Real learning is a part of the work, not apart from it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You be the Performance Specialist!

Recently one of my favorite researchers/thinkers in the area of workplace learning, Jane Hart @c4lpt had a great series called The Performance Specialist: 3 case studies on her Blog. In it, she provided a performance situation, a typical training dept. solution and ultimately the hypothetical approach of a Performance Specialist.

This led me to a conversation with Jane via Twitter where I asked- might we not present the problem only and leave it in the hands of the readers to generate the solution ... or role-play the Performance Specialist?

Well, needless to say I posted an idea on Google Docs and for one reason or another she didn't receive it (I blame user error being the user).

Jane has much going on and I thought I could carry the torch a bit further. So, with a tip of my hat to Jane I present to you:


An Executive of an eyewear company is concerned by the lackluster performance of many of the retail offices in areas such as sales & customer service. The 4 member staff in each of the 300+ offices understands each metric and can see how they are performing by having access to KPI's through a highly visible, office specific Intranet report system that updates daily.

However, the struggling offices don't seem to have the skills needed to improve.

The Training Department is called in and suggests that the organization leverage Webinar technology to conduct synchronous training sessions with key staff members over a period of weeks. In addition he suggests the team design and develop asynchronous elearning simulations as a continuous reinforcement tool. Finally he suggests a small team of experts be sent into each region to conduct weekend training sessions in the critical areas.

The Executive has concerns. He's concerned about incurring more costs and pulling the L&D team off several other projects will cause delays in other areas. He also knows having office teams work on a weekend is demotivating. And finally, he is aware of the 5 Barriers to Effective Learning in Organisations (Barrier # 3 to be specific) as presented by Charles Jennings, and therefore asks the Performance Specialist to explore the issue.
The Performance Specialist ...

OK, here is where you can jump in. If you were the Performance Specialist, what would you do?
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