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Results or Competencies?

By Bill Wilder, M.Ed., Life Cycle Engineering

“Results. We need results.” The assumption, when someone says something like this, is that the results will be positive. “Results” is a pretty general term. They can be good or bad, weaker or stronger than expected.

To produce results, you need to change behaviors. And in order to get people to change how they work, you need to educate them on how to perform in new ways. That means enabling people to develop new abilities – to become competent in new or changing roles.

How do you gauge whether you are improving results or not? Results are a lagging indicator of the effects created by behavior.

Competencies are a leading indicator of the cause of these effects. So to drive improved results you really need to focus on whether you are building the right competencies where they are needed and sustaining the new behaviors through coaching and reinforcement.

When you evaluate your human performance do you balance leading and lagging indicators or just the results?

You should, if you want to impact results rather than just report on them.

Bill Wilder, M.Ed is the founder and director of the Life Cycle Institute, the learning, leadership and change management practice at Life Cycle Engineering. The Institute integrates the science of learning and the science of change management to help organizations produce results through behavior change. You can reach Bill at bwilder@LCE.com.

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