was actually done.

Advice to Users

The Lesson Map of Instructional Activities is a flexible tool suitable for a range of instructional design projects. Guy recommends using it even when there is little or no allowance for analysis because you can back into an on-the-spot analysis by making the instructional elements visible.

Links to the Performance Technology Landscape

The Lesson Map of Instructional Activities supports these principles of Performance Technology:

R

Focus on Results—starts with the final application exercise

S

Take a System view—this template is the middle portion of a total design system

V

Add Value—makes analysis information, learning activities, and results visible

P

Establish Partnerships—uses a collaborative approach for designing training

+

Be Solution Neutral—enables analysis results to drive the instructional design

Direction for Performance Improvement

If you know Guy, read his blog, participate in ISPI discussions, or follow him on Facebook or Twitter, you are probably aware that he is worried about the future of the performance improvement profession. One of Guy’s main concerns is that we are limiting ourselves to too narrow a toolset, using just the trappings of our individual specialties—HPT, LEAN, 6 Sigma, OD, ID, etc.—rather than pooling our implements and talents to provide the most appropriate solutions to our clients’ performance issues.

Find all the models and tools featured in TrendSpotters at 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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Being Vision Guided for Professionalism:
Results in Enhanced Performance

by Gary R. Michaelis

It is wise to have a vision of professionalism for success. Having a vision of professionalism creates an inner drive to establish the necessary framework for success. Without a framework from which to launch varied pursuits, the likelihood of success is significantly diminished if not completely eliminated. A vision of professionalism focuses your energies and enhances your resolve to meet or exceed not only your own expectations, but also the expectations of others. When you visualize yourself handling things professionally, satisfying results are predetermined. When you condition yourself to constantly visualize professionalism you set the stage for enhancing performance and realizing continued success.

People with professionalism visualization have the knack for turning failing businesses into prosperous ones. Top notch CEO’s who have established track records all employ strong professionalism visualization. They see to it that there is a place for everything and that everything is in its place. The lack of visualizing professionalism results in untenable situations where failure predominates. If you don’t visualize professionalism in the workplace, less than desirable outcomes are likely. Unsatisfied and offended customers go elsewhere, elsewhere being where there is professionalism.

The vision of professionalism is not illusive or difficult to acquire, but it does require some research. You can achieve a vision of professionalism through reading books on the subject such as 5 Steps To Professional Presence by Susan Bixler and Lisa Scherrer Dugan. Other sources for instilling a vision of professionalism are associations, chambers of commerce and the Better Business Bureau. It also helps to be in the company of others who share in the vision and strive for professionalism. Some organizations are good at it while others fall way short. How they remain in business is somewhat of a mystery, although they must not be marketing to those for whom professionalism is expected. A really low price sometimes is the overcoming force driving some people to accept less than professional treatment.

Beyond simply having a vision of professionalism, you need to be guided by that vision. That means following through with doing what needs to be done professionally. Being guided means that you keep your sights set on accomplishing things professionally. You constantly strive for exceptional performance and for no breakdowns or shortcomings resulting in diminished professionalism. Usually, those who are guided have role models or mentors who have instilled high ethical, legal, moral and fairness goals into them. Those who truly are guided refrain from temptations and indulgencies in conduct detrimental to a professional image.

To become more vision guided, try the following suggestions:

  • Read Bill Gates’ book, The Road Ahead
  • Play a perfect round of golf mentally
  • Learn to play chess

Gary attended college at the University of Maryland, University College from 1976 to 1979 earning a BS in Business and Management. He moved to Manassas, Virginia in 1991 where he worked as an Analyst for an Information Technology (IT) company. Gary went back to school at the University of Maryland, University College and worked as a computer programmer for an IT company while he attended school. He earned his second BS degree in Computer and Information Science in 1991. He worked as a Programmer/Analyst until 1997 when he became a software tester for a company located in Arlington, VA. He may be reached at garymichaelis@aol.com.

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Evaluation: The Link Between Learning and Performance

by Roger D. Chevalier, CPT, PhD, Improving Workplace Performance

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 1:00 pm EDT | Register Online

Managers need information with which to make decisions. Systematic evaluation of efforts and results will not only provide this information but also encourage improved performance. While evaluation has always had a place in instructional design and performance improvement, few programs are systematically evaluated to see if participants change their behavior (Level 3) or individual and organizational performance (Level 4) was actually improved. This session will present three case studies in which performance was improved through systematic evaluation. Following the presentation of each case study, participants will interact in a guided discussion of evaluation principles and practices.

Objectives

  1. Gain a greater understanding of Level 3 and Level 4 evaluation and their potential value in making training more efficient and effective;
  2. See evaluation as part of an overall change strategy;
  3. Understand why evaluation is an important link in producing measurable results;
  4. Have more knowledge and motivation to evaluate their training and performance improvement programs.

About the Presenter

Roger Chevalier, CPT, PhD, is the author of the 2008 ISPI Award of Excellence recipient, A Manager’s Guide to Improving Workplace Performance, published by the American Management Association (AMACOM Books, 2007). He is an independent consultant who specializes in imbedding training into comprehensive performance improvement solutions. He has personally trained more than 30,000 managers, supervisors, and salespeople in performance improvement, leadership, coaching, change management, and sales programs in hundreds of workshops. He can be reached at Roger@aboutiwp.com or www.aboutiwp.com.

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From the Board
THE Performance Improvement Conference 2010 Highlights

by Darlene Van Tiem, ISPI Immediate Past President

The International Society for Performance Improvement is an amazing organization poised to make a difference in the life of each member as well as in the world. We are a Society with the vision and the tools to make sustainable improvements that benefit us, our internal and external clients, and the community around us. The March special issue of the Performance Improvement Journal focused on our power and potential as one person, one team, one organization, or one community. The conference advanced the “Power of One(s)” theme to embrace external environmental challenges, such as the global economy, poverty, sustainable societal improvements, or the necessity to do more with less.

Our conference keynotes challenged us and provided new opportunities to benefit ourselves and those around us. Marshall Goldsmith engaged us to enrich our world by saying “thank you”, listening to our colleagues and constituents and incorporating these ideas. Diana Whitney encouraged us to use positive approaches leading to minimizing stress and maximizing synergy as we bring out the best in our organizations. Deb Page helped us realize that we are the “right people at the right time”. What thrilling messages for all in our field.

Our Masters’ series speakers brought new ways of looking at our opportunities. Rear Admiral Timothy Sullivan told us how the Coast Guard applies HPT; Curtis Bonk from Indiana University talked about opportunities with social media in an open world; Irada Sadykhova an executive with Microsoft talked about building HPT into a business DNA; John Baldoni, a well known leadership guru challenged us to lead from the middle; Thiagi encouraged us to handle complexity by reconciling paradoxes using simulations, and the panel during the Executive Roundtable talked about managing organizational performance.

There were new features that added spark and enthusiasm. There were 392 tweets on the ISPI conference. Our chapter leader’s workshop began with a team building activity with the Board and ISPI staff. We had World Cafés resulting in fresh ideas for our field, ISPI and more. We added a Chat ’n Chew as a venue to extend our signature Bagel Barrel. The chapter clinic was a first for a chapter event within the conference. In this time of economic challenges, we were fortunate to have the career center which included recruiting performance improvement professionals.

The opening session set the heartbeat for the conference. With Drum Café West, we drummed our enthusiasm and synergy into the entire conference. We drummed every morning building camaraderie. Our closing session was phenomenal. We honored the winning university for the Case Study Competition and all of the universities that developed viable resolutions to the new product launch case. From the opening drum beat to the closing message that we are the right people at the right time, energy and good will abounded.

All of this would not have occurred without the hard working and committed ISPI headquarters staff. April Davis, executive director, made the conference her highest priority. Ellen Kaplan, Robin Stimson, John Chen, and Craig Grimm provided the capacity to make plans come true. Lisa Toenniges and the 2010 conference committee were committed to making this conference an experience of fresh ideas, notable networking, and energizing sessions. Everyone left with a recommitment to the performance improvement field.

There is more to come. THE Performance Improvement Conference 2011 will be in Orlando, the place of dreams and possibilities. Miki Lane, president, and Rod Jurado, conference chair, are planning to “keep the drumbeat/the heartbeat of our work going so that next year’s Orlando experience will be a continuation of this year’s celebration and success”. Join ISPI at the Swan Hotel in Disney World. It is a great place to bring your family, a great place to network in a fun environment while the sunshine opens up our minds to new ideas and creates new possibilities.

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ISPI Announces New Performance Technology Toolkit!


You’ve been asking for tools and resources to help you save time and do your job easier and faster. With you in mind, ISPI is announcing the release of our Performance Technology Toolkit to do just that.

What is the Toolkit?

The Performance Technology Toolkit is a collection of 23 reusable tools in an electronic PDF format. The tools are organized into six portfolios:

  1. Project Management
  2. Analysis
  3. Design
  4. Development and Implementation
  5. Evaluation
  6. Presentation Guidelines

Why add these to your portfolio of tools?

  • They save you time because they automatically:
    • Calculate time and money
    • Provide a document trail when doing project debriefings
    • Communicate expectations
  • They make planning easier since each includes the essential steps
  • They provide guidance to new staff as they take on assignments
  • They help you avoid overlooking steps or points for consideration
  • They provide a systematic approach for recurring tasks

How do you use the tools?

  • Each tool has fields you populate with your data
  • Some tools automatically calculate time and cost
  • Share them with colleagues to better confirm agreement on roles and responsibilities
  • Use them during team debriefings to communicate actions and results

To find out more about the tools available, click here for the Performance Technology Flyer and Order Form.

What does the Toolkit cost?

ISPI Member

Non-member

$79 (1-5 copies/users)

$129 (1-5 copies/users)

$69 (6-25 copies/users)

$119 (6-25 copies/users)

$59 (26-50 copies/users)

$109 (26-50 copies/users)

For quantities over 50, please call 301.587.8570.

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Bosses, Bullies and Brutes: Why Are They Still Around and Even Flourishing?

by Irving H. Buchen, PhD, Capella University

Do you recognize this person at work?

  • He heads up a major division as a Partner in the firm.
  • He supervises managers with advanced degrees he has never enrolled in a masters program.
  • He loses his temper and yells at people. He doesn’t inspire and rules by fear.
  • He doesn’t want to be told anything negative and the managers are afraid to stand up to him.
  • He regularly overloads and routinely and willfully underestimates tasks and doesn’t understand the complexities of what needs to be done.
  • He sets deadlines without consulting other people first and gets upset when the deadlines are not met.
  • He is a micro manager and does not trust anyone.
  • He is convinced that he is indispensable and that if he were not there to crack the whip the division would grind to a halt.
  • He demanded that someone be fired as an example so that everyone would be shaking in their boots; the person he picked was a politically incorrect choice.
  • He is never sick or absent, comes in early and leaves late, is tireless and looks like he could go on forever.

Are there many like him? Or is he the exception to the rule? According to regular employee surveys he is a norm and workers are routinely terrified, intimidated, unhappy, under-perform and leave. Indeed, there is nothing like a bad boss to turn any job into an endurance contest and to feel trapped. In fact, what is generally not known is how often employees plead with outside consultants to help them devise traps or stratagems to get rid of such brutes. Of course, the problem is that the brute usually signs off on the billables.

But the issue still remains: why are they still around? Why are they allowed to continue to tyrannize whole divisions? Why are there still so many of them? Sadly, some of the answers are as upsetting as the situation.

Bullies Are Clever

Many are duplistic. The face they show to their superiors is not the one typically displayed. In addition, they are always martyred; telling those above them horror stories about the losers they are forced to deal with; and asking always for replacements to substantiate the claim that they are miracle workers daily making a purse out of a sow’s ear. Sometimes in a roundabout way their yelling is reported; whereupon he launches into such a wild, passionate and detailed tirade of collective crimes, never told before, that his boss decides his profit reports are positive, he would be better off to let sleeping dogs lie. Besides, that supervisor does not want to fall prey to his foul mouth, be on his hit list, or become an object of his harangues. In short, our bully fools everybody who can do to something him.

Brutes Are Valued and Needed

Especially in hard times during the need to trim and downsize, you want some one tough to do the job, not some bleeding heart. To assuage any twinges of guilt, you can instruct the executioner to whisper “Lift him gently onto the gallows.” Deeper and more disturbing is that many managers have come to share the bullies’ negative assumptions about the rank and file: namely, that they are all basically lazy, are only interested in doing what they can get away with, slavishly follow union work rules, and are only interested in their paycheck, not job satisfaction.

How else can we explain the annual surveys showing the dramatic differences in perception of the values of managers and workers? In short, the first thing that happens to a new manager who embraces the cynicism of his new level, is that he distrusts workers, tolerates brutes or becomes one.

The Collective Failures of Leadership

This is the most upsetting because it potentially breeds hopelessness. The leadership failures are across the board, and up and down the chain of command. They surface in every division and in every discipline. The toll in morale, productivity and profitability cannot be quantified only guessed at; similarly there is no way of tallying the loss of exceptional workers who are discouraged from ever applying because of negative word of mouth reputation. But perhaps the major failure is that of the leader of leaders—the CEO.

He is in charge of the big picture. He alone has the overall responsibility not to allow a few bad apples to spoil the whole barrel. He alone has the power to overhaul the conventional feedback mechanisms and seek a transparency and access that exposes structural defects and dysfunctional personalities. He alone can do something about bad bosses. The fact that they are still around and wrecking havoc is a direct indictment of the CEO.

He has two immediate choices: fire them or put them on a short leash of training and rehab. But in the latter case, turn over the follow up and evaluation to an outside recruiting firm. Above all, the CEO should add to his standard focus on shareholders and delivering profits a series of multiple commitments: to create and sustain jobs, to make them as meaningful and purposeful as possible, and to support a work environment that is humane and consensual and that produces a quality products and services customers value.

Irving H. Buchen, PhD, currently serves on the doctoral business faculty at Capella University and is a curriculum consultant to IMPAC University. He is also Senior Research Associate to Canis Learning Systems, which develops future-driven degree programs. He is an editor of training for The Futurist and serves on the editorial board of the journal Foresight. He may be reached at ibuchen@msn.com.

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ISPI-EMEA Announces Its 8th Annual Conference


Gothenburg, Sweden | September 30–October 2, 2010

We promise an event that will be a valuable learning and sharing opportunity, where delegates are every bit as important and involved as presenters.

We have established a track record of high value, practical, active/interactive conferences. You will be hearing from us shortly on the conference theme and receive a copy of our call for session proposals.

We look forward to launching a web site soon to replace our existing blog. In the meantime, please feel free to tell to your friends and colleagues.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Sweden!

The ISPI EMEA Board

Carol Panza, CMP@orgmap.com
Arnoud Vermei, arnoud@webperformance.info
Grainne Fielding, grainne.fielding@sap.com
Juan Pablo Ortiz, juanpablo.ortiz@yesp.se
Christine Marsh, cmarsh@primeobjectives.com

Conference Committee

Lisa Arnborg, lisa.arnborg@yesp.se

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ISPI Announces New Organizational Member


Institute of International Education

Founded in 1919, the Institute of International Education (IIE) is dedicated to increasing the capacity of people and organizations to think and work on a global and intercultural basis. IIE partners with educational institutions, governments, foundations, and corporations to develop and implement educational exchange and training programs that serve students, scholars, and professionals in more than 175 countries. Among these are the U.S. Department of State’s prestigious Fulbright Student and Scholar programs. The Institute employs a staff of 650 at six U.S. offices and overseas locations in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beijing, Budapest, Cairo, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kiev, Mexico City, Moscow, and New Delhi. For more information visit www.iie.org.

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Tales From the Field
Strategic Help for Hounds

by DeAnn Allen, Wendy Hocken, Kim Lesh, and Kelly Palmer

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 Organization

Since the 1970s, the North Texas Basset Hound Rescue (NTBHR) has been dedicated to sheltering and saving at-risk basset hounds. Run completely by volunteers, their mission includes the prevention of cruelty to animals by locating and caring for homeless or mistreated basset hounds, providing them with medical care, and placing them in permanent loving homes.

The Strategic Needs Assessment

In the fall of 2009, a team of graduate students at Boise State University conducted a strategic needs assessment (NA) for NTBHR after it was revealed they had no formal organizational goals. The NA Team used Rummler and Brache’s Nine Performance Variables Model (Rummler & Brache, 1995) as a practical guide for analyzing performance throughout all levels of the organization, including the organizational, process and job/performer levels.

NTBHR executives initially identified an opportunity to better manage the volume of basset hounds that need rescuing in hopes of rescuing as many hounds as their resources allow. Since organizational goals had not been clearly defined, the NA Team began at the organizational level to provide a structural framework from which the other levels of performance could be managed. NTBHR executives helped pinpoint the performance priorities of the organization.

Data Collection and Analysis

The NA Team collected existing data, obtained benchmark information from similar organizations throughout the country, and observed adoption events. Additionally, they surveyed NTBHR volunteers and interviewed the NTBHR Board of Directors.

After the data was collected, the NA Team organizedthe information into the Nine Boxes Model based on key questions asked in Rummler and Brache’s (1995) expanded Nine Performance Variables. A brief review of the most identifiable factors is in Table 1.

 

Goals

Design

Management

Organization

No formal goals exist. The NTBHR has a clear mission to lead future-goal setting endeavors.

The NTBHR has clearly defined purposes and functions. However, the flow of inputs and outputs between functions needs updating.

A definitive management culture exists, but no steps are being taken for performance review other than annual hound adoption numbers.

Process

No process goals exist. The NA Team discovered multiple opportunities for goals to be linked to both organizational goals and customer requirements.

Multiple processes exist; however, there are few documented processes. Developing formal processes will aid in goal attainment.

Processes are not being managed. Process management creates an opportunity to modify processes as needs arise.

Performer

Limited job descriptions were available and job performance metrics are not linked to process requirements.

Adequate information and tools have been supplied to the NTBHR’s support workers and volunteers.

There is no formal incentive plan or feedback given to volunteers.

Table 1. The Nine Boxes Model

Findings & Recommendations

Rummler and Brache’s model dictates that having clear goals at each level ensures alignment with desired results. It is clear that goals, design, and management at each level serve as a foundational guide for an organization. Therefore, the findings and recommendations are presented by level.

 

Findings

Recommendations

Organization

Formal goals have not been set or communicated throughout the organization.

Although there are fundraising goals and annual adoption predictions, the NTBHR is not measuring all indicators that support the operations of the organization.

Formalize organizational goals and the mission and vision for the NTBHR in a way that aligns all three.

Develop goals to track relevant areas of operation.

Process

There is an organizational perception that dogs overstay their welcome in rescue. Not having objective data to either support or deny the perception is limiting any opportunities for adoption improvement.

Information is not kept current nor is there a tracking system in place to monitor how many fosters are available at any time.

Benchmark data showed significant variation in both operational data collected by rescues and their individual operational processes.

Develop a classification and tracking system for the anticipated time hounds will remain in rescue, as well as tracking of time in rescue.

Develop a system to track available fosters and to review data to determine if additional foster homes would be beneficial.

Consider networking with high performing rescues and review these organizations’ processes for possible adoption by NTBHR.

Job/Performer

Important work groups, including volunteers and fosters, feel supported by NTBHR in their roles; however, gaps exist that link process goals to job and performer goals, design, and management, as well as to processes and the organization’s mission and values.

Conducting a Job and Task Analysis once the NTBHR has successfully aligned organizational goals and processes with their redefined mission and vision.

Table 2: Findings and Recommendations

Many factors affect performance within an organization, from environment and society, to management and goal attainment. If an organization such as NTBHR does not maintain strategic alignment throughout, these factors may contribute to a need for identification of organizational performance and business strategy gaps. A strategic needs assessment was useful in guiding the NTBHR toward clear, strategic business practices and organizational goals.

References

Gupta, K., Sleezer, C., & Russ-Eft, D. (2007). A practical guide to needs assessment (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Pfeiffer/ASTD.

Rummler, G., & Brache, A. (1995). Improving performance: How to manage the white space on the organization chart. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

DeAnn Allen is a Warranty Manager for Pierce Homes and RV, and is currently pursuing her Masters of Science (MS) degree in Instructional and Performance Technology (IPT) through Boise State University (BSU). She may be at dallen@pierce.biz. Wendy Hocken is an Instructional Designer for Coast Capital Savings Credit Union and is currently pursuing her MS degree in IPT through BSU. She may be reached via email at rabinna@gmail.com. Kim Lesh is the Patient Safety Officer/Risk Manager for Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton in Carrollton, Texas. She is currently pursuing her MS degree in IPT from BSU. She may be reached at kimlesh@msn.com. Kelly Palmer is Senior Director of Design and Development in Sun Learning Services for Sun Microsystems. Kelly holds a MS degree in IPT from BSU. She may be reached at kellypalmer@me.com.

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CPT News from Around the World


A CPT You Should Know

I want to introduce you to Connie Perren, Director, Standardized Patient Program, Office of Educational Development, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. Connie retired from Shell International Exploration & Production in April 2009. She worked for 15 years in IT at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston before she entered the corporate world. Her Bachelors degree was in mathematics, and she spent many of her years with Shell improving processes and planning and implementing the changes. Connie decided to get a Green Belt in Six Sigma directly related to hospital/healthcare process improvement before she started looking for another job. She decided in 2008 that she wanted to get back into the healthcare industry.

About the time she started looking for a Six Sigma healthcare performance improvement position, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) was coming back after the devastation of Hurricane Ike, and she really wanted to help Galveston and UTMB to come back bigger and better than ever. (She was born and raised in Texas City, Texas, right across the bay from Galveston and had lots of friends and good memories.) UTMB posted a job description for “Director, Standardized Patient Program” and the rest is history. The position is not quite what she got her Green Belt for, but she finds it very fulfilling to work with the Medical school and School of Health Professions on campus to improve their students’ educational experiences and better prepare them to provide healthcare in her own community as well as others.

I learned about Connie’s career change when I sent her a notice that it was time to recertify. She thought she had another year as she has been so busy in her new job. Her response to me was:

“I’ve been busy, busy, busy and learning, learning, learning. My 10 years working with PhD engineers is the same, but not the same as working with MDs and PhD researchers. Everything has a new twist, new protocols and new processes. And I’m helping Galveston recover—very motivating for me!”


Connie may be reached at cbperren@utmb.edu if you want to find out more about her work.

Mock Trial Learnings

The courtroom was almost full. Family and friends anxiously await the start of the trial. The defense and prosecution teams can be seen in their last minute huddles, robed and ready to proceed. Enter three judges as this case will not be heard by a jury.

The scene is one altogether too common at the A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. However, today is definitely not typical in any way.

The judges are sitting judges appointed by the Province and Federal governments to adjudicate cases on a regular basis. However, the rest of the participants are high school students interested in a career in law. They represent 16 high schools in the Region of Peel.

Each team, one team per school, has been provided with the facts of a case. The teams are also coached by lawyers acting as consultants. Team members are then selected to play roles from accused, to witnesses to attorneys. The case is far from a simple one. This year it concerns a fellow accused of assaulting an undercover police officer who he thought was a drug addict beating up another addict. Definitely not your “slam dunk” type of a case.

In Peel, the Peel Mock Trial Tournament is organized by the Peel Justice Education Network, which consists of members of the judicial, legal and educational systems. Sponsorship of cash prizes for the top three schools is provided by the Rotary Club of Brampton–Heart Lake. Clearly these business leaders see value in supporting hands on learning for the youth of Peel Region. This partnership has been actively involved with the tournament for the past eight years.

Let’s look at this program from the ISD perspective. Why was this initiative started in the first place? The need was identified by a former Chief Justice of Ontario, Roy McMurtry. The initiative is based on the principle that, “Students who respect the law and appreciate the benefits of a dynamic legal system are better equipped to participate in a legally regulated world. The study of law enables students to think critically and communicate effectively as legally informed citizens.” said McMurtry.

Thus the need was determined, the project planned, and the learners analyzed. To this was added a list of tasks, that is, which roles were required to conduct a trial, what were the roles?

Next the organizers determined their objectives and using the skills and knowledge of the judges designed an assessment process to allow for selection of winning teams, regardless of which verdict was reached. The teams do not advance by simply winning their case but by presenting in the most structured manner. They are required to think critically and dynamically, responding to the actions and words of the other side on the fly.

It was then determined the best method for this learning initiative was a “hands on” activity. Clearly, in this way the participants could be evaluated on their actions rather than merely on memorization of concepts and techniques.

This resulted in development of cases and materials to be used by the students that would support the learning process. For example, in this year’s case, the students were coached by actual police officers and had note books to refer to just as would an officer testifying before the court.

The validation of the course was probably the most critical part of the initiative. Would the students, the teachers and the school boards support such an initiative? Given that the performance bar and the schools requesting participation has increased year after year, it is clear that the program has been validated as successful.

Following each tournament, the organizers sit down and analyze what happened in that year’s tournament. This allows them to evaluate the program (course) and continuously improve upon the experience.

Looking back over the tournaments I have witnessed over the past five years, and mapping it against ISD, it is clear that this program truly fits the model. In so doing it validates the model as one to focus on by anyone in the field of Human Performance Technology.

Gordon J. H. Newman, CPT is President of The Newman Learning Group Inc. an organization dedicated to providing value add learning and development solutions to improve the bottom line performance of organizations and individuals. Gordon may be reached at gordon@newmanlearning.com or www.newmanlearning.com.

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

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University of West Florida Team Wins Second Annual Case Study Competition


Victory for our inaugural Case Study Competition in 2009 went to Indiana University. Teams of graduate students from Boise State University, San Diego State University, University of West Florida, Capella University, and San Francisco State University in human performance technology (HPT) and instructional systems technology (IST) participated in a competition that provides a connection between ISPI and future practitioners, as well as offers valuable real-world experience for students studying HPT and IST. The competition, which began in January, culminated at the conference, where the top three teams showcased their findings and presentations.

For more than three months, the University Teams analyzed business trends, company data, and structure based on a fictitious company the volunteer development team created. This year’s company was called Magic Sticks, a blended specialty retailer and wholesaler of baked goods. The University Teams’ first deliverable consisted of an analysis plan and future actions required for continued development of an HPT opportunity.

Throughout the competition, the university teams began development of their Detailed Intervention Proposal. Over this period of time, more than 24 phone interviews were conducted with key personnel from Magic Sticks branches around the globe. Based on the two deliverables, a panel of judges consisting of:

  • Roger Chevalier, CPT, PhD, Improving Workplace Performance
  • Gary DePaul, CPT, PhD, Lowe’s
  • Ray K. Haynes, PhD, Indiana University
  • Carol Haig, CPT, Carol Haig & Associates
  • Carol Lynn Judge, CPT, Navy Selection and Classification N132G

selected the top three finalists based on sound HPT practices and recommended interventions from their deliverables. The panel of judges selected (in alphabetical order):

  • Boise State University
  • San Diego State University
  • University of West Florida

The final component of the competition required the top three University Teams to present to their peers and the judges during ISPI’s conference. All five university teams were invited to the conference with waived registration fees as part of their participation in the competition. Following the presentations were 15-minute Q&A sessions by the judges which provided additional insight into the University Teams’ tactics and proposed interventions. This was a unique opportunity for each team to obtain real work knowledge and feedback from these seasoned professionals.

After many hours of deliberation, a first place finalist was announced during the conference’s closing session. The first place finalist of ISPI’s inaugural University HPT Case Study Competition was University of West Florida. This team consisted of:

  • Michelle Horton
  • Allison Cameron
  • Kate Rodrigue
  • Steve Morse

The West Florida Team: Michelle Horton, Allison Cameron,
Kate Rodrigue, and Steve Morse

As the first place finalist, they earned:

  • Waived conference registration for THE Performance Improvement Conference 2011
  • A $500 stipend to be paid or used toward a future CPT application fee
  • A one-year membership to the International Society for Performance Improvement
  • A one-year subscription to Performance Improvement Quarterly

Congratulations to all the participating universities and emerging talent, and thanks to everyone involved for the hundreds of volunteers hours given to this new initiative. To view the University HPT Case Study Competition portal visit www.optionsix.com/ispi.

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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:

Evaluation & Assessment Manager II
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Florham Park, NJ 07932

Senior practitioner in within the Educational Methods group’s Assessment and Evaluation team. This role helps project teams strategize, design, develop, and execute evaluation and assessment plans for specific projects/initiatives. At the Manager II level, this person works closely with the Director of Evaluation & Assessment to develop, implement, and maintain a sound assessment methodology; to formulate, negotiate, and interpret policy decisions in the context of managing the firm’s risk; to collaborate with senior stakeholders, help craft project-level strategy, and discusses implications of decisions made by the project team. Directs the analysis, preparation, and presentation of data gleaned from surveys/assessments/evaluation. Oversees the design and conducts an array of teaching, evaluation, and learning assessment projects with emphasis on documenting best teaching practices; analyzing, summarizing, and presenting learner feedback; and demonstrating the effectiveness, business results, and Return on Investment for courses, programs, initiatives, and curricula.

Process Improvement Manager
DSC Logistics
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Des Plaines, IL 60018

This position provides leadership and oversight for DSC’s continual improvement process - APEX. In this role, the individual will manage the on-going execution and effectiveness of the process with the goals of lowering costs, improving processes, eliminating unnecessary work, driving maximum customer satisfaction, and sharing and instituting best practices across the DSC network.

Process Improvement Specialist
UMass Memorial Medical Center
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Worcester, MA 01605

Reporting to the Director for Performance Improvement, serve as a Process Improvement Specialist/Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Black Belt, responsible for providing project leadership and technical support in the creation, management, and sustainment of a methodical approach to increasing quality and performance throughout assigned business areas.

Systems Specialist II
Capital One
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Richmond, VA 23218

Gathers requirements from business owners who require changes to business and IT systems. Assist the business with process improvements and procedure changes to gain efficiencies. Work as test lead in Agile sprints with responsibility for quality of execution of business intent. Assist business with production support issues that impact day to day operations. Responsibilities: Perform audits of new and existing programs and policies Provide production support Support business strategies and campaigns Delivery of Process Improvements

VP Instructional Effectiveness
Teachscape
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: San Francisco, CA 94101

The Vice President for Instructional Effectiveness Programs will, in collaboration with the CEO, COO, Chief Learning Officer and external Teachscape partners, provide overall leadership and vision to drive the design, development, implementation and continuous advancement of Teachscape’s Pre K-20 technology-enabled professional learning tools, programs and resources. The focus of our efforts is to create ground-breaking Professional development programs that measurably improve the capacity of teachers and instructional leaders to raise student achievement to world class standards. Reporting to the COO, this senior manager will serve in an executive capacity to help define outcomes-focused professional development materials, content, and services that represent rigorous standards of quality and effectiveness; advise Teachscape graduate programs for educators; and represent Teachscape at local, state, and national meetings and conferences.

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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 our marketing department at marketing@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)!

ISPI @ Amazon. ISPI has created a one-stop shop for all your performance improvement needs. Here we have boks written by ISPI members, CPTs, E-Documents, and featured books of the month. All purchases over $25 are eligible for free shipping.

 

 

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

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 500–700 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:

  • Short “I wish I had thought of that” articles
  • Practical application articles
  • The application of HPT
  • Success stories

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!

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