ISPI Performance Digest
Feb. 12, 2013

Are you solving the right problem?
Harvard Business Review
"If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and 1 minute resolving it," Albert Einstein said. Those were wise words, but most organizations don't heed them when tackling innovation projects. More

How to give feedback to poor performers
There's an uncomfortable conversation that arises when an employee's performance has fallen short of the desired level. It's a difficult position for a manager, especially if s/he shares a close working relationship with the employee in question. This discussion can be tough and emotionally draining, and for this reason, it gets avoided all too often. When approached from the right angle, the conversation can lead to positive development and understanding for the employee.More

Remember – register for THE Performance Improvement Conference 2013
International Society for Performance Improvement
THE Performance Improvement Conference 2013 is scheduled April 14-17 in Reno, Nev. The event, themed "Many Approaches — Discover What Works," offers you the chance to learn from the masters of performance improvement. In addition, take advantage of the preconference Institute and workshops as well as the special events that represent unique learning opportunities.More

Why are we making analytics so hard?
Learning in Tandem
It seems that every presentation or discussion of analytics recently ends with the same call to action: Go back to your organization and figure out what you should be measuring. But shouldn't we all be measuring basically the same thing?More

Research: Using technology to boost productivity may slow down work
Globe Newswire via AlphaTrade Finance
In today's business environment, conventional wisdom has it that the release of new communications technology and online tools has made workers more efficient. Yet new research in the area of neuroscience belies that assumption: While the human brain will try to respond to constant communications, it is not, in fact, wired to stay focused on two things at once. According to a survey conducted by Charlotte-based Apex Performance, workers are almost constantly bombarded with distractions that interfere with their ability to concentrate on a single task. Yet they are not taught any techniques or given any tools to help them cope with the daily interruptions — and disruptions — from emails, phone calls and text messages. More

Impatient employers step in to educate workers
The Hechinger Report via NBC News
There's a growing corporate trend in America, an approach that has come to be called "learn and earn," which the Obama administration and many higher education experts say the country needs to stay competitive: It offers more opportunities for working adults to earn a living, often supported by their employers, while they upgrade skills to take on specific, high-demand jobs.More

How to use social media for health care performance improvement
Lean Healthcare Exchange
In today's competitive health care market hospitals must improve. Health care executives and managers should constantly be searching for better and faster ways to deliver efficient patient care. Lean principles challenge us to continually remove waste, improve our processes and focus on improving the patient experience. So how do you track patient experience? How fast can you respond to negative (or positive) patient incidents? While there are numerous ways to collect and analyze this data, one of the simplest is to listen to your patients. Do you know what they are saying about your hospital to their friends, acquaintances or even strangers?More

Benchmark your manufacturing performance
Plant Engineering
Widespread outsourcing of production activities has put tremendous pressure on manufacturing managers to produce quality products that are delivered on time, at a competitive price and with excellent customer service. To accomplish this, manufacturing leaders must establish production schedules, optimum workflows, effective maintenance procedures and continuous improvement programs that will keep the organization moving forward.More