HPI - Up Close and Personal
By Patricia S. Radakovich, CPLP, CPT
Human performance improvement (HPI) is typically applied to
business. However, amidst all of our resolutions for 2011, I
thought it would be interesting to look at how HPI can be applied
to making improvements in our personal businesses and lives.
Practice what you preach
First, you should ask yourself if you practice what you preach. Do
you apply HPI to your own business? When I asked this question of
my colleagues some years ago, the typical answer was, "Of course I
do!... Well, for the most part I do Sometimes I doI guess not."
Although some of us do apply HPI in our own businesses, many of us
treat our clients better than we treat ourselves. As I look at my
to-do list and my large to-do pile, I realize that I, too, should
start practicing what I preach and apply HPI to my own business
more than what I do.
In the spirit of the new year, I extend a challenge to all of you
to apply HPI to your own business. Here is my suggested plan to
help you get started:
- Start by revisiting your goals (or creating them if you haven't
already). Revise your goals to fit your current mission and vision
for your business.
- Take stock of your situation. What have you accomplished? What
would you still like to accomplish?
- Mind the gaps! How close are you to accomplishing your goals?
Where are you not performing as well as you'd like to perform?
- Create efficiencies. Use HPI to help you become more efficient
and effective at what you do. Becoming more efficient could be as
simple as reorganizing or reprioritizing, or it may be more
complicated like revising your own processes.
- Remove dead weight. Ask yourself if the tasks you are doing add
value to you, your business, and your clients. If not, you may want
to stop that behavior so you can spend your time and energy on
things that create value.
- Make a plan. Use the HPI process to make a plan that helps you
close the gaps and accomplish your goals. You don't need a plan as
formal as that for a client, but you should at least go through the
steps and put your plan in writing.
By adding a little bit of structure to your work, you can be more
efficient and effective and will be able to get the results you
want. After all, you are your most valuable asset, so you should
treat yourself as your number one client!
Taking it personally
Beyond applying HPI to your business, you can also extend HPI to
your personal life. To do so, you may want to start by revisiting
the principles of HPI:
Focus on results. Personal goals often get pushed
aside in our busy lives. You might even make a list at some point,
maybe find it a few years later and dust it off, then feel
regretful as you realize you didn't pursue your dreams. Life is
fluid and goals change, so you may not accomplish everything you
set out to do when you were younger and dreamed bigger. But if you
want to have a fulfilled and productive life, maybe it's time you
reconsidered your dreams and your goals. Maybe your inner child
still wants to fulfill the dream of diving in the Great Barrier
Reef. Or maybe you still want to pursue your graduate degree.
Whatever your goal may be, write it down, keep it in sight, and
take steps toward accomplishing it. When you focus on results, you
will be more likely to make your dreams come true.
Take a systems view. In our personal lives, it's
critical to look at the big picture. Between work, family, personal
time, volunteer work, and more, our lives have become a bundle of
competing priorities. Take the time to look systematically to see
how the parts of your life are intertwined. When you make a change
in one part of your life, it will have a ripple effect on another
part. For instance, if you take the time to work on one of your
personal goals, it might make you happier and change the
relationships you have with your family, enabling you to spend more
quality time with them with less stress.
Add value. In our personal lives, we often don't
stop to consider if what we do adds value. Doing tasks that do
not add value to you or your family causes excessive amounts of
stress! If you do nothing else, make the time to take stock of
your activities and determine if they create value for you. If they
do not, it is time to stop doing those activities. If you have a
lot of those activities, it's also time to learn how to say "no."
By lowering the stress in your life and freeing up some of your
time, you will be able to focus on the results you want and move
toward achieving your goals.
Collaborate. The last principle of HPI that we can
apply in our own lives is to collaborate. Many of us feel the need
to do everything on our own. But there comes a time when you have
to ask for help. You do not live in a vacuum. Other people often
share your goals or want to help you accomplish them. Learn to
develop partnerships and work in collaboration with others to reach
your goals faster and easier. Learn to accept and even ask for help
when you need it. After all, you may just help someone else achieve
their goals while they are helping you achieve yours.
Applying the principles of HPI to your personal life is only the
first step. You can also apply this plan to help you create
efficiencies in your personal life and accomplish your goals. You
only get one chance at life, so you might as well make the most of
it and live your life to the fullest.
Sharing with others
Although this piece is a bit of a departure from the norm, I hope
you find it useful in your personal life. For those of you who
accept the challenge and apply HPI to your personal work or lives,
please send me your story, particularly your results. I would like
to write a follow-up piece at the end of the year to share the
power of HPI with our readers. I wish you a new year filled with
accomplishments and good luck!