Find, Build or Purchase Performance Consulting Skills Sooner Than Later

If the L&D organization could be seen as an archer their quiver would be filled with an assortment of learning solution arrows; some micro-learning, some adaptive, some virtual, some classroom ILT. The target toward which those arrows are fired represents the workforce. The ten-ring…the bulls-eye…on many of the targets may often represent the Point-of-Work. The tool used to ensure accuracy of those solution arrows is not the compound bow as you might think…it’s the performance consultant…who accomplished discovery to identify and prioritize the target(s) with precision of a Learning AND Performance Solution Road Map.

In October of this year I was approached by Morten Max of MAX-Retail Made Simple out of Denmark for an interview podcast about the Performance Paradigm.

I reference the importance of the performance consulting role several times as an integral skill set for not only the L&D discipline but even on the Operations side of the organization. While it’s true I am back in retail, what we discussed has implications to virtually any business discipline.

Regardless of the design framework you choose to adopt, defining and prioritizing the targets for your solutions can only come from holistic discovery that embraces Point-of-Work.     

Check out the podcast!

MAXClick to listen!

We have no shortage of targets at which we can fire our L&D solution arrows. Too often just hitting the target with training is viewed as sufficient. I participated in that approach for many years before being exposed to the discipline of performance consulting. That new lens changed everything. The objective morphed from just hitting the target to hitting the right target…with the right arrow…at the right time…with the right amount of force…and for the right reasons. My objectives moved beyond successful training delivery to delivering a solution that sustained business outcomes generated by the workforce.

Acquisition of the performance consulting skill set changed my career path…enabled portability across multiple industries…and convinced me that training alone cannot drive performance despite contributing to potential. The clear target became the Point-of-Work. If you perform holistic discovery across five key areas; understand root causes for performance gaps impeding business outcomes; prioritize urgency; define tangible business impact; and construct a road map of learning and performance assets, your solutions become hard-wired to organizational bottom-line. Those five key areas include:

  1. People/Capability
  2. Work/Process
  3. Content/Resources
  4. Technology/Systems
  5. Analytics/Impact

Discipline agnostic, these five areas for discovery are common in any circumstances where performance outcomes are less than desired. The performance consultant’s role is to ask the right questions of the right people to discovery what’s broken and why. Only then can a road map of solution assets be aligned and prioritized to address the 7-Right Things required to sustain workforce capability.

When you consider learning design frameworks and different methodologies like 70:20:10, Performance DNA, 5-Moments of Need, note that each one has a skill set requiring a human possessing performance consulting skills…regardless of what those methodologies call the role. Adopting any of these well-designed methodologies and failing to effectively find, build or purchase the performance consulting skills for your team is like using a “spray and pray” targeting technique for solutions intended to drive performance.

Make every solution arrow count!

Know your target before you start spraying default training solutions!

The paradigm must shift to performance at Point-of-Work!

Check out the podcast if you have time, and feel free to share your feedback.

Thanks for reading…and listening…and may your discovery always define your targets!

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