Everyone I have shown the human performance “Culture Speaker” to gets a little excited about the presentation and the theory in the background. They even get more excited and start asking a lot of questions about the survey I designed that supports the input to it. I promised colleagues I would share some if it one day, and this post is the culmination of a lot of work, and my commitment to those conversations.
What is the Culture Speaker?
The culture speaker is the physical manifestation from the results of an Affective Survey. I created it with one goal in mind: to explain in one simple to follow picture the results of education theory as it applies to your culture’s attitude toward your existing Human Performance Program. Using a “Likert Scale” and knowing that a program is made up from a finite number of elements, survey questions are tailored to surmise leadership and personnel attitudes towards human performance at the time the survey is administered.
Okay, so what the heck is an Affective Survey?
Adults learn in three realms: head, hands, and heart, otherwise known as, the Cognitive, Psycho-motor, and Affective realms. If you have been a long-time follower of this website, the Affective realm had a lot of research and development work done by Krathwohl, and I have mentioned him and this realm in previous posts. A lot of people I have spoken with about creation of learning objectives in training consider Benjamin Bloom as the father of all learning taxonomies, but he lords over the Cognitive realm, specifically, as far as I can tell, and NOT the Affective, also known as the “Attitude” realm.
My survey has been used both in commercial nuclear power and transmission and distribution companies. The amount of survey questions range from 25 to 125 depending on the areas of your program and what you are focusing on, and take anywhere from 10-45 minutes to complete. For example, with a nuclear plant, I administered the 125 question survey in October and November, determined focus areas, and then followed up 10 months later with a 25 question survey – only covering areas that the organization was strategically trying to improve from the baseline.
The survey dives into the taker’s attitude towards parts of the existing Human Performance Program, or lack thereof. Areas of focus can reveal themselves and it helps kick off your strategic plan by knowing what areas need immediate attention, and using leverage from areas already working well.
This is what it looks like – a speaker with sound coming from the middle. The louder the sound, the more the culture values that element. Quickly translate the survey results data to see that certain areas in this culture need to be turned up, so the organization is all at the same high-level of value. This depiction shows at a glance that Work Observations are already valued at this company, but human performance training, performance indicators, and an effective reward program are in need of enhancement, if improvement in these areas is desired. The goal of this was to keep it simple to look at and understand, without revealing all the theory of why it’s such an accurate model of culture value.
How are you tracking your improvement in value towards your Human Performance Program? My guess is you aren’t at all. I’ve never heard of anyone else doing that, yet. The best metrics in my opinion measure the strength of your event prevention defenses, and anything that helps you understand how the program is working and what areas are being valued or not. This is an avenue to help measure a baseline and any improvement that the organization attempts, and then to come back again after a certain amount of corrective actions have been put in place to see if things are actually changing.
Quick side note
If you are wondering (and you probably aren’t) why I would give this proprietary idea away to friends, colleagues, and competitors, I really don’t see it that way. My mission is to help companies have less events, and my profession has people that can be a major part of that goal. Some of us have a hard time figuring out where to start an assessment, and this gem is an awesome place to start. Also, I should point out for my own interests, the sanctity of the actual question content, and the theory behind how they transfer into the culture speaker are still protected.
Note for first-time visitors
I truly appreciate you stopping by and please don’t forget to click on the pictures… any picture in any post will always take you somewhere worthy, and usually to an applicable video.