Perf Improvement LO14697

jon (
Fri, 15 Aug 97 10:48:08 PDT

Replying to LO14627 --

Dear John,

You said:

>Despite all the stuff mentioned, such as performance, training,
>development, coaching, etc., this does nothing for the process. You can
>only improve YOUR OWN performance, not that of others, unless you totally
>disregard the concepts of the learning organization, or those dealing with
>quality improvement.

I find it a little more complex. Yes, only you can improve your own
performance. At the same time, I have had situations in which some one
had the intention of improving my performance, did or said something, I
chose to act on that intervention and my performance improved. Without
the intervention I would have not improved. Without my making a choice my
performance would not have improved. Without the particular set of
circumstances, I would not have improved.

I think simply acting as though I have no responsibility for the actions
of my colleagues is not true. At the same time, acting as though I have
total responsibility for the actions of my colleagues is also not true. I
think that this paradox is the one that makes developing a learning
organization interesting.

>Are we, in a learing organization, still in the dark ages when it comes to
>such drivel? How can there be improvement where there is no understanding
>of the key elements impacting on what is done in the workplace? Is this

I find that I am in the dark ages. I am struggling with what are the key
elements impacting what is done in the workplace. No it is not

I am in the process of doing a series of interventions to improve
performance at the London sales office of a large multinational. It was
sold as training. I find that there is very little "training" required.
In discussing the issues the office faces we (the participants and I) came
up with a series of topics. For each topic we designed a "training"
program but discovered that while some of the information and skills to be
taught were of some help, according to the participants, the most useful
things that could be done were creating new systems. One topic was
telephone sales (actually taking orders) we found the real issue was
solved by creating a job aid, a new simplified product list. Another
topic was negotiating skills. The underlying issues were 1) little of
latitude in negotiating prices, more was given and 2) little understanding
of the things that could be negotated with, the group created a list of 30
negotiating currencies. Another topic was dealing with difficult clients.
Management asked a client to "role play" a difficult client, she did,
using actual situations from her telephone log. Many of the participants
realized (seemed to realize) that they could deal with those situations in
a more effective manner.

Since I am in the middle of doing this I am not clear if the interventions
are actually helping improve performance. I am concerned with evaluating
the differences between pre and post "training'. So are many of the
participants. They want to serve their customers better. They are proud
of their company. They are also concerned about the company's future -
there is talk about a merger.

I and many of my clients are concerned with caring for our clients in a
more effective way. One client is trying to judge their own performance
by the profitability of their clients. I find this an interesting

I don't have answers but I like the questions and I like the tentative
answeres that have emerged.

With care

Jon C. Jenkins
Imaginal Training
Groningen, The Netherlands

Name: Jon C. Jenkins
E-mail: (Jon C. Jenkins)
Date: 08/03/95
Time: 17:42:04


jon <>

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