POINT-of-WORK:  Nail Point of Origin Before the Destination

What’s the first thing we do when we fire up our GPS to travel someplace? Plug in the destination, right? Exactly! That the first thing WE do, but what’s the first thing the GPS does? Sure, it finds and connects with the GPS satellite, but for what reason? To plot the journey? Nope; to establish a benchmark; to identify a point of origin from which to plot our travel options. Not even the most advanced GPS technology can deliver path options without establishing a current state benchmark. Do you think it safe to say we make assumptions about “Where we are right now!” and spend more time and energy focused on “Where we want to be?”

Certainly, technology off-loads part of the travel planning process, but have we overlooked some of the routine elements of establishing a simple benchmark of “Where we are right now?” How can we possibly plan a journey without establishing a starting point – a current state benchmark? Methods to establish our point of origin…our current state…hinge on determining something as simple as “True North”.

We know what needs to change. We know what we want to accomplish. We’ve defined what “good looks like”, so we make decisions to move to a better place. Like taking steps to improve productivity or elevate performance outcomes in something familiar like…say…umm…Training our workforce?

Finding True North
with a Performance Compass


Is the exciting destination a shiny new LMS, or maybe a more collaboration-friendly, socially-enhancing Learning Experience System (LES)? Maybe we throw in an innovative design methodology that’s more ecosystem-focused, or a sexy new cloud-based software application. If we’re already considering the potential mix of destination solutions, then the journey must’ve been successful, and we’re only left to decide where to begin, right?

This point is known as “premature destination”, that moment where we think we’re ready to decide but are not actually at a state of readiness to make an informed decision.

Of the solutions I just tongue-in-cheek suggested, not a single one of them may be the wrong thing to do…given the right application…and for the right reasons…the right reasons accurately defined by all the relevant attributes impacting current state existing at Point-of-Work that is…and a Point-of-Work Assessment Methodology is the tool for the job.

What are Point-of-Work attributes restraining performance right now? What are the foundational reference points from which to base mission-critical business decisions? What is “True North”?

Point-of-Work Assessment Methodology – PWA

 Identifying True North truly establishes a critical point of reference – but only a single point – surrounded by 359 other degrees of variation (performance attributes). Variations like:

·   Environment/Culture held hostage by FDA Regs in SSW

·   People/Capability scattered ENE, due East & SW

·   Workflows/Processes South broken, NW crippled

·   Content/Resources reposited in nine locations

·   Systems/Technology due West until the upgrade

·   Impact/Analytics MIA except for butts-in-seats

Do you have a performance navigator on your L&D team who can accomplish PWA discovery and solution road mapping across 360 degrees of your Learning Performance Ecosystem?

Pop the Top
on Your
Performance Compass with In-House
PWA Methodology


Completing a PWA is not nearly as exciting as buying new tech toys, I’ll grant you that, but it’s considerably less career limiting than buying the wrong toys for the right reasons. This perspective holds true for more than technology though. Have you ever developed an awesome training course only to wind up ducking and covering to defend your team’s awesomeness because performance results were MIA?

I feel ya…

That happens routinely when training courses are the defacto destination and the only prep prior to arriving at that destination is a training needs assessment. There is nothing resembling True North derived from training needs assessments. All the overt learning objectives and perfectly aligned competency targets on the planet will never plot the correct solution path all the way to the performance destination. Sure, you’ll arrive dressed to the nines at the learning destination with stellar level 1 scores and maybe even valid knowledge transfer proof at level 2…and an LMS full of completed training courses; check that 5% box, bud! BUT…What about the Other 95%?

If nobody pops the top on the performance compass to assess the performance attributes restraining measurable business outcomes, you’ll only have a partial journey planned. Add a Performance Navigator…or a Performance Ninja…or a Performance Strategist to your L&D team and equip them with the freedom to pop the top on a performance compass and enable them to consider all 360 degrees of ecosystem performance attributes…and find True North.

Knowing where you are right now is the only way to ensure you wind up where you need to be…versus where shiny objects solve more wants than informed needs.

Call on a Human Performance Outfitter to prepare your team for finding Point-of-Work performance attributes around True North to complete the other 95% of the journey to sustained workforce capability.

Additionally, I welcome you to join the recently launched LinkedIn Networking Group – POINT-of-WORK Performance Support Solutions. Join in the discussions, ask questions, swap ideas, or simply be a lurker for a while.

Thanks for reading and take good care!


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