November 2008

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In this issue:

Getting Ahead of the Game

Ad: Boise State


Achieving World-Class Safety Through HPT

Ad: ProSeries Workshops

Find Your Own Mentor

Lowe’s Joins Advocates

From the Board

Calling All Universities!

Conference Design: Value for the Time and the Money

HPT Practitioner Video Podcast Contest Entries!

ISPI Member Spotlight

Are You Recognized for Your Work?

Tales from the Field

CPT News from Around the World

A Performance Technologist Library

Call for Applications: Dissertation Award

Career Center

SkillCast Webinars

Performance Marketplace

Join ISPI Now!

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

ISPI Board of Directors

ISPI Advocates

Back Issues




Getting Ahead of the Game: The “IT” Tool to Drive Employee Performance—Job Aids

by Fernanda Daniel

Job aids are a powerful tool because they can help new employees as step-by-step guides and experienced workers as triggers to help recall information and procedures to minimize their mistakes. Job aids reduce training time, resulting in a more economical method of training that makes your workforce more effective by improving their job performance.

Tools have a great impact on an employee’s performance. Although many companies give employees booklets, courses, and guides directing them in how to address technological or informational aspects of their job, often times the other “stuff” relating to performance falls through the cracks.

What Is Missing?

What is missing is something directed toward performance—guides that lead to the desired behavior and not just the desired knowledge you want your workforce to have. Job aids provide a guide to decision making that leads to the desired performance and outcome.

Job aids are checklists, decision tables, and other easy-to-use guides that can sometimes replace formal training.

They are helpful tools in directing individuals to a desired performance because they identify the steps and decisions needed.

When to Use Job Aids

  • When you want to shorten training time and eliminate unnecessary training.
  • When you do not have time to train but still want to help your employees improve their job performance expectations can be met if step-by-step instructions are available.
  • When your current training does not seem to be working and you need something that will help people do their jobs better.
  • When customers are having a hard time using your products and services.
  • When you need to improve standardization and quality control in your employees’ job performance.
  • When you want to produce user-friendly operational procedure guides quickly and accurately.

We often make job aids accessible electronically so that sales team members, customer service representatives, health professionals, and so forth have access to important procedural cues when and where they need it. This can be done very cost-effectively and at a significant savings from the cost of full instruction.

In addition to the cost savings, job aids offer other benefits, including improved productivity, reduction of costly errors, and standardization of best practices.

Fernanda Daniel is the marketing manager at the Center for Effective Performance (CEP). CEP offers a full range of consultative services designed to help your organization achieve its workforce performance goals. Want to learn more? Find more interesting articles in the Performance Edge Newsletter.

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In addition to the cost savings, job aids offer other benefits, including improved productivity, reduction of costly errors, and standardization of best practices.



TrendSpotters: Supervisory Performance Model

by Carol Haig, CPT, and Roger Addison, CPT, EdD

Please join us in welcoming Miki Lane, CPT, PhD, to TrendSpotters. Miki, (, is a senior partner at MVM Communications, a leading Canadian developer, producer, and deliverer of performance improvement products and services. As a longtime active ISPI member, Miki has served twice as Director on the ISPI Board and is the recipient of numerous ISPI awards. His current book, written with MVM colleagues, is Stepping Up: A Roadmap for New Supervisors. Miki contributes his Supervisory Performance Model to the TrendSpotters Open Toolkit this month.

Genesis of the Model

The Supervisory Performance Model helps supervisors focus on the elements of their job that ensure the performance of their direct reports. The model got its start some years ago when MVM produced an extensive set of solutions for a client. Unfortunately, the implementation did not succeed as expected, largely because the supervisors did not support the solutions. MVM provided a short course to help the supervisors mentor, facilitate, and coach their direct reports. The model is a further expansion of the course emphasis.

Description of the Model

The Supervisory Performance Model looks at the equation of:

  • Providing clear expectations.
  • Enhancing employee ability.
  • Sustaining employee willingness to produce results.

Do these elements look familiar? They are closely aligned with the three environmental boxes of Tom Gilbert’s Behavioral Engineering Model and remind us that employee performance is a function of these critical elements. All must be present for an employee to achieve the expected results.

figure 1
Figure 1. Supervisory Performance Model

How to Use the Model

As many of us have learned from Gilbert and from our own experiences, a manager’s job is to make available everything an employee needs to successfully perform a job and produce results. The Supervisory Performance Model shows this on two levels:

  • Managing performance by providing the three elements of the equation when the employee takes on the job and at performance appraisal time thereafter.
  • Guiding performance with daily dialogue, feedback, and coaching specific to immediate goals and needs.

The model reminds us to:

  • Provide clear expectations that include results described in terms of a measurable output that contributes to a larger goal.
  • Enhance the employee’s ability by ensuring the person has the required knowledge and skills, tools, and resources, and a supportive work environment in which to succeed.
  • Sustain employee willingness by setting high expectations, giving encouragement, providing opportunities for learning, and recognizing results in ways meaningful to each individual.

Success Story

Miki tells us MVM has used this model in a variety of programs with a number of different clients. He reports that supervisors have seen a positive difference in the long-term performance of their direct reports that has helped their organizations better meet their business goals. A bonus: the turnover rate of new supervisors has dropped from 40% in the first 18 months to less than 20% with these clients.

Advice to Users of the Supervisory Performance Model

Miki suggests that the model is best included in a program specifically designed for new to almost-new supervisors as well as for prospective supervisors who want to know more about their potential responsibilities. We at TrendSpotters Central can also see the Supervisory Performance Model as a coaching or diagnostic aid for a manager working with a struggling supervisor. It could also be used as the foundation on which to construct a successful supervisory or management program.

Links to the Performance Technology Landscape

The Supervisory Performance Model supports these principles of performance technology:


Focus on Results: Is Results driven.


Take a System view: Presents a Systematic view of the elements necessary for successful performance.


Add Value: Provides the three critical performance elements at both the organizational and individual levels.


Establish Partnerships: Aligns success with organizational and individual goals and actively enlists the supervisor in supporting the employee to be successful.

Application Exercise

To put the Supervisory Performance Model to work, use the elements to check the structure of supervisory programs you work with to be sure the critical pieces are addressed. Then, consider using Gilbert’s six cells to construct a complete program that sets expectations; provides tools and resources; builds in meaningful incentives; addresses consequences, necessary skills, knowledge, and the selection of the right people for the right jobs.

We encourage you to heed the basic principles of good management that the Supervisory Performance Model provides and to share it with your clients as appropriate. While the model presents fundamentals in an accessible format, it is all too common to neglect them in practice.

Find all the models and tools featured in TrendSpotters at

Carol may be contacted at or; Roger may be contacted at

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Miki Lane



Achieving World-Class Safety Through Human Performance Technology

by Donna Crossman

As a consultant working primarily in the field of occupational safety, I encounter organizations, with sound programs, that are plagued by periodic injuries that occur seemingly “out of the blue.” Typically, management attributes sporadic injuries to human error, an inherent risk considered wholly unavoidable. Although partially mitigated through redundant processes and equipment, human error is considered a risk too costly to eliminate completely and a small measure is accepted as inevitable.

However, the application of the principles and practices of human performance technology (HPT) have proven useful in helping safety operations address this marginal risk, thereby improving program sustainability and enhancing the bottom line. Many in the safety industry have recognized the need for integration of sustainability processes in maintaining excellence. Yet, HPT tools are unfamiliar to most safety managers.

My role as HPT practitioner is mainly facilitative and educative. Using Gilbert’s (1978) model, I guide management through a benchmarking process, comparing the ideal with their current operation. The following is a brief case example, illustrating how HPT is typically applied to improve safety performance.

ABC Demolition, a company with an exemplary safety record, experienced an epidemic of incidents within a short period of time. Managers expressed concern over the increasing severity of each successive incident and were eager to reduce the subsequent $30,000 increase in workers’ compensation premiums. The first incident involved a toe injury. Several weeks later, another employee sprained an ankle. A third worker suffered two broken legs. The fourth mishap, the most serious, involved a severed limb.

Through analysis, four gaps were uncovered:

  • The existence of a subversive subculture of fear.
  • Failure to account for the impact of organizational change on the safety system.
  • Lack of training transfer strategies.
  • Inadequacies in worker capacity.

Interventions were developed, and evaluated against four criteria: time, cost, acceptability, and expectations.

  • The senior manager agreed to participate in a brief set of executive coaching sessions, designed to modify his approach toward workers. Consultants believed strongly that this manager had a potential to become a transformational leader who inspired safety. A change in management style served to increase trust, as well as enhance communication and collaboration within the organization.
  • ABC Demolition workers participated in both classroom and on-the-job training. However the company lacked a structured strategy to ensure knowledge and skills were consistently applied on-the-job. In conjunction with the frontline supervisor, consultants developed a regular schedule of behavior observations to assess equipment usage and worker safety practices.  
  • Management agreed to increase weekly toolbox meetings to twice a week. The first session was intended as a vehicle for informal learning. The second session was designed to encourage problem sharing and solution generation.
  • A procedure was implemented to address the worker illiteracy issue.

Of late, the safety industry has become dual focused on protection of people and preservation of organizational profits. Through the application of HPT, both goals were simultaneously satisfied.

Donna Cangelosi Crossman, PhD, is president/partner of RPT Safety & Health Services, LLC. RPT’s services are underpinned by a performance-based model of safety, The FailSafe Workplace™, an outgrowth of dissertation research Donna conducted at Capella University. She may be reached at

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Of late, the safety idustry has become dual focused on protection of people and preservation of organizational profits.



Find Your Own Mentor at ISPI’s 2009 Annual Conference

by Clare Elizabeth Carey, CPT, EdD, 2009 Conference Committee

“People forget words. People forget deeds. People remember if you believe in them.”

Have you ever taken a moment to reflect on just how much one person with a positive spirit can influence a life? It is a testament to the impact we have on each other. Frequently, we do not even realize it. Rarely, do we acknowledge it. Even less, do we act on it.

The research is pretty clear. People develop their professional acumen primarily through three ways:

  1. Education
  2. Experiences
  3. Experts (also known as mentors)

The third component is the most powerful. The engagement with experts, or mentors, has the greatest impact on one’s professional development and access to organizational opportunities.

Mentors are people who make time to invest deliberately in another’s success. These are people who make a difference—who believe in another’s abilities even before the individual fully recognizes his or her own talents. These are people who expand one’s professional networks and career horizons. These are people who inspire others to exceed their own limits and expectations.

A mentor makes a special commitment to nurture the growth of another individual. It is not about having all the right answers, or even giving answers. Mentors listen carefully and give honest and useful feedback. Their role is not to be a buddy but to serve as a champion. Mentors offer probing questions that encourage self-reflection and positive action. Mentors do not seek to build power but to give it away. Mentors advance their mentees with the intent to strengthen their self-reliance, increase their confidence, and cultivate their access to new opportunities.

Welcome to ISPI’s Speed Mentoring! This is a new event designed to connect students and emerging professionals with seasoned human performance experts in an engaging and non-threatening forum.

Dedicated ISPI professionals will avail themselves as guest mentors through a fun and fast-paced pre-conference session. Mentee candidates will review pre-published guest mentor vitae and then participate in multiple, mini-encounter introductory sessions. Mentee candidates will consider their goals and determine the best fit of available mentors. Assuming total responsibility for further action, the mentee candidates will be given opportunities to request follow-up meetings with selected guest mentors later in the conference week. During these follow-up meetings, the mentor, mentee, or both can explore the potential for a formal mentoring relationship. Under no obligation, guest mentors will assist interested mentees, as their schedules and resources allow.

This Speed Mentoring session will occur prior to the THE Performance Improvement Conference opening event on Sunday, April 19, 2009. Mentee participants will be requested to pre-register for this free, special event. A list of guest mentors and their bios will be posted in advance on the conference web pages.

So come to Orlando for a great conference, great connections, and an incredible opportunity. Who knows, you may find the mentor of your dreams!

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Lowe’s Joins ISPI Advocate Program


ISPI is proud to announce Lowe’s Companies has joined the Advocate program. Lowe’s will be represented by Cedric Coco, CPT, Vice President of Learning and Organizational Effectiveness and Shasta Wyland, Director of Store Readiness.

Founded in 1946, Lowe’s has grown from a small hardware store in North Carolina to the second largest home improvement retailer worldwide and the 9th largest retailer in the U.S. Lowe's operates more than 1,575 stores in the United States and Canada. In 2007, Lowe’s earned several notable industry distinctions, including:

  • Ranked 48 on the FORTUNE® 500
  • EPA & U.S. Department of Energy ENERGY STAR® Award has been given to Lowe's six consecutive years for promoting products that meet the highest energy and water efficiency standards

The Advocates represent international, national, and regional organizations that are committed to improving performance and support ISPI at the highest level. If you would like to join these organizations in their quest for improved workplace performance, please contact Keith Pew at or call 301-587-8570.

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From the Board
ISPI Financial Update

by Mary Norris Thomas, CPT, PhD, ISPI Director & Treasurer

As fall announces itself in glorious hues of autumn gold, ISPI heralds the start of a new fiscal year on October 1, 2008. In preparation, our Executive Director April Davis, staff, and Board of Directors have given full attention to the budgeting cycle, closing the fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2008, and ongoing responsible stewardship and administration of our Society’s funds.

Let’s take a look at how we have been doing, beginning with our five-year revenue history, which is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. ISPI Revenue History

Despite widespread economic challenges, ISPI marked many positives in 2008, such as our successful Annual and Fall Conferences, educational programs, and our diversified program mix. Overall examination of our financial position shows that we ended the year with net positive assets with growth projected in the 2009 budget. Our FY09 budget projects a 38% increase in revenue from FY08, while limiting spending changes to only about half that at 19%.

We continue to diversify our revenue sources, which gives us broader income streams and lessens the reliance on any single program. This diversity is illustrated in Figure 2, which shows the percentage of our total revenue generated by each of our programs. Notice that conferences, educational programs, and publications continue to be our “top sellers,” with our certification program making growing contributions as well. Furthermore, 2009 will herald the launch of our new Charitable Giving Program.

Figure 2

Figure 2. Percentage Revenue by Program

An especially important financial performance indicator is our program efficiency ratio. This ratio is the proportion of each expense dollar that is spent on member programs and services. In other words, money that goes directly back to the membership. When this ratio is high, then most expenses are going right back out to member programs and services, and relatively little is spent on other functional or operational expenses. We have much to be proud of here—consistently achieving a high program efficiency ratio. More specifically, our program efficiency ratio is excellent; it was 76% for 2008, which puts us near the 75th percentile of organizations in our national peer group for program efficiency. This means we outperformed about 75% of our peer organizations.

The Society continues to maintain its reserves to ensure operational stability and fund investments in your programs, services, and member benefits. The chart in Figure 3 shows our five-year fund balance history.

Figure 3. ISPI Fund Balance History

Financial stewardship reaches well beyond managing an annual budget. In keeping with HPT, we have applied our principles and practices to help us ensure short-term as well as long-term financial health. We have developed and implemented at-a-glance financial indices that allow us to easily measure, track, evaluate, and manage our programs as lines of business and to optimize value to our members. These financial performance measures will also play a key role in our financial strategic planning and goals for 2009 and beyond.

Life cycle management, for example, requires planning several years out. Those of us who are homeowners may readily identify with replacing big-ticket items, like water heaters or roofs, which have life cycles well beyond one year. So, too, do we engage in life cycle management and plan accordingly. This past year and continuing into the new fiscal year, we are deploying much-needed upgrades of our information technology equipment and software, expansions of our web services, and a comprehensive makeover of our entire website.

In recognition of the high glaze-over effect that finances can induce, I have simply (I hope) sketched some key points. In accordance with our operating standards, a full financial report is provided at our Annual Conference business meeting. At any time, your input, comments, and questions are always welcome. Please feel fee to contact me at or April Davis at Again, many thanks to April and our entire staff for their grand accomplishments.

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Mary Norris Thomas



Calling All Universities!


ISPI is developing a list of all universities with programs relating to human performance technology in the United States and abroad. To add your school to this list, please provide the following information:

  • University Name
  • College/Department
    • Address, City, State, Zip
    • URL/Website
  • Program Name
  • Degree(s)/Certificates offered
  • Program Contact Name
    • Address
    • City, State, Zip
    • Phone Number
    • E-mail Address

Get your school or alma mater added to our list. Your help is greatly appreciated! Please submit information to John Chen at with the subject “University Listing.”

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2009 conference banner

The Change in Conference Design:
Value for the Time, Value for the Money

by Luise Schneider, Co-chair, 2009 Conference Committee

Many conferences on subjects involving HR, learning, and performance consulting provide more or less the same experience: many trainers and consultants speaking about their methodology or tools to other trainers and consultants. Only one thing is missing: an audience, meaning customers, clients, corporate representatives, or anybody else who wants help in these areas. Over time we visit these learning events with less and less return-on-investment (ROI); even though we learn a lot, the likelihood of our coming back is low.

Why do corporate representatives stay away? Here are some of their responses:

  • “The methodologies are smart but we do not learn how to apply them in our field. The sessions are one way; someone speaks about his or her experience and there is no place to ask how I could use this for my cases.”
  • “We have the feeling that the same people are always present. When I go to a certain conference, I can almost guess who will speak there. In most cases, consultants speak about their tools and often give the same presentation over and over again.”
  • “Networking is coincidental. Sometimes I meet people who would make a contribution to my efforts, but I must admit that it is often too much effort to find them.”
  • “My company does not see value in these conferences. It becomes harder and harder to justify the ROI, because business applications are nowhere clearly visible in the program.”

Many of us have probably heard one or more of these responses. Still, most conferences do not change a single thing.

Here is an exception: THE Performance Improvement Conference.

The Conference Committee for ISPI’s conference in Orlando (April 19-22, 2009) has created a systematic set of new ideas for the purpose of attracting a wide variety of attendees, including corporate representatives.

These are the initiatives that will make a difference:

  1. Presentation Design: Within the Call for Proposals and its evaluation criteria, presenters are asked to design their presentations interactively. Attendees should have the chance to develop the content with the presenters. In addition, every evening there will be a networking session where presenters are available for additional questions and discussions.

  2. Networking Opportunities: Beyond the after-hours opportunities for networking with presenters, there will be a networking session organized around specific industries. This will be a place set aside for meeting other people in an organized and comfortable way. At this session, it may well be that you find answers to your questions, but it may also be that this is the area where someone finds out how much you have to offer. Who knows? Your future employer might be sitting right there.

    If your questions are not industry related and you would like instead to get a general orientation in the field or to meet some of the major figures in performance management, you can go to the Speed Mentoring session (see earlier artcle in this issue).

  3. Creating Added Value: We have learned that listening to the solutions of others does not always help attendees to understand how to apply a methodology. We are piloting a new approach this year to address this need: we will create a web-based case study and invite five American universities to compete in offering the best solution. Three of the five will present their solutions at the conference. The judges, all honored and outstanding experts in the field of performance management, will provide their criteria in the open and discuss the value of the proposed solutions in front of the audience. This case study should have multiple outcomes. First and most important, attendees can learn from the different solutions (and the judgments) when a solution is sustainable and valuable. Second, the competition should attract the brightest minds at the universities; we hope that companies may find future associates among the talent. Finally, we hope to attract more young professionals with high potential, so that in future years they can contribute to a wider variety of presentations.

We hope that after THE Performance Improvement Conference 2009, corporate attendees will say these three things:

  1. “I found answers to one of the major performance problems in my company and know whom to turn to with further questions.”
  2. “I have met many people who have the same interests I do and it was helpful to talk to them.”
  3. “I can prove to my company why it was valuable to attend ISPI’s conference.”

And, of course: “I will definitely come back!”

For more information on ISPI’s upcoming conference, visit

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Check Out the 2008 HPT Practitioner Video Podcast Contest Entries!

by Guy W. Wallace, CPT

The ISPI Board of Directors is inviting anyone and everyone, ISPI members and non-members, to join in and produce, and then post their own mini-movies of themselves or others talking about human performance technology (HPT). There is a simple six-point script everyone is following for this year’s contest:

  1. My name is…
  2. My occupation is…
  3. I first got involved in HPT…
  4. My greatest HPT influences (people, books/articles, etc.) include…
  5. An interesting HPT application I was involved in was …
  6. An HPT term that I would like to define is…
  7. Think YouTube on HPT—with HPT practitioners—for recognition and prizes and fun!

Joe Harless agreed to be one of the first. Just like with HPT itself! See his podcast via the link below.

It is all happening on “HPT Connections”—an ISPI website hosting a social network and HPT content. For instructions and tips for creating and posting your own video podcasts, use the pull-down menu labeled “More In This Group” and get on with it! Sign up as a group member (select the “Join Group” icon) to keep informed as additional podcasts are added. Or, you can click on the “Subscribe” option.

The “contest” part? There will be three prizes in each of the following categories:

  1. Best HPT Application Story
  2. Best HPT Term Definition
  3. Best/Most Creative Video Podcast Production

The prizes are: a conference registration (1st place), free membership (2nd place), and a copy of the 3rd edition of the HPT Handbook (3rd place). First, second, and third place will be awarded for each category.

So create your video podcasts—and add them per the instructions at HPT Connections—and share with all of us! The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2008. The HPT practitioner podcasts are at HPT Connections at

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ISPI Member Spotlight
An Interview with Liliane Lessard, CPT

by Brian Johnson

Welcome to ISPI’s Member Spotlight! This column focuses on our members—some you may know, some you may not. Each month, we will explore what brought them to ISPI, how they use the principles of human performance technology (HPT), and their insights into the value of membership. This month our interview is with Liliane Lessard, CPT.

Brian: Liliane, it’s nice to meet you. How long have you been a member of ISPI?

Liliane: It’s been 20 years now! You just made me realize that!

Ahh, it goes fast!

Yes, it does!

What got you into HPT? Was there an event that got you to look at it as a career option?

I started my master’s in educational technology at the Université de Montréal where Harold Stolovitch was teaching. During my first semester, I noticed how he directed students and what he was doing. He was very dynamic. He was very interesting. He was not my director but, nonetheless, I approached Harold and asked to work with him. When you’re starting out in a field, you’re curious. You want to try out new things. You’re willing to work for nothing. You’re willing to pay your dues. And that’s how I fell into this field: I had the opportunity and the luck, if you will, of working under Harold’s tutelage. Let me say I quickly changed directors (to him)!

Harold Stolovitch has always been highly involved with ISPI and so has Erica Keeps. Erica was one of the founding members of the ISPI Montreal Chapter. I was just beginning in this field and when the chapter was formed, I was one of the first volunteers. I wasn’t there at the onset of it all when people were saying “How are we going to do this?” but at the first meeting, I signed up to volunteer at the registration desk with a friend. When I started, we didn’t use the term “HPT.” I didn’t know then what I know now. And I’m amazed at what I’ve learned over the years working with people like Harold, Erica, Miki (Lane), and Marilynne Malkin being involved in different committees at the Montreal Chapter or at the international level. It’s amazing what I have learned through ISPI.

What do you think ISPI has to offer that other organizations do not?

I attended a session at the Annual Conference in New York and it reminded me why I like ISPI so much: the generosity of the people who are willing to share and provide examples. People who are able to say “This is someone else’s model” or “This has evolved from someone else’s model.” So it's the generosity, humility, sharing, open-mindedness, accepting all questions, and not being pedantic.

What would you say to someone on the street who may come up and say, “I’ve heard of this ‘human performance technology’ but what is it?” or “What is ISPI?”

What I usually do is tell a story or give an example of our tools of the trade, what we do, basically.

Is there an instance that stands out when you were able to apply HPT principles in a unique situation?

In our field we often need to step back, get away from the emotion, be analytical, objective…to think before we speak. So in that respect, it’s happened to me in dealing with friends, where I felt kind of manipulative but not in a deliberate or mean way, but because I had on a particular “hat” and I was thinking very clearly, “How am I going to go about handling this situation?” Being systemic and systematic has helped me manage personally difficult or challenging situations…and I shall not name any names! Ha! Ha!

To anyone who is reading this who is not a member, what reason would you give him or her to join ISPI?

I truly, strongly believe in the 10 Standards of Performance Technology and I use them as a checklist when I’m starting out on a project. Or when I’m briefing the team I’m working with before meeting a client. We have a preliminary meeting where I introduce new members of the team to the standards, saying, “This is how I work. This is how I function. What I believe in. This is the direction we’re going in. We have to address each of these in order to get where we want to go. We might not be doing this right now but each of these standards has to be brought up so we know exactly where we’re going in a well-organized fashion.”

What ISPI has brought to me, besides all the sharing over the years, is a recognized way of functioning and speaking to colleagues. We speak the same language. That’s an enriching experience. Also, confirmation when we work on projects—many people think like us and work in the same direction. What it’s given me is a foundation to work on. Now with the CPT accreditation, we have highly respected and competent people leading the way. It makes sense and it guides us well.

Thank you, Liliane!

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Liliane Lessard



Are You Recognized for Your Work?
Submit it to ISPI!

You do excellent work every day with great results. Submit your accomplishments and research to one of ISPI’s prestigious journals and get the recognition you deserve, and share your findings and ideas with your peers.

Performance Improvement (PI) journal publishes articles about all types of interventions and all phases of the Human Performance Technology (HPT) process, as well as hands-on HPT experiences, including:

  • Models
  • Interventions
  • “How-to” guides
  • Ready-to-use job aids
  • Research articles

PI also publishes updates on trends, reviews, and field viewpoints. The common theme of articles is performance improvement practice or technique that is supported by research or germane theory.

To submit an article, download and read the Author Guidelines, then email your article as an attachment to the editor, Holly Burkett, at PI is a benefit of ISPI membership, but if you are not a member you can still subscribe. If you are interested in joining ISPI, please click here.

Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ) is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research, theory, and literature reviews relevant to improving the performance of individuals, groups, and organizations. As a scholarly forum for the HPT field, the journal seeks to integrate and expand the methods, processes, and findings across multiple disciplines as they relate to solving problems and realizing opportunities in human performance. HPT work focuses on valued, measured results; considers the larger system context of people’s performance; and provides valid and reliable measures of effectiveness. The journal values both methodological rigor and variety, and publishes scholarship related to:

  • Process improvement
  • Organizational design and alignment
  • Analysis, evaluation, and measurement
  • Performance management
  • Instructional systems
  • Management of organizational performance

To submit an article, download and read the Author Guidelines, then email your article as an attachment to the ISPI Publications Office at A subscription to PIQ costs only $45 for ISPI members, so be sure to take advantage of this valuable resource. If you are not a member, but interested in joining ISPI, please click here.

As you know from reading this online newsletter every month, PerformanceXpress (PX) publishes exciting feature articles highlighting current developments and ideas in the field of performance improvement, as well as regular columns written by dedicated professionals spotting trends, Tales from the Field, and CPT News from Around the World. And, that is just the beginning. What contributions and ideas do you have to add to PX? “I wish I had thought of that” articles, practical application articles, articles about the application of HPT, or success stories? Read the Newsletter Submission Guidelines and send us your work to

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Tales From the Field
The Prevention of Medication Errors in Surgery

by Joseph Wetterling

Tales from the Field, a monthly column, consists of reports of evidence-based performance improvement practice and advice, presented by graduate students, alumni, and faculty of Boise State University’s Instructional and Performance Technology department.

An Unfortunate Accident Happened in the Field

A 7-year-old was in a routine surgery to remove scar tissue and a benign tumor. He was to receive an injection of anesthetic, which includes 1:100,000 epinephrine to control bleeding. Ten minutes after the injection, the child experienced cardiac arrest, then eventually went comatose and died. After investigation, it was found that a medication error was responsible for the death—the child actually received a dose of 1:1000 epinephrine, a 100 times stronger dose that should be used topically rather than injected. The 1:1000 epinephrine was poured into an incorrectly labeled cup, while the correct cup for the solution stood empty and unquestioned nearby (Institute for Safe Medication Practices, 1996).

The Performance Issue—Life and Death

This error is one of the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) “Never Events”—one of a list of 28 events that are serious, preventable, and connected to the issue of public accountability. These events are named because they should never occur. The NQF noted that this kind of error is both “clearly identifiable and measurable” as well as one for which the risk is “significantly influenced by the policies and procedures of the healthcare organization” (The National Quality Forum, 2006). Simply, the desired performance is for no deaths to be caused by such a medication error. Additionally, there are related financial performance issues—an accidental death is very costly to a hospital—as well as social and emotional issues, as one accidental death is far too many.

Proactive Risk Assessment

Temple University logoThe Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety (2001) recommended that health care professionals conduct a proactive and thorough root cause analysis to reduce medication errors. Health care facilities around the country responded by proactively evaluating their medication preparation practices. For example, Temple University Health System (TUHS) has a Patient Safety Committee, comprised of a cross-section of the medical staff, administration, and public, which oversees ongoing performance improvement in patient safety aspects of hospital operations. Although the episode described above did not happen at TUHS, it emphasizes the role that proactive assessments and interventions have in allowing staff to address issues before they lead to similar accidents.

Health care professionals can use the six categories of the Behavior Engineering Model (BEM) (Gilbert, 2007) during such a proactive risk assessment. This topic was explored as a class project in Professor Yonnie Chyung’s IPT 536 Foundations of Instructional and Performance Technology class at Boise State University (see Table 1).

Table 1. Assessment Questions Based on Behavioral Engineering Model

Proactive Interventions

Some of the proactive interventions implemented at TUHS include:

  • Two people independently verify the data listed on “high-alert” medication labels before administration (a data-related intervention).
  • Prior to surgery, a “time out” is taken to reverify the patient, the procedure(s) to be done, and the site(s) involved (a data-related intervention).
  • An intranet-based “care management system” was set up to allow anonymous submission of risks observed in practice by any staff member (an instrument-related intervention).

Through the diffusion of effects (Gilbert, 2007), other BEM categories are positively affected. For example, having more than one person verify data (medication labeling, patient identity, etc.) helps overcome capacity issues (i.e., an unfocused or tired staff member). Additionally, while entering an observed event in the care management system does not result in a reward to the reporter (monetary or otherwise), the ability to submit anonymously can increase motivation by eliminating fear of reprisal (see Table 2).

Table 2. Diffusion of Effects in the Behavioral Engineering Model

After implementation, TUHS is continuously monitoring performances and reevaluating the six factors to make sure that medication errors never occur.


Gilbert, T. (2007). Human competence: Engineering worthy performance (Tribute edition). San Francisco: Pfeiffer (reprint of 1996 edition published by ISPI).

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices. (1996). Case update: Epinephrine death in Florida. Retrieved July 16, 2008, from

The Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety. (2001). Issue 16— Mix-up leads to a medication error. Retrieved July 16, 2008, from

The National Quality Forum. (2006). National quality forum updates endorsement of serious reportable events in healthcare. Retrieved August 10, 2008, from

Joseph Wettering is a training coordinator at Temple University Health System and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in IPT at Boise State University. He can be reached via email at


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CPT News from Around the World

HPT Practice Analysis

ISPI’s 2008 Practice Analysis is now available online. ISPI is greatly indebted to Jim Pershing, CPT, PhD, and his graduate students at Indiana University for their work on the study. Jim’s students had a major role in refining the survey, distributing it, and analyzing the results. Jim and his students’ next task is to review the over 1,500 CPT applications and analyze the projects. The Practice Analysis and the review of the applications will give us a much more comprehensive understanding of the practice of HPT.

Pershing with students

A CPT You Should Know—Dean Larson, CPT, PhD

Dean LarsonDean Larson is using his performance improvement skills in the development and maintenance of standards for emergency management and business continuity. He has been an active member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on Emergency Management and Business Continuity since its inception. He is one of the authors of NFPA 1600 Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, which was endorsed as the “National Preparedness Standard” in the Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Currently, the Technical Committee is working on the 2010 Edition of NFPA 1600. NFPA has made this standard available as a free download.

Expanding on his work with the NFPA Committee, Dean is serving as head of delegation and chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the ISO Technical Committee on Societal Security. The primary document being developed is entitled “Societal Security: Incident Preparedness and Continuity Management.” The intent of this standard process is providing guidance for designing, developing, and implementing programs to prevent incidents and respond to and recover from those events that cannot be prevented or stopped while ensuring continuity within private and public organizations. The ISO 9000 series provides guidance that ensures the customer’s requirements are met while producing goods and delivering services. If a customer is satisfied with a supplier of goods or services, a logical corollary to meeting requirements is reliably meeting requirements.

We live in a world full of challenges to organizational reliability. The challenges may be natural, for example, flooding and earthquake; intentional; acts of terrorism, including cyber attacks; accidental in the form of toxic chemical releases and spills of hazardous material that disrupts transportation; or a combination of events that threaten an organization’s reliability. The approaches to prepare an organization to prevent incidents and ensure continuous, reliable delivery of goods or services that constitute the “business” (this includes the public sector’s need for continuity) have different names. The names include business or operational continuity, emergency or crisis management, or incident or disaster recovery. These approaches share key, critical attributes:

  • An intentional decision to prepare to survive and concomitant actions to support the decision.
  • The design and development of a process that identifies off-normal, disruptive events.
  • A scalable process that responds immediately, effectively, and efficiently to prevent, stop, and limit the consequences of the event.
  • A process for continuous improvement including evaluation of actual actions cued by disruptions and tests, usually called “exercises,” that evaluate the planning and preparation for predicted events and the opportunity to improvise during simulation of the unanticipated.
  • Competent human performance, which is sine non qua.

Dean’s work on these committees has led to speaking to audiences in China and Argentina about the importance of these standards for emergency management and business continuity. He has used NFPA 1600 as text material since 1999 in undergraduate Emergency Management and graduate Homeland Security courses for Purdue University Calumet located in Hammond, Indiana. He may be reached at

Your Story

If you have a story to tell that you think others would value, send it to

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CPT logo



A Performance Technologist Library

by Roger M. Addison, CPT, EdD

Have you ever wondered what performance improvement professionals have in their performance improvement library and what they use to keep current in the field? Well, I did. I sent an email to several colleagues and here is sample of what I found out:

  • Esque, Making an Impact: Building a Top-Performing Organization from the Bottom Up
  • Hale, The Performance Consultant’s Fieldbook
  • Mager, What Every Manager Should Know About Training
  • Van Tiem, Moseley, and Dessinger, Performance Improvement Interventions
  • Any many others including Ruth Clark, Roger Kaufman, Harold Stolovitch

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Call for Applications: Distinguished Dissertation Award Competition

The International Society for Performance Improvement is currently accepting applications for the 2009 Distinguished Dissertation Awards. These are an initiative funded by the Research Committee aimed at honoring excellence in student research. Three tiers of reward accompany the awards ($1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second, and $500 for third). Only doctoral dissertation research defended between May 31, 2005, and November 30, 2008, are eligible.

Dissertations must be defended and approved by the student’s committee prior to applying for the award and may be applied for by students of any accredited university throughout the world. Studies not conducted as part of dissertation research, as well as recipients of ISPI’s Distinguished Dissertation Award from previous years, are not eligible. Applicants from prior years who did not receive the award, however, may reapply as long as they meet all other requirements appearing in this announcement.

Half of recipients’ monetary reward will be paid upon announcement of award winners (by January 31, 2009), with the remaining funds to be paid upon submission of a manuscript for consideration in Performance Improvement Quarterly(which must be received no later than August 30, 2009). Award recipients are also encouraged to consider submitting a proposal to present at the 2010 annual conference.

Last year, three individuals were selected by the Research Committee as recipients of ISPI’s Distinguished Dissertation Award Competition:

  • Frank Nguyen, PhD, of San Diego State University, received the 1st place award for his study The Effects of an Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) and Training as Performance Interventions.
  • Kimfong (Jason) Lei, PhD, of JetBlue, received the 2nd place award for his study Development and Validation of a Cross-Disciplinary Team Learning Model.
  • Timothy R. Brock, PhD, of Lockheed Martin, received the 3rd place award for his study Training NASA Astronauts for Deep Space Exploration Missions: A Research Study to Develop and Validate a Competency-Based Training Framework.

The application deadline is November 30, 2008. To download the competition flyer and for details, visit Please submit completed applications to Doug Leigh, PhD, chair of the ISPI Research Committee, via email to with the subject “ISPI Dissertation Award.”

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ISPI Career Center

The International Society for Performance Improvement’s
Career Center will revolutionize how you search for jobs and source candidates! Our new job board, powered by career services leader JobTarget, makes it easier than ever for ISPI members to enhance their careers and stay connected within the performance improvement community. Below you will find the most recent job postings added to ISPI’s Career Center:

Agilent Technologies
Learning Account Manager
Job Location: Wilmington, Delaware, 19801
Job Type: Full Time

Alliance for Continuing Medical Education
Director of Educational Programs
Job Location: Birmingham, Alabama, 35216
Job Type: Full-Time

Levi Strauss & Company
Sr. Manager Human Resources—Job Share
Job Location: San Francisco, California, 94111
Job Type: Part Time

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Senior Director, Internal Communications
Job Location: White Plains, New York, 10604
Job Type: Full Time

University of Louisville Hospital
Performance & Learning Coordinator
Job Location: Louisville, Kentucky, 40202
Job Type: Full Time

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ISPI logo



ISPI’s SkillCast Webinars
New Career Development Series Announced!

Join us for
SkillCast webinars presented by Marshall Brown and Sharon Armstrong of Marshall Brown & Associates.

The series includes Creating Powerful Resumes, November 18, Building Success Through Strong Networking, February 24, 2009, and Behavioral Interviewing, March 24, 2009.

These SkillCast webinars culminate at the Career Center workshops presented at THE Performance Improvement Conference 2009 in Orlando Florida, April 19-22. You do not want to miss out!

For more information, or to register, visit

Recorded and Available!

With the re-launch of ISPIís SkillCast
webinars with a new vendor, Boston Conferencing, ISPI is proud to announce you can view our past SkillCast webinars at your convenience beginning with Julyís presentation. If you missed the opportunity to attend Jim Hill, Ruth Clark, Margo Murray, or any of our past live SkillCast webinars, you can hear the recorded session and obtain the handouts. For more information and to order these webinars, visit As we move forward in the coming months, all SkillCast webinars will be recorded and made available approximately 48 hours after the conclusion of the live event.

2008 Schedule of Events


  • November 12, Accelerating Speed to Proficiency with Cognitive Learning Strategies with Marty Rosenheck, CPT
  • November 18, Creating Powerful Resumes with Marshall Brown
  • December 10, Increasing Interactivity in Webcasts with Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan, CPT, PhD

For more information, or to register, visit

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Performance Marketplace

Performance Marketplace
is a convenient way to exchange information of interest to the performance improvement community. Take a few moments each month to scan the listings for important new events, publications, services, and employment opportunities. To post information for our readers, contact ISPI Director of Marketing, Keith Pew at or 301.587.8570.

Online Performance Improvement Bookstore. ISPI and John Wiley & Sons have partnered to offer professionals in the field the best selection of performance improvement resources. ISPI members save 15% on all book purchases (professional and personal)!

Career Resources
ISPI Online Career Center is your source for performance improvement employment. Search listings and manage your resume and job applications online.

Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops
Online Anytime: The Course Developer Workshop Online 24/7. Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc. Register online at, or call Jane at 800.650.7465.

Attend the ProSeries Workshop, February 17-20, 2009, in Las Vegas, NV. Professional development designed for the performance professional. Register today!


Join us for THE Performance Improvement Conference, our Annual Conference, April 19-22, 2009, in Orlando, FL. Register today!

Magazines, Newsletters, and Journals
Performance Improvement journal is available to subscribers in print and online through John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Order your subscription today.

Performance Improvement Quarterly is a peer-reviewed journal created to stimulate professional discussion in the field and to advance the discipline of HPT through literature reviews, experimental studies with a scholarly base, and case studies. Discounted to ISPI members. 

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ISPI Membership: Join or Renew Today!

Are you working to improve
workplace performance? Then ISPI membership is your key to professional development through education, certification, networking, and professional affinity programs.

If you are already a member, we thank you for your support. If you have been considering membership or are about to renew, there is no better time to join ISPI. To apply for membership or renew, simply click here.

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

ISPI is looking for
Human Performance Technology (HPT) articles (approximately 500 words and not previously published) for PerformanceXpress that bridge the gap from research to practice (please, no product or service promotion is permitted). Below are a few examples of the article formats that can be used:

  • Short “I wish I had thought of that” articles
  • Practical application articles
  • The application of HPT
  • Success stories

In addition to the article, please include a short bio (2–3 lines) and a contact email address. All submissions should be sent to Each article will be reviewed by one of ISPI’s on-staff HPT experts, and the author will be contacted if it is accepted for publication. If you have any further questions, please contact

About PerformanceXpress

Feel free to forward
ISPI’s PerformanceXpress newsletter to your colleagues or anyone you think may benefit from the information. If you are reading someone else’s PerformanceXpress, send your complete contact information to, and you will be added to the PerformanceXpress email list.

PerformanceXpress is an ISPI member benefit designed to build community, stimulate discussion, and keep you informed of the Society’s activities and events. This newsletter is published monthly and will be emailed to you at the beginning of each month.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact John Chen at

Stay informed: add to your Address Book and/or Safe Senders list to ensure you donít miss important announcements and valuable offers from ISPI!

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Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA
Phone: 301.587.8570
Fax: 301.587.8573


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