Early on I was aware that Instruction would not address all of the Performance Variables – thanks to being given on Day 1 in my first job out of college at Wickes Lumber in Saginaw Michigan in August of 1979 – these three resources:
- A September/October 1970 Newsletter from Praxis (the consulting firm of Rummler & Gilbert)
- Bob Mager & Peter Pipe’s book: Analyzing Performance Problems
- Tom Gilbert’s book: Human Competence
I was told that we would be using a derivative of a derivative of the Geary Rummler approach to Instructional Analysis – and that our default would be to provide Guidance instead of Training. I had no idea who he was – but I soon learned.
My new boss and my one peer in the Program Development unit of our 10-person Training Services organization at Wickes, had only weeks earlier come from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Detroit where they had worked alongside Geary Rummler’s brother, Rick. They were brand new to Wickes.
Also in that 10 person organization was Geary Rummler’s brother-in-law, who was instrumental in finding these two new members of the staff.
However, neither my boss or peer had worked in the lumber business, while I had 2.5 years experience in Inside Sales at the Lumber Center in Lawrence Kansas. That was my value add – plus my Radio-TV-Film degree which would help my as a Program Developer – who would conduct Analysis, then Design, then Development of a Video Script and the ancillary materials for a Video-Based set of Instruction for field personnel at the Lumber Centers across North America.
So I was inundated with a Performance Orientation – from Day 1 – a focus on Outputs beyond Tasks and Behaviors – well well well beyond Topics with “Face Validity” but lacking any “Performance Validity” – so there would not be negative ROI at the end of that tunnel.
Back to: our default would be to provide Guidance instead of Training
No it would not. Our clients, mainly the Marketing Organization at Wickes – simply hated the idea.
So I learned Sneaky Trick #47 – which was to dummy up (shut up) about Guidance – which we called Job Aids – and simply embed them in the Training Materials that went out along with our 15-munte (max) Videos. Our key audience was Inside Salespeople – which I had been. But I also had worked with our Construction Sales People, and our Inventory Clerk (helping out when he was sick or on vacation).
So when I worked on ISD efforts for them – we also built Job Aids for use during their Performance – now known as in the WorkFlow.
This video is 2:13 minutes in length.
The Only Thing That’s Changed Since 1979 IMX
Not much has changed (in my view/experience) of the technology – the application of science – regarding Instructional Analysis, Design and Development. It hasn’t changed much – and the adoption of those Practices hasn’t been wide and deep. Same as it ever was.
In my view – since 1979 – the only thing that’s really changed in performance-based ISD is the computer technology that enables our work and then allows us to deploy Instruction and/or make it accessible.
Focus on Performance – and Enable That
That’s the way to differentiate yourself in a marketplace chock full of practitioners practicing anything but valid ISD Practices for Measured Results. They’re very busy focused on Measured Activities.
YOU just might have a major head start in a crowded field.