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Performance Improvement

This week's module is over performance improvement. When you enter "performance improvement" into a Google search bar, 1.1 billion results are returned. Improving performance in any field is clearly a hot topic! Athletes want to know how to improve their performance on the track or field. Managers may not want to know how to manage better in any particular field, but there is always a need to manage better, more efficiently - financially and fiscally. Teachers should learn better ways to transfer knowledge as a performance improvement indicator. Students should learn how to better absorb and apply knowledge. There is clearly needs and desires for improving performance across different business sectors. The question is, how? How should one improve performance? Enter some basic instructional design components such as the ADDIE model, which is a framework or methodology for creating instructional systems. The most well-known ISD is the ADDIE model, which stands for analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate (Gagne et al., 2005, p. 21). The table below is a summary of the five phases of the ADDIE model.


Process/Questions to ask


  • What needs to be accomplished? What is the problem?

  • What are the goals?

  • What outcomes are expected of the students? How much time is needed?


  • What are the performance outcomes? Course objectives?

  • What are the instructional topics/units?

  • How much time is needed per topic/unit?

  • What sequence works best?

  • What activities are needed?

  • What assessment will be used to measure learning?


  • Decide if existing curriculum will be used or tweaked.

  • Prepare materials, resources, and activities.

  • Test out activities.

  • Make any tweaks or revisions.

  • Provide training or materials.


  • Pilot, test, or launch.

  • Offer support.


  • How will student learning be assessed?

  • How will the activities, outcomes, and process be assessed?

  • How will the unit/lesson/course be maintained or revised?

I may be jumping ahead. This model will be explored and discussed further on a different module. So let's look at a different leadership model called situational leadership developed Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard. I've met Ken Blanchard once! I was invited to an event in San Antonio with my husband, where Ken Blanchard was going to speak, but as a wife I was only invited to the dinner the night before with all the other company leaders and spouses. My husband heard him speak and present his situational leadership theory to all the company leaders. We did not know who he was or that it was a leadership theory at the time, but I was familiar with the D1-D4 competency levels as it is part of my husband’s language for employee competency levels and evaluations. I was not familiar with how it tied to the leadership styles and commitment levels. I can now explain this theory using my husband as an example! After 10 years in Parts Sales for a local company, my husband was a D4 in his competency and commitment for his company. He was an expert in his field. Managers, other employees, and customers all came to him because of his knowledge and expertise. He received a lot of self-satisfaction on top of positive feedback from his work by helping people, which helped with his commitment to his role and the company. In this role at a D4, he needed very little support or directives from his boss (S4).

In 2016, he accepted a new role and he immediately went back down to a D1 competency with the same company but a different field. He did not know what he did not know, but was very excited and committed to his new role. He needed a highly directive and not very much of a supportive boss (S1). After three months of training, when he entered the field in his new role, he entered the D2 phase and knew how much he still did not know and was overwhelmed for at least a year. His commitment level greatly declined as he doubted himself and his competency level in the new role. He needed his boss to be highly directive, giving him lots of instructions and training, and highly supportive to motivate and encourage him at that point (S2). After two years his competency level increased to a D3. He was finally to the point where sometimes his counterparts across the region will call him for help. Since my husband achieves great satisfaction from helping people and this occurs rarely, his level of commitment varied. However, he needed little to no directive but still needed a great deal of support and encouragement from his boss (S3). Eventually he reached a D4, expert level again and had a renewed sense of commitment and self motivation to help others. This Situational leadership video further helps explain the leadership style. There is one typo in the video that accidentally lists D1 as low competency and low commitment. The diagrams are correct and show D1 as low competency and high commitment.

I may have just thrown a lot of information out at you, but I like to use the D1 - D4 situational language to assess and explain where someone may be in his or her knowledge or expertise. Once you identify if someone is a D1, D2, or D3, you know how much more they can grow, whether a lot (D1) or a little (D3).

Gagne, R. M., Wager, W. W., Golas, K. C., & Kellar J. M. (2005). Principles of instructional design.5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

McKinney, M. [Matt_McKinney]. (2021, October 1). OPD4835 - Situational Leadership [Video file].

Northouse, P. G. (2019). Leadership:Theory and practice (8th ed). San Francisco, CA: Sage.

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