Using Organizational Change to Integrate the EPS Discipline

In a previous life, I worked for a large medical equipment manufacturer and was tasked to lead a team to improve leader development. We developed a Leadership Academy that had a replicable 10-point Organizational Change Management [OCM] model as part of the curricula. I’ve found the OCM model instrumental in positioning new innovative, and even disruptive…or should I say especially disruptive…enterprise initiatives. Embedded Performer Support [EPS] is as innovative and disruptive as they come.

After speaking at two on-line webinar and four live events in 2013:

• Performer Support Symposium – Boston
• mLearnCon – San Jose
• DevLearn – Las Vegas -and was invited to
• Elliott Masie’s Learning 2013 as a speaker and to sit on a panel of experts for Advanced Performance Support

…all of these venues in 2013 and the invitation to speak at the Guild’s Ecosystem 2014 in March validate the business –critical role the new EPS performance discipline will play. But…it will not play until somebody in the organization drinks the EPS Kool-Aid. At all the webinars and conferences I hear consistent agreement that EPS is where L&D organizations need to go, but the questions that regularly surface pose a problem to overcome: “Where do we start?” and “How do we get there?”

“Getting there” is a journey, and to circumnavigate obstacles, challenges, resistance, skepticism, and more, a road map to adoption is necessary. I believe the ten-step OCM model described below is a viable approach. I can’t give away my consultancy secrets but I will share the ten points I like to follow.

These may not flow in what looks like a linear order as shown here; however, I suggest they are all critical success factors specific to a repeatable OCM model. I will attempt to wrap these ten phases of Change around the EPS discipline. They include:

Validation – Is there a problem worth solving with EPS? How painful and visible is it? (See Calibration) Does anybody give a rip? How do we convince business-organization-department-individual that EPS is necessary? What is the business case for EPS in terms of business impact? What is the cost of doing nothing?

Calibration – What is the “AS IS” state prior to EPS? Define the business impact at risk. What are the projected tangible business performance indicators of successful adoption of EPS? Are there intangible benefits to include as well? This phase serves as guidelines for measuring evidence of formative business impact from deployment through implementation.

Sponsorship – Which leader is willing to commit to adopting EPS as a viable approach to reducing the time-to-impact? Is he/she accessible and visible to the organization and the EPS Change team?

Value Proposition Cascade – What is the “localized” value message at every level impacted by the adoption of EPS?

Road Map Development – What is the plan to communicate, prepare, inform, equip, sell, train, and support the adoption of EPS? This is not a Point A to Point B roadmap. There are stops along the way; some of which may be iterative in nature.

Mobilization – What resources need to be engaged to execute the EPS road map? This means starting small with a pilot project and scaling off the success. What is the timeline of events?

Readiness – Integration of internal consulting skills and an agile design and development methodology that embraces a Learning Continuum that address all five moments of need. Is the right technology infrastructure in place and can it scale? What other functions must be at readiness to launch a pilot?

Deployment – What are the scope and logistics of the GoLive event for the EPS pilot? Debrief feedback and fine-tune through pilot iterations. Extract impact measurements from EPS pilot results. (See Calibration)

Implementation – Replicate pilot roadmap on a larger scale. This is a process of routinization of agile development methods and technology integration into workflows. Extract impact measurements from EPS incremental implementations as you scale. (See Calibration)

Sustained Capability – Effectively communicate and celebrate success beginning with pilot deployment. Share user best practices and feedback. Harvest learning from feedback. Integrate into future learning solutions. How long, when, by whom, and how are success metrics captured, formatted and reported? (See Calibration)

Like I said earlier, this ten-point OCM model may not manifest in the linear order you see here. Some phases may run concurrently. Others, like Calibration, are touched throughout the Change initiative to provide formative feedback and evaluation to fine-tune subsequent steps and validate successful business impact.

As my career evolves I’m finding EPS as a center-piece of significant Change that extend well beyond our current training paradigm. Over my different corporate roles, I’ve learned that without effective Change Management many great ideas die on the vine. When those ideas disrupt current methods and challenges embedded cultures, OCM cannot be overlooked.

I’ve recently increased my involvement with Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson in the new Performance Support Community, and in our Forum these questions of “Where do we start?” and “How do we get there?” seem to be popping up more often as the community grows. This community will be an excellent place to learn and share with others who are considering or already pursuing the EPS discipline. I welcome you to join us there and become a part of this growing discipline of EPS.

Gary G. Wise
Workforce Performance Advocate, Coach, Speaker 
(317) 437-2555
Web: Living In Learning