gloria references

March 24, 2005

Gloria Gery blows my mind. She looks for all the world like an old-time schoolmarm and yet year after year, she comes up with an inspiring message.
This morning she said “We’ve engineered the supply chain to the fourth decimal. We’ve done the same in re-engineering our processes and customer relationships. Human Capital Management comes next.”

Gloria says that we can’t define eLearning as installing an LMS. We’re not about KM or documents or technology – What’s important is the performer, to be able to name that tune in one note, to perform in exemplary fashion. We have to understand the work that people do. Most of all we have to be able to sit in the learner’s chair, to find out how the work comes at them. For the call center, we shouldn’t model how things should go theoretically. (Gloria’s visited many a call center – and they are reminiscent of a Charlie Chaplin movie’s factory frenzy.) This feel for the context enables us to shift the responsibility for success to the situation.

On a recent visit, Gloria found call center reps who had to deal with a dozen software apps acquired from mergers, a nearly impossible task. They had to construct mental maps of complex processes just to function. We need to put the real truth into our training. We need to understand what really goes on. Courses are necessary but not sufficient. We must have a strategy. Architecture is a part of it. Courses are a part of it. But we must understand people, how they learn, how they collaborate, how inquiry teaches, how we learn from observing models, incremental development of understanding.

“I was born when White Out was a technological innovation. I remember when I first saw word-wrap; everybody came over to take a look. How young are you?” asked Gloria.

In addition to eLearning, think as well of automating the task, teaching, providing content, supporting processes, supporting collaboration.

Why should we have to live with error messages like “File sharing illegal error?” Look at the evolution TurboTax. Simplify, simplify. `

Repetition is the mother of impression.

What are the best strategy and tactics to accelerate performance improvement? Our job is to develop computer-mediated environments that fuse, integrate…

You need to look at examples – they’re on the web. You purpose is to enable performance, not to implement eLearning. If not us, who? We must partner with our business clients and make life better for people who are skilled.Posted by Jay Cross at September 23, 2002 11:45 PM

Gloria Gery named Workflow Institute Fellow
Sam and I are delighted to announce that Gloria Gery has accepted our invitation to become the first Fellow of the Workflow Institute.

Gloria invented the field of Electronic Performance Support. She was a champion of performance-centered design twenty years before its current popularity. She has taught our industry to “give up the idea that competence must exist within the person and expand our view that whenever possible it should be built into the situation.” Gloria is a member of the HRD Hall of Fame and an ASTD Distinguished Contributor. This May, ASTD will recognize her as a Legend for her deep influence on the field of learning and performance development.

The first time I heard Gloria Gery’s name was a dozen years ago in San Francisco. My company’s chairman walked into my office with a copy of her book, Electronic Performance Support Systems, and told me it spelled the death of the training industry as we knew it. Of course, that didn’t happen. The ideas were right but ahead of their time. At long last, technology has arrived to bring Gloria’s vision to life. Her concept of “intrinsic EPSS” was the forerunner of Workflow Learning.

This evening I looked back at the 1995 special issue of Performance Improvement Quarterly on EPSS Revisited. Gloria’s bibliography included these inspiring people, all of whom I’ve met and learned from: John Seely Brown, Stan Davis, Paul Harmon, Bob Horn, Bill Horton, Ted Nelson, Don Norman, Marc Rettig, Alison Rossett, Roger Schank, Ben Schneiderman, Edward Tufte, and Saul Wurman. There’s powerful chemistry at work here.

We’re already excited about swapping ideas and learning with Gloria!

Thursday, July 29, 2004
A BETTER PLACE TO WORK by Jay Cross
Gloria Gery, host of Training Fall, taught our industry to “give up the idea that competence must exist within the person and expand our view that whenever possible it should be built into the situation.”
Gloria saw workers struggling with arcane, data-centric mainframe systems. The default solution to their frustration was training and documentation. Training Band-Aids camouflage bad interface design. Ironically, they often cost a lot more than designing the application for performance in the first place.

What workers need to do their jobs – information, rules, and knowledge – is often spread all over the place. Good design puts these things within easy reach (often in software) and shows how to use them to optimal performance.

Fast forward to 2004. Access to information is not enough because there’s already too much to keep up with – and the volume of corporate information doubles every 18 months. Everything is moving faster. Workers must learn as they work to deal with the unforeseen. They don’t want courses and fat manuals; they want answers. Right now.

Technology has given us a historic opportunity to reconfigure work. Imagine creating a workplace where computers can do what they do best, and people can do the work they find most fulfilling. At the Workflow Learning Symposium, we hope you’ll join us in exploring this vision.

AT THE MOMENT OF NEED

Integrating resources in the workplace is inevitable, and the need is urgent. Filtering resources so people get the tools and resources they need while actively working is the goal. Work process and roles are the primary filters. The mechanisms vary: portals, performance-centered workflow interfaces, enterprise applications, integration projects, etc. The common thread for the learning and performance support communities is this: How do we get people what they need at the moment of need, and what form should it be in?

ONLINE LEARNING 99
Fusion of learning and doing on the way.
Pitfalls of online learning:
falling in love with the messenger (confuse means and ends)
becoming isolated from the core business
defaulting to the familiar (automating the last war)
not integrating with other organizations

SYMPOSIUM (Huber)
He referenced Gloria Gery who labels this the Performance Zone. You don’t have to figure out where it is. Its right there for you

Workflow & EPSS: Separated at Birth?
People ask us what’s new about Workflow Learning. Isn’t it just another name for EPSS? Gloria Gery, who created EPSS, doesn’t think so, and neither do we. Think of a typical EPSS application. Say I’m filling out a complicated on-screen form, and can’t remember what goes in a certain box. I mouse-over the box or click an icon, and the EPSS pops up a brief instruction or maybe provides a drop-down box. Saves time, cuts need for classroom, eliminates error: good stuff.Unlike EPSS, Workflow Learning is contextual, dynamic, and aware. Workflow Learning is most likely personalized to the individual worker and his role; an EPSS treats everyone the same. The Workflow application is aware of what’s happening in the business, e.g. “That item is out of stock” or “We are no longer offering that policy to young adults in Southern California.” The Workflow Learning is probably embedded, the EPSS bolted on. The Workflow environment connects the worker to her colleagues. The Workflow environment automatically learns about the learner and adds its findings to his experience portfolio. Workflow Learning is not a separate system; it is part and parcel of the work itself. Workflow Learning results from the convergence of Web Services, rich-client technonolgy, and interoperable enterprise software, technologies born long after EPSS..

History in the Making: The Debut of Workflow Learning
Gloria Gery
How the context has changed, is changing, will either render us irrelevant or make us more critical. How can we proceed to have more leverage in what we do? Workflow is one way for us to better integrate what we do with people’s lives. The computer-mediated context IS the workflow context. So how do we integrate what we do into that context?
Getting to performance…
Takes too long
Costs too much
Is inconsistent in terms of
Outcomes
Kinds of answers
Time it takes
Quality of work
…therefore the ability to deliver consistent performance becomes a key differentiation
Increasingly difficult because of variances in performers – we can’t make the usual assumptions about our audience; it’s fractured
And then there’s complexity – everything is configurable, flexible.
One of the questions I hear is, How is Workflow Based learning different from performance support? This is performance support on steroids – magnified, with a much higher impact. The workflow is the context, the magic filter through which we will be able to filter content, against which we have to compare default tactics. There will always be instructor led training, there will be far less of that than the workplace learning resources.
What is the filter which drives my assumptions, actions, deliverables? It’s not just instruction. Content – how does that differ from what you do? Content has to have context, delivery vehicles; it has to be organized around some artifact.
We can “Google” things to death – what we need is a context filter. People talk about “peer assists” all that is finding someone who knows what to do – the “go-to” person. There are people whose whole job it is to compensate for people who don’t know what to do – we call them the Helpdesk. Trial and error – we have a whole choir of people telling us, try this, try this, try this. The default tactics are not working any longer.
Issues:
The traditional presentation of content an resources fails to synthesize into a meaningful framework. It’s all over the place, as if everything you need is hanging by threads from the ceiling. Which is relevant? How do I filter? How do I determine which of these things apply to what I’m doing? Meanwhile, the organization, the customer wants you to “name that tune in one note”!
We need to weave all that information into a pattern – subject/topic/product oriented information is not workflow learning. It’s more like a tapestry – all the stitches being in order and in some form of organization.
The problem is we’re doing this from the producer’s perspective: pushing stuff out into the organization. What if we map the workflows, then organize resources by workflow? There are people out in the organization trying to do work – what is the filter? How do we represent knowledge, content, data, processes, so that the time to knowledge or time to performance (knowing or doing) is minimized.
We are focused on the wrong thing. Organizational structure is the other barrier. This is not hard to do; it is hard to get done. Think about the performance chain.
Here’s a definition: Workflow is a structure/sequence of activities that a person has to do to achieve defined desirable goals and results specific to the condition. Deliverables, solutions, decisions… Filters are needed to screen out the irrelevant and bring to the fore the things that are relevant. The workflow is the best default filter for all data: what is relevant to this context? The structured or dynamic sequence is the best filter for content/data.
What does that mean for trainers? We can teach people how to do the work, or we can work to influence the context to provide filtered information and help people to synthesize it. In any learning experience, there is always that moment where you “get it.” How do we accelerate people’s arrival at that moment – and that generates confidence.
There are two contexts for doing this: in courses, or while working. The eLearning context is currently being designed by people who know JavaScript – they’ve never even seen the work! In too many organizations, users are bouncing between multiple systems to get one task done. How can we configure the interface layer to structure the processes and provide in-context learning because THAT is the teachable moment we are always looking for? Why not have a “help me decide” button, or be able to run our mouse over a link that boots us into a course that matches our context?
Why Now?
Because now there is a convergence of need, technology, design, and models.
Have you ever looked at a traditional “data dump” report? There could be hundreds of pages, and the user has to know what to look for. The patterns, relationships, meaning are not explicit. What if we presented data in the context of the decision to be made, or patterns to look for – in the language of the performers, not the technicians?
Example #1: Recruiting website example: only 6 of your x became y, therefore you need to adjust here. Success stories. Details. “Show me more” – all about successful recruiting
Example #2: Claims processing website: Wizards – “help me resolve this” series of questions for resolving coverage issues
It’s all done at the moment of need, and when you use these tools a few times, people learn the rules.
It’s our job to create a synthesis around what people have to do because our job is to make them successful.

Training was appropriate when actors memorized their lines. Today, it’s OK to read from cue cards—you can’t know everything. Good props help make a show great. As Gloria Gery pointed out long ago, it’s time to “give up the idea that competence must exist within the person and expand our view that whenever possible it should be built into the situation.”

ONLINE LEARNING 98

The Law of Diminishing Astonishment. (over-stimulation dulls the senses and increases expectation)

Gloria Gery: “Training will be either strategic or it will be marginalized.”

ONLINE LEARNING 2000
Gloria Gery has become the personality of the OnLine Learning shows; she’s Bill Communications’ answer to Elliott Masie. Her keynote, How do we get there from here?, called on the eLearning industry to push ahead, break through the classrooom paradigm, make knowledge management meaningful, and decrease time-to-performance. Nothing new in this, but concisely stated. Gloria is a cogent, humorous, energetic interpreter of what’s going on.
What if people drop out of eLearning experiences? “My response to that is, ‘Hallelujah!’ ” said Gloria. “We have the wrong metrics. We don’t have to make sure everyone goes through everything.”Gloria Gery has become the personality of the OnLine Learning shows; she’s Bill Communications’ answer to Elliott Masie. Her keynote, How do we get there from here?, called on the eLearning industry to push ahead, break through the classrooom paradigm, make knowledge management meaningful, and decrease time-to-performance. Nothing new in this, but concisely stated. Gloria is a cogent, humorous, energetic interpreter of what’s going on.
What if people drop out of eLearning experiences? “My response to that is, ‘Hallelujah!’ ” said Gloria. “We have the wrong metrics. We don’t have to make sure everyone goes through everything.”

Almost worse than the default settings that are millions of years old are the cultural, political, ethnic and religious settings we were given in our early lives. They, of course, reflect the biases of prior generations and, in my experience, no longer fit in a globalized world. They limit us from more than learning. Rather, they limit us as people interacting as humans with other people. Our networks must go way beyond the filters that sift out important other people — or have us judge them by trivial attributes.
Thanks, Jay.
GloriaPosted by: Gloria Gery at June 29, 2003 12:05 PM

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