ISPI Performance Digest
Jul. 2, 2013

A Harvard economist's surprisingly simple productivity secret
It's one of the most common complaints in the professional world: Too little time. Workers who log 60-plus hour weeks gripe they don't have enough room in their schedule to even tame their inboxes, much less think about big projects in some creative way. But time isn't the problem, says Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan. The ultimate barrier to success is a shortage of mental "bandwidth," or the ability to focus on a task in the moment.More

The performance technology toolbox
Harold Jarche
After a decade of studying (and implementing) human performance technology, Harold Jarche has collected what he believes is a tried-and-true toolbox of sources that contain practical tools, applications and processes for training, organizational development and other professionals.More

Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work?
What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn't just money. But it's not exactly joy either. It seems most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work. More

Distribution center worker cross-training: Relieving the bottleneck
Adam Hertzman
Adam Hertzman writes, "On my first day of class in Operations 101 at business school, my professor taught us about bottlenecks — situations in which your ability to move inventory through a system is limited by a single constraint, or bottleneck. 'Relieve the choke point,' we were told, 'and more inventory flows through the entire system.' Imagine my surprise later in my career upon visiting so many distribution centers to see them treat each task in isolation."More

The 6 habits of America's most successful private companies
It's a good time again to be a privately held company. No pressure over quarterly earnings, no obsession with stock prices, no anxiety over what you can say to whom about how the business is going. Heck, nobody outside the owner has to know anything. What makes private companies great? In an unscientific analysis, Forbes extrapolated six habits found at the biggest private firms as well at some smaller, successful ones. Can you apply one or more of these lessons to your business, no matter what size?More

Exclusive whitepaper: Amazon's local strategy
With its sights set on a profitable 2011 holiday season, online retail giant Amazon made a bold decision. Having millions of customers armed with smartphones and Amazon's barcode-scanning feature, it chose to offer customers 5 percent off purchases if they went into a local store, scanned items for price and then went home empty-handed — retailers be damned. Thus began showrooming. And as Amazon captures local store data only to encourage consumers to buy online, it does so at the expense of the local retailer.More