Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Where did the name of this weblog come from?

Tom Gilbert, the "Father of Human Performance Technology," published a book in 1974 titled Human Competence: Engineering Worthy Performnance. This (in my opinion) belongs on the shelf of every instructional designer. In it, Gilbert defines performance as the accomplishments we value. He then goes on to lay out four "Leisurely Theorems" that are at the heart of what we do.

I wonder whether we should look again at the Leisurely Theorems, in light of changes in the environment over the last forty years. How much has technology, and the possibility of global collaboration without traditional management structures driving things, affected "worthy performance"?

Here are Gilbert's Leisurely Theorems:

First Leisurely Theorem:
Human competence is a function of worthy performance (W), which is measured by the ratio of valuable accomplishments (A) to costly behavior (B). That is, W = A/B

Second Leisurely Theorem: Typical competence is inversely proportional to the performance improvement potential (PIP). The PIP is the ratio of exemplary performance to typical performance. The ratio must be stated for an identifiable accomplishment -- there is no general quality of "competence." That is, PIP = W(e)/W(t)

Third Leisurely Theorem: For any accomplishment, a deficiency in performance always has an immediate cause in a deficiency in the performer's behavior repertory (P), or a deficiency in the environment supporting the repertory (E), or both. The ultimate cause is always a deficiency in the management system (M). That is, W = A/B = A/(P + E + M)

Fourth Leisurely Theorem: There are a number of views of human accomplishments, at different levels of generality. The values we assign to those accomplishments are derived from the level just above them.

1 comment:

dangooch said...

I am sure that this explains the extreme difficulty I have being happy in the Postal Service, but I am having difficulty assigning values to any behavior. Hard work is punished by more work immediately, and hassles down the line when body parts begin to wear out. Management rewards are based on a system that is not directly dependent on meeting customer needs. My only question is this: If I understand that my disappointment stems from the difference between reality and my expectations, and I also know that things will never improve, why am I not able to become content in a work situation I cannot escape (for medical reasons) yet cannot change?
Dan
PS: I also have a Fender Santa Cruz and was seeking a means of contact when I came upon this interesting site. (while seeking a contact route that didn't involve signing up for yet another social networking site...looking for Google log in info.)