Human Performance Technology

I found this post describing something called "Human Performance Technology", and while I find it intellectually compelling, there is something in my gut that senses a conundrum. On the one hand there is a clear disposition toward whole systems thinking, linking multiple organizational infrastructure disciplines (HR, Communications, Training, Org Design). On the other hand it still feels too structured. Part of my thinking about using a systems approach to organizational dynamics is the need to allow free reign to the "network" which can give rise to emergent outcomes.

I think the part of HPT that gives me the most pause is:

…HPT has focused on uniform job/performance requirements, quick and efficient training, top-down management and an emphasis on compliance.

Top-down management and an emphasis on compliance, to me seem to be antithetical to the nature of a whole systems approach. I have some experience around HR functions and lord knows that there is room for improvement (and integration) and I think something like this could be effective, but there seems to be more work to do … if you are going to leverage systems theory you have to go all the way and not just use it in parts. (as Ty would say, "…be the ball.")

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One Response

  1. Thanks for dropping in and commenting on my Future Tense Post on Organizations of the Future. Let’s just hope that things as structured as suggested in HPT are not part of the future of orgs. I do think that there needs to be more of an organic approach to collaboration, learning and engagement at work…somewhere in the middle – not so structured, not exactly improvisation (but more so), not exactly entirely based on systems thinking…

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