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Post Tagged with: "Fred Nickols"

<i>Performance Improvement</i> Journal: March Issue

Performance Improvement Journal: March Issue

In the most recent issue of the Performance Improvement journal–March, 54(3)–you will find an issue loaded with nourishing food for thought, picked from the tree of self-reflection, that will help us discover which direction we can further grow to reach our goals; performance improvement told in a continually changing story; scenario-based learning; a closer look at change management and the confusion that accompanies it; and a new introduction to an article from the past on research and theory to practice and the original article published in April 2000.

Knowledge Worker: Goal Clarity

Knowledge Worker: Goal Clarity

I have been thinking about goal clarity lately and, in this month’s column, I will share that thinking. You do not have to look very far to note that many writers emphasize the importance of goal clarity with respect to workplace goals and objectives.

Knowledge Worker: Solving Problems in the Workplace

Knowledge Worker: Solving Problems in the Workplace

If figuring out what to do is a defining characteristic of knowledge work, then what we ordinarily think of as problem solving is a core skill or competency for knowledge workers–if not the core competency.

Knowledge Worker: Employee Engagement: Enticing but Elusive

Knowledge Worker: Employee Engagement: Enticing but Elusive

A recent report from Deloitte suggests that organizations have spent $720 million in pursuit of this enticing but elusive goal and will more than double their spending to $1.5 billion (see the link at the end of this column). The same report also suggests that most if not all of that money has been wasted. It seems employee engagement eludes us still. In this brief column I will speculate as to why employee engagement is wanted and why it remains beyond our grasp.

The Consultant’s Competency Circle: A Postscript for Internal Consultants

The Consultant’s Competency Circle: A Postscript for Internal Consultants

There is no better example of a knowledge worker than the consultant. Consultants can be found outside and inside most organizations, in large firms and small, and as members of consulting firms and working as independents. In the February 2013 issue of Performance Improvement, we examined the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as an independent consultant (Nickols & Bergholz, 2013).

Knowledge Worker: A Baker’s Dozen of Factors Affecting Human Performance

Knowledge Worker: A Baker’s Dozen of Factors Affecting Human Performance

In last month’s column, I indicated that in this month’s column we would look at some factors affecting human performance. Failures in performance can occur when these factors are missing or not supportive of the performance in question. A human performance problem exists when one or more people or teams are not performing in accordance with expectations or requirements and the reasons for this failure in performance are unclear. Consequently, some kind of investigative effort is called for.

A Letter to Mr. Taylor

I hope this letter finds you in good spirits and receptive to some new insights regarding “Scientific Management.” I am writing because there have been many changes in the world of work and working since you set out to study work, worker, and working in a scientific way.

The Problem Solving Bases and the Logic for Covering Them

The Problem Solving Bases and the Logic for Covering Them

The problem solving process is frequently presented as a linear, by-the-numbers activity. I will readily agree that there is a certain degree of linearity to the process; for example, it’s probably unwise to propose or implement a solution until you’ve got a fix on the problem. But I also believe that there is a lot more jumping around than advocates of the linear approach would have us believe.

Five Kinds of Gaps and What to Do about Them

Five Kinds of Gaps and What to Do about Them

A generally accepted notion in the world of work is that a problem exists when there is a gap between what is and what should be that requires action but the action to take is not immediately apparent. In other words, there is uncertainty regarding action; hence, the view of problem solving as a matter of figuring out what to do.

TrendSpotters: The Knowledge Worker’s Tool Room

Welcome to Fred Nickols, CPT, tool maker for knowledge workers, our guest this month. Fred, fred@nickols.us, has been affiliated with ISPI since 1968. His professional background includes a career in the U.S. Navy, another in consulting, and two executive-level positions with former clients. Fred currently leads Distance Consulting LLC, where he focuses on the performance of organizations, operations, and individuals.