Performance is more than support – performance in context
What this performance model means for the provision of learning support in organisations So taking the performance lens to typical learning challenges, let’s finish with looking at performance in context. To do this, I have broken down performance in a more contextual way and applied our model to each situation of the following contexts: Performance rehearsal, performance analysis, performance catalyst Today, we’ll take a look at performance rehearsal. Examples: This could range from preparing someone for their first managerial role through to highly complex skills, such as designing major structural engineering projects, conducting medical procedures, flight training etc Conditions: This requires clear communication about expectations for a given role, understanding of core work activities (i.e. the processes, tools, inputs and outputs), transfer of knowledge, mentoring, practice opportunities aligned to typical work challenges and scenarios to develop a realistic and fully aligned view of what levels of performance are needed. Where these skills are complex, rare or safety critical, investment in creating the right conditions is a much easier case to make (think flight training) but there are other areas where a safe place to explore skills acquisition can benefit, such as first time management challenges. From an organisational culture perspective, leaders need to endorse time for people to invest in development, recognise and value contributions to supporting rehearsal (though capturing and sharing case studies, volunteering as a mentor or peer reviewer, contribute as a subject matter expert into formal content development). Goal setting: For those with clear outcomes (such as engineering projects, flight deck, medical etc) it is likely that well defined measurement is in place already and that number of incidents, speed of project delivery, budget, errors, quality etc can be tracked. This can be integrated into your performance dashboard and over time, you can track these numbers. However for topics such as leadership, the measures can be quite subjective and a great outcome can mean different things is different contexts. That’s where a value chain can be very useful; its a worthwhile exercise in which to engage, not only for the purposes of defining measures but its also a great tool for senior team buy in. Community: Mentoring is relevant here, but there are other community activities that can be beneficial. Peer assists are a great way for teams of people to test hypothesis, present ideas and explore options, with the support of ‘critical friends’ who, in a facilitated environment, will encourage the team to scenario plan, work through alternatives and refine their plans. Communities are also a fertile ground for gathering business stories that can be used to build realistic and credible scenarios. Tools and Tech: For complex, highly specialist settings, investment in VR could be a viable option. Creating physical simulations of some of these tasks has been the only way to create a realistic environment but advances in VR technology are bridging that gap. It may never replace it entirely, but speed to competency and high performance could be accelerated. Collaborative platforms with effective search capabilities help Responsive content can enable scenario base content to be delivered across platforms but its worth considering the screen real estate of each device and how detailed an interaction you can achieve. However, there is a great role here for mobile in the continuum of performance rehearsal into application, through reinforcing learning with refreshers, quick exercises and top tips at the point of need. People: Facilitators to support and nurture communities are key roles here – connecting experts to novices, gathering insights to build realistic scenarios, orchestrate and facilitate peer reviews are just some of the key activities they can support. Experts in content development with specialism in interactive scenarios, video storyboarding and production can be useful here. VR simulation development houses are growing all the time (we at WillowDNA work with virtual environment and VR specialists, Immerse Learning). Learning professionals need to ensure they are aware of progress in these areas and most major conferences will provide demonstrations and examples of new tools. It goes without saying the leaders and budget holders will need to be supportive here but getting buy in requires well informed learning professionals who can tap into good case studies and examples from other organisations. Next, we’ll take a look at performance analysis.