Joe Harless, my hero

I learned late yesterday that Joe Harless, who listed himself on LinkedIn as “independent think tank professional,” died on October 4th.  (Here’s a report in the Newnan, Georgia Times Herald.) I don’t know how widely known Joe was outside the world of ISPI, the International Society for Performance Improvement, prior to his semi-retirement from that […]

Joe Harless would approve

I found an image sent to me by my friend and colleague, John Howe. It’s the package for a cortisone prescription. He sent it because he knows what a proponent of job aids I am. Joe Harless’s Job Aid WorkShop years ago transformed my career.  I learned that even when you have a skill-and-knowledge gap, […]

Soft requests, or, what do clients really want?

I had an appropriately distanced lunch with someone in my field whose main internal client is reorganizing. That client wants training that will, among other things, help employees understand the latest version of the strategic plan. Coincidentally, I recently came across materials from a long-ago workshop led by Joe Harless. The materials were for the […]

Better health (less mass) as performance improvement

My previous post talked about goals related to a complex problem.  I even reframed the problem, from “losing weight” to “being in good shape.”  Yes, there are still covert qualifiers, but the main thrust is: poke and prod a problem statement for a while.  This is what Joe Harless had in mind with his dictum […]

Front-end analysis: not baby-sitting, not psychotherapy

In an online conversation, I found myself again quoting Joe Harless. In this case, the quote was from a March 1975 interview with Training magazine.  I haven’t found this online anywhere, so thought I’d summarize a bit here. A little background: Harless coined the term front-end analysis.  As he wrote in a workshop guide, to […]