In previous posts, I began explaining what Human Performance Improvement (HPI) is, and how Lucid Business Strategies uses this methodology to help small business owners pinpoint and fix performance problems.
In our last post we described how we use the HPI methodology to analyze performance problems within a business. It is important to use such a methodology when helping small business owners move their business ahead, as it helps keep the consultant’s attention focused only on the specific performance problem they are trying to solve. Without this focus, it is easy for an analysis to go down many paths and try to uncover the causes of issues that are not really impacting the businesses performance. In my opinion, that is one of the reasons why businesses complain that a consultant didn’t really solve their problems – they are not focused on specific issues, so the solutions that are recommended may be good ones but they address problems that are not connected to the primary problem that the consultant was brought in to address. Using an HPI approach helps consultants stay laser focused and adds certainty that the solutions recommended will solve the performance problems.
Identifying and proving the things holding a business back is only the first step in the process. The next step is to actually design and develop the recommended solutions. Since every intervention is designed to correct a specific performance problem, it is important the intervention is planned out, fully developed (including all procedures, policies, forms, resources, etc.) and implemented. The consultants and management team must plan for how to implement change, address objections and obstacles, measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions, and ensure the solution will stay implemented for the long-term. Only by doing this for each and every intervention can you be sure that you will correct the performance problem and create sustainable change.
Improving the performance of a business is an involved process – much more than might be apparent at first glance. Every change you make will create other challenges that will have to be addressed. It takes much more from a consultant than creating a laundry list of things to fix. In our opinion, consultants must have a methodical approach to diagnosing and fixing these issues. Unfortunately, we run into way too many consultants that have “opinions” about what should be done, or are quick to provide input based purely on experience without any analysis what-so-ever. In our opinion, this is very risky to the business, and well … it is just embarrassing to the consultant that performs in this way!
Other Articles of Interest
What is Human Performance Improvement? Part One: “An Overview”
What is Human Performance Improvement? Part Two: “Finding the Problem”
What is Human Performance Improvement? Part Three: “Identifying Specific Solutions”
To Learn More about Human Performance Improvement (HPI)
International Society for Performance Improvement: www.ispi.org