Sunday, December 20, 2009

Moving beyond training- Performance consulting

IF not us, WHO? If not now, WHEN?

When the global economy is slowing crawling back to its original form, this situation offers a tremendous opportunity to those in training & development to rise up to this occasion. Management today seeks out those people who can partner them to install the performance required by organizations to win back the lost ground.
We must evolve from training to performance perspective. Performance consulting is the process by which we can work with the management to identify and achieve performance excellence linked to business goals.

Role of Performance Consultant

Following points can describe the role of a Performance Consultant
1. Focus: Identify and address performance needs of people
2. Output: Provide services to assist in changing or improving performance
3. Accountability: Held accountable for establishing and maintaining partnership with business leaders.
4. Measures: The results of training and non training actions are measured for performance change & cost benefit.
5. Assessment: Assessments are completed to determine performance gaps and reasons for these gaps.
6. Relationship to organizational goals: The function is viewed as producing measurable results like cost savings, increase in productivity etc.

Skills required for being a successful Performane Consultant

Four key areas of skill and knowledge is required by performance consultants to be successful

1. Business Knowledge
2. Knowledge of Human Performance Technology
3. Partnering skills
4. Consulting skills

Performance consultants are business people who specialize in Human performance.

How Performance Consulting moves beyond training

· Identify the primary forces, outside the control of the organization that will challenge the organizations ability to meet its business goals.
· Discuss the strategies and actions being taken by competitors and the implications of those actions for the organization.
· Skillfully use the business language- the language which is spoken throughout the organization.

Performance Consultant is a role and not a job. Its is distinguished from the role of a traiditional trainer by its focus on what people must do rather than on what they must learn

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Transitioning from Traditional training to Performance Consulting

“Remember, training is not what is ultimately important …….performance is”
– Marc Rosenberg

One of my friends working as a trainer with an MNC financial services firm gets a call from his operations manager telling her that the training she conducted for his team has done nothing to the falling customer satisfaction scores. The statement clearly said “whatever you did certainly didn’t work”. This leaves my friend very perplexed.
Scenarios like this are a common feature in many organizations. What these scenarios have in common is today training is being looked at as a tool to enhance performance.

Most of the expenditure on training & development is wasted as skills and knowledge gained during training sessions are not appropriately applied by employee on the shop floor. Only about 10% of these expenditures are transferred to the job. This makes it imperative for training to move from traditional approach to the performance approach.

Bob Mager and Peter Pipe have advocated that trainers differentiate between skill and knowledge deficiencies and other work environment factors that affect performance. For over three decades , Tom Gilbert has advocated performance analysis based upon rigorous examination of exemplary performers. He has argued that this is not enough to ask exemplary performers what they do; instead analyst must observe their performance.

There is no doubt that our economy is changing in fundamental and many far reaching ways. The performance demands placed on employees are demanding and their work is changing every day. The competitive advantage and survival of any organization demands that its employees perform at high level.

This brings in a tremendous opportunity for professionals in “training & development” space, as in their quest to achieve high employee performance & productivity, Management and others will seek out these people who can partner them to install the performance required by the organization.

Thus trainers today must be able to do:
1. Develop collaborative working relationships with key managers and other stake holders
2. Clearly understand the Vision and mission of the management
3. Identify the performance levels required by employees to survive
4. Work with people in and outside the management to determine all interventions required to be a “High Performance Organization”

These activities are clearly outside the preview of traditional training processes. Hence trainers today have to transition themselves from being trainers to Performance Consultants who can help employee to identify and achieve performance excellence linked to business goals. The theme that comes out of this discussion is “think performance, not training

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How to deal a torrid relationship with your employer

Walk away…..u deserve better……that’s probably what your friends would have told you had you been into a troubled relationship with your partner….

You will not be left with too much of a choice…Either tackle the situation or leave your partner

The same rule applies in your relationship with your employer. When your needs are not being met at work for a long time or you feel you’re compromising or maybe putting your dreams on hold- its an indication of a “Toxic Relationship”. It not only effects your work life, it also effects your health, relationships, confidence and your self esteem gets hit too.

In order to change things you should be willing to i) Develop a strong self-respect and ii) know what corrective actions to take

Here are a few corrective actions that will help:

1.Know your Value: Without a strong sense of self-esteem, it’s impossible to achieve change and improvements on career front. So the first thing to do is to get focused on identifying your unique talents, be clear about the commercial value you have created for your employer and clients. Take out those glowing testimonials, appraisals and feedback. This will help you get back your self esteem and in turn give you the courage to break free of the situation that is grinding at you.

2. Get clear about your needs: What is the work you really want to do? What are the personal and professional needs? What are the values you will never ever want to compromise on? What are the skills and strengths you want to develop & utilise on a day-to-day basis?

3. Identifying the missing links: in an employee-employer relationship, you need to know which of your needs are not being met before seeking to make changes. If notclear on the missing links, you can very easily make an impulsive decision that takes you out of the frying pan and into the fire.

4. Be open for a dialogue: Whatever be the problem, the moment you engage in a constructive conversation, you are on your way to making progress. Be open for a dialogue without any anger, judgement or prejudice and you can make the situation better. Always remember “To Understand than to be understood”.

5. Have options: if you are stuck in your personal relationship and suddenly you get a compliment from your partners friend….how to do feel? I am sure it lifts your spirits…that’s exactly what happens when you stuck in a bad situation in your job….a sudden call from a head hunter to discuss a potential position and you start feeling valued. An email from your friend asking if you would be interested in exploring an opportunity in his organization gives you a feeling that you have other options.

Always remember that there’s’ a future beyond your current situation and that the outside world places a value on you. Instead of waiting for opportunities to knock your door, start creating these opportunities for yourself. Start networking with your professional friends and acquaintances. This will give you the confidence and options to deal with the situation instead of getting to a stage where things become untenable.

Throughout our lives and careers, we all get stuck in difficult stages of a relationship – both with our partners and employers. Most of us will usually tolerate a bad situation for a while until it becomes extremely uncomfortable. But some of us will never tackle such situations until something “breaks.”

So friends lets not get ourselves into a situation where we “break” – forcing us to just resign, burn our bridges or leave with no job to go to creating another set of problems; lets get up and put our acts together to steer clear of such a situation by following the above mentioned steps as we “deserve a lot better…”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Traits of A High-Performance Organisation

Seven important traits of High Performance Culture

A compelling vision
The vision statement of what the company wishes to be in non-financial terms reflects in the employee behaviour of the organisation.

A true-believer psyche
Employees are not concerned with their individual success alone but they believe in their company's vision and its success. Each employee strongly believes that he is part of the organisation and owns it too.

Basic values
At least two to four basic values are observed in high-performing organisations. These simple and down-to-earth values are either implicit or stated.

Dissatisfaction with current performance
Although employees are proud of their organisation, they are not complacent about their current ways functioning. There is a certain degree of restlessness and they try to improve their performance by learning from mistakes.

Respect for peers

Respect of peers through their performance and the desire to be the best is the biggest motivator amongst executives in high-performing organisations.

Committed employees
The idea of a long-term association with the organisation and their colleagues causes employees to behave well with them. They do not exhibit any other behaviour with a short-term association in mind.


High performing organisations believe in working and playing hard. Success is celebrated almost everyday.

The Employees

High-performing companies invariably attract outstanding performers, they do not settle for anything less. Employees' exhibit a "Can-do" attitude and are Highly Competitive

The system aims at developing employees and maintaining transparency in business transactions, and having clear expectation/evaluation/frequent feedback.

Reference: The Manage Mentor