Teachers Talking | Mr. Bland & Coach Pabon | Book of Bland

We Should All Write A Book

No, seriously.
I believe we all should write some kind of book.
Everybody has something inside of them to contribute to the world around them.

There are those small things that we found ourselves repeating time and time again.
Maybe it’s some kind of quality advice.
Maybe it’s a step-by-step process for doing some kind of task.

  • Achieving a certain kind of style or look with make-up
  • Different way to perform various maintenance requirements for your vehicle(s)
  • Life lessons and how to capitalize on opportunities that stem from “mistakes”

The point that I’m making is that we all have something of value to share.  Maybe it won’t be a book that turns into the next block-buster movie event of the Summer, but who knows?  Maybe it will.

Either way, why not take a chance and just go for it.
I like Mr. Bland’s idea for a book, and I actually think he should write a book.

If you know who Mr. Bland is, and even if you don’t, you should encourage him to follow through with this idea & publish this book.

His youtube channel is: Mr. Bland
You can go subscribe & leave him a comment to get started on his “Book of Bland”.

While you’re at it, I would be most appreciative if you subscribed to my channel:
Coach Pabon.

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Accurately Determining the Gap before Taking a Leap

Originally Posted: October 9, 2010

Human Performance Technology

The phrase Human Performance Technology (HPT) is usually synonymous with Human Performance Improvement (HPI).  For this post, I will use the terms interchangeably.

So, What is HPT / HPI Anyway?
ASTD Models for Human Performance Improvement by William J. Rothwell, as cited on Purdue University’s Physical Facilities Training (n.d.)  webpage, describes HPI as

…the systematic process of discovering and analyzing important human performance gaps, planning for future improvements in human performance, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable interventions to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions, and evaluating the financial and non-financial results. (Human performance improvement, para. 1)

O.K., So Why do I Care About HPT / HPI?

Animated Hello image
Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com

Looking closely at this definition, one should notice that “training” is not necessarily the solution for a performance gap.  HPT models generally speak of utilizing “interventions” in order to bridge challenges with performance.

These performance challenges may be the result of “organizational/environment causes, motivational/attitude problems, or skills/knowledge deficits” (Piskurich, 2006, p. 27).

Piskurich (2006) goes on to clarify that even though training may not be the main solution for a performance gap, it will usually accompany other interventions.

There is a Performance Gap – Now What?
The International Society for Performance Improvement (n.d.) explains that once a determination has been made that a performance gap does, indeed, exist, HPT calls for a cause analysis to be implemented.  A cause analysis will help to uncover why there is an existing performance gap.

  • Is the culture of the work place contributing to performance short-falls?
  • Are there some motivational issues contributing to a decline in performance?
  • Or, is it actually some type of skill/knowledge deficit?

This cause analysis step will help to determine “why” performance is not up to par, and/or why performance may not improve without some kind of intervention.

Sam’s $0.02 – For What it’s Worth
The idea that training is not the answer for every single performance short fall is absolutely aligned with my personal and professional experiences.

Coming from an IT “contractor” background, there have been many times that the overall performance of a specific group may not have been on equal footing with the expectations of management, and/or a particular customer.  Often enough, the question always seemed to revolve around training, and/or the skill/knowledge of specific contractors and/or entire sections.

Although there were a few occasions where the prerequisite skill level was the source of a performance gap, more often than not, the performance gap was the result of continuously shifting, and/or unclear management/customer goals/objectives.  This constant confusion, and lack of concrete guidance often lead to a decrease in contractor moral which only served to contribute to the already existing performance gap.

The only relief came when management/customers where forced to provide written objectives, requirements, and/or expectations for contractor deliverables.  This provided the necessary target for contractors to focus on, and management/customers to truly evaluate performance.

If the new deliverables did not match what management/customers wanted, they were compared to the written taskings.  More often than not, the contractors’ performance actually met or exceeded the written guidelines, and the management/customers had to edit and/or add to the written taskings.

This extra “work” for management/customers actually reduced the frequency of shifting goals/objectives.  Inevitably, this fostered an increase in contractor moral which led to an increase in performance.

Slowing Down to Speed Up
At first glance, it may seem as if implementing an HPT/HPI model may take up a lot of time and/or resources.  However, if carefully analyzed, and implemented properly, an HPT/HPI model may actually save time, resources, and even money in the long run.

As a close friend once told me, “Sometimes we have to slow down in order to speed up.”


References

International Society for Performance Improvement. (n.d.). Principles of human performance technology. Retrieved from http://www.ispi.org/content.aspx?id=54

Piskurich, G. M. (2006). Rapid instructional design: Learning ID fast and right. (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Pfeifer.

Purdue University. (n.d.). Human performance improvement: What is human performance improvement? Retrieved from http://www.purdue.edu/physicalfacilitiestraining/human_performance_improvement.htm