Human Performance Association https://www.hpaweb.org Solutions and Opportunities for the Human “Challenge" Mon, 26 Mar 2018 21:37:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 Interruptions Throughout the Day https://www.hpaweb.org/interruptions-throughout-the-day/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=interruptions-throughout-the-day https://www.hpaweb.org/interruptions-throughout-the-day/#comments Mon, 26 Mar 2018 21:37:25 +0000 https://www.hpaweb.org//?p=1 We recently took our family to Hawaii for an early Christmas. We swam with sharks, kissed dolphins, played at the beach, and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our children and grandchildren. A few days into our vacation, we started getting requests for photos from friends and family members. These soon turned to complaints, as [...]

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We recently took our family to Hawaii for an early Christmas. We swam with sharks, kissed dolphins, played at the beach, and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our children and grandchildren. A few days into our vacation, we started getting requests for photos from friends and family members. These soon turned to complaints, as time went on and no pictures were being posted. When asked why I wasn’t posting photos on social media, my response was, “I’m too busy being in the moment to take or post pictures.”

They were not amused.

How often are we asked to do things that add no value to our lives or work? We are bombarded by emails and chats and meaningless requests that cause distractions and interruptions from things that are really important.

One of the Human Performance Traps that we teach is Distractions/Interruptions. Are you aware that every time you are interrupted it takes your brain 23 minutes to get back into the groove? Did you know that on an average day, you will be interrupted 56 times and spend 2 full hours recovering from those interruptions? That’s 25% of a typical workday!

It’s time to start protecting yourself from distractions and interruptions. How? This may sound crazy, but think about getting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign for your office door. Change your email settings so that new emails are only delivered when it is convenient for you. Determine what’s more important before you answer that phone call.

And, before you allow yourself to get distracted, ask yourself the following questions:

How important will this be in a week, a month, a year or five years?

  • What will the impact be if I answer this e-mail or take this call?
  • How long will it take?
  • How long will it take me to get back to what I was doing before?

Set your boundaries. Take care of important tasks first. And most importantly, take care of yourself!

Happy Holidays!

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The Power of Operational Learning https://www.hpaweb.org/the-power-of-operational-learning/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-power-of-operational-learning https://www.hpaweb.org/the-power-of-operational-learning/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:06:15 +0000 http://avada.theme-fusion.com_demos/portfolio/?p=11976 By Bob Edwards A few years back, I was sitting in my living room when I heard two of my teenage boys arguing with each other in the dining room. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but I could tell from the tone of their voices that their interaction was not friendly or cooperative [...]

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By Bob Edwards

A few years back, I was sitting in my living room when I heard two of my teenage boys arguing with each other in the dining room. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I could tell from the tone of their voices that their interaction was not friendly or cooperative in nature.

From my comfortable chair in the living room I could see that they were facing each other and standing about 2 feet apart. All I could see were their heads and shoulders because of the island countertop in the kitchen, but that was all I needed to see in order to tell that the situation was going to escalate if I didn’t intervene.

“Alex, step away from your brother.”

I did what any good dad would do and I used my authoritative “command-and-control” voice and told them to “knock it off!” They paused momentarily, looked at me, looked back at each other but still didn’t move. Still believing I could resolve this from the living room, I said even more firmly, “Boys, step away from each other.” Once again, they looked at me and then looked at each other but still didn’t move.

Now, I believed that they were challenging my authority. I said it one more time with as much authority and firmness as I knew how to project from my comfortable chair in the living room. This time I was very specific when I gave the order, “Alex, step away from your brother.” Alex was older than Joe and therefore, in my mind, the one who should respond the quickest and set the example of how a “good” son should respond. Unbelievably, they looked at me and then looked back at each other and still did not move.

At this point, their defiance was obvious to me and I had no choice but to get up and go in to the dining room and straighten out the situation. My teenage boys had challenged my authority and clearly had crossed the line. It was very frustrating to have my sons blatantly challenge my authority. I am pretty sure that my blood pressure was up at this point due to their failure to respond to what I believed were clear and specific instructions.

As I stood up to go straighten out matters, I could see their whole bodies. Immediately, the situation became clear to me. The reason they were standing there about two feet apart was because they were holding a TV between them. The reason they were holding the TV between them was because about 30 minutes prior I had asked them to carry the TV upstairs to their den. The reason they were arguing with each other was because neither one of them wanted to go up the stairs backwards.

They actually were trying to carry out a request that I made earlier. I simply had forgotten that I had told them to do it. Now, had it been an end table instead of the TV, they probably would have stepped away from each other and let it crash to the ground. But they wanted that TV upstairs and so now they were perplexed and conflicted because they could not understand why I was insisting that they step away from each other. They weren’t being defiant; in fact, they could not figure out what to do, thinking that I saw the whole picture. At some time during this event, they must have thought I had lost my mind. What do they do? Well, fortunately I saw the whole picture in time.

What I really needed was better understanding of the conditions around this event. I needed better operational intelligence. Had I seen more than just their head and shoulders or had I asked them questions instead of giving commands, there would have been a lot less confusion on their part and a lot less anger and frustration on my part.

Even more importantly, I could have resolved the entire situation from my comfortable chair in the living room.

Operational Intelligence

Does this sound similar to situations we have in the workplace? It does for me. As a matter of fact, there have been many times in my career when I have made a command decision without enough information and the people who worked for me looked at me like I was crazy. I was giving direction without having all of the pertinent information, and the people who worked for me were conflicted as they tried to decide whether to follow my instructions or to somehow help me realize that I didn’t have all the information.

How often do workers find themselves following the instructions or commands of their leader and think to themselves, “This is a terrible idea. It’s not going to work the way our boss thinks it’s going to. Should we say something to him?” Or even worse, maybe the worker doesn’t even care enough to say anything or worry about whether he is successful or not, perhaps because we have failed to respond too many times in the past to his concerns. I fear this happens all too often and that decisions are made without enough operational knowledge, or as I like to call it operational intelligence.

As leaders we believe we are paid to know what needs to be done and to make decisions, so that’s what we do. We even are trained to avoid bringing our manager a problem unless we already have a solution. It’s baked into our leadership mindset. If making decisions is what I’m paid to do, then that is what I’ll do. Then, we wonder why our operations are not getting better and we keep having the same sort of issues over and over again.

I find there is a need for much better operational learning in most organizations. Operational learning is very different from organizational learning. Organizational learning is more about leadership classes, presentation skills, business and interpersonal training and so forth. Organizational learning is important and there are volumes of books written on the subject. Operational learning, on the other hand, is focused on how work actually happens. It’s about the complexity of work, the adaptive nature of workers attempting to complete their tasks and about how failure and success really occur in the field where the work is completed, not how we think it occurs.

​Reprinted with permission from EHS Today. Copyright 2015 by Penton

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Finally: Tangible Insight for Rapidly Transforming Organizational Culture https://www.hpaweb.org/finally-tangible-insight-for-rapidly-transforming-organizational-culture/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=finally-tangible-insight-for-rapidly-transforming-organizational-culture https://www.hpaweb.org/finally-tangible-insight-for-rapidly-transforming-organizational-culture/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:05:53 +0000 http://avada.theme-fusion.com_demos/portfolio/?p=11974 HOW TO Swiftly and Sustainably Grow a Just Culture, Safety Culture, and High Reliability ​ CHEYENNE, WYOMING, June 30, 2015 – At long last, the corporate myth that organizational culture change is ‘hard’ and ‘takes a long time’, has been officially busted. The ‘how to’ insight provided in the newly released book, 6-Hour Safety Culture- How to [...]

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HOW TO Swiftly and Sustainably Grow a Just Culture, Safety Culture, and High Reliability

CHEYENNE, WYOMING, June 30, 2015 – At long last, the corporate myth that organizational culture change is ‘hard’ and ‘takes a long time’, has been officially busted. The ‘how to’ insight provided in the newly released book, 6-Hour Safety Culture- How to Sustainably Reduce Human Error and Risk (and do what training alone can’t (possibly) do), [finally] puts them to rest.

“This book offers a true paradigm shift,” offered Ritu Budakoti, Managing Director of the international not-for-profit Human Performance Association. “It truly changes the game regarding HOW to change organizational culture. Rather than just writing about reducing human error and risk, elevating safety, and enhancing reliability, Tim covers specifically what to do and how to do it. Reading this book is a must for anyone seeking next-level organizational performance.”

6-Hour Safety Culture is the first book to be published by the Human Performance Association, Inc. (HPA). Written by Tim Autrey, Founder/CEO of the Practicing Perfection Institute, Inc., it chronicles and details the lessons learned over his past ten years of working with tens of thousands of employees in some of the largest organizations on the planet; efforts where errors have been substantially reduced, events have been eliminated, and work cultures have been dramatically transformed.

“We’ve seen sustained reductions in human error rates of up to 87.5%,” offers Tim Autrey, author of the book. “And get this…at the same time, bargaining unit grievances have dropped by up to 80%! This is an ‘everyone wins’ approach to performance improvement; an idea whose time has truly come. My intent in writing this book has been to ‘spread the word’ on what we’ve learned; to provide tangible HOW-TO information regarding human performance improvement. No hype. No re-hashed clichés. This is quite simply a new (and sane) approach for positively leveraging human nature within organizations.”

For those seeking to attain their ‘next level’ of performance (and who isn’t?), this is a refreshing look at how to do so. No extensive system overhauls required. No expensive databases necessary. “To some, perhaps many, human performance is at best a mystery and at least a “clinical” instruction on how to manage people – to get them to do what you want,” offers Mike Blevins, retired COO of Luminant. “Tim succeeds in lacing together next-level behavior-influencing leadership with colorful stories and real world application. Yes, even to the point of being able to create genuine culture change in as little as 6 hours.”

6-Hour Safety Culture is currently available in both hard copy and Kindle versions on Amazon.com. Those who purchase the book are given access to a library of Videos, Tools, and Resources via the book’s website- http://6HourSafetyCulture.com. Readers are also encouraged to ask questions and get involved in the conversation on the book’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/6hoursafetyculture, as well as to get in on the ground floor of conversation and interaction by joining the newly formed 6-Hour Safety Culture Group on LinkedIn.

For more information, contact:

Ritu Budakoti, Managing Director

Human Performance Association, Inc.

Email: ritu.budakoti@hpaweb.org

​1-307-637-0958

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SPECIAL FEATURE: 6-Hour Safety Culture https://www.hpaweb.org/special-feature-6-hour-safety-culture/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=special-feature-6-hour-safety-culture https://www.hpaweb.org/special-feature-6-hour-safety-culture/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:05:25 +0000 http://avada.theme-fusion.com_demos/portfolio/?p=11972 6-Hour Safety Culture is the first book published by the Human Performance Association, Inc. (HPA). Written by Tim Autrey, Founder/CEO of the Practicing Perfection Institute, Inc., it chronicles and details the lessons learned over his past ten years of working with tens of thousands of employees in some of the largest organizations on the planet; [...]

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6-Hour Safety Culture is the first book published by the Human Performance Association, Inc. (HPA).

Written by Tim Autrey, Founder/CEO of the Practicing Perfection Institute, Inc., it chronicles and details the lessons learned over his past ten years of working with tens of thousands of employees in some of the largest organizations on the planet; efforts where errors have been substantially reduced, events have been eliminated, and work cultures have been dramatically transformed.

In 6-Hour Safety Culture, Tim Autrey offers tangible insight into how to achieve and sustain next-level performance in any organization. Using stories and anecdotes drawn from his experiences within the US Naval submarine service, nuclear power generation industry, and as Founder/CEO of the Practicing Perfection Institute, Inc., he breaks down the underlying science of human performance into simple understandable ‘chunks’. He offers a great deal of ‘simplicity on the far side of complexity’.

Tim wraps up the 6-Hour Safety Culture journey with a challenge- a challenge to you and everyone else who chooses to learn…and take action. A challenge to make (as Steve Jobs put it) a dent in the universe; to truly help make your organization, and ultimately the world, a better and safer place.

Tim Autrey’s intent in writing this book has been to ‘spread the word’ on what he and his team of Human Performance Professionals have learned; to provide tangible HOW-TO information regarding human performance improvement.

Thanks to all who voted on the cover design (and offered comments on the tag line).

You can see the chosen cover (and watch the really cool book trailer video) HERE.

6-Hour Safety Culture is currently available in both hard copy and Kindle versions on Amazon.com. Those who purchase the book are given access to a library of Videos, Tools, and Resources via the book’s website- http://6HourSafetyCulture.com.

Readers are also encouraged to ask questions and get involved in the conversation on the book’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/6hoursafetyculture, as well as to get in on the ground floor of conversation and interaction by joining the newly formed 6-Hour Safety Culture Group on LinkedIn.

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Can Gratitude Really Change Behavior? https://www.hpaweb.org/can-gratitude-really-change-behavior/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-gratitude-really-change-behavior https://www.hpaweb.org/can-gratitude-really-change-behavior/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:04:37 +0000 http://avada.theme-fusion.com_demos/portfolio/?p=11969 Can gratitude really change behavior? Can you get a positive response from positive effort? What does being grateful do to your behavior? In a world full of negative images on television, radio, news reporting (and I could go on and on), can just a smile and a thank you make a difference? Can you really [...]

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Can gratitude really change behavior? Can you get a positive response from positive effort? What does being grateful do to your behavior? In a world full of negative images on television, radio, news reporting (and I could go on and on), can just a smile and a thank you make a difference? Can you really be the change you want to see in the world as Gandhi indicated so passionately?

So what exactly is gratitude? As defined by Webster, “gratitude is a feeling of appreciation, or a state of being thankful”. Gratitude is thankfulness. My definition is this; gratitude is a behavior or feeling that comes from the heart and is expressed through kind words and a genuine smile. Wow! Just think about the power of gratitude with a smile. Research shows [http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/7-benefits-smiling-and-laughing.html] that neurotransmitters called endorphins are released when we smile. It also reduces the stress hormone cortisol and it draws people to us. Have you ever noticed that when you smile and get one in return, how good it feels?

  • Gratitude feels good!

​Tim Autrey, the leading expert in Human Performance and a culture changing specialist, talks about the power of the Individual Performance Model in his new book, 6 Hour Safety Culture [http://www.6hoursafetyculture.com/ ]. He explains explicitly that individuals’ behavior can change by simply providing ‘different experiences’ on an ongoing basis. Experiences feed our mindset and perceptions which directly impact our thoughts that invoke feelings (positive or negative) and ultimately produce our behaviors (productive or unproductive). So in a nut-shell, if you choose to provide a different experience, you will surely help change behavior. One of my favorite quotes from Tim’s book states, “The behavior you focus on is the behavior you’re going to get”.

  • Gratitude is both internal and external!

So, how does this work in real life? Let me share a few personal examples of how gratitude has changed my life. I frequent a very large gym just down the street from my home about three times a week. After establishing a consistent routine, I began to notice a housekeeping employee meticulously cleaning, vacuuming and wiping down equipment with incredible joy; I even watched him scrape gum off the floor and whistle while he did it. He always made a point to say, “Thanks for coming!” and “Have a great day!” as members made their way out the front doors. After observing this behavior for several weeks, I decided to follow his lead and spread a little joy and gratitude of my own. The next time I saw this gentleman, I simply thanked him for keeping the gym so clean, smiled and put out my hand as a friendly gesture. He turned and said, “Thank you! It’s nice to know that what I do makes a difference in people’s lives!” That day, not only did I leave there smiling, but so did he.

  • Gratitude is contagious!

I’ve traveled the world doing humanitarian work with refugees in Athens, Greece and South America. I’ve watched people with not much more than the clothes on their back express pure joy and gratitude as they received a much needed meal, a bottle of water and a kind word of encouragement.

Recently, I’ve been to the mountains of Nicaragua to share basic hygiene items, spiritual support and love to the poorest of the poor and was overwhelmed to witness the magnitude of emotion as people express genuine gratitude. I’ve been to the inner city of my hometown and witnessed the joy on a child’s face when receiving the only Christmas gift he will get that year. I’ve learned that gratitude is reciprocal; I have so much to be thankful for, and when I give a little, I get so much more in return.

So back to the question, can gratitude really change behavior? The answer is ABSOLUTELY! Gratitude feels good, gratitude is internal and external, and gratitude is contagious.

  • So, why not go out and give a little gratitude today?

You CAN be the change you want to see in the world. It starts with you!

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Lessons Learned In My Sleep https://www.hpaweb.org/lessons-learned-in-my-sleep/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lessons-learned-in-my-sleep https://www.hpaweb.org/lessons-learned-in-my-sleep/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:03:44 +0000 http://avada.theme-fusion.com_demos/portfolio/?p=11967 I recently bought a FitBit® so I could see what my activity level looked like, not only during the day, but at night as I slept. I was able to see what my sleep patterns were- how long I was in a deep sleep, a light sleep, and how many times I had awakened during [...]

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I recently bought a FitBit® so I could see what my activity level looked like, not only during the day, but at night as I slept. I was able to see what my sleep patterns were- how long I was in a deep sleep, a light sleep, and how many times I had awakened during the night.

I found the information fascinating, but I had no idea what it meant. How long was I supposed to be in a deep sleep? How many times should I be waking during the night?

I decided, that in order to get the most from my purchase, I needed to add some context to the content I was now receiving. In my research, I learned that I was supposed to be in a deep sleep 45% of the night. 45%?! I wasn’t close. Even when I felt refreshed upon awakening.

This was when my real dilemma began. I now knew how much deep sleep I was getting, and how much I was supposed to get, but had no idea as to what to do differently to achieve the goal. Go to bed earlier? Sleep longer? Eat dinner earlier? No caffeine? All of the above?! I was totally confused.

I had the knowledge, but the understanding seemed beyond me, and not important enough to take the time or effort to pursue. It all became too frustrating and (quite frankly) not worth the effort.

So I returned the FitBit®.

How often does this kind of thing happen in your workplace? You fill your employees with training and knowledge, but spend little or no time on the most important piece; helping them understand what it means to them.

And this information is crucial to the success of any effort you put forth, whether it’s a rollout of a new system, or asking them to do a simple task.

Take the time to ask the question, “What more do you need to know to get on board with this?” Believe me, it’s worth it. Your results will be amazing, and you will learn so much more about the people you work with.

And then, once things are running smoothly, and you feel more relaxed in your job, you might be able to start getting 8 hours of sleep each night. When you do, you can get a nifty device that lets you know whether (or not) you’re sleeping better. You can find them in virtually any sporting goods store or electronics department.

When you do so, if you figure out how to be in deep sleep 45% of the night, please let me know.

(Please know that I am not endorsing this company, but I bought mine from here so placing the link for interested folks.)

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What Does Your Business Culture Say About You? https://www.hpaweb.org/what-does-your-business-culture-say-about-you/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-does-your-business-culture-say-about-you https://www.hpaweb.org/what-does-your-business-culture-say-about-you/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:03:17 +0000 http://avada.theme-fusion.com_demos/portfolio/?p=11965 Last week, some members of our Human Performance Association’s Team had a fantastic opportunity to participate in PPI Certification Course in Las Vegas, Nevada. Practicing Perfection Institute is an HPA approved organization. Many congratulations to the PPI Team for putting together such a great amalgamation of Next-Level Human Performance Theory and Practice in action. Certification [...]

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Last week, some members of our Human Performance Association’s Team had a fantastic opportunity to participate in PPI Certification Course in Las Vegas, Nevada. Practicing Perfection Institute is an HPA approved organization. Many congratulations to the PPI Team for putting together such a great amalgamation of Next-Level Human Performance Theory and Practice in action.

Certification week was filled with great content and experiential learning opportunities for Human Performance Professionals working in different industries. As a part of the course, we were also given an opportunity to witness positive company culture in action by taking the Zappos Culture Tour led by our tour guide FNG (aka “Fun New Girl”).

Zappos Family Culture is built upon 10 Core Values:

#1 Deliver WOW Through Service

#2 Embrace and Drive Change

#3 Create Fun and A Little Weirdness

#4 Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded

#5 Pursue Growth and Learning

#6 Build Open and Honest Relationship

#7 Build a Positive Team and Family

#8 Do More With Less

#9 Be Passionate and Determined

#10 Be Humble

It was evident from the tour that Zapponians (the term that Zappos employees prefer to be called) live these core values day in and day out. The passion, excitement and joy at work was evident throughout.

At first, the Zappos open-concept (with no cubicle isolation) appeared and felt a bit chaotic and intrusive because of the limited personal space, however after observing for a few minutes, I found that the open spaces were more inviting, making it easier for team members to collaborate.

I loved seeing one of their open-space brainstorming sessions. This is like any other meeting but far more powerful, as everyone was clearly engaged with the project discussion and idea sharing.

I have to admit that their energy was very contagious, and everyone in our tour group was very impressed with the family culture atmosphere that Zapponians have established.

FNG mentioned a lot of great things that their company is known for. A few that stand out in my memory are: Stronger community connections and interactions, healthy food and fitness options for employees at a reduced price, positive work culture, and commitment to provide greater service.

I have two lasting impressions from the tour that will forever inspire me: One time a customer called during the holiday season and Tony Shieh (Zappos founder and CEO) picked up the phone to answer the call. It was from a customer who hadn’t received their package on time.

Tony could have easily passed on the task to someone else, but instead he took the time to handle the problem within a few minutes. Even more impressive is that he later made sure (using his personal cell phone) to follow-up with the customer.

By the way, here is a picture of Tony’s office where he works with his peers.

The second thing that impressed me was to see their core value # 8 in action: Do more with Less. I used to think of that statement as ambiguous because many companies only seem to understand the literary meaning of it, rather than looking at the inferential meaning. However, I loved what the Zapponians had to say about that- Their philosophy is simple, they want to make the shopping more comfortable and convenient for their customers; so any Zapponian in the Customer Loyalty Office who receives a customer call can help that customer without having to transfer to another representative or department. Isn’t that refreshing to hear? I wish more companies would use “Do More with Less” in this actual sense. Zapponians feel empowered to make customer feel more cared for. WOW!

As a parting gift, all visitors were given a coupon and Zappos Culture Book, which I really loved reading. The book asks, what does the Zappos Culture means to you? Some of the responses that touched me were: “Culture is a smiling face when you pass by. Culture is someone opening the door when your hands are full. Culture is jumping out of bed because you are excited to get to work. Culture is laughing so hard at work that you almost pee in your pants. Culture is going above and beyond to make a coworkers day. Culture is working extra hard because you want to do a good job for your team. Culture is becoming a better person because the people around you are amazing!”Kiersten S.

“It’s hard to put into words what I think about the Zappos Culture, because it’s really a way of life now, more than anything else. It’s doing the right thing. It’s believing in people. It’s helping each other out. Its ideas … so many ideas! It’s inspiration. It’s follow-through. It’s family. It’s really the basis of making anywhere feel like home.”– Justin H.

“The Zappos Culture is more than what goes on in the office. It is the relationships we form and the friendships we make. You can’t find that anywhere else. I never have.”– Liz G.

I strongly believe that even though the Zappos office environment is not for everybody, they do have a great recipe that’s working for them in creating a positive culture- where people love to work and thrive in the crazy environment that they have created.

Now we all know that one size does not fit all, so what one can do is to gather valuable information by such examples and then choose the principles and behaviors that will work best for their business.

What is your Company Culture like? Remember, the Culture in which you liveinfluences the way you think and the culture in which you work also influences the way you think!

With these words, I would like to “THANK YOU” for joining us in, Changing the Global Conversation on Human Performance!

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Change Your Life: A 60-second Inward Journey https://www.hpaweb.org/change-your-life-a-60-second-inward-journey/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=change-your-life-a-60-second-inward-journey https://www.hpaweb.org/change-your-life-a-60-second-inward-journey/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:02:23 +0000 http://avada.theme-fusion.com_demos/portfolio/?p=11963 REACTION vs. RESPONSE, are they different? Zig Ziglar- in his distinctive and magnificent southern drawl– asks, “Did you respond well to the medication your doctor prescribed, or did you have a bad reaction?” This is an excerpt from one of his audio programs done many years ago, however, the example he used is still apt [...]

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REACTION vs. RESPONSE, are they different? Zig Ziglar- in his distinctive and magnificent southern drawl– asks, “Did you respond well to the medication your doctor prescribed, or did you have a bad reaction?” This is an excerpt from one of his audio programs done many years ago, however, the example he used is still apt and relevant. In fact, what he said describes the two ideas perfectly.

Today we have learned from many scientific evidences that the human brain evolves in stages. The three stage evolution of reptilian brain, to mammalian brain and finally to human brain. These stages correspond to the brainstem, the limbic brain and the cortex. Brainstem is primarily responsible for survival, the limbic brain focuses on rewards and finally, the cortex is all about attachment. These three systems are at work constantly in all of us.

As human beings we may have little control over the circumstances or the situations we are in, so it is understandable that at times we may undergo a spectrum of emotions. When we are in critical situations our brain senses that we are under attack (verbal or physical) and as a result our reptilian brain activates in the flight or fight reaction mode. We can be very grateful for this reaction mode as this exact stimuli of flight and fight kept our ancestors alive, however, we need to recognize that we are no longer living in ancient times, and yet we are using this reaction mode almost daily.

In an excerpt from his article Responding vs. Reacting, J. Loeks writes: The act of responding requires one to look at the circumstance, identify the problem or situation, hear what is happening and reflect. That reflection can be for a moment, five seconds, one hour, two days or longer. The time frame doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stopped and put an effort to think and suspended judgment. It is a conscious act and shows that you are willing to listen or observe. This ‘gap’ between the circumstance and your behavior is what contributes to gaining a sense of control in your life. Once a person can identify that in responding they actually have a choice in the manner, he/she will start to realize that they are able to make better decisions. The key is that pause. If the situation requires an immediate action, then just take a deep breath first. This alone can help one gain a semblance of control and make one choose an alternative statement or action that can make a big difference in an outcome of a situation.

Additionally, in an article that I have recently read, it states that the difference between responding and reacting is about ten seconds. Frankly speaking, at times I personally have found myself in need of more than 10 seconds to calm my mind and take charge of my senses. Have you ever found yourself in such a situation?

Reaction is a basic instinct that human beings are bestowed with, there is no denial about that. Even though we can’t control the outside circumstances or the environment that’s responsible for invoking reactions in us, we do have a truly amazing power- the power to make a conscious choice. And that’s the choice of “Staying in the GAP” and using our brain to respond instead of react.

I’d like to share a powerful story with you that clearly illustrates this concept: Buddha’s disciples had requested him to give some deeper insight that will help them to attain and sustain the path to “Moksha”; or enlightenment. Buddha smiled but said nothing. Soon after, Buddha decided to take his disciples for a walk. As they traveled from one village to another, they happened to find a lake. Upon approaching the lake, Buddha said to one of his disciples, “Subhuti, I am thirsty, can you get me some water from the lake?” Subhuti leapt toward the lake to fetch some water for his master. Upon reaching the lake, just as he was about to collect water, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake leaving the water very muddy and turbid. Subhuti was disappointed as he wouldn’t be able to fulfill his master’s desire, since he couldn’t offer the dirty water to his master.

Subhuti returned to his master empty handed and apologized, Buddha smiled but said nothing. After few minutes, Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to get the water from the lake. Subhuti obediently went to the lake, committed to achieve the task this time. However, he was disappointed to see that even though the water was not as turbid as earlier, it was still muddy and not drinkable. So he came back and informed Buddha about the muddy water. Buddha smiled but said nothing. In fact, Buddha simply continued his meditation. During this time, this disciple took many trips to the lake only to find the water still muddy. Finally he gave up and waited for Buddha. After about half an hour, Buddha opened his eyes and asked the same disciple to go and get the water.

Subhuti went this time and was surprised to see the lake water absolutely clean and clear and now fit for drinking. He collected the water in the pot and brought it to his master. Buddha looked at the water and then looked up at his disciples and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be!”

You see, the mud had settled down on its own- leaving the water clear. Your mind is also like the lake! When it is disturbed, just let it be! As human beings, we can’t have control over the external circumstances, but we can definitely control how one react to those circumstances. If we can control our emotions by making a conscious choice to calm down by pausing and responding, then it will help you to attain direct enlightenment.

It is my hope that this thought will stay with you when you find yourself in a critical situation. Remember to ‘Stay in the GAP’ as things calm down on their own without much external effort. So next time, when someone cuts you off in traffic, makes a remark about you at the workplace, or asks you to put away the groceries or fold the laundry after you have had a long hard day at work- remind yourself to “STAY IN THE GAP” and respond accordingly, rather than react!

We know that the ‘Staying in the GAP’ approach is extremely helpful in the long run, be it at work or home. It helps to avoid bad things from becoming worse, and to make good things become great- After all, a 60 second inward journey can change your life!

With these words, I would like to “THANK YOU” for joining us in Changing the Global Conversation on Human Performance!

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Unleashing the Power of Behaviors https://www.hpaweb.org/unleashing-the-power-of-behaviors/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unleashing-the-power-of-behaviors https://www.hpaweb.org/unleashing-the-power-of-behaviors/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 19:01:32 +0000 http://avada.theme-fusion.com_demos/portfolio/?p=11961 Recently, I watched a film “Nature: Leave it to Beavers” with my son. He is almost three and is currently exploring different kinds of animals. Some animals that he watches he imitates, and some he just wants to watch again and again. Well, I am so grateful that he made me watch the documentary with [...]

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Recently, I watched a film “Nature: Leave it to Beavers” with my son. He is almost three and is currently exploring different kinds of animals. Some animals that he watches he imitates, and some he just wants to watch again and again. Well, I am so grateful that he made me watch the documentary with him. I used to think that beavers are nice friendly creatures, but I was fascinated to learn that they are  actually- The Best Hydro-Engineers in nature. I was intrigued to learn more about their inherent behaviors and the efficient work they do in maintaining the aquatic ecosystem.

I asked myself, do we have anything in common with so called beaver behaviors? For centuries, natural scientists who study nature have tried to solve many of life’s mysteries. I am sure there is quite a powerful connection if we can just interpret how beavers collaborate, communicate and build their close knit culture to work together so efficiently and effectively, day in and day out.

This thought inspired “Unleashing the Power of Behaviors” as our topic INFOCUS for understanding behaviors and how they are shaping the prevalent cultures in any organization today. If your company is enjoying a positive work culture, with happy employees and high productivity, congratulations! However, if that is not the case and you are one of those leaders who understands the situation well and who is looking for something concrete that can help to change the culture of your organization, more likely you may also be wondering what you can do or where to start.

STOP!

Take a deep breath and read on, because here is the magic recipe for creating great culture- You can change the culture of your organization by simply changing the behaviors of the people working in your organization! And let me share the best piece of information with you. Changing behaviors is neither hard, nor does it take a long time. Just make sure whatever you do, don’t make the following mistakes:

Here are Top 10 Mistakes in Behavior Change: (From the Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab)

1. RELYING ON WILLPOWER FOR LONG-TERM CHANGE.

Imagine willpower doesn’t exist. That’s step 1 to a better future.

2. ATTEMPTING BIG LEAPS INSTEAD OF BABY STEPS.

Seek tiny successes- one after another.

3. IGNORING HOW ENVIRONMENT SHAPES BEHAVIOR

Change your context and you change your life.

4. TRYING TO STOP OLD BEHAVIORS INSTEAD OF CREATING NEW ONES.

Focus on action, not avoidance.

5. BLAMING FAILURES ON LACK OF MOTIVATION.

Solution: Make the behavior easier to do.

6. UNDERESTIMATING THE POWER OF TRIGGERS.

No behavior happens without a trigger.

7. BELIEVING THAT INFORMATION LEADS TO ACTION.

We humans aren’t so rational.

8. FOCUSING ON ABSTRACT GOALS MORE THAN CONCRETE BEHAVIORS.

Concrete: Walk 15 minutes today.

9. SEEKING TO CHANGE A BEHAVIOR FOREVER, NOT FOR A SHORT TIME.

A fixed period works better than “forever”.

10. ASSUMING THAT BEHAVIOR CHANGE IS DIFFICULT.

Behavior change is not so hard when you have the right process.

Source: Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab

I would like to conclude with a thought “Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” -Gandhi

With these words, I would like to “THANK YOU” for joining us in, Changing the Global Conversation on Human Performance!

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(Survey Results) The Greatest Current Challenges to Performance Improvement https://www.hpaweb.org/survey-results-the-greatest-current-challenges-to-performance-improvement/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=survey-results-the-greatest-current-challenges-to-performance-improvement https://www.hpaweb.org/survey-results-the-greatest-current-challenges-to-performance-improvement/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:59:00 +0000 http://avada.theme-fusion.com_demos/portfolio/?p=11956 The Practicing Perfection Institute, Inc. (PPI) recently offered a survey to nearly 5,000 performance improvement practitioners involved in safety, error reduction, quality, efficiency, and/or productivity. The survey asked a single question: “What is your greatest current challenge relative to improving [safety, quality, etc.] within your organization?” This was the second survey of this type conducted by [...]

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The Practicing Perfection Institute, Inc. (PPI) recently offered a survey to nearly 5,000 performance improvement practitioners involved in safety, error reduction, quality, efficiency, and/or productivity. The survey asked a single question: “What is your greatest current challenge relative to improving [safety, quality, etc.] within your organization?”

This was the second survey of this type conducted by PPI. The first survey, which asked essentially the same question, was conducted in 2009. In the first survey, there were (4) top challenges, each having nominally the same levels of concern.

This survey identified (3) predominant challenges to performance improvement. Of particular interest was the #1 identified challenge, which came in at nearly 2-to-1 over the second and third highest challenges (quite different than the 2009 results).

Why the difference? Considering the answer(s) to this question within your organization should help you prioritize your efforts to strategize your influence and your impact.

-The Top 3 Challenges-

#3: Culture

The most-cited challenge from 2009 came in at #3 in our latest Survey. We’d like to take some comfort in this drop; however, the percentage of professionals claiming this as their greatest challenge has remained about the same. For many, organizational culture (and how to change it) remains a very significant challenge to improving safety, quality, and productivity.

Should you pay attention? Absolutely. Here are a couple of truths about culture:

  • Culture determines results
  • If you don’t manage your culture, your culture will manage you

Moving Forward: The culture in which you currently work is nothing more than the cumulative behaviors of the folks in your organization. Focus your efforts directly on (1) human performance, and (2) growing team behaviors. For more insight, watch this short VIDEO, and check out the PPI Code of Honor process.

#2: Worker Buy-In

This has remained as the second-biggest challenge. Many consider “lack of worker buy-in” to be a “people” issue. In reality, it is most often a program/process issue. Workers are NOT naturally apathetic or uncaring. In fact, people come to work wanting to do a good job.

If worker-buy-in is a challenge for you, chances are very good that you are suffering from (1) a chain of “programs-of-the-day” heaped upon the workers’ heads, (2) unclear vision, priorities, and/or messaging, (3) lack of congruency between what leadership says and what it does (or a combination of the three).

Want to know where resistance comes from? At the base level, many common shortfalls of organizational effort cause confusion, and a confused mind says- NO. (There’s your lack of buy-in).

Moving Forward: Each of us wants to matter. This is an intrinsic aspect of human nature. We want to feel like we have an honest opportunity to make a difference. Since our jobs, our careers, play a huge role in our sense of “self”, you and your organization have a GRAND opportunity staring you in the face. Lack of motivation is NOT the issue. For insights into HOW to tap into this marvelous self-reinforcing source of energy and positive momentum, start by watching these three VIDEOs (in this order). (Don’t worry each video is short and to the point.)

and finally…

#1: [The Big Kahuna] Lack of Leadership Support

The percentage of performance improvement professionals citing lack of leadership/management support as their greatest current challenge has essentially DOUBLED since 2009 (and is now a factor of almost 2-to-1 over the second and third-biggest challenges).

We can speculate (most likely fairly accurately) on the reasons for this- the economy, increased pressure by shareholders to produce short-term profits, ‘golden parachute’ awards irrespective of performance, etc. Interestingly, while this trend has moved in a decidedly negative direction over the past five years, there is a growing number of rising leaders who truly do “get it” relative to human performance. We believe strongly that these leaders (and their organizations) will thrive into the future as the consequences of short-term decision making by the others come home to roost.

Moving Forward: If lack of leadership support is an acute challenge for you, it is important to be aware of WHY you are not getting support. Once you have this figured out, then focus on (and develop) your ability to influence. As one who has the charge of improving performance, you must be effective at influencing in all directions (upward, downward, and sideways). If you are promoting the right things for the right reasons and you grow as an influencer, you will ultimately thrive in your career.

To get started, watch these two short VIDEOS:

In Conclusion…

Numerous external and internal forces combined with high residuals of “old school thinking” can make your job very frustrating. At times, it may even feel “thankless.”

Take heart. Be persistent. Learn. Grow your ability to influence.

Whether your primary focus is upon safety, error reduction / quality, productivity, or efficiency, your efforts to improve performance are absolutely key to the long term success of your organization.

It is up to us as performance improvement professionals to create win-win environments that benefit everyone involved. When you watch the videos, please let us know your thoughts.

The PDF version of this article includes additional information regarding the makeup of survey respondents by area of focus, as well as relative magnitudes of the other challenges identified.  You can access this version using the Print to PDF button below.

ALSO- we’d love to know what your biggest current challenges are. Please use the Comments section below and let us know your thoughts on this subject (even if it’s only a few words).

Until next time, I remain

your humble messenger,

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