POINT-of-WORK:  Performance Is as Good as the Support…Not Just Training

Recently, I’ve had the benefit of participating in several threads with colleagues who have an extended military background. With my momentum regarding performance support at Point-of-Work they are quick to defend the importance of training, and I don’t disagree for a second. But there is more to their story that must be pointed out. Training alone is not enough. Gaining competency is not accomplished during a training transaction – by itself, it is not enough!


Image from Strategic Dynamics – no attribute provided

The training regimen followed by our military does something that truly reinforces excellent training – practice, practice, and then some more practice…and that happens at Point-of-Work. While it’s true practice happens on a range or in a realistic simulation, they still use the support and the technology when deployed into a live environment.

No team, regardless of role, becomes proficient without being fully immersed into this regimen. The military does something very well that the rest of us could perfect. Training/learning is continuous…but to be truly continuous…it should be converged with work, either practice or real.

Learning and gaining proficiency are accomplished on a Learning Performance Continuum extending beyond training and that follows closely with the framework of 70:20:10.

One continuous element is the efficient use of Performance Support embedded in multiple role-specific, task-centric scenarios simultaneously. Performance support becomes embedded within formal training (the 10%). Performance Support is also embedded continuously as collaboration during training and beyond at Point-of-Work (the 20%). And…Performance Support uses the aggregate of collaboration and available technology for contextual, real-time information, resources, and learning delivery at Point-of-Work (the 70%).

Think about how effective a sniper would be in the field without hours upon hours of training, practice, and close support by his/her spotter. Without real-time collaboration that gauges distance, humidity, windage, and observation, how effective would their role and task-level effectiveness be?

The continuity of learning and task-level execution are mission-critical in a military work environment. Is mission criticality in our corporate environment any less important? Granted the outcomes are less lethal, but are they less mission-critical?

The secret sauce in either “work environment”
is the convergence of learning with work

I’m convinced the future role for L&D is enablement of this convergence capability. Having pursued this convergence capability over the last dozen years, I’ve experienced several drivers that must be successfully integrated and adopted into the learning performance discipline:

  • Intimate knowledge of all performance attributes existing at Point-of-Work
  • Adoption of discovery skills and methodology targeting Point-of-Work
  • Integration of intentional design methods that embed Performance Support into learning
  • Integration of Performance Support technology supporting learning/work convergence
  • Effective change leadership to “sell” the mission criticality of enabling this convergence

Don’t let Change Leadership appearing last on the list above denote a post-convergence drill. Leading and managing Change is as continuous, pervasive, and dynamic as the corporate mission and the learning performance ecosystem supported.

Methinks the time has come to put a few holes in our outdated Training Paradigm that sports lingering blind spots that restrain the convergence mission. A Point-of-Work Assessment – PWA methodology to benchmark current state has proven to be a great beginning to remove those blind spots and pursue an adoption journey to workforce performance and sustainability.

Want to know more? Consider joining the recently launched LinkedIn Networking Group – POINT-of-WORK Performance Support Solutions and join in the discussions, ask questions, swap ideas, or simply be a lurker for a while. Seriously considering the convergence journey? Partnering with a coach who has successfully survived this journey may be another viable option. I welcome conversation in that regard and can confirm it will be a gun-free zone…

Thanks for reading and take good care!


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