T&D: When Will Performance Competence Be Front & Center?

As someone who was introduced and schooled in the Rummler-Gilbert, Mager and Harless approaches to Instructional Design for Performance-based Training and Guidance-Job Aids-Performance Support – starting in 1979 – I continue to wonder.


I wonder why a Performance Orientation isn’t FRONT & CENTER in most peoples approaches to Instruction – Training – Learning?

Especially in an Enterprise Learning Context.

Why not? What’s the barrier?

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T&D: The Myth of Individual Learning Styles, Dr. Robert Bjork

We have all heard people claim to be “visual learners,” “auditory learners,” or some other type of learner. The belief that people have their own individual learning styles is very prevalent and has become an enormous industry.

However, the major problem with this idea, according to Dr. Robert Bjork (UCLA), is that there is no evidence for it! Watch this video to hear about how the idea of individual learning styles not only lacks scientific merit, but how such a belief can be detrimental to learning.

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T&D: What Is the Ratio of Time Spent on Telling Stories…

What Is the Ratio of Time Spent on Telling Stories

… to the Time Spent on necessary Information and potential Demonstration and absolutely needed Application Exercises?

Especially in this Old World newly relabeled concept of MicroLearning.


Because: Not Every Chunk of Training Needs a Story to Set It Up.

Is there too much Applications Avoidance?

MicroLearning for Initial Learning

Is as short as possible – but – as long as needed to build initial awareness, knowledge, skill and Performance Competence – as agreed to with the client and stakeholders.

Perhaps a Story is needed to set up that Training for Learning. Perhaps not.

MicroLearning for Spaced Reinforcement Learning

Is as short as possible to create a recall of information – or to hone a skill. Or both. Or one one time and the other another time. To combat the Forgetting Curve.

Time Constraints

If the time is constrained – then I’d almost always focus the learning on an active Application what is being presented – rather than a more passive Story Set Up.


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T&D: Flip It – Friday

Flip the 70-20-10 Reference Model in L&D

Avoid Poor Practices being established by providing Most 10 Before Most 20 Before Most 70.


Learning the wrong things can be too easy.


Especially if rewarded.


What happens next time?


Help people today to develop themselves with performance-based content.

Target the 10 Carefully

You can’t afford to provide “The 10” on Everything for Everybody – so with your clients, seek out the High Rewards and High Risks areas – and head Poor Practices Off at the Pass!

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HPT Legacy Video: Paul Elliott

Paul Elliott, PhD

Paul H. Elliott is the President of Exemplary Performance, LLC based in Annapolis, Maryland. He is also affiliated with Shift – a firm specializing in improving engagement of the workforce.

This video is 1:15:54 in length.

Dr. Elliott’s expertise is in the analysis of human performance, the design of interventions that optimize human performance in support of business goals, and strategies for transitioning from training to performance models. Dr. Elliott assists organizations in performance analysis, instructional design, product and process launch support, design of advanced training systems, and the design and implementation of integrated performance interventions.

Dr. Elliott received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois. He received his M.S. in Instructional Technology from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University. Co-author of Exemplary Performance: Driving Business Results by Benchmarking Your Star Performers. Dr. Elliott frequently presents at various national and international conferences. He delivered a keynote presentation, entitled Moving from Wants-based to Results-based Performance, at ASTD’s first Performance Summit in 2004.

He has published multiple articles in journals, including one entitled “Power-Charging People’s Performance” which appeared in the December 1996 issue of Training and Development. His publications also include a chapter on ‘Assessment’ in Moving From Training to Performance, edited by Dana Gaines Robinson & James C. Robinson (ASTD & Berrett Koehler, May 1998), ‘Job Aids’ in the Handbook of Human Performance Technology, edited by Harold Stolovitch and Erica Keeps (ISPI & Jossey-Bass, March 1999) and ‘Job Aids’ in Performance Intervention Maps, edited by Ethan S. Sanders and Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan (ASTD and ISPI, September 2001).

And check out his book: Exemplary Performance – coauthored with Al Folsom (2013):

The authors’ tested method for benchmarking exemplary performance has proven successful across multiple industries such as telecommunications, financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and high technology. In this book, Paul H. Elliott and Alfred C. Folsom outline what it takes to prioritize performance efforts to identify the true stars and create models of optimal performance for critical roles within an organization. Exemplary Performance also shows how to architect the changes required to shift the performance curve.


Elliott and Folsom include the common characteristics that star performers share and describe the role of leadership that enables high performance. The book stresses the need to align the multiple influences that can support or inhibit high performance. Step by step, the book explores how to address such critical issues as training, readiness, and performance support, as well as proven methods for hiring and assigning the right people for the right job.

Exemplary Performance provides a clear path to help organizations translate this business strategy into measurable results.

To read more or order on Amazon – go here.

Paul Is a Joe Harless Devotee 

Paul and I met at an NSPI Conference sometime back in the 1980s.

We recently saw each other back at the 2012 ISPI Conference in Toronto when I video recorded Joe Harless doing a session, and Paul introduced Joe and Joe’s co-presenter, Carl Binder. Paul also threw a dinner in Joe’s honor one evening and I was extremely grateful to be invited.

Paul has been on my HPT Video Target List for years – and now that I am doing these via Skype and Camtasia – we no longer had to sit together face-to-face to get ‘er done.

Connect with Paul 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/paul-h-elliott-607394

His Exemplary Performance Website: www.exemplaryperformance.com

His Shift Website: www.shiftthework.com


Phone: 410-353-5121

My Collection of HPT Practitioner and HPT Legacy Videos

I have over 60 videos – see the Index – here.

My goal when I began these in 2008 was to portray both the diversity of HPT Practice and the Practitioners. Check them out!

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T&D: Demonstrating Knowledge vs Performance

It Seems To Me

That most in the L&D/T&D field are focused on Awareness and Knowledge creation.

Yes, I know that there are others who go well beyond Knowledge Solutions delivery/deployment and go for Performance:

The ability to Perform Tasks to

Produce Outputs to Stakeholder Requirements.

(Cue the green visual in your memory from hundreds of my prior blog posts.)

Proof of Knowledge

The simplest way a learner/Performer can demonstrate their Knowledge is through a quiz. In my mind a “Quiz” is a quick/shallow test. Your views might differ.

The next is a “Test” – which can range from shallow to all encompassing.

The best – yet more expensive to develop and conduct and score – is a “Talk-Through Troubleshooting” exercise. This is a testing mechanism my former business partners and I used as part of our 1987 and 1994 Performance-based Certification/Qualifications projects – where we constructed over 2000+ Performance Tests for the employees (20+ populations) at the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay and then 2000+ Performance Tests for the employees (20+ populations as well) working on the Alaska Pipeline, respectively.

In those projects we did not use any Quizzes or Tests. We only used the 3 types on the right side of the next graphic.


Proof of Performance Ability

Our 1987 project at Prudhoe Bay was the client’s third attempt at putting together a Pay Progression Program – based on Competence. The prior attempts had generated paper and pencil tests that oil field hands HATED.

And since the efforts tied to everyone’s wallet – it had everyone’s attention.


I modified my approach to CAD/MCD for this project and constructed the Training for our staff and subcontractors – and I participated in the first Analysis Team and Design Team Meetings – to prove the process. It worked.

In Design we specified the following types of Performance Tests:

  • Real Work
  • Simulated Work
  • Talk-Through Troubleshooting

These are covered in Chapter 4 of the book the late Ray Svenson – my former business partner – and I co-authored back in 2007 based on those 2 projects.

The book is available as a FREE PDF and as a Kindle and paperback – so you’ve really got no excuse for not following up and looking further at what we have provided.


Employee performance-based Qualification/Certification Systems (2007)

Click HERE to link to the download page.

Employee performance-based Qualification/Certification Systems is also available as a $15 Paperback book – and $7.50 as a Kindle – for more and to order – please go – here.

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