ISPI Performance Digest
Sep. 25, 2012

A primer to performance consulting
Equipping the Hero's Journey
Have you ever considered it takes just a few letters to lay the groundwork for a giant of an idea? ASTD's HPI. ISPI's HTP. USAID's HICD: These disciplines all converge on a single conclusion — capacity building encompasses more than training.More

How to work efficiently with a virtual team
Business Insider
The expanding global and digital marketplace has made it possible for professionals to work together virtually no matter where they are in the world. It's simple, efficient and cheap, but the lack of face-to-face time can also have a negative effect on your connection with your team, especially if you haven't already developed a core understanding of one another. To get a better understanding of the challenges that may be faced when working on a project virtually, Business Insider spoke to Penelope Trunk, co-founder of Brazen Careerist, who decided to move to Wisconsin even though her company is located in Washington, D.C. More

21 crunch questions for today's manager
Staff Performance Secrets
Staff performance is a major issue for managers in the 21st century. But many managers seem locked into inadequate 20th-century practices. In a recent article, Bo Birmingham and Jack Stack said it's "time to develop the most underutilized resource available to the company: the intelligence of the people who work for it." These questions may help find some useful answers about how to accomplish such a goal.More

What Gen X and Gen Y employees want
Generations X and Y workers at small businesses say they are willing to pay for a wider variety of voluntary employee benefits if their employer is able to provide them, a new study says. More than half, or 54 percent, of younger workers surveyed in MetLife's 10th annual Study of Employee Benefit Trends say they would like a wider array of benefits, even if it means paying for them. Plus, two-thirds of these workers say they would rather pay more for benefits than lose them, survey results show. More

Know which strategy style is right for your organization
Harvard Business Review
Companies that correctly match their strategy-making processes to the competitive circumstances of their industry, business function or geographic markets perform better than those that don't. But far too many lack a systematic way to do so. Choosing a strategy for setting strategy requires asking two questions about your situation: How unpredictable is your environment? How much power do you or others have to change that environment? The answers give rise to four styles for executing strategy: classical, adaptive, shaping and visionary.More

How to tame your inner control freak
"I consider myself an enabler more than a manager, but I'm also a bit of a control freak," says Toronto-based Katie Taylor, 55, the chief executive of luxury hotel brand Four Seasons. Intuitively and intellectually, Taylor knows it's good for her employees to have autonomy and decision-making power over bigger and bigger projects. That's how they learn, grow and become more confident. But in reality, it's not always as easy as it sounds. More

Ego depletion, motivation and attention: A new model of self-control
Big Think
Researchers recently teamed up to investigate how decision-making impairs self-control. In a clever experiment they presented one group of participants with a table full of products — colored pens, scented candles, popular magazines and colored T-shirts — and asked them to "indicate the extent to which they had used each product in the past." The second group had their work cut out for them. The researchers gave them the same list of products but instructed them to choose carefully between two different versions of each product: a white T-shirt vs. a black T-shirt, a red pen vs. a purple pen, etc. Would all the choices deplete their willpower?More