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Is Human Performance Technology the way ahead for British companies?


Economic commentators frequently point out the anomaly between the high levels of innovation and low levels of productivity in British industry. A session at HRD 2000 on Human Performance Technology (HPT) looked at ways of resolving this problem and featured one of the world’s leading experts in this new and expanding field, Dr Roger Addison.

Dr Addison, Director of the International Society for Performance Improvement began the session by pointing out the merits of the concept. He commented "HPT can enhance the role of HR professionals as providers of primary advice on organisational development and planning. This will enable delegates to take a more pro-active and strategic role within the running of their organisations".

He went on to describe the process, which includes an analysis of the following aspects of business performance:

  • organisational structure
  • motivation systems
  • the business environment
  • communication and information processes
  • individual and organisational learning

Dr Addison added "it is essential to execute the analysis within the framework of an organisation’s culture, mission, vision, beliefs, values, and management practices".

He says that this approach "builds on the work of Joel Barker, whose book 'Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future' identifies excellence, innovation and anticipation as the keys to organisational survival and success in the 21st Century".

He concludes, "such an integrated approach can help shift the emphasis from training to performance and improve anticipation. This will put companies in the right place at the right time - to not only capitalise on opportunities presented, but to create new opportunities within their own industries."


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