I am a proud member of ISPI, the International Society for Performance Improvement, and embrace their HPT/ISD point of view. I believe in beginning with solid analysis before proposing any organizational change or problem resolution. So often, when problems become apparent it's easy to shout, 'We need a training program!' or a new rule or a new procedure without really digging down to find the root of the problem.
Help-U-Sell University is a good example. For a number of years, that sacred cow was a five day classroom experience, a process for installing the brand's operating system in new brokers' minds and in their offices. It was quite the show. The problem was: attendees returned to their local marketplaces full of enthusiasm and botched the installation. Invariably they got off track, started re-inventing the system and began to look more and more like their competitors. We had a field mechanism in place to ensure proper implementation: our cadre of 34 Regional Directors who were charged with responsibility for University follow-up. But still, somehow the end result of all that training and follow-up rarely lived up to expectations.
My partner, Jeanne Strayer, and I set about understanding the problem and the players and where the breakdowns were occurring. We surveyed many recent and not so recent attendees of the University, interviewed a broad cross-section and discussed the issue with the Regional Directors.
© 2013 James Dingman. All rights reserved.