This blog is excerpted from episode 19 of the Performance Matters podcast where Bob Mosher speaks with Sue Reber, one of the world’s top 5 Moments of Need Designers, on: the 5 Moments methodology, how it differs from other approaches, and the how and why around shifting mindsets to performance-first.
Bob Mosher (BM): One reason I’m so excited about this particular episode is that we’ve interviewed Con from a theory perspective and as the visionary. We all know he’s a pioneer in this stuff. We’ve interviewed organizations who are well on this journey, and the Leaders in those companies who have the vision and such. Clearly, you are a leader when it comes to design and development. Sue, you’ve mentored so many, you’ve been a part of the certificate program and others, and we’ve just watched you mature in your development as you have been along for this ride and gone through all of this. So many on this call are ID’s and early in the journey, and having a true Senior Developer’s perspective on this is so important. So, let’s start with how you got here; give us a bit of your background in how you arrived to where you are today.
Sue Reber (SR): It was all a little bit of luck, actually. I started out as a high school English teacher graduating from college at a time when there were literally hundreds of applications for every teaching position. I did teach for a few years. But I didn’t like it very well. I loved the teaching part, but not the administrative stuff that went along with it.
So, I started looking for a job that would use my education background and allow me to write, and I fell into a job as an instructional designer, as you know, for Logical Operations. And that was the beginning of it all, so many doors opened and it was a total blessing to wind up there. I got be an instructional designer in a company where there was a good foundation in training and that helped me a lot. They facilitated me in getting my master’s degree and introduced me to performance-based, problem-based learning with , our case-based learning model, which I managed. And that, really, is what started me on my journey toward performance-based training as opposed to knowledge-based training.
BM: Let’s run with that a bit. You mention hitting this important pivot where you realized that training alone is not enough, or a “training first” mindset is not enough. Tell me, why does The 5 Moments of Need, which you are so good at, work for you as a designer? What is it that makes it so unique to you, or has helped you change that mindset?
SR: It makes me think about the performance first. It’s really all about performance, right? The 5 Moments help me think about that from what it is that people need to be able to do and all the different contexts in which they need to do that work—whether it’s apply or change or learn something new. When you think through what it means to the learner, you’re going to come up with a solution that will far better meet the needs of the performers rather than meeting the needs of the trainer or what the business thinks the performers need.
BM: Can you do performance support for soft skills?