Interview conducted by Michelle Nelson
Dr. Lori Ludwig is the Founder and CEO of Performance Blueprints, Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to combining science with strategy to help entrepreneurs build the value of their business and thrive. Lori designs performance improvement solutions to optimize human performance and business results and is passionate about serving non-profits and women-owned small businesses. Lori has over 20 years of experience working with a variety of companies across different industries, from global Fortune 500s, creative start-ups, human services, non-profits to local small businesses.
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The mission of Performance Blueprints is to combine science with strategy to help entrepreneurs build the value of their business and thrive. We offer three levels services depending on our client’s needs. The first level is streamlining systems and processes. The second level is optimizing team performance with performance based learning programs. And the third level is building in-house performance consulting teams. We also offer performance analysis tools through our website and workshops.
What are some different industries you have worked with and applied the science of behavior in your career?
I’ve worked in a variety of industries including automotive, human services, non-profit, print, retail, and oil and gas across a range of companies, from global Fortune 500s, creative start-ups, to local small businesses.
Can you elaborate how you map and diagnose organizational systems?
It’s a drill down approach always starting with the big picture. First, I collect information about how the organization adds value to its target customers, its differentiation in the market and how value added measured. The next mapping step is to identify the different functions of the organization and map out the inputs and outputs between them. For each input and output there should be a measure and feedback. Next, I do cross-functional process mapping which provides a visual representation of workflow. Process mapping allows you to see where there are disconnects and opportunities to create and deliver more value. I use system and process maps in client team meetings to study, analyze and discuss opportunities for improvement.
How did you get into the field?
When I was an undergraduate at Western Michigan University I had a work-study opportunity at the Association for Behavior Analysis and it evolved from there. I worked at ABA while completing my masters and doctorate degrees in the behavior analysis department at Western. I loved serving the field and was (and still am) excited about its growth. I was fortunate to have Dr. Maria Malott as my mentor who was the one who truly inspired me to stay into the field.
How do you communicate effectively with people who are not behaviorists or do not know the technical language? How do you sell them on how well this science will help them?
I focus on talking about business results and observable behavior.
Do you have advice for students who want to work with performance improvement, instructional design, behavior systems analysis? Do you have advice for students who want to find those jobs?
I recommend participating in conference sessions and workshops. Apply tools and techniques and get as much practice as possible. You can find job listings through the International Society for Performance Improvement and the Association for Talent Development.
Do you have any recommended reading for students?
- Paradox of Organizational Change (Malott, 2003)
- How to Manage the White Space on an Organizational Chart (Rummler & Brache, 1995)
- Performance Based Instruction: Linking Training To Business Results (Brethower & Smalley, 1998)
- Serious Performance Consulting According to Rummler (Rummler, 2007)
We have free tools and a comprehensive list of behavioral systems analysis references our website: http://www.performanceblueprints.com