Step by step

Last year, doctors at a Nairobi hospital performed surgery to remove a blood clot from a patient’s brain. Hours into the surgery, they came to a horrible realization: They were operating on the wrong guy, someone who had no need for an invasive medical procedure.

That’s the kind of awful scenario that the World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist seeks to prevent. The checklist, the development of which was led by American surgeon, author, and public-health researcher Atul Gawande in the mid-2000s, lays out 19 items for doctors and nurses to review over the course of three stages of surgery. The questions are simple but consequential, from whether the patient has any known allergies to confirming the patient’s name and the scheduled procedure.

Following these steps has been shown to cut down on human error. In the WHO’s initial pilot study of eight hospitals in eight international cities the checklist was associated with a one-third reduction in deaths and complications from surgery.

Checklists are useful for everyone from doctors to astronauts to human-resources managers. But in order to make good use of them, as Gawande explains in his 2009 book The Checklist Manifesto, we have to accept that no matter how much expertise we accumulate, we’re vulnerable to the most basic errors. Check it out.

For the rest of this article – please go here.

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Website: The Learning Science of Presentations


If you want to improve your presentation skills, here’s a website for you! Will Thalheimer, one of the leading learning myth-busters, has expanded his portfolio to include presentation science.


On the website, you can:

  • Subscribe to receive presentation ideas, news, and information
  • Enroll in the Presentation Science Workshop
  • View a 10-minute video (under “Sneak Peak”)
  • Learn more about Thalheimer


Time to upskill your presentations? Check out Thalheimer’s website:

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Blame Is Not a Leadership Competency

Saw this on LinkedIn yesterday morning – and thought I should capture and share it.

Thanks to Peter Baverso for his quick response and acknowledgement of his authorship!


Peter is doing a session for the Potomac Chapter of ISPI on August 20th – check that out here:

Thinking Forward, Applying the Science of Group Performance to Liberate Agility, Part One

As a longtime fan and practitioner of Group Processes in ISD Analysis, Design and Development – the session title caught my eye – as did Peter’s quote in the graphic above.

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Jack Zigon – How To Measure EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

Study after study has shown that clear expectations improve employee
performance. But creating goals for hard-to-measure jobs in areas
such as R&D, marketing, or customer service is easier said than done.
This guide explains and shows you exactly how to develop performance
measures for any kind of work, even for white-collar and other hard-to measure positions.

This guide is designed to help you learn how to create employee goals
in the shortest amount of time. It will act as your coach and guide while
providing a place for you to record ideas as you draft your objectives.

178 page PDF: how-to-measure-employee-performance

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Addison & Haig Column: Performance Architecture: Evaluation – Begin at the End


As Stolovitch might say, “Evaluation ain’t easy.” With consistent pressure to produce training solutions, talent development departments tend to cut corners, especially analysis and evaluation. Enter Roger Addison and Carol Haig.

For years, Addison and Haig have published a BP Trends column that educates readers about performance architecture. In this article, they discuss evaluation challenges and how to do it right. For example:

A common reason why evaluations can fall short is an incomplete understanding of what Performance is. If an employee comes to learn a new system and shows up every day to learn and practice, that is an important, measurable Activity. But, can the employee also correctly use the system to do work? That is the Result, and evaluations often stop at measuring the Activity rather than going further to identify and measure the Result.


The bulk of their article describes two tools to help you with evaluation:

  1. 10 Criteria for Evaluating Six Sigma Projects by Bertels and Buthmann
  2. The Learning-Transfer Evaluation Model (LTEM) by Will Thalheimer

Addison and Heig include several reference links worth reviewing.


You can find the Addison & Haig column on the BP Trends website:

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Alex Salas: Microlearning: What It Is Not and What It Should Be

From Learning Solutions and Alexander Salas – March 15, 2017

Microlearning: What It Is Not and What It Should Be

The key point to recognize is that microlearning is not a theory, nor a principle, but rather a learner-centered approach. What is microlearning? Well, it depends on whom you ask; according to the Knowledge Pulse (see Behringer in References), the term microlearning was coined by the Research Studios Austria as “learning in small steps,” and it has been heavily popularized due to most of its interventions being Web 2.0 friendly. In this article, I discuss the theoretical background supporting microlearning strategies, the pitfalls of blindly adopting microlearning, and its potential benefits for workplace learning.

Cognitive load theory

There may not be any theory out there with a bigger case for the support of a microlearning approach than cognitive load theory (CLT). CLT was first described by John Sweller, and it proposes that “learning occurs in two mechanisms: 1) schema acquisition, or forming a mental map, and 2) transfer of knowledge into working memory” (see Laistner and Sweller articles in References).

For the rest of Alex’s article – please go here.

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