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Our Research-Based Methods

Our web site provides access to a growing list of publications that attest to the scientific basis of our methods. Dr. Carl Binder, our Co-Founder, has been a pioneer in fluency-based learning methods, performance improvement, and knowledge management since studying with B. F. Skinner at Harvard during the 1970’s. We have formulated our own methodologies (FluencyBuilding™, Six Boxes™ Performance Management, Product Knowledge Architecture™) from basic and applied research, and have adopted the methods of other research-based practitioners (Information Mapping®, Harless Job Aids) where possible. While other documentation we can supply will provide more detail, as needed, the following summaries of these methodologies is intended to set a context for the service descriptions.

The FluencyBuilding™ Technology

Based on research conducted by Dr. Binder in the laboratory and in hundreds of classrooms since 1974, our fluency-based approach to performance improvement sets us apart from virtually all other training or performance improvement professionals. Based on the finding that measured speed or quickness, not mere accuracy, is what sets competent performers apart from hesitant beginners, this methodology improves the design of learning programs and performance environments. It offers an easy-to-implement and efficient practice technology that enables performers to ramp up quickly, retain what they learn, and apply skills and knowledge confidently on the job. It forms the basis of our FluencyBuilding Workshop.

Six Boxes™ Performance Management

Adapted from an earlier approach by Dr. Thomas F. Gilbert (known as the "Father of Human Performance Technology"), the Six Boxes model gives managers, trainers, and performance improvement professionals a systematic framework for identifying all the factors capable of positively or negatively affecting performance. It allows rapid discovery of gaps or disconnects in performance environments likely to dampen performance, and ensures that organizations design the most cost-effective possible combinations of training and non-training programs for building and supporting job performance and organizational productivity. We use this tool in our Opportunity Analysis.

The Product Knowledge Architecture™ (PKA) Methodology

Based on over 15 years of work with Fortune 500 Sales and Marketing organizations, this comprehensive content framework and its associated methodology serves as a foundation for all of our knowledge management consulting. The PKA incorporates what we believe to be the four essential features of a complete knowledge architecture: standard terminology to support tagging and naming; standard sequences to support viewing/browsing and learning; logical and page templates to ensure usability; and links or cross-references to support knowledge-based performance. Unlike any other knowledge management methodology we have seen, our approach is performance-based, not merely content-based. We have refined this framework over the years, based on a growing understanding of what consultative sales and service people need to do their jobs. The architecture itself, and its methodology, has been licensed to Fortune 500 companies for internal use, integrated into commercial knowledge management products, and used as rapid prototyping tools in our work with client corporations.

Standard Change Charting™

We base much of our evaluation methodology on the Standard Change Chart™, originated by Dr. Ogden Lindsley over 25 years ago, and used by thousands of learning and performance improvement professionals in a wide variety of settings since then. We were among the early adopters of this tool, which allows us to monitor and predict trends and performance levels of individuals, teams, and organizations with amazing reliability. It provided the key scientific methodology underlying our original fluency research at Harvard, and continues to support evaluation of our work with clients and of individuals’ learning progress.

Structured Writing Methods

We offer workshops in the Harless Job Aids technology (now provided by Human Performance Technologies, Inc.), and collaborate with Information Mapping, Inc. to apply their research-based structured writing methods with clients. These structured documentation tools drive measurable improvements in the performance quality and productivity of individuals and groups by enabling rapid access to and efficient application of information to perform tasks and apply policies and procedures on the job.


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