September 2009

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In this issue:

Leading into 2010

Ad: Boise State


Customer Service Training—Is It Effective?

Ad: Clemson

Call for Submissions: Recognizing Excellence

From the Board

Member Spotlight

THE Performance Improvement Conference 2010

Recession Beating Marketing Material

The Power of Performance: Achieving Results in Uncertain Times

Introducing the 2010 Conference Track Chairs

Shaping ISPI’s Future

Tales from the Field

CPT News from Around the World

ISPI Europe Conference

Skillcast Summer Learning Series

Second Annual HPT Practitioner
Video Podcast Contest

Career Center

Performance Marketplace

Join ISPI Now!

Newsletter Submission Guidelines

ISPI Board of Directors

ISPI Advocates

Back Issues




Leading into 2010

by Jeff Evans

We stand facing into new opportunity. 2009 has nearly reached its completion. The Winter Solstice has just passed, and each day is successively longer for the next 6 months. The steady lengthening of the day is emblematic of the building energy of the coming year. 2010 beckons on the other side of the holidays. The world around us pauses to shift its focus to celebration, rest, and togetherness.

To some, this shift in energy at year end can feel like a void.

Business slows down and in many cases comes to a complete stop. Many unfinished items get put aside until the New Year. This can be the space within a breath for leaders, a time to prepare for the coming year. So, here are a few things for each of us to think about as we prepare to lead into 2010.

Take time to reflect on the positives of the past year.

For whatever reason, for many of us, the positive accomplishments of the year tend to vanish behind the problems or things that didn’t go as well as we had hoped. The art of leadership requires a practice of going into our past and making sure our positive accomplishments show up like they are on the big screen. Find the positives, talk to others about them, write a song about them, or create a collage on your refrigerator. Leaders are able to immediately go into the past and find inspirational examples of success to use for themselves and for others. Make sure yours are mentally indexed, in Technicolor, and with full surround sound. Then, put them on play and sit back and enjoy the show.

Celebrate your accomplishments.

Next, after you have the fully evolved picture of your accomplishments, go out and celebrate them. Make sure your celebration is in keeping with the fullness of your successes. Make it big, active, and vibrant. You worked hard, you deserve it. Now, as a bonus, think about who has made this possible for you. Maybe it is your business partner, your office manager, or your spouse. Whoever it is, they deserve a good fling as well. Take them with you, tell them how much you appreciate them, and make sure that know just how important they are to you. Leaders don’t lead long unless they maintain their following.

Put things into perspective.

Okay. Work, career, and business are all great. They enable us to do some really wonderful things. Years ago my dear friend Chuck took me to dinner at a beautiful little restaurant in California. We talked business, practice, and theory for a while. He stopped and looked around the room, then said something that has obviously stuck with me for a long time. He said “Remember, the only reason we do any of this work is so that we can do what we are doing now .... sit around the table in a great place and have wonderful conversations.” He was (and is) so right. All of this work is to create a better place for us to be as human beings. Remember that all work is more powerful when it serves a higher calling. The most effective leaders keep their sights on a larger aspiration and ensure that everything they do is in line with that.

Select the tone you want to live for the next year.

I have recently started to think in terms of the overall tone of a moment. It includes what is happening, the physical events, as well as the feeling of the event. All together, this creates a vibration that we perceive as the overall tone of the moment. I use the events in the past, fully evolved in Technicolor, to understand that tone. I then get choiceful about which tones I want for the future and start living in it. You can put it on like a suit of clothes. Leaders develop this to a fine art. It is larger than trying to act something out, it is pulling that feeling into your cells and into the fiber of your being. Find it, feel it, and live it. Your year will be profoundly impacted by this act of personal leadership.

Be in the moment during this time.

Lastly, take the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful time. In years past, I have spent this time in a frenzy to finish the last year and get ready for the next. Later on, I have looked back and wondered what happened to the holidays. This is a profoundly connected and spiritual time of the year. Live in the moment, enjoy it, and love it. This is the ultimate leadership lesson ever. Be your higher self, create a space for a glorious future, and be available for others during this time.

Make 2010 your best ever.

My challenge to all of us who choose to lead is simple. Learn to live the steps above. Understand your past and learn from it. Choice your future and create it. Live in the moment fully, being fully available for all of those who choose to follow. These simple steps can serve to make the coming year the best ever, not only for you, but for all those whom you influence. For now, I wish you all a 2010 filled with love, light, and great adventure.

Jeff Evans is an executive coaching consultant with The Gaian Group, an organization dedicated to helping organizations grow and develop through transformational change.

Reprinted with Permission. Article Source:

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Make sure your celebration is in keeping with the fullness of your successes.



13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money

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

It is our great pleasure to welcome Aubrey Daniels, founder of Aubrey Daniels International (ADI), to TrendSpotters this month. Aubrey was involved with ISPI many years ago when it was the National Society for Programmed Instruction (NSPI). Today, Aubrey,, is an internationally recognized authority on applying scientifically proven laws of human behavior to the workplace. ADI specializes in accelerated performance change, building profitable organizational habits, and implementing cultural change in organizations to improve performance. The author of a number of best sellers, Aubrey's latest book is Oops! 13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money (and what to do instead). He graciously shares with TrendSpotters insights and suggestions from his book and his experience.

Genesis of the 13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money

Aubrey has spent more than 40 years working with clients, training and coaching their managers, and helping organizations change performance. He has educated his clients about the key principles of human behavior. On a visit to a long-time client whose managers ADI had trained, Aubrey learned that the company had an Employee of the Month award. He looked further and found in place a number of other common management practices that scientific knowledge tells us are not effective. He started keeping a list and talked about it at subsequent presentations where participants eagerly added other management practices from their organizations that were not working. Aubrey held the line at 13 items.

The List

The 13 Management Practices are familiar to many organizations, and some are probably in yours. You may even have experienced one or more of them yourself:

13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money

  1. Employee of the Month
  2. Setting Stretch Goals
  3. Annual Performance Appraisal
  4. Ranking Employees, Offices, and Plants
  5. Rewarding Things a Dead Man Can Do
  6. Salary and Hourly Pay
  7. You Did a Good Job, But…
  8. Using the Sandwich Method of Correcting
  9. Yelling and Screaming and Other Forms of Public Criticism
  10. The Budget Process
  11. Promoting People That No One Likes
  12. Downsizing
  13. Mergers and Acquisitions and Other Forms of Reorganizing

©2009 by Aubrey Daniels. Used with permission

The 13 Management Practices are examples of the ways in which organizations try to increase performance. Unfortunately, the activities “…have their genesis in what is popularly called ‘common sense’ or based on an individual leader or manager's experience. Few if any were designed on the basis of valid and proven research in human behavior” (Daniels, page 21). The 13 Management Practices are expected to produce significant results in a short time, and most organizations lack the required scientific knowledge about behavior change to generate them. This is not to point the finger of ignorance at senior leaders. MBAs don't necessarily study behavioral psychology in graduate school, so they don't know what they don’t know. As the client mentioned above said to Aubrey, “I knew that the Employee of the Month program was the wrong thing to do, but I didn’t know why.”

Added to the lack of knowledge about behavioral science is that most organizations have some of the 13 Management Practices in place. And, if “everyone” is doing it, how would they know it is ineffective?

A Crash Course in Behavioral Principles

Behavior is a function of its consequences. Here are some things we know:

  • There are two types of consequences, positive and negative reinforcement, that increase existing behaviors and can be used to teach new ones
  • Positive reinforcement produces higher rates of behavior than negative reinforcement
  • A small, immediate consequence has more impact on behavior than a large, future, and uncertain one
  • Behavior that occurs without reinforcement is weakened and will eventually stop
  • Two types of consequences, punishment and penalty, stop existing behaviors; they don't increase behaviors, and they teach no new ones
  • Behavior that is stopped by punishment and penalty will reoccur when the threat of punishment or penalty is removed or is remote

To make reinforcement work:

  • Make it personal
  • Make it contingent
  • Make it immediate
  • Make it frequent

Success Story

ADI has had many successes over the years and a number of long-term clients. When TrendSpotters asked about organizations that have eliminated the 13 Management Practices Aubrey told us about one large company that has made progress in applying the principles of behavioral psychology by stopping several of the practices. This organization:

  • Changed their compensation system to one that is pay-for-performance based
  • Eliminated their Employee of the Month program
  • Minimized the impact of their performance appraisal system but still have it

Some individual managers there decided to change a few personal practices, particularly when they realized they engaged at them at home as well as at work:

  • You Did a Good Job, But…
  • Using the Sandwich Method of Correcting
  • Yelling and Screaming and Other Forms of Public Criticism

We were reminded that it is one thing to become aware of such behaviors and decide to change them, and quite another to do so successfully. Individual behavior change requires tracking one's own actions and setting up reinforcement to help cement the change.

Links to the Performance Technology Landscape

The elimination of the 13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money supports these principles of performance technology:


Focus on Results: Consider the results each practice produces and evaluate the intended against the actual


Take a System view: Management practices reflect organizational culture—do the 13 represent yours?


Add Value: How can these practices be replaced with others that will produce the desired results?


Establish Partnerships: managers can partner with each other to coach and reinforce for more effective practices

Application Exercise

Identify which of the 13 Management Practices are in place where you work and determine the best candidates for elimination or modification. Some may be ripe for change due to other initiatives such as a new performance appraisal system or a revamping of the salary structure that is imminent or already in process. For example, an Employee of the Month program can work if:

  • There is no limit to the number of employees who can be recognized
  • It is criterion-referenced so that all who exceed the standard are recognized

Advice For Our Times

Organizations are making many changes due to our current economy. There is no better time to address the 13 Management Practices That Waste Time and Money than right now when people expect change. This is a perfect time to look at pay and bonus structure to ensure that companies don't revert to their old ways once the economy recovers.

Find all the models and tools featured in TrendSpotters at

Contact Carol Haig at or at; Contact Roger Addison at Roger blogs at t

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Customer Service Training—Is It Effective?

by Pramila Mathew

The ‘Global Shared Services Center’ of a Fortune 500 organization approached MMM Training Solutions to help them with a customer services training intervention that would not only improve basic customer handling skill sets but also help facilitate a change in the mindset of their employees toward becoming more customer service oriented as individuals and as an organization.

By working in coordination with the HR, Operations and Quality teams of the client organization, MMM Training Solutions demonstrated clearly the benefits of customer service training. We also facilitated a 20% improvement in the customer service skill sets of various teams.

For the purposes of this case study, our focus will be on the customer service training intervention we undertook for the IT services and Helpdesk Support team.

Challenges Faced

The client outlined to us that the major challenge that they faced was that most of their IT Services and Helpdesk employees were not customer service oriented. Although, they possessed good technical skills they just had not been able to see the importance of customer service as they were dealing with 'internal customers' i.e. employees of the parent company, who had no one else to turn to for their IT support needs.

They wanted us to help instill a professional approach to customer service, problem solving and call handling as part of the IT Helpdesk operations. This included:

  • Change in mindset toward a ‘culture of customer service’
  • Politeness and courtesy when speaking to customers
  • Using the right telephone etiquette
  • Using the right e-mail etiquette
  • Taking ownership
  • Dealing with different types of customers

Pre-training Preparation

Prior to the delivery of our customer service training program, an in-depth study of the situation was carried out by the MMM Training Solutions Team. Our pre-training preparation focused on areas that helped gain an insight into the real nature of the problem.

The Training Program

The training programs were initially conducted for five batches of participants from the voice based support operations.


Each batch went through a training program that was for 16 hours split into 4 sessions of 4 hours each.

Training topics

  • Developing a customer service mindset
  • Understanding the elements of great customer service
  • Understanding and managing customer expectations
  • Call handling skills and E-mail etiquette
  • Dealing with different kinds of customers
  • Polite and friendly phrases to use that sound professional


  • Numerous role-play simulations of customer facing situations with feedback from the facilitator and peers
  • Group games, movie clips and case studies along with Instructor Led Training (ILT)
  • Audio recordings of sample calls that were categorized as 'good' calls and 'bad' calls

Post-training Intervention

A post-training assessment was conducted one week after the completion of training for each batch and the appropriate feedback was given to the participants.


The result was that the participants showed an average overall improvement of 10-15% in terms of quality of performance, specifically focusing on customer service.

Refresher Training

We conducted a 4-hour refresher session for each batch one month after their initial training program. This session focused on key areas in which the participants were not showing significant improvement.

As a result, participants showed a further 5-10% improvement in their customer service skill sets. This meant that at the end of a month participants had shown an average overall improvement of about 20%.


The client organization was so delighted with the results that they wanted us back to conduct a 'Level 2—Customer Service' training intervention to take their teams to the next level of bringing about 'Customer Delight'.

We continue to work with the organization to this day. Today, we are looked at as a strategic learning partner who is helping them focus on the core of their business—developing people.

This business case clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of our customer service training material and programs. Kindly visit our website to download free customer service training material.

This article was authored by Pramila Mathew, an executive coach who helps individuals, groups, teams and organizations find the right solutions in the workplace. You can find more articles at MMM Training Solutions conducts soft skills training and executive coaching anywhere in the world. We guarantee the effectiveness of our training.

Reprinted with Permission. Article Source:

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Our pre-training preparation focused on areas that helped gain an insight into the real nature of the problem.



Call for Submissions:
Recognizing Excellence at ISPI

ISPI’s Awards of Excellence program is designed to showcase the people, products, innovations, and organizations that represent excellence in the field of instructional and human performance technology. The deadline to submit your entry is October 2, 2009. This year we are offering awards in four distinct categories:

  • Outstanding Human Performance Intervention: recognizes outstanding results derived from the successful application of Human Performance Technology to human performance problems, needs, or opportunities.
  • Outstanding Human Performance Communication: recognizes an outstanding article, book, or curriculum, course, or workshop that enables individuals or organizations to achieve excellence in Human Performance Technology.
  • Outstanding Research/Student Research: recognizes outstanding research in the field of Human Performance Technology or a related field such as Adult Education, Human Technology, Behavioral Psychology, or Vocational Education.
  • Chapter of Merit: celebrates the accomplishments of local ISPI Chapters that have been chartered for one year preceding the awards nomination deadline.

Submission packets for each category may be found at If you have any questions about the Awards of Excellence program or the submission process, contact ISPI at or call at 301.587.8570.


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From the Board
Society Governance: Take the Professional Challenge for 2010

by Steven J. Kelly, CPT, ISPI International Director

The summer break, such as it was, is coming to an end. When I look back just a year, I am amazed at the drastic speed of change in my life—professionally, financially, and psychologically. A 20 year growing nest egg truncated. Certain surefire projects delayed and then evaporated. Here in Slovakia, as in other parts of Europe, we hoped for a bypass of the crisis. It was not to be. After a period of shock (and a little awe), it was time for quick, reactive adjustment—both personally and in business matters.

As a member of the ISPI Board, we also went through this cycle of change: revolution of assumptions, drastic cost control in operations, painful knowledge of hardship for staff and members. It’s been a tough period but everyone stepped up to the plate. During several months in late winter, we participated in weekly calls as we sorted through options. Practicing what we preach, this was a most professionally challenging episode in my career. This was challenging but it was extremely rewarding. Maintaining a clear objective among the team members. Working through controversial and tough fiscal decisions in short time frames. Focusing on long term society sustainability while supporting immediate operating needs. Communicating to diverse stakeholders with different needs.

Real-time performance management—working without a net.

We are moving into autumn now. Various “green shoots” are reported here and there yet there is still no consensus for the immediate future. Careful shepherding is necessary while moving forward—in private life as well as society governance. It is a time for careful application of HPT tenets—focus on results, move systematically, work in partnerships, and add value through your contributions. There is no better place for an HPT professional to practice this than as a member of the Board.

This is a focal year to consider a personal nomination for a Board role. ISPI allows for limited Board continuity based on extended presidential service. There are no board members “eternally” being re-elected as often in many associations. Our societal culture thrives on new ideas, diverse experience, and high skills. The work is intense and in cycles, it can be relatively time consuming. The team is high quality. The demands run a full range. The tradeoff is immense. In my case:

  • Ability to influence the direction of ISPI initiatives
  • Challenge to fine-tune my professional skills and knowledge
  • Opportunity to develop deeper relationships with respected peers

The upcoming period is critical for the Society’s mission and sustainability. We especially need members from throughout our global community. Drop me a note ( if you would like more info from the international point of view. If you are ready for a professional challenge, I urge you to review the nomination criteria for ISPI Board positions and submit today. Together we are building our professional “home” while strengthening performance impact within the greater community.

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ISPI Member Spotlight
An Interview with Margo Murray, CPT, MBA

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 Margo Murray, CPT, MBA, President & COO of MMHA The Managers’ Mentors, Inc.

Robin Stimson: How long have you been a member of ISPI?

Margo Murray: Laughs…since 1965.

What got you into human performance technology (HPT)?

I was appointed to set up the first performance improvement research & development group for The Pacific Telephone Company, and I was looking for resources. I found ISPI (then NSPI).

How would you explain HPT to someone unfamiliar with the term or concept?

I would probably not use that acronym. With the corporations, government agencies and non-profits I work with, we demonstrate the performance technologies through the performance and results of people within their organizations.

What is your approach for developing high-performing workers and teams in organizations/your organization?

When I founded MMHA in 1974, I developed the strategy of virtual teaming before it was labeled as such. I wanted people to feel responsible to the organization and have the freedom to work on projects with MMHA or decline them. That has been a good business model. With current MMHA Alliance Partners, I coach them to use the intellectual properties and it continues to be a viable model for success. As I scaled down to the labor-intensive corporate work, I have been able to apply PI technologies in my volunteer and pro bono work.

Have there been any situations in your non-corporate, non-business life where you have consciously used HPT tools?

I find the strategies and processes very helpful, especially in the work I have done to develop leadership in reproductive health in the last 7-8 years in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This is focused on results to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality, and infant mortality. Taking a systems and systematic approach, we have partnered with local organizations in those communities. My mentoring model has been used as a strategy for leveraging scarce resources to make significant positive change in critical societal problems.

My client and I wrote an article, published in PIQ, on the early results from the project. Unfortunately, the project had to shut down due to lack of funding.

Was anything done to keep the project alive?

Participants in the leadership development program are now partnering with non-government agencies in those countries—and worldwide—to identify resources for funding. Through a coalition of funding sources they have minimized competition, and are able to make the most of the local resources.

In Oakland, CA I am working with The Mentoring Center, to transform the lives of highly at risk youth. Again, using PI with the technical and professional programs supporting the mission of that organization, and as a Board Director to help sustain the organization. Funding has recently been severely cut, so it is essential to use performance improvement technology strategies to get results.

What is MMHA’s biggest challenge?

In today’s economy the challenge is convincing clients that the resources and strategies of performance improvement are now needed the most. Government agencies, organizations, and corporations tend to cut the most visible costs when times are tough. They often don’t realize this is short sighted.

How do you combat this?

I moderated a panel during ISPI’s Annual Conference in Orlando, titled, “Thriving in Tough Times: Success Strategies for Survivors”. Panelists were from three countries. With the global economy in free-fall, it is useful to hear what is working for others in various parts of the world. The panelists emphasized partnering and collaborating with people who are doing similar work and focusing on results.

How does MMHA purpose and basic beliefs tie back to workplace performance improvement?

We developed a branding motto “People Helping People to Learn,” to emphasize the importance of learning as a continuous process. Our focus has been on three things: strategic planning, facilitated mentoring, and an array of performance improvement strategies. The books and workbooks I have written provide a validated product line. These resources are cost effective for the client, providing tangible resources to use when they can’t afford consulting fees.

That’s great. I think in this economic climate, it’s important to offer multiple solutions to a problem.

Where do you see the future of human performance technology going?

In this economy, the strategies we use in the profession become even more critical. We must get results with scare resources. That why ISPI is an important professional home for people with an interest in thriving and surviving..

In the US, we face serious competition from India and China. Even with their large populations, they do a better job of educating young people, especially in emerging technologies. We must exploit the full range of performance improvement technologies in order to compete successfully worldwide.

Lastly, what is your secret to success?

Laughs… I’ve become increasingly conscious of a couple of areas where I think I excel: ethical behavior and reliability. When I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it. Underlying those two values are the extensive skills I have learned and strengthened at ISPI and in other organizations.

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THE Performance Improvement Conference 2010:Keynote Presentations Announced

ACT NOW to take advantage
of a member rate of $750 or a non-member rate of $1000 until December 18, 2009. Join us at THE Performance Improvement Conference, April 19-22, 2010, in San Francisco, California, and learn from our many expert presenters sharing their thoughts on adapting to the current external environmental forces and applying and implementing innovations. Come find answers to some of the most significant problems many organizations are facing, share best practices, and network with the smartest minds in the industry from around the globe.

Keynote Presentation: Marshall Goldsmith, PhD

The American Management Association named Dr. Marshall Goldsmith one of 50 great thinkers and leaders who have influenced the field of management over the past 80 years. Major business press acknowledgments include: Business Week—most influential practitioners in the history of leadership development; The Times (UK)—50 greatest living business thinkers; Wall Street Journal—top 10 executive educators; Forbes—five most-respected executive coaches; Leadership Excellence—top five thinkers on leadership; Economic Times (India)—five rajgurus of America; Economist (UK)—most credible executive advisors in the new era of business; and Fast Company—America’s preeminent executive coach.

Marshall’s PhD is from UCLA. He teaches executive education at Dartmouth’s Tuck School and frequently speaks at leading business schools. He is a Fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources (America’s top HR honor) and his work has been recognized by almost every professional organization in his field. In 2006, Alliant International University honored Marshall by naming their schools of business and organizational studies the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management.

He is one of a select few advisors who have been asked to work with over 100 major CEOs and their management teams. Marshall is co-founder of Marshall Goldsmith Partners, a network of top-level executive coaches. He served as a member of the Board of the Peter Drucker Foundation for 10 years. He has been a volunteer teacher for US Army Generals, Navy Admirals, Girl Scout executives, International and American Red Cross leaders—where he was a National Volunteer of the Year. Marshall’s 24 books include: The Leader of the Future (a Business Week best-seller), Coaching for Leadership, and Succession: Are You Ready?

Marshall is a world authority in helping successful leaders get even better-by achieving positive, lasting change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams. Over two hundred of his articles, interviews, columns and videos are available for viewing and sharing online (for no charge) at

Keynote Presentation: Diana Whitney, PhD

Dr. Diana Whitney is an inspirational speaker, provocative educator, and pioneering thought leader in the growing field of Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Change. Through her work, her teaching, and her writing she has positively influenced the lives of millions of people around the world.

Diana is an award-winning author. Recognized in 2004 by the International Organization Development Network (ODN) for her contribution to the field through writing she is the author or editor of 15 books, as well as dozens of articles and chapters. She is President of Corporation for Positive Change, an international consulting firm specializing in the application of Appreciative Inquiry-the revolutionary process she helped develop and spread-to resolve the most pressing challenges of our time. In fields ranging from health care to education; from peace-building to business; from community development to government, Diana coaches executives and their teams in support of organization culture transformation, strategic development and leadership capacity building. With over 30 years of experience, her clients include Merck, British Airways, Verizon, J&J, Calgary Health Region, University of Virginia Health System, Idaho Department of Education, and Sisters of Good Shepherd. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) recognized her Appreciative Inquiry work at GTE (Verizon) with their Best Culture Change of the year award.

Diana is a Founder of the Taos Institute, a center for dialogue among family therapists, educators, and organization consultants. She is a Fellow of the World Business Academy and an ongoing advisor to the United Religions Initiative, a global interfaith organization dedicated to peace. Diana is a Distinguished Consulting Faculty at Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center where she teaches and advises PhD students. She is an expert faculty for the NCR Picker Patient Centered Care Institute.

Diana received her PhD from Temple University in the field of Organizational Communication. Her early research into the dissemination of educational innovations funded by the National Institute of Education created an agenda for the ongoing development of educational R&D laboratories throughout the United States.

For more information on THE Performance Improvement Conference visit

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Recession Beating Marketing Material—Insider Tips to Make Potential Clients Use Your Business

by Jane Buswell

I recently received an e-mail which finished with the salutation “ATB”—it took me a little while, but I finally worked out that it stood for “All the Best.”

However, the act of unravelling those three letters did remind me of the dangers of using acronyms, “in-speak” and technical language in your marketing communications. You might think that this makes you look cool or knowledgeable but actually it can act as an excluding device whereby you have completely failed to engage with your potential customer.

We often fall victim to using in-speak in order to demonstrate our new proficiency in a profession, and as a way of bolstering our own confidence when we have our Business L plates on.

Even in general business terms we start to bandy around commercial acronyms that we forget are not instantly understandable. For example ROI (Return on investment), KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and USP (Unique Sales Point). It’s worth remembering that in addition to some business owners not understanding these terms —they will never tell you that’s the case! This may mean that the large promotion upon which you have embarked with the snappy title of “Our USP is boosting your ROI”—could fail miserably...

As the business community makes increasing use of e-mail, texting and social networking, we make increasing use of abbreviated language. To my 80’s-born acronym “TGIF” (Thank Goodness it’s Friday) I have slowly but surely fallen into using “BTW” (by the way) and “BFN” (bye for now). However, I did thoroughly confuse my husband by using MWAH which he thought was an acronym but is actually the sound of a big kiss!

So, OK no harm in confusing your husbands from time to time, but you must NEVER confuse your potential customers so here’s a bit of marketing advice.

Firstly make your marketing copy resonant, understandable and compelling by having a clear picture of your target customer:

  • Are they male or female?
  • Which are group are they in?
  • What sort of newspaper might they read? (i.e. can they understand words of more than one syllable!)
  • What are their current concerns?
  • Will they have prior knowledge of what you are offering?

When marketing or advertising copy is written well it positively jumps out at you—which of course is exactly what is intended to do.

An ad on a bus shelter really made me laugh—aimed at their target audience of callow young male drinkers, a drinks company talked about “Giving your girlfriend a good time by taking her to see the bright lights” and had a picture of a large open-doored fridge stacked wall to wall with cans of drink. Brilliant.

And talking about brilliant, here’s a whizzy marketing acronym for you to remember when putting together your marketing materials—this one is WIIFM—or “what’s in it for me?” Remember, people won’t buy from you unless there is something in it for them—so make sure you really do spell out those benefits!

You might also make a note of AIDA—no, not the Opera—but the initials relating to a cornerstone of successful marketing. Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. During a marketing workshop I was running, I was asked about the difference between interest and desire—what a sensible question—here’s the answer:

You need to GRAB ATTENTION through something like a striking image, a provocative question or a strong headline

  • Then RAISE INTEREST by clearly stating what you are offering and how it will benefit your potential client (remember WIIFM?)
  • At this point, by using promotional devices or offers, you BUILD DESIRE for your business offering and finally
  • Make sure they know what you want them to do! Is your CALL TO ACTION to get them to expect your follow up call? To look at your website? To phone for an appointment? To complete a prize draw survey? To confirm their attendance at your open evening?

Now those of us who provide copywriting services have always been aware that you shouldn’t risk losing the attention of your audience by putting in too much detail that then masks your most important key messages.

However, we now have a new thing to worry about. Apparently the way in which our brains function is changing due to our daily use of texting and e-mails—basically we mostly scan read rather than reading line by line.

So present your facts in bite-sized chunks of information—perhaps through

  • Bullet points

Use bold to highlight the key benefits to your client and K.I.S.S. ...oh, sorry...keep it simple, Stupid.

Since 2003, Jane Buswell has supported over 200 diverse businesses in the South of England with strategic marketing advice, impactful copywriting, and her hugely popular postcard queen service which provides quirky and memorable marketing postcards. Jane may be reached a

Reprinted with Permission. Article Source:

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Even in general business terms we start to bandy around commercial acronyms that we forget are not instantly understandable.



The Power of Performance: Achieving Results in Uncertain Times Fall Conference

What’s the can’t-miss professional development opportunity
taking place September 24-25, 2009, in St. Louis, Missouri? Who’s the “Who’s Who” among the performance improvement field headlining this event? Here’s everything you’ll get from ISPI’s Fall Conference.

Two Amazing Keynote Presentations

  • The Necessity of Business Process Management
    Paul Harmon, Business Process Trends
  • HPT and the Knowledge Revolution
    Marc J. Rosenberg, CPT, PhD, Marc Rosenberg and Associates

10 Hard-to-Choose from 90-Minute Clinics

  • PI Results: Focus on Individual and Team Environments
    Margo Murray, CPT, MBA, MMHA The Managers’ Mentors, Inc.
  • Get in the Game Early: Understanding Software Development Life Cycle Activities and their Relationship to the Development of Performance Support
    Jane Cosby, AT&T Services, Inc.
  • Improving Government Performance: Managing for Results using a Balanced Scorecard Framework
    John McGillicuddy, Larry Halbach, and Gail Perry, The Balanced Scorecard Institute
  • PI During Economic Downturns: The Power of Ecosystems
    Mariano Bernardez, CPT, PhD, Roger Kaufman, CPT, PhD, and Gonzalo Rodriguez Villanueva, MS, ITSON
  • What We Have Learned from 25 Years of Criterion- Referenced Testing
    William Coscarelli, Shrock and Coscarelli, and Sharon Shrock, Southern Illinois University
  • The Effect of Leader Self-Development on Upward Feedback Outcomes in “Growth” Countries
    Michael N. Bazigos, Steve Bartomioli, and Frank Persico, IBM Corporation
  • Performance Architecture: Tips and Tools for Building High-Performance Organizations
    Roger Addison, CPT, EdD, Addison Consulting
  • Measuring Values: The Secret to Sustaining a High Employee Engagement Culture
    Tom Rausch, Leadership Beyond Limits, LLC
  • Leading High-Performance Virtual Teams for the Emerging Economy: What Project Managers and Consultants Need to Know
    Diane Gayeski, PhD, Ithaca College and Gayeski Analytics
  • Training on Trial: The Urgent Need to Meet the Needs of the Business
    Jim Kirkpatrick, PhD, SMR USA, Inc.

Seven In-Depth, Three-Hour Symposia

  • Breakthrough Performance: Training People To Manage Themselves Well
    William R. Daniels, American Consulting & Training, Inc.
  • Executing a Measurement Project in Your Organization
    Boyce Byerly, Gene Pease, HumanCapRx, and Bonnie Beresford, BBDO Detroit
  • Optimizing Your Supply Chain: An Introduction to Flow Duration Management™
    Brian K. Cain, The KMW Group, LLC, and Steven T. Gran, Blueprint 57
  • The Politics of Results
    Judith A. Hale, CPT, PhD, Hale Associates
  • If It Is Good Enough for My Taxes (Using Web-Based Tools for Performance Analysis)
    Jim Hill, CPT, EdD, Proofpoint Systems, Inc.
  • Value Chain Analysis: A Shorter But Sufficient Systemic Organizational Analysis
    J. Robert Carleton, Vector Group
  • The Link Between Managerial and Workplace Performance
    Miki Lane, CPT, MVM Communications

Breakfast (if you are staying at the Crowne Plaza), Networking Lunches (everyone), and an Evening Reception

In addition to this spectacular program, ISPI is offering (for an additional fee) Constructing Level 2 Evaluation and Certification Systems: Technical and Legal Guidelines, William Coscarelli, Shrock and Coscarelli, and Sharon Shrock, Southern Illinois University; and our three-day Principles & Practices Institute.

For more information, visit We look forward to welcoming you to St. Louis!

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Introducing the 2010 Conference Track Chairs

By Cathy Brown, Track Chair Lead 2010 ISPI Conference Committee

THE Performance Improvement Conference Track Chairs are gearing up to review this year’s submissions. They are building their review teams now.

If you are interested in

  • Gaining a perspective on THE Performance Improvement Conference’s planning process
  • Getting an advance peek at what our profession’s best and brightest are thinking
  • Building your network of professional contacts
  • Giving back to the Society

think about joining a review team.

This year’s chairs have a wide range of experience in the for-profit, non-profit, and academic sectors. Here are the track chairs for the 2010 THE Performance Improvement Conference in San Francisco, CA on April 19-22, 2010.

Kathleen Clarke, CPLP, Analysis track chair, is a seasoned performance consultant, facilitator and instructional designer with experience in the financial services, automotive, communications and healthcare industries. Her expertise includes process improvement and performance management, change management, leadership development and team building, organization development and project management. Kathleen is past-president of the Detroit chapter of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and is executive director of the Michigan ASTD Training Institute.

Ferdinand Tesoro, PhD, Measurement and Evaluation track chair, is a business change director for WellPoint and a senior consultant for the Center for Effective Performance (CEP). He is a passionate practitioner with more than 20 years experience in strategic planning, large scale business change, performance measurement, six sigma and instructional design in the health care, high tech, insurance, and government sectors. He co-authored the book Implementing Global Performance Measurement Systems published in 2000.

Ireta Ekstrom, CPT, PhD, Instructional Intervention track co-chair, has been an active member of ISPI for many years. Her service to ISPI includes president of the Michigan chapter, chair of 2008 ISPI conference committee, work on international committees, and several stints of conference track chair. Ireta holds a PhD from Wayne State University in Instructional Technology. She is currently the campus Instructional Developer for Central Michigan University where she encourages faculty to use sound pedagogical practices, to be innovative and to use technology wisely.

Jennifer Rosenzweig, Instructional Intervention track co-chair, is a performance and organizational consultant who specializes in positive change strategies designed to generate personal and professional growth. She is a partner in Dragonfly Organization Resource Group and has experience with a range of sales and service solutions in the automotive, telecommunications and consumer packaged goods industries.

Bonnie Beresford, MBA, Process or Tool Intervention Track co-chair, has over 20 years of experience in the field of measurement, process improvement, training and performance support. She is the current President of the ISPI Michigan Chapter. By day, she is vice president of client services at Capital Analytics, a consultancy specializing in measuring and optimizing human capital investments.

Johanna Zitto, CPT, Process or Tool Intervention track co-chair, has been an active ISPI member for nearly 10 years, and has served as a program track reviewer for the three past conferences. She is president of JZ Consulting and Training Inc. in Cherry Hill, NJ. A former global training manager with Pitney Bowes and AretŽ Publishing, Johanna’s workplace learning and consulting expertise in developing high performing leaders and sales teams tops 20 years.

Pooja Singh Mehta, CPT, Organizational Design Intervention track chair, is a learning solutions architect, Advisory Services with the Enterprise Learning business of NIIT Ltd. She has a rich experience in different phases of the performance improvement life cycle, spanning over 11 years. Currently, Pooja provides performance consulting to NIIT’s global clients spanning across multiple sectors. Along with her fulltime job, Pooja is also pursuing doctoral research in ’Narrative Techniques for Engaging the Reader’. Pooja has been a Brandon Hall Judge and a co-lead for ISPI research team for the Education track. This year, she is the track lead for the OD track in the ISPI Annual conference.

Jane Sink, Business of HPT track chair, has been a sustaining member of ISPI since 1990, and she has attended every international conference since that time. She often presents cracker barrel sessions at the conferences, and was the track chair for the Business of HPT in 2008. Jane is the vice president of marketing for Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.

Hillary Leigh, Research to Practice track chair, is a doctoral student at Wayne State University who has worked as both an internal and external consultant with healthcare, educational, and retail organizations to select, develop, implement, and evaluate a variety of instructional and non-instructional interventions. Hillary has been a member of ISPI since 2004 and has presented at annual conferences on the subject of using multiple types of evidence in practitioner decision-making. Hillary also chairs ISPI’s Research Committee.

To learn more about becoming a reviewer, contact Cathy Brown at or Stephanie G. Fuentes at

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Shaping ISPI’s Future

Call for Nominations to 2010-2012 ISPI Board of Directors

It is time once again for you, the ISPI membership, to determine the future direction of ISPI by nominating those members who you feel have the qualifications, experiences, and vision to lead our Society. Up for nominations this year are the President-elect (3-year term, President-elect, President, and Immediate Past President), two Directors (2-year terms), and one Internationally-based Director (2-year term). They will join the President, two continuing Board members, the non-voting Immediate Past President and Executive Director who make up the nine-member Board. The duties of the Board are to manage the affairs of ISPI and determine the strategic direction and policy of the Society.

Brief Job Descriptions

The President-elect assumes the presidency of ISPI for a one-year term at the conclusion of his or her one-year term as President-elect. The President-elect’s efforts are directed to assuming the Presidency, and assignments are designed to prepare for that transition. The President-elect serves to provide continuity of programs, goals, objectives, and strategic direction in keeping with policy established by the Board of Directors. Presidents serve on the Board for one year after their term as the Immediate Past President.

Each Director on the Board serves a two-year term and is a leader in motivating support for established policy. He or she serves to develop new policy to obtain support for ISPI’s programs. A Director should provide an objective point of view in open discussion on issues affecting the membership and profession. He or she should thoroughly analyze each problem considered, vote responsibly, and then support those actions adopted by majority vote.

Individually, each member of the Board is considered a spokesperson for ISPI and represents the integrity, dedication, and loyalty to established policy. The deadline for nominations is September 11, 2009. If you would like to nominate a member, please send the following information to

  • The candidate’s name and contact information
  • The position for which the candidate is being nominated
  • Your name and contact information
  • A 250-word statement on the candidate’s qualifications

If you are interested in additional information on the nominations process, or the complete job descriptions and qualifications required, click here.

2009 Honorary Awards

Each year, ISPI presents three special honorary awards that recognize outstanding individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to Human Performance Technology and to the Society itself. The awards are the Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and the Honorary Life Member Award. As done in the past, the membership is asked to submit names of qualified individuals for consideration for the Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award. If you are interested in nominating an ISPI member, please email the following information to

  • Name of award
  • Name, telephone number, and email of nominee
  • Name and telephone number of nominator
  • Brief supporting information for the nominee

This year’s recipients were Honorary Life Member: Carl Binder, CPT, PhD, Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award: Judy Hale, CPT, PhD, and the Distinguished Service Award: Karen Medsker, PhD. The deadline to receive nominations is October 23, 2009. For more detailed information on the guidelines used for selecting individuals to receive these awards, click here.

Showcase Your Award-Worthy Efforts

ISPI’s Awards of Excellence program is designed to showcase the people, products, innovations, and organizations that represent excellence in the field of instructional and human performance technology. Help give your organization the recognition it deserves and join the ranks of past recipients: US Coast Guard, IBM, DIRECTV, Hyundai Motor America, Imperial Oil, CISCO, The Home Depot, ExxonMobil, PG&E, Discover Financial Services, and Xerox to name a few. Submissions must be received by October 2, 2009. For more details, click here.

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The deadline for ISPI Board nominations is September 11, 2009.



Tales From the Field
Merrill’s First Principles Applied to Learning Interviewing Skills

by Jade Kazmierski, Darrell Kohlmann, and Judith Rose

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.


Stratagem is a consulting firm that provides Information Technology (IT) solutions and staffing services to clients in various industries. Concerned about the economic downturn and possible loss of business, Stratagem’s Learning Services group requested an intervention that would focus on improving their instructional designers’ (IDs) probability of getting hired onto a client project. Performance and cause analyses indicated that IDs did not know how to effectively describe their skills and experience during a client interview. As a result, the goal was a training intervention to enable IDs to develop stories that would effectively connect their prior experience to the needs of a potential client.

To achieve this goal, the ID team used Merrill’s (2002) “First Principles of Instruction” as its design model because of its emphasis on problem-centered learning. This ensures a continuous focus on a real-world problem or challenge through the four instructional phases shown in Figure 1:

  • Phase 1: Activation of prior experience by citing or providing knowledge or experience to prepare the learner for new information.
  • Phase 2: Demonstration by showing the process/concept; not just talking about it.
  • Phase 3: Application by using the knowledge/skill to solve a problem.
  • Phase 4: Integration of skills into real-world situations using the knowledge or skills outside the classroom.

Figure 1. Problem-centered phases of instruction


Based on the learning objectives, the design team created three lessons:

  • Formulating a Story
  • Arranging the Story Details
  • Composing a Story

Each lesson stepped through the four phases shown in Figure 1. Following this process avoided a “data dump” and ensured that the ID consultants learned relevant skills. Throughout the design process, the team focused on the performance goal of developing an effective story for use during a client interview.

The course kicked off with a case study, which provided context and outlined the “problem” that that the training would address.

Then, each lesson asked the learners to recall a familiar situation (activation) related to interviewing. Next, learners were shown what was expected through techniques such as expanding on the initial case study, providing examples and non-examples of what went into effective stories, and providing tips and pointers to use on the job (demonstration).

This was followed by opportunities to practice preparing their own story materials by recalling, collecting, and organizing facts from their own resumes and experience (application). Lastly, to wrap up each lesson, learners took notes and reflected on the topic by coming up with their own tips and best practices (integration).

To conclude the course, an assessment was administered that required using a sample job posting as the basis for creating a story that could be used during an interview for that job.


A pilot test was conducted involving 40% of the ID consultants considered to be the target audience. The objective of the course was to have each learner write three stories that matched designated criteria. The results of the pilot test and Level 2 evaluation showed that the training was effective.

As Figure 2 shows, of the 12 stories written, at least 75% were rated as “satisfactory” or better in meeting the criteria. Some criteria were rated as 100% “satisfactory” or better. For criteria with more mixed results, it was concluded that too much detail was required, making the stories too long. These conclusions were supported by comments provided during Level 1 evaluation. However, the issue was not with the technique of using Merrill’s First Principles, but rather in how extensively they were employed. We found that it is possible to apply “too much” of Merrill’s Principles, resulting in cumbersome or overly time-consuming exercises.

Figure 2: Results of pilot test and how well learners met assessment criteria

IPT-Grounded Advice

  • Use problem-based instruction because it is a more effective means of instruction than is instruction that is segregated from the real-world task it is meant to address.
  • Use an instructional model that supports problem-based learning, such Merrill’s first principles of instruction.
  • Incorporate practice and assessments to ensure transfer of knowledge.
  • Employ instructional methods for the learner to integrate what they have learned with their future activities.


Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research & Development, 50(3), 43-59.

Jade Kazmierski works at Northwestern Mutual and has been creating e-learning for the last 8 years. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science in IPT at Boise State. Jade may be reached at Darrell Kohlmann is an independent instructional and performance improvement consultant in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He is due to complete his master’s degree in IPT at BSU in May 2011. Darrell may be reached at Judith Rose possesses over 15 years of training and IT experience with the last five years as an instructional designer/learning consultant with IBM. Judith may be reached at

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CPT News from Around the World

Welcome Our New CPTs

  • Greg Busing, CPT, Applebees
  • Janis Goodheim, CPT, ADP
  • Melissa Foster, CPT, Graphic Packaging Intl., Inc
  • Eileen Maeso, CPT, USCG
  • James Parry, CPT, USCG

Meet Two Recognized and Award Winning CPTs

Two of our CPT’s recently received significant distinctions—Ann Battenfield and Bonnie Grabenhofer.

Ann Battenfield, CPT (Clarity Performance Alliance) was just awarded the Peacemaker of the Year award by the Center for Conflict Resolution. CCR, a non-for-profit located in Chicago, IL, has been working with the court system, social services groups, and the public, providing free mediation services for over 25 years. Its goal is to keep cases out of the court system, preserve relationships, and offer an alternative to the all or nothing mindset that dominates many disputes. Ann was intrigued by the idea of keeping cases out of the courts and finding other ways to resolve conflicts. “In college, I took courses my junior year to see if I wanted to use my degree in behaviorism or to go to law school. I decided I wasn’t cut out to be a lawyer, but remained fascinated with how we could change our court system to keep cases out of it that simply do not belong there.”

When Ann moved to Chicago in 2002, she immediately thought of CCR and applied. It requires a commitment to mediate at least once a month for 3 years to become a mediator with the CCR. She took the initial training in 2003, passed the rigorous certification simulation, and soon began mediating cases. Before her first case, however, she offered the training director, a lawyer will little experience in adult learning, a few pointers regarding the training and how adults learn. By 2005, she was volunteering as both a mediator and a performance consultant. That year, CCR asked her to become a trainer, coaching the people attending the course as they performed their simulations. In early 2008, she co-coached one of John Marshall Law School’s mediation teams in an international mediation competition. Ann has won back-to-back awards from the CCR, Trainer of the Year award in 2008 and now the Peacemaker of the Year Award for 2009. Ann may be reached at

Bonnie Grabenhofer, CPT (Partners in Learning, Inc.) was just elected to a four-year paid position as the executive vice president of the National Organization for Women (NOW). In addition to supporting ISPI and running a successful consulting company, Bonnie has dedicated her life to advocating for women’s issues. In her new position, she will lead NOW to take action toward equal rights for women and parity in every facet of society. Bonnie will use her CPT skills to improve NOW’s organizational capability, processes, and effectiveness to achieve that goal. Bonnie may be reached at

Do you have a story to tell?

Contact Judy at

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CPT logo



ISPI Europe Conference:
Mark your calendar and register now!

The theme for the ISPI Europe/EMEA 2009 conference on November 5-7 in Galway Ireland is An Organization IS its People: Surviving and, in Fact, Thriving in Challenging Times.

Last month, we introduced Dee Carri of Torque Management in Ireland who will join us as a keynote speaker. If you missed that installment, you can read about Dee Carri on in the August issue of PerformanceXpress and you will see why we are so pleased to announce her as a featured speaker. Watch for details on our second keynote speaker, Barry Vorster of EPI-USE Worldwide, one of the world’s premier providers of information technology solutions. We will introduce Barry in a future issue of PX.

We want to share some of the topics that you will find at this year’s conference, in addition to, and supporting, our hands-on centerpiece, a simulation, based on a real performance improvement effort in the public sector. If you are looking for an opportunity to:

  • Learn and share new ideas, tools and approaches
  • Network and work alongside a diverse and highly skilled group of professionals, and
  • Apply your skills and knowledge in a safe and supportive environment

…then you’ll want to join us in Galway!

Some of the topics you won’t want to miss:

  • In the End It’s All About People!
  • Politics—Developing Your Professional Capital
  • Is the Improvement Effort Worth the Costs? Calculating PIPs for Any Project.
  • Is Your Client Ready to Improve?
  • Sharpening Your Analysis Skills: Performance Consulting and the Questioning Process
  • Analysis as an Intrinsic Part of Any Solution
  • Outsourcing in Reverse: A Case Study from the Public Sector
  • Using the Six-P Framework to Holistically Determine ‘What Is’
  • The alignment of Parliament South Africa’s Performance Management System to the Performance Improvement Methodology and Thinking
  • Building a Bigger Box

We are happy to also announce three high value, full-day pre-conference workshops:

  • HPT: The Essentials—Judith Hale, CPT, PhD
  • BPTA 101: Principles of Business Process Management—Dee Carri
  • Optimizing Accountability in Teams and Client Partnerships—Lee Johnsen, CPT

If you have ever attended an ISPI Europe/EMEA event, you know that we believe that a conference is much more than its programs and presenters. Our participants consistently contribute enormous value. This year will be no exception. We are looking for participants who really understand the value of sharing their great questions and unique insights. That is, we are interested in your unique contribution! Don’t wait. Register today. You have until September 18th to qualify for an early bird discount!!

And, don’t forget our simulation. Once you have registered, feel free to contact us about the simulation and opportunities to begin the process of getting to know other participants, with a view to selecting teammates to work with in Galway! The simulation is another way that we ensure that all presenters and participants become integral to what is invariably an exceptional learning and sharing opportunity.

You can see that the learning and sharing outcomes you can expect from the Galway conference are really in your hands! Why not join us in Galway and be part of this important event?

We invite you to go to our blog for information on the conference and our upcoming special issue of the Performance Improvement Journal, as well as general information about ISPI Europe/EMEA, and to add your own questions, comments and insights!

ISPI Europe/EMEA Board

Carol M. Panza,
Arnoud Vermei,
Grainne Fielding,
Adolf Theron,
Paula Campos,

ISPI Europe/EMEA Conference Committee

Juan Pablo Ortiz,
Belia Nel,

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SkillCast Summer Learning Series!

How would you like to have all of ISPI’s SkillCast webinars right at your fingertips to listen and learn as often as you’d like? School may be out for the kids, but you can continue your learning with the ISPI SkillCast Summer Learning Series. In just 15, one-hour segments, you’ll experience the best in Measurement and Evaluation, Organizational Design Interventions, The Business of HPT, Analysis, Instructional Interventions, and Process and Tools.

ISPI Members!

SAVE $300 when you purchase the Summer Learning Series! For only $235 you can learn about tools, techniques, strategies, and best practices from the leading experts in the field. Only ISPI offers this exclusive, comprehensive webinar package featuring the most distinguished thought leaders covering such an expansive array of topics. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary value. Click here to purchase today!

Not currently a member?

Now is a great time to join. When you purchase the Summer Learning Series for just $400 (a savings of $635) you’ll receive a COMPLIMENTARY one-year membership to ISPI. You’ll be able to take advantage of all the great benefits of membership including Performance Improvement, discounts on ISPI conferences, discounts on affinity programs, unlimited networking opportunities, and much more. Click here to purchase, and join today!

Summer Learning Series Includes:

Presenter Session Title
Jim Hill Giving Away Power
Margo Murray Measuring Mentoring Results
Ruth Clark Building Expertise Through Problem-based Learning
Diane Gayeski Connecting with Tomorrow’s Workforce— Performance Strategies and Technologies for a Global, Mobile, Intergenerational Workforce
Ken Silber Seeing Organizations Through Business Glasses: Understanding Them the Way Your Clients Do
Marty Rosenheck Accelerating Speed to Proficiency with Cognitive Learning Strategies
Thiagi Increasing Interactivity in Webcasts
Darryl Sink SuperFrames: Combining Job Aids and Performance Based Activities to Increase Transfer
Don Tosti Innovation: Strategies and Practices
Howard Rohm Using The Balanced Scorecard as Your HPT Framework
Calhoun Wick How to Turn Learning into Improved Workplace Performance
Paul Elliott Accelerating Top-line Sales Performance
W. Thalheimer/A. Laures Is Your Learning Organization Healthy?
Scott Colehour Perfect Practice Makes Perfect Performance!
Lynne Waymon Building Credibility: 10 Ways to Cultivate and Capitalize on Your Network in Tough Times

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Second Annual HPT Practitioner
Video Podcast Contest

The goal of ISPI’s Video Podcast Contest, spearheaded by Guy Wallace, is to showcase the diversity of human performance technology (HPT) situations and applications and practitioners. The dual focus this year is on HPT elevator speeches and everyone’s current or next focus for learning more about the diversity of human performance technology.

This year’s five-point script is:

  1. Name/Home location: _________
  2. First exposure to HPT was: _______ when: ________
  3. My biggest influences have been (people, books, articles, etc.): ____
  4. Your 30-second elevator speech on “HPT” or “What I do”: ________
  5. Your current or next focus for learning more about HPT is on: ______

You can interview your subject—or have your subject speak directly into the camera.

Joe Harless has again agreed to be one of the first for this year’s efforts!

The Board of Directors will vote for the one winning podcast that meets the goals and rules of the contest. Up to two prizes will be awarded to the “best” submission’s subject and video producer—if they are different people. The prize is either a free annual ISPI membership or a copy of the Handbook of Human Performance Technology.

Our 2008 HPT Podcast Contest winners include Margo Murray and the team of Mari Novak and Steven Kelly.

Why not get started? Take your three- to five-minute video—edit and add a title slide at the beginning and a credit slide at the end to identify the subject, the producer, and both the date and location where the video was taken—and then post it online at YouTube or Google Video, etc. Then post/embed your Video at HPT Connections —where you can find the 2008 submissions, the rules for 2009, and guidelines and tips to walk you through the submission/posting/embedding process.

You do not have to be a member of ISPI—at either the international or chapter levels—but you do need to be a registered member of HPT Connections. It is free to post your submission. Once registered, check it out and then share with your fellow HPT practitioners!

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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 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:

Contract Instructional Designer
Quality Training Systems
Job Location: Chicago, IL & Columbia, MD
Job Type: Contract

Evaluation & Assessment Manager I
Job Location: New Jersey
Job Type: Full Time

Manager, OD & Talent Management
Capital BlueCross
Job Location: Harrisburg, PA
Job Type: Full Time

Organizational Change Management/ERP Communicator Southern California
Escoe Bliss Professional Resources
Job Location: Southern California
Job Type: Contract

Senior Instructional Designer (Technology)
Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training
Job Location: Sacramento, CA
Job Type: Full Time

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ISPI logo



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 our marketing department 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)!

ISPI @ Amazon. ISPI has created a one-stop shop for all your performance improvement needs. Here we have boks written by ISPI members, CPTs, E-Documents, and featured books of the month. All purchases over $25 are eligible for free shipping.

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
Learn the Principles & Practices of Performance Improvement, September 21-23, in St. Louis, MO. Take your organization to the next level. Register Today!


Join us for the Fall Conference, September 24-25, in St. Louis, MO. The Power of Performance: Achieving Results in Uncertain Times. Register Today!

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

THE Performance Improvement Conference, our Annual Conference, April 19-22, 2010, in San Francisco, CA. Early registration rates at an all time low, ISPI member rate of $750, non-member rate of $1,000 until December 18, 2009.

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 don’t miss important announcements and valuable offers from ISPI!

1400 Spring Street, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA
Phone: 301.587.8570
Fax: 301.587.8573


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