Performance is more than support – performance in context:

Performance Analysisthecatalystlookingnewways-low Example: looking at an existing practice or KPI and identifying areas for improvement.  A practical example here would be increasing existing market share – this could be even more specific, such as targeting a segment, geography, product set etc Conditions: Performance analysis requires an environment that welcomes collaboration, commentary and openness to adapt.  It sounds obvious, but it requires an acceptance of imperfection and experimentation.  Its worth stopping for a moment and thinking about your leadership culture here – is room made for this in the delivery cycle? Organisations that invest in big capital projects such as oil and gas companies build in opportunities for performance analysis, peer review and lessons learnt into their project management methodologies.  This is because they recognise the value of that insight – learning a lesson from a similar challenge can save many millions of dollars.  So there’s no contest, it’s a given that performance analysis and transferring the lessons from it makes sense.  But organisations whose budgets aren’t nearly as big could still reap huge benefits from this type of culture.  The outcome of this type of work is often unpredictable by nature (which is why it can go by the wayside) but this is where breakthrough thinking, new products, efficiencies and competitive advantage can arise. Goal setting: Establishing effective measures is a key step here – know what the lead indicators are requires a performance consultancy approach.  It is also important to establish the hypothesis you are trying to prove.  So for example in this case it could does improved performance support content for our CRM improve outcomes? Does easier access to business development case studies improve conversion rate in related markets? Over a 6-month period, what effect does intensive sales coaching have on a defined cohort?  Tools such as the value chain will help to create this for you and make the link to business outcome.  Going back to the oil and gas context, because a value is put against a project, the impact of performance analysis at key project gates can be compared against previous work of a similar nature and the improvements tracked. Community: When looking at something like market share, its likely that throughout the business, there will be examples of practice or market insight, that would serve another team well.  Some years ago, we worked with France Telecom to improve collaboration and transfer of practice between global product managers, through the establishment and participation in a practice community where they are able to share recent developments, recommended suppliers, increases or decreases of uptake on new services in particular markets etc.  These lessons learnt are readily transferable and yield fast results, where others have the advantage of learning from the successes and challenges of those who have been there before.  Below are the figures from one of the founding communities at France Telecom which inspired the adoption of the model across the business in the following decade. Slide1 Tools and Tech: There’s certainly no shortage of data that could be captured from a whole variety of sources and there’s no doubt that senior leaders want to know if things are delivering value.  The link between learning activities, collaborative behaviours and business outcomes can be measured through a combination of qualitative and quantitative measures.  In the short term, putting in the effort to gather business stories help drive adoption and encourage participation in analysis.  However, for a deeper analysis and more robust data driven approach to identifying patterns of effective learning activities and outcome, xAPI can be effective.  Here, we can gather data based on real learner interaction with content, from consuming content (from a whole variety of sources) and contributing (through interaction with others, contributions of user generated content and participation in communities and discussions).  Because xAPI uses the ‘actor verb object’ format, it enables organisations to create more reliable links to performance supporting activities and business outcome.  So if we look at a high performing team and see through the data what activities they regularly participate or the route to performance improvement they take that can tell us what activities are yielding business results. People:  The role learning professionals play in this arena is a highly consultative role – as objective facilitator of activities to conduct workflow analysis and after action reviews, as evaluation developers who understand what data indicates an improvement in performance and look for patterns in behaviour that lead to better business results (using data provided by the xAPI protocol.  Marketing has become a more data driven professional and the learning profession is too.  It may be that learning teams in organisations would benefit from some expert support in this area to get started. So in our final instalment, we’ll explore how performance catalysts, i.e. those individuals who facilitate dialogue, collaboration, knowledge sharing and curation throughout the business are key for product and service innovation.