Starting Strategy

If you’re going to move towards the performance ecosystem, a technology-enabled workplace, where do you start?  Partly it depends on where you’re at, as well as where you’re going, but it also likely depends on what type of org you are.  While the longer term customization is very unique, I wondered if there were some meaningful categorizations.

Performance EcosystemWhat would characterize the reasons why you might start with formal learning, versus performance support, versus social?  My initial reaction, after working with my ITA colleagues, would be that you should start with social.  As things are moving faster, you just can’t keep ahead of the game while creating formal resources, and equipping folks to help each other is probably your best bet.  A second step would then likely be performance support, helping people in the moment.  Formal learning would then backstop for those things that are static and defined enough, or meta- enough (more generic approaches) that there’s a reason to consolidate it.

However, it occurred to me that this might change depending on the nature of the organization.  So, for example, if you are in an organization with lots of new members (e.g. the military, fast food franchises), formal learning might well be your best starting point.  Formal learning really serves novices best.

So when might you want to start with performance support? Performance support largely serves practitioners trying to execute optimally. This might be something like manufacturing or something heavily regulated or evidence based, like medicine.  The point here would be to helping folks who know why they’re doing what they’re doing, and have a good background, but need structure to not make human mistakes.

Social really comes to it’s fore for organizations depending on continual innovation: perhaps consumer products, or other organizations focused on customer experience, as well as in highly competitive areas.  Here the creative friction between individuals is the highest value and consequently needs a supportive infrastructure.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and every organization will have places for all of the above, but this strikes me as a potential way to think about where you  might want to place your emphasis.  Other elements, like when to do better back end integration, and when to think about enabling via mobile, will have their own prioritization schemes, such as a highly mobile workforce for the latter.

So, what am I missing?


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