by Richard E. Clark, CPT

A major challenge for those who develop the human assets
in organizations is choosing from the bewildering array of performance improvement products. Team-building, Myers-Briggs type profiling, empowerment, web-based training, multimedia, corporate culture transformation, job and work re-engineering, and management by storytelling are only a few of the huge variety of products and services offered to help us manage our opportunities and problems. New training and performance improvement companies appear every day, offering just-in-time technologies that promise to manage our knowledge and skills, motivate our people, and improve team communication and efficiency.

Do any of these things do what they promise? How do you pick and choose? Their proponents claim they are working in successful organizations, that they provide the most recent technology, and that they are based on the work of world-renowned experts. If that is true, why do many of us notice little or no improvement from some of these products?

In this increasingly complicated world of training and performance improvement, what can you rely on to guide your decision-making process? One answer is research. Just as a doctor needs the latest medical equipment and research to deliver the best care to a patient, training and performance improvement professionals need to equip themselves with the latest developments in the field in order to better serve their clients. Research is uncovering powerful truths about what works and what doesn’t—guidelines that affect how you do your job, what products you choose, and the programs you support. For example, over the years, research has proven that:

  • Poorly designed or delivered training can actually cut productivity.
    t’s simply not true that poor training has no consequences. Bad training can cause more problems than existed initially. One problem is that it can cause the scrambling of previously well-organized memory for a work-related topic. Therefore, people have a more difficult time remembering the information after training than they did before. In other cases, management team-building exercises have been found to increase destructive competition between management groups in the same organization. These negative results refute the belief that any training will produce at least some positive results.
  • Reaction questionnaires or “smile sheets” often indicate the opposite of what actually happened in a performance improvement program.
    People often give very positive ratings to ineffective performance programs. Reaction forms ask people what they liked the most. What they like, however, is not always what helps them perform better. They may have liked the training because of the ease with which it was applied or the personality of the trainer. In these cases, people are affected by the less important aspects of a program and may rate it highly even if it made them less productive. Products that feel comfortable may not be challenging our current paradigms enough. For example, research has shown that training programs may receive high smile-sheet ratings for client satisfaction, yet participants who are tested to see if they learned the course content show no learning gains.

The reverse can also happen. A successful program can be judged to be ineffective because it asks participants to change something very basic about their beliefs, expectations, and behavior. This counterintuitive result occurs, in part, because some interventions that make us more productive also challenge our comfortable routines and our mental models of the world. This change process can make some of us uncomfortable. Yet, solving significant problems often requires change.

  • When experts design and present training in their area of expertise, they often give wrong information or fail to give complete information.
    he knowledge and skills of experts, including the way that they make decisions and solve problems, are automatic. They cannot teach what they are not aware of doing, even if they are committed to passing on what they do so well. Worse yet, experts are not aware that most of their knowledge and almost all of their skills are unconscious. However, research shows that almost all of them believe that they are giving accurate and complete information to trainees. Since most training in organizations is based on content derived from interviewing experts, this is a major problem.
  • When the performance of work teams is evaluated as a group, rather than evaluating individual members, individual productivity declines significantly.
    his researched phenomenon, called social loafing, occurs when group members reduce their individual effort, believing that their contribution will not be missed. It also appears that when managers add more members to groups to increase their output, individual performance falls even farther if group members do not believe that their individual contributions are being assessed.
  • Employment empowerment strategies can have both positive AND negative effects.
    any people are more motivated when empowerment strategies allow them to participate in deciding how they do a job. These strategies are called by various names including Quality Circles, Leaderless Teams, and Self-Directed Work Groups. However, in some organizational cultures, giving people control of how they do their jobs has been shown to backfire and cause lower motivation and increased employee turnover. In some organizational cultures, people are more motivated by a strong managerial presence, and empowerment is seen as disruptive and interfering with an effective manager.
  • Some competency-based approaches do not work.
    any performance improvement vendors now emphasize “competency-based” systems. Advocates of competency-based systems analyze your operation and suggest performance competencies necessary to ensure success. A possible outcome would be to require that people be able to: “Manage profit and loss, control expenses, and set and manage financial goals.” Who could disagree? If high-level and abstract competencies help you get support for the specific work goals that drive performance, then they are positive. However, if general goals replace concrete, specific, and timely goals, then they are both distracting and destructive. The competencies you need from people will change as business goals change. General competencies are only the beginning and cannot serve as adequate work goals for teams or individuals.

Research has a real impact on how training and performance improvement products should be designed and implemented. Taking advantage of this research means increased certainty that the decisions you make about performance improvement will be the right ones.

Richard E. Clark, EdD, CPT is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Southern California (USC). He previously served as Division Head for USC’s Educational Psychology and Technology Department and as Director of USC’s Professional Studies and Community Programs. He is the 2002 recipient of the prestigious Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award from the International Society for Performance Improvement. Richard may be reached at

NOTE: Excerpted from Turning Research into Results: A Guide to Selecting the Right Performance Solutions, by Richard E. Clark and Fred Estes.


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  Research is uncovering powerful truths about what works and what doesn’t — guidelines that affect how you do your job, what products you choose, and the programs you support.

by Carol Haig, CPT and Roger Addison, CPT

This month, TrendSpotters is pleased
to feature Edgar Necochea and Rick Sullivan of JHPIEGO, a non-profit group affiliated with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. JHPIEGO works to improve the health of women and families throughout the world. Structured like an external consulting organization, JHPIEGO works with stakeholders, such as the ministries of health or education at the country level, and with healthcare providers in clinics and hospitals at the local level. At any given time, JHPIEGO is at work in 20-30 different low-resource countries. Edgar may be reached at, and Rick may be reached at

In such countries, the health reform movement is bringing widespread change to healthcare and profoundly altering many aspects of medical practitioners’ work and the services their patients receive. Three significant trends are evidence of the sweeping changes the health reform movement brings.

Significant Trends
First, low-resource settings internationally are moving toward a more integrated, preventive, and holistic approach to medical care. Increasingly, the focus is on the individual, the family, and the environment with an emphasis on the client’s (patient’s) preferences, participation in the wellness process, and satisfaction with medical services.

Second, healthcare in low-resource countries is moving toward a more private-like business model, with greater diversification in financing and service delivery. To date, the management and operation of facilities and health systems have been largely government-funded and operated. This trend gives hospitals autonomy in how they are managed, decentralizes services, privatizing some while outsourcing others. The changing business model could save costs, increase efficiencies, provide greater coverage in basic health packages, and serve larger populations.

Third, performance-based financing has resulted in a greater focus on health outcomes and performance. Previously, funding was based 100% on historical budget trends. While most funding allocations are still calculated this way, an increasing portion is now based on goal achievement. Even healthcare funding from agencies such as the World Bank is goal-driven.

Impact of These Trends on Performance
The health reform process affects organizational systems and methods of service delivery. Historically, healthcare in low-resource countries focused on vertical programs such as polio immunizations, family planning, or malaria prevention. Today, governments are requesting integrated global healthcare packages instead. Such changes require a systemic approach to the design and delivery of healthcare and the training of providers beyond medical skills to support an integrated and holistic approach to healthcare.

Increasingly, healthcare stakeholders recognize that human resource productivity is influenced heavily by factors that go beyond knowledge and skills, such as basic drugs, supplies, and equipment. Scarcity of supplies has a huge impact on provider performance. All resources, from skilled provider personnel to basic medical supplies such as drugs and dressings, must be available to deliver healthcare. The goal is to produce complete units of care, and this can only be met when there is a more balanced allocation of resources across programs.

In addition, monetary and non-monetary incentives are now being built in at both the organizational and provider levels in efforts to ensure consistent quality care.

Provider performance standards, with their roots in evidence-based medicine, are becoming common, as are the mechanisms to determine that the standards are met. Evidence-based medicine has its roots in the history of medical education where much information has been presented as fact with no known supporting research. Indeed, some of these facts were based on assumption or even myth. Today, educators are going back to find the evidence before teaching the facts. This makes performance standards, and their measurements, more accurate for providers.

As private-like business models are put in place for healthcare, budgets and financial tracking become critical and are being tied to key indicators from the organizational level all the way to the individual provider. In several countries, including Brazil, there are performance incentives for productivity at the national and state level, with specific healthcare targets. Now the challenge becomes one of balancing these efficiencies with quality of care.

Influence of These Trends on JHPIEGO’s Healthcare Delivery
In response to these trends, JHPIEGO has broadened its focus from training to performance improvement. The programs stress performance factors such as motivation, incentives, and recognition, with supporting models built for the transfer of training and the linking of training to the local supervision system.

JHPIEGO is working on evidence-based performance standards for health service delivery. Today, it stresses outputs and outcome standards using a competency-based methodology and extensive evaluation and follow-up to track client satisfaction.

Incorporating performance standards for service delivery functions reflects a systemic and holistic approach to healthcare provision. JHPIEGO understands that it is critical to pay attention to the most basic of support system needs. For example, chlorine is an important supply item in an infection prevention program. However, all the training about how to use chlorine in infection prevention is pointless if there is no chlorine in the supply room.

In its current work, JHPIEGO demonstrates the 10 Performance Improvement Standards required for ISPI’s Certified Performance Technologist designation, from its focus on results to its systematic evaluations of programs. Learn more about JHPIEGO’s performance improvement activities at its ReproLine website.

If you have any suggestions about trends driving performance in today’s business environment that you feel would be of interest to the PerformanceXpress readership, please contact Carol Haig at or Roger Addison at


   Mr. Edgar Necochea

Performance improvement (PI), a process pioneered in industry, is now helping to strengthen reproductive health organizations. PI focuses on meeting the needs of service providers and other staff members. When programs enable and inspire staff to do their best, the quality of care improves.

People need the right knowledge and skills to do a good job, but they also need to know what is expected of them and whether they are meeting expectations. They need to have good working conditions, strong support from their organization, and incentives to perform well.

When people do not perform well, there usually are a number of reasons. The PI approach can help organizations identify and address them all. Performance improvement is useful in resource-poor settings because it focuses attention on often-neglected causes of performance problems, such as unclear expectations or infrequent feedback, that need not be costly to correct. Performance improvement is used primarily to solve problems, but it can also help to set up a new job or help staff members take on new tasks or adjust to new standards.

Systematic Process
Reproductive health care organizations apply performance improvement in a process that is carried out by stakeholder—the staff members, clients, managers, and others who are affected by a performance problem or are interested in solving it. In turn, stakeholders usually need help from facilitators—staff members or consultants who have training or experience with performance improvement. The PI process is comprehensive, beginning with research and ending with evaluation of solutions:

  1. Consider the institutional context of the performance problem and foster agreement on the objectives of the PI process.
  2. Define desired performance.
  3. Describe actual performance.
  4. Measure or describe the performance gap.
  5. Find the root causes of the performance gap and link them to performance factors, such as incentives or knowledge and skills.
  6. Select interventions that address the root causes.
  7. Implement interventions.
  8. Monitor and evaluate performance.

Performance improvement encourages use of evidence-based “best practices.” In place of trial and error, it offers a systematic approach. Instead of guessing or jumping to conclusions about the reasons for poor performance, managers can use analytical techniques. For the tendency to use familiar solutions, the PI process substitutes closely reasoned links between root causes, performance factors, and solutions.

Growing Experience
Beginning with a pilot project in 1998, reproductive health organizations have used the PI process to:

  • Respond to demands by clients for improved reproductive health services (Dominican Republic);
  • Learn why providers are not following guidelines for infection prevention despite their training (Ghana);
  • Perform national needs assessments for reproductive health care, examine organizational performance problems, and decide on priorities (Armenia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Tanzania);
  • Establish standards of care and help clinics meet the standards for licensing or accreditation (Guatemala and Honduras);
  • Help decentralize health services (Tanzania);
  • Identify barriers faced by community midwives (Yemen); and
  • Design incentives for private providers to counsel clients better about family planning and to provide services (India).

Performance improvement is inclusive. It empowers and encourages people to look beyond causes of job problems that they can do little or nothing about and to take into their own hands the task of improving services. Staff members, supervisors, clients, and community members work together to assess needs and find solutions. When necessary, they can seek help from experts in communication, logistics, management, and training.

Performance improvement promises to be a powerful addition to the quality improvement methods available to reproductive health programs. It can help solve performance problems with well-conceived solutions that lead to more productive and satisfied workers providing better reproductive health care for more satisfied clients.

This report serves two audiences. The first chapter is an overview for managers who will make the decision to use Performance improvement and need to know the fundamentals, costs, and expected results. The rest of the report details each step of the process, tools, and techniques for readers who may become PI facilitators. For a full copy of the report, visit:

NOTE: Reprinted with permission. Published by the Population Information Program, Center for Communication Programs, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, 111 Market Place, Suite 310, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, USA, Volume XXX, Number 2, Spring 2002, Series J, Number 52, Family Planning Programs.


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  Performance improvement (PI) is a process that helps organizations create the conditions for high employee productivity. It [PI] has helped to enhance quality of care, encourage collaboration among reproductive health organizations, and identify priorities for program development.

ISPI’s “games guy” and QBInternational’s Resident Mad Scientist (a.k.a. Director of Research and Development) Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan has created another interactive game designed especially for the readers of PerformanceXpress.

Thiagi avidly reads each issue of PerformanceXpress. He wants to reward other dedicated readers of ISPI’s online newsletter. Therefore, he has created an interactive tic-tac-toe game based on the contents of the September issue of PerformanceXpress.

Play this game by visiting:

You will find a 3x3 grid with topics selected from last month’s PerformanceXpress. When you click on any of the nine boxes, a question related to the topic pops up. Type a short answer in the text box. If your answer is correct, you will see a big X on the box; if it is wrong, you will see a big O. Continue playing by clicking on other boxes with other topics. If you occupy three boxes in a straight line with Xs, you win. If you end up with three boxes in a straight line with Os, you lose. But don’t give up, because you can play this addictive game repeatedly. To add to your excitement, you are operating under a time limit. If you want more excitement, you can choose a higher difficulty level. Click on the “?” for instructions on how to play the game at the tougher levels.

Here’s a hint: Review the September issue of PerformanceXpress before playing this game.


by Jeanne Farrington, ISPI Director

As long as people must learn new things or companies want to improve performance, there will likely be employment for performance consultants, instructional designers, organization development consultants, and other performance improvement professionals. While it is true that companies sometimes cut more deeply into their performance improvement staffs when they decide to reduce their workforce, it is also true that our skills are often readily transferred from one context to another.

Keeping an eye toward the future, then, means acknowledging that we may someday change our job, the focus of our work, or the industry in which we work. These changes may be our choice—to take advantage of a new interest or opportunity. Or, they may be the result of choices made by our employers or changes that occur in an industry as a whole. In either case, changing jobs usually means new requirements for knowledge, skills, education, or experience. Planning ahead and constantly improving what we can offer potential employers can instill confidence and perhaps reduce the time between one job and the next one.

When the employment climate is such that there are fewer jobs than applicants, it can be difficult to land a job in an unfamiliar context that requires new skills. Employers may want to find someone who has worked in their corner of their particular industry, with the same kind of clients or audience, and with similar problems to solve. For example, if you have not specialized in management training for insurance companies, a potential employer in that industry might wonder if you have the experience necessary to provide learning solutions for that audience’s particular needs. The hiring managers may not realize, and it may be difficult to convince them, that human performance technology and instructional design are robust problem-solving methodologies that can be applied in many different contexts and with a variety of clients or audiences.

If the question is, “How do I stay employable in this sometimes volatile field?” then part of the answer is to develop a broad range of basic skills as well as special skills and experience with different methodologies, content areas, and audiences. Sadly, some people in our field postpone their own development until some “later time” when they are not so busy. This can be a recipe for disaster when one is suddenly forced to make a job change.

ISPI offers many opportunities for improving our skills: the HPT Institutes, conferences, local chapter presentations, workshops, publications, and networking with our peers. Taking advantage of these and other opportunities for learning and development can make all the difference when you decide to make a change or you find that the decision has been made for you.

Our field is rich and rewarding, producing results that can make a huge difference to individuals as well as to the companies where we work. Still, we must be nimble and ready to make a change at any time.


by Carl Binder

In past columns I’ve asked readers to send me measures they use or to pose challenging measurement problems for discussion. I’ve not received any responses to this request, so to prime the pump, I’ll suggest some measures from one type of organization in which I work: the customer call center. Perhaps this will prompt others to submit their own illustrative measures.

Call centers are typically data-rich, often measuring performance via automated systems along with customer satisfaction surveys and call quality monitoring. The following list is by no means complete, nor perhaps the best list of measures one can use in a call center. Instead, it is meant to illustrate that we can measure at multiple levels in fairly straightforward ways. Because the underlying philosophy of this column is that we can focus measurement on things whose occurrence we can count, those familiar with call center measurement might find that I’ve transformed familiar measures in unfamiliar ways. I would like to persuade you that making everything countable is a powerful way to enable data-based decisions, and to allow precise quantification and communication of measures with the least amount of interpretation. This column is the first of several devoted to that goal.

Measures of Business Results
Many call centers (e.g., those that handle incoming calls) do not produce revenues, but instead incur costs. Business results—the value a call center contributes to the organization—might therefore focus on customer satisfaction and cost efficiency. Useful measures might include:

  • number of customers who rate service at each level in a rating scale
  • complaints from customers
  • cost in dollars per customer problem solved
  • number of seconds per call that customers must wait to speak with a representative
  • number of calls handled within an acceptable wait time (e.g., 20 seconds) and number of calls not handled within that time

Measures of Job Outputs (Accomplishments)
Most call centers collect many measures of job outputs, both quality and productivity measures that might include:

  • calls handled per hour
  • call-backs per hour (when problems are not solved on first call)
  • number of calls rated by monitors as meeting specific quality criteria, and number not meeting the criteria

Measures of Behavior and Learning
Useful measures of behavior and learning during new-hire training might include:

  • number of practice (“flash”) cards per minute to which a trainee can respond with correct facts, service codes, or other “factoid” information, and number of incorrect responses
  • correct bits of information found or actions taken per minute using online systems, in response to prompts from a practice buddy, and number of errors
  • number of multiple choice questions selected correctly, incorrectly, and skipped per minute on a paper or online quiz

Measurement of learning demands that we assess a change or trend in behavior over time. It requires repeated measures of behaviors, ideally at least once per day during the training program, until trainees achieve mastery criteria (e.g., 60 per minute correct with no errors on cards; 5-10 per minute correct with no errors finding information online).

Count per Unit of Time
All these examples involve countable units. To obtain measures useful for deciding whether results are improving, maintaining, or getting worse, each can be measured repeatedly per unit of time, e.g., per minute, per hour, per week, per month. With such repeated measures, it is possible to see trends and variability, topics we will address in the next column.

For more examples of possible call center measures, see an article by Lee Sweeney, an experienced call center manager and me, published last year in Performance Improvement.

Next month we will go into more detail about making sense of trends and variability, and how that can be helpful for improving performance.

Binder, C., & Sweeney, L. (2002, February). Building fluent performance in a customer call center. Performance Improvement, 41(2), 29-37.

Dr. Carl Binder is a Senior Partner at Binder Riha Associates, a consulting firm that helps clients improve processes, performance, and behavior to deliver valuable results. His easy-to-remember e-mail address is and his company’s website is



Visual + Dialogue = Value
Visual posters and dialogue with a colleague add up to a valuable Performance Gallery! Plan now to participate in the 2003 Performance Gallery during ISPI’s 41st Annual International Performance Improvement Conference & Expo, April 11-15 in Boston, MA. Proposals are due October 14, 2002. Find out more about this unique opportunity to share your projects, research, models, job aids, and HPT success.

  • Read the article in the August PerformanceXpress: Participate in the 2003 Performance Gallery.
  • Locate and download the submission criteria and application form from the ISPI website: The link can be found from Conference Plus in the left menu bar. Then, select 41st Annual International Performance Improvement Conference & Exposition, and scroll down to the last section to select Performance Gallery.
  • Questions about the 2003 Performance Gallery may be sent to Michelle Katz, or Marilyn Spatz,

2002-2003 Awards of Excellence
ISPI’s Award of Excellence program is underway! Submit your ideas, innovations, programs, or training tools by the October 25, 2002 deadline, and you or your company could be on the way to earning the recognition you deserve. For complete instructions and Award of Excellence submission packets, click here or visit

If you are interested in serving on the 2003 Awards of Excellence Committee as an actual evaluator for the various award categories, please contact Ellen Kaplan, ISPI Senior Director of Meetings at 619.224.4900 for more information.

Volunteers Needed
ISPI is recruiting volunteers for the 41st Annual International Performance Improvement Conference & Expo in Boston, MA from April 10-15, 2003. In exchange for your help monitoring full-day workshops, concurrent sessions, or assisting at the registration desk, ISPI will waive your registration fee.

Approximately 35 volunteers will be recruited and special consideration will be given to those who may find it particularly difficult to pay the registration fee, in particular full-time students and/or unemployed practitioners.

If you are willing to attend pre-assigned sessions and/or workshops, are interested in meeting and assisting other conference attendees, and want to contribute to your professional Society, send your name, mailing address, phone, fax, and email address to: Please indicate your interest in serving as a volunteer for conference sessions or workshops or assisting at the registration desk. ISPI waives the conference registration fees for all conference volunteers, however, volunteers will be responsible for their travel, hotel, and other costs associated with attending the conference. Volunteers are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be contacted sometime this month regarding your assignment.

by John Amarant, CPT

This morning I received a framed certificate from the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) proclaiming that I am a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT). My former law partners still shake their heads, wondering what could possibly have gone wrong with their errant colleague. Not only have I turned my back on their sacred New Mexico Bar Association, but I’m also a member of the (it’s damned hard to get into) California Bar Association, as well.

Certification of a professional always causes a little uproar. Nobody rushes to have others judge their work. Indeed, in the legal profession it’s called “the practice” of law because there are so many possible solutions—no solution is the right one if it does not deliver the right results. However, some solutions work quicker than others; are more economical; or are more elegant—i.e., afford the client greater options or are more robust over time. For centuries, certification of lawyers has consisted of simply “issues identification” and an ability to argue the rule of law for such issues.

The certification for performance technologists requires not only the knowledge but also a demonstration/application of that knowledge to deliver results. But, there is something that attracts me to this ISPI certificate—the potential of the technology itself. Unlike the legal profession where the benefit of the license to practice is limited to an exclusive community, the ISPI certificate symbolizes an organization that is seeking to use its technology in an inclusive manner.

My introduction to consulting began when a client asked me to work on a large corporate alignment project. During that time, I gained an appreciation for a wholly different avenue for bringing about changes that people can maintain long after the change agent departs. More recently, I was introduced to ISPI and became acquainted with a range of professionals striving to cobble together a huge body of knowledge for the purpose of improving the results delivered by people working together.

In many ways, the signposts for this journey operate as they do in the legal world (a few basic principles and a wide range of applications and constructs to meet situations), but it has some very fundamental differences. The most glaring difference is the monopoly enjoyed by the courts and its body of court officers (i.e., lawyers). I will be disappointed if the CPT comes to be used to exclude others from learning this wonderful technology and spreading it. But I do not think that is likely so long as the emphasis is on the promotion of the technology and the results for the client. The real risk to the acceptance of certification is two-fold.

  1. People don’t like to have their work scrutinized. If certification is going to be successful, people have to be willing to embrace it—perhaps as a badge of honor that demonstrates a willingness to listen to advice or feedback, to learn and essentially to “walk the talk.”
  2. Some critics cite the lack of a common understanding of the principles of performance improvement as the reason for not certifying performance technologists. At first blush, this argument has some merit if we accept that performance technology is a limited body of knowledge. But, what if we are only beginning to understand this field as a science? A common grasp on the meaning of the principles may not be reached within our lifetimes. In some ways, this criticism of certification is akin to proposing that we stop licensing doctors until the results of the Genome Project are understood. As a field, performance improvement has exploded enormously in the 40 years that the Society has been in existence, and that development will only accelerate over the next 40 years—provided certification is not used to control the development and application of the technology.

Perhaps the attraction of this technology is that its most fundamental premise is so inclusive—we start with the desired result. There are a range of possible solutions and interventions, but our job is to help the client select the most suitable solution and get them there. Toward that end, I may work with lawyers, economists, accountants, marketing people, information technologists, engineers, and host of others who are necessary to achieve the client’s desired results. In working with these other professionals, I am able to demonstrate how the technology can be integrated with their approaches to the solution. Any one of these professionals could choose to integrate performance technology into their business—and in that way begin to bring about significant reform.

Each month ISPI recognizes the professionals who have taken advantage of the exemptions available during the grandparenting period and received the CPT designation. Below is a list of the newest recipients. Click here for a full list. Visit, and apply today to receive your designation.

  • Edmund H., Rieger, CPT, gedasUSA Inc, Michigan, USA
  • Susan Matzner, CPT, CDPHP, New York, USA
  • Dale Brandenburg, CPT, Wayne State University, Michigan, USA
  • Mike Schwinn, CPT, Focus on Performance, Kansas, USA
  • Thomas Riley, CPT, General Physics Corporation, Maryland, USA
  • Rebecca Lucas, CPT, Training Partners Plus Inc, Illinois, USA
  • Janice Cornelssen, CPT, Scientific Atlanta, Inc, Georgia, USA
  • Stacey H. Johnson, CPT, Zen Consulting, Texas, USA
  • Dale Currier, CPT, Niagara Mohawk Power Corp, New York, USA
  • Charlene Benjamin, CPT, Johnson Controls Inc, Wisconsin, USA
  • Ann Gee, CPT, Carlson Marketing Group, Michigan, USA
  • Nancy Giere, CPT, The Working Force Inc, Wisconsin, USA
  • Elena Galbraith, CPT, Microsoft Corporation, Washington, USA
  • Kevin Maloney, CPT, Electronic Data Systems, Michigan, USA
  • Daniel Topf, CPT, Management Development Intl Inc., Iowa, USA
  • Holly Davani, CPT, General Physics Corporation, Maryland, USA
  • Jackie Seare, CPT, Genetech Inc, California, USA
  • Jay J. Spitulnik, CPT, Massachusetts, USA
  • Clifton Lawley, CPT, Hewlett-Packard Co, Texas, USA
  • Walter Ratcliff, CPT, Ratcliff Consultants, California, USA
  • Burton, Krain, CPT, US Navy, Illinois, USA
  • Ann Marie Keech, CPT, AMK Training Solutions Inc, Virginia, USA
  • Roger Boswarva, CPT, Ability Consultants Inc, New York, USA
  • Virginia Koenig, CPT, Ability Consultants Inc, New York, USA
  • Steven Villachica, CPT, The Cognitive Performance Works, Colorado, USA
  • Artur Nunes, CPT, HUMANPERSI, Portugal
  • Jason Russell, CPT, ANDRULIS-PTI, Virginia, USA
  • David Locke, CPT, Field Training Associates, Michigan, USA
  • Romie Whiteside, CPT, Romie & Company, Illinois, USA
  • Guy W. Wallace, CPT, EPPIC Inc, Illinois, USA
  • Alonzo Johnson, CPT, Jim Beam Brands Company, Kentucky, USA
  • Michele Wilson, CPT, State Farm Insurance Companies, Illinois, USA
  • Terry Thompson, CPT, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Barbara Gough, CPT, Collins & Aikman, Michigan, USA
  • Alice Robbins, CPT, Impressionist Management Inc, Illinois, USA

    John Amarant lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and associates with a number of consulting firms including Vanguard Consulting, Inc. He has worked on numerous change implementation projects in the US and Europe—particularly the UK—with demonstrated results in the transportation, telecommunications, publishing, and information technology industries. He may be reached at




by Dan Rudt, ISPI Director of Marketing

Did you attend summer camp as a child? Did you have to swim with a buddy? I don’t know about you, but my answers are “yes” and “yes.”

Looking back, I think the buddy system was a great invention. It not only saved lives, it built trust and partnership, as well. As campers, we had to swim near a designated buddy at all times. When the lifeguard blew a whistle, we had to stop what we were doing, find our buddy nearby, grab his or her hand, and hold both our hands up high above the water.

ISPI invites you to find a buddy for our multi-event, 41st Annual International Performance Improvement Conference & Exposition: Lessons in Leadership. Join us in Boston, MA on April 10-15, 2003, for workshops, institutes, a conference, and exposition, all devoted to improving workplace performance through systematic, measurable, and reproducible means.

Join us for education, participation, and networking with performance improvement experts such as…

Our Keynote Speakers

  • Sam Geist, Acclaimed Author of Would You Work for You?
  • Peter C. Wilton, PhD, Global Strategy & International Marketing Expert

You’ll be happy to know that our attendees give the conference very high marks. In fact…

Attendees raved about the 2002 ISPI Annual Meeting

  • 7 of 8 said the conference addressed topics and skills of value on the job.
  • 7 of 8 said they would recommend the event to others.

Here are some of the terms our attendees used to describe the event
“The sessions were of the highest caliber.” “…powerful.” “…exhilarating and stimulating!” “…a successful conference!” “…a wonderful experience.” “…exceeded all my expectations!”

Now, About That Buddy
With the overwhelmingly positive reaction from attendees, we feel we should do everything we can to introduce, or re-introduce, more of our colleagues to our annual meeting. That is why we are making a generous special offer. When you register for the full conference at the member or delegate rate you may also register a colleague (a.k.a. buddy) for only $200—provided your colleague has not attended an ISPI annual conference in the past three years.

So, here is your chance to be a hero. When you register, think of a colleague from your organization, chapter, university, client organization, or an acquaintance in the field who may not have experienced a recent ISPI conference. Offer that person an opportunity to save hundreds of dollars while benefiting from the premier educational event in workplace performance improvement.

Don’t forget to tell your colleague what attendees say about the conference and exposition: “…opened my eyes to the larger world of performance consulting.” “…so many useful activities going on.” “…networking opportunities were marvelous.” “…encouraged people to interact and discuss.” “…valuable opportunity to meet and learn from the best in the field.” “…I felt like I’d stepped into the big leagues.”

And about the value of the conference to their employers: “…new research was directly translated into business-relevant recommendations and applications.” “I was able to make an immediate connection between the subject and my practice.” “I feel confident in guaranteeing a return on [my employer’s] investment.”

Think about whom you can invite to register with you. Like the buddy system in summer camp, your thoughtfulness will build trust, partnership, and appreciation.

The deadline for this special offer is February 10, 2003. Don’t wait for the lifeguard’s whistle. Find a buddy now and be ready to swim with your colleagues in a river of outstanding performance improvement education, networking, interaction, discussion, and practical application.

Would You Like To Participate?
If you would like to invite a colleague, do not hesitate to let me know. Send me a note at When we mail event brochures later this fall, we will be happy to send you an extra brochure that you can give to a colleague. Or, we would be happy to mail information directly to someone you think would be interested. Let me know, also, if you would like to help us spread the word about this terrific offer to others in your organization, chapter, or other group. They are sure to thank you for it.

  When you register for the full conference at the member or delegate rate you may also register a colleague (a.k.a. buddy) for only $200—provided your colleague has not attended an ISPI annual conference in the past three years.

by Todd Packer

Welcome back to I-Spy, a feature of PerformanceXpress that will highlight relevant, interesting, and useful websites for performance technologists. In my work, I often use creative research techniques to uncover resources on the World Wide Web that can help individuals and organizations make effective decisions and achieve strategic goals. For this column, I hope to locate off-the-beaten-path sites that can help you find similar thinkers, resources, work, new ideas, and sometimes just plain old fun.

Quick recap: Every month, three sites, one theme. While far from comprehensive, hopefully these sites will spark readers to look further and expand views about human performance technology (HPT). Please keep in mind that any listing is for informational purposes only and does not indicate an endorsement either by the International Society for Performance Improvement or me.

These are the general categories I use for the sites featured:

  • E-Klatch: Links to professional associations, research, and resources that can help refine and expand our views of HPT through connections with other professionals and current trends.
  • HPT@work: Links to job listings, career development, volunteer opportunities, and other resources for applying your individual skills.
  • I-Candy: Links to sites that are thought provoking, enjoyable, and refreshing to help manage the stresses and identify new ideas for HPT.

The theme for this column is Branding HPT. What’s in a name? The importance of “brand identity” affects the ability of individuals and organizations, including ISPI, to get the word out about the benefits of HPT. These sites can offer some ideas as you strive to improve your messages—to the international business community, to your audiences of learners, and to...uh...the invading hordes of the Dark Lord Sauron.

The International Advertising Association (IAA) (Global Best Practices). “The Global Society for Performance Improvement?” This essay highlights best practices in the marketing communications industry in 2000 with intriguing implications for performance technologists in multinational arenas, including issues of knowledge transfer, emotional equity, and digitization. The site also includes information on the association, contests/awards, and related Internet resources. IAA describes itself as “A Global and Grass Roots Strategic Partnership of Successful Brand Builders.”

Here’s a good one from San Diego State University, the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. How about “The International Society for Metacognitive Andragogy?” Learn about these HPT-related ideas at this site. Click on Table of Contents for the links to various articles, some with multimedia. Brief essays highlight key concepts in educational technology, from Human Performance Technology to Measurement Scales to Hypnopaedia. General categories include Analysis, Implementation, Evaluation, and others. “The Encyclopedia of Educational Technology is a collection of short multimedia articles on a variety of topics related to the fields of instructional design and education and training. Authors are graduate students, professors, and others who contribute voluntarily.”

The Barrow-Downs Middle-Earth Name Generator. Orkish name for the International Society for Performance Technology: Ghazhâk the Abominable. This name is for both genders. Hmm. Kind of catchy, no? If you would like to see how you (or your project, team, company, etc.) might fare in the Tolkien universe, hop over to this fun and informative site, type in your name and discover variations in the various languages of Middle-Earth. So until next time, surf in HPT fellowship! —Dûrbbag the Drooler

NOTE: Listings above are for informational purposes only, and do not indicate an endorsement either by Todd Packer or ISPI.

Todd Packer is an independent consultant providing research, coaching, writing, and training in organizational development, creative problem-solving, and stress management. He seeks to improve performance through dynamic new approaches to research and creativity at work. Please contact Todd with your feedback, comments, and ideas at For more information, visit



by Kelly R. Smith

I enjoyed the experience of moderating the Enterprise-Manager-ISD-Client focus group at the 2002 International Performance Improvement Conference & Expo in Dallas this past April. It was beneficial, not only because I believe the Marketplace View Taskforce will result in an improved ISPI, but because it made me think about what I would like from my affiliation with ISPI as well as what I can provide as an active member of the Society. This article will highlight the glowing praise for the Society as well as some targeted areas for improvement provided by the group.

Focus Group Participants
The focus group consisted of HPT members in the Enterprise-Manager-ISD-Client segment. Participants in this session included:

  • Rebecca Lee Parker, Project Manager II, Bank One Corporation
  • Catherine A. DiToto, Training Manager, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow
  • Elena F. Galbraith, CPT, Performance Improvement Program Manager, Microsoft
  • Dennis C. Nichols, CPT, Performance Technology Manager, BWXT Pantex

The Session
Overall, the participants viewed the Society positively. When asked to assess ISPI on a scale from 1 to 5, and the participant rating averaged 3.33. When asked to compare ISPI with other professional associations they were affiliated with, nearly all participants rated ISPI higher. While not a bad rating, it did leave room for improvement.

Some things the participants indicated were strengths of the organization included:

  • Research-based models, methods, and products: Participants shared that whether or not you have an academic bias, it’s good to know that “some work has gone into it and not just listening to someone’s opinion.”
  • The HPT Model: Participants liked that they could look to ISPI to help them show the world (especially their bosses!) that often performance problems take more than just training to solve.
  • Not forgetting about the “little guy”: A participant liked that at ISPI, whether you are with a very large company or a consultant with a small firm, you find things that you can relate to.

Participants were extremely open to sharing their opinions about where they would like to see changes in the Society. Although individual input covered a broad range of opinions, general themes could be identified for where the Society could improve including:

  • Better networking opportunities for members: Participants value connections where they can share information and resources and discuss problems and potential solutions with people who are in similar positions. They want to be able to look to ISPI to put them in touch with those people that “think like we think.”
  • Improved pool of research and easier access to the data: Participants said that they would like to be able to look more to ISPI for research data and access the data via the web.
  • Paradigm shift regarding the relationship between the national organization and the local chapters: Participants expressed concern that there is competition between the national organization and the local chapters. They would like to see thriving local chapters, which they believe would improve the health of the national organization. “We’re competing with one another. It’s confusing, it’s non-productive, and we have suffering membership.”

This group’s views of the “best imaginable” ISPI included many good ideas. I look forward to watching the Society become the best imaginable ISPI for its current and future members!

If this summary or the summaries of the other focus group sessions raise some ideas or comments, please contact the members of the Marketplace View 2002 Taskforce, Guy Wallace ( and John Swinney (



The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) has 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 the 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 Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award: Dr. Richard E. Clark; the Distinguished Service Award: Timm J. Esque; and the Honorary Life Member Award: Wellesley R. “Rob” Foshay, PhD. The deadline to receive nominations is November 15, 2002. For more detailed information on the guidelines used for selecting individuals to receive these awards, please visit or click here.


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, and services. If you would like to post information for our readers, contact ISPI Director of Marketing, Dan Rudt at or 301.587.8570.

Books and Reports
Performance-Based Evaluation: Tools and Techniques to Measure the Impact of Training by Judith Hale, PhD, CPT. Based on over 25 years of experience working with organizations to come up with better ways to evaluate programs, this book provides a step-by-step process for evaluating training.

Telling Ain’t Training by Harold D. Stolovitch, CPT and Erica J. Keeps, CPT. Book tackles three universal questions: how do learners learn, why do learners learn, and how do you make sure that learning sticks? Hear the authors’ Webinar on November 6,

Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops
ISPI Institutes, San Francisco Bay- Silicon Valley Area, January 2003 Making the Transition to Performance Improvement and Principles and Practices of Performance Improvement. Three-day, intensive workshops designed to improve your organization’s workplace performance.


Magazines, Newsletters, and Journals
Chief Learning Officer Magazine  
We have just delivered our debut issue! Let CLO deliver the experts to you through Chief Learning Officer magazine,, and the Chief Learning Officer Executive Briefings electronic newsletter. Subscriptions are free to qualified professionals residing in the United States.

Performance Improvement Quarterly
Now in its 15th year! Don’t miss another issue of this scholarly journal that provides cutting-edge research and information necessary for you to keep on top of the business of improving human performance. Subscribe today!

Websites of Interest is a leading on-line resource providing HR professionals with daily news, articles, expert insights, discussion groups, and more. ICG (Intellectual Capital Group), a division of, provides cutting-edge research reports called RedBooks™ identifying and analyzing HR trends and technologies.



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



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PerformanceXpress (formerly News & Notes and Quick Read) 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 April Davis, ISPI’s Senior Director of Publications, at

1400 Spring Street, Suite 260
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Phone: 1.301.587.8570
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