ISPI Performance Digest
Oct. 30, 2012

Becoming a productivity ninja
Productive! Magazine
Author and productivity expert Graham Allcott tells Productive! Magazine his secrets for becoming a productivity ninja. They start, of course, with focus: "One of the keys is to avoid distractions, especially by all the other things you could be doing at that time," he says. This goes for individuals and corporations collectively. "In your organization, you need to talk about what are the ground rules around email."More

Accountability vs. performance
Federal Computer Week
There are few words more praised in discussions about government than the word "accountability." Everybody is for it, nobody thinks we have enough of it. Public discussions about using performance measurement in government are commonly expressed as efforts to increase accountability; for example, the school testing movement is typically referred to as "school accountability." We need to be clear, however, about a tension between the "accountability" that everyone rushes to support and the underlying effort to improve government performance, which is supposedly one — and presumably the most important — purpose of the exercise in the first place.More

Change and the power of story: How to motivate via emotion
Lean Healthcare Exchange
Why are some change messages in Lean Healthcare Kaizen events successful while others fail to connect to the staff involved in making the change happen? At the start of any Kaizen event or, for that matter any change process, we often start the communication with a business case — which is a "case for change" or a "burning platform" message. But one hospital CEO's abrupt departure into deeply personal territory at the podium presents another way to motivate: by emotion.More

The 7 Cs to avoid procedure writing errors
Green Web
You do your best to make sure your organization is operating as effectively as possible. But if your policies and procedures are incomplete, outdated or inconsistent, then they are not driving the performance improvement they should. When employees try to use incomplete or undefined procedures, waste and costly errors soon follow. To be effective, procedures must be action-oriented, grammatically correct and written in a consistent style and format to ensure usability. These seven Cs, along with industry "best practices" that are documented in auditable criteria, can be used to improve your procedures.More

Six Sigma techniques applied to environmental issues
Safety Culture World
One of the more significant industrial events of the last century was the quality revolution. Beginning in the 1950s, the leaders of this revolution, Deming, Juran and Crosby, developed a "six sigma" approach to quality that was both statistically valid and universally applicable. Leading-edge companies like Motorola adopted these concepts and the quality revolution that regularly delivers three-parts-per-million and lower error rates is now a reality. In this case study, Six Sigma quality tools are folded together to present a mechanism that can achieve a zero-incident environmental culture in the workplace, i.e., a culture that does not tolerate upsets, deviations or failures.More

South Africa: National skills development strategy in disarray
The Skills Portal
It's a maxim in law that you never ask a witness a question to which you do not already know the answer. The same might apply equally to skills development in South Africa — especially if you're engaging with government and the Setas (sector education and training authorities). The Association for Skills Development in South Africa completed its schedule of information-sharing workshops in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Well-attended by practitioners in various fields, the "Skills Reloaded" series promised to bust myths, reveal truths and unravel mysteries: In doing this, it put few minds at rest. More

What Twitter can teach you about your dysfunctional business
Big Think
Most businesses understand that social media is important, but not necessarily how to use it in their own best interests. Maddie Grant argues that it represents a paradigm shift not only in popular culture, but also in the fundamental relationship between businesses and consumers — and, as a result, in organizational best practice.More