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Performance Consulting: Today and Tomorrow

To mark ATD’s 75th year, we’re talking to industry experts. In this installment, Dana Robinson offers clear insight into some of the trends making an impact on the field of performance consulting.

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Always terrific to hear Dana Robinson's perspective. Complementing the comments made previously, I find it a good reminder that understanding the business/organizational environment in which we are operating is critical. I still don't see this concept mainstreamed.
I found it interesting that Dana is not a proponent of certifications and given that these have proliferated it would be worth a separate conversation. What types of certifications are useful, if at all, and for what purpose?
Hi Gabrielle.
I am not a proponent of certification for performance consultants. I believe it has relevance for HR (certify that you know the laws, etc); for airline pilots (in simulations to certify they can do what is required to fly safely). For performance consultants, to truly certify would require that the individual work on one or more projects that would be long term in scope and are observed. Some require many months or more than a year. Does not seem practical.
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It's interesting to position performance consulting as an extension of L & D. I have always thought that L & D is a sub-set of performance improvement, and in fact we work very hard when we are developing performance consultants to "get them out of the training box," which certainly aligns with Dana's principle of being solution neutral. Here's a relevant white paper: http://www.sixboxes.com/_customelements/uploadedResources/145954_OutoftheTrainingBox.pdf
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I found this interview very helpful for several reasons. It gave a working definition of performance consulting, it stressed the importance of focusing on performance - not just knowledge, it reminds and urges us to resist jumping to solutions before analyzing data, it advocates for continuous learning, and it promotes having high standards in practice.
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