Organizations devote resources to establishing a measurement system but often fail to define what it is they want to learn. Judith Hale of Hale Associates advised that for resources to be well spent, organization must know what they are going to measure and how they are going to use those measures. In her keynote presentation at APQC’s 2004 performance excellence conference, Hale described a model for evaluating initiatives through measures in three areas crucial to any successful business.

Intervening at the Workplace, Work, and Worker Levels
In her experience, Hale has noticed that organizations implement initiatives at three different levels (Figure 1):

  1. Workplace: organization-wide interventions may involve re-organization, job appreciation, product lines, or customer profiles;
  2. Work: at the jobs level, solutions typically deal with functional standards; and
  3. Worker: individual issues with employees are addressed through activities such as training and incentives.

Figure 1. Typical Interventions/Solutions by Level

The Workplace
Hale said metrics typically involve satisfaction, processes, compliance, performance, finances, and market demands (Figure 2).

Something else that organizations need to consider, according to Hale, is human capital metrics such as profit per employee, diversity, and recruitment. “In terms of optimizing our investment in people, these are the kinds of metrics we should be looking at, and these are what I call organization-wide issues,” said Hale.

Bench strength deals with the degree to which an organization trains its employees across divisions and its succession of management efforts. “It basically refers to how deep an organization is so that when Harry or Mary retires, or if something should happen to them, the company isn’t faced with crisis,” said Hale. “One of the companies that I’m working with has come to the realization that they’re going to lose 25,000 to 35,000 technicians in the next five years, and that they have no one in the pipeline. It’s not a good situation.”

Figure 2. Technique #1: Ask About Metrics, Typical Workplace Metrics

The Work
Figure 3 details what metrics concern job performance. “Initiatives at this level can be very valuable if the intent of the initiative has been clearly defined,” said Hale. “Are we doing something because the company down the street is doing it, or are we really doing it because we are looking to leverage information? When I look at jobs, I’m also looking at work variance—offices with large volume compared to those with small volume.”

There’s a tendency to think that all jobs are equal, but they’re not, said Hale. They may have the same job title or even carry the same job description, but that doesn’t make them equal. “I was looking into purchasing agents,” said Hale. “If you’re buying [domestically], it’s a lot different than buying from countries with a 300 percent rate of inflation. When you’re dealing with inflation issues, you might be negotiating the currency as a part of doing business.”

Figure 3. Technique #1: Ask About Metrics, Work Metrics

The Worker
At the worker level, interventions involve clarifying and communicating expectations, changing hiring and performance criteria, attaining more timely feedback and employee development through training, coaching, mentoring, and rewarding behaviors and results through incentives.

Performance requirements help define what workers do, including variables that impact results, by taking into account the direction, measures, feedback, infrastructure, and rewards. “Outcomes are influenced by a number of crucial factors,” said Hale. “For instance, is the direction clear? What other measures are in place, and are they appropriate? Do employees get timely feedback so that they can, in fact, self-monitor? Or are we still waiting for the annual performance review?”

Within the context of the requirements for performance equation, Hale said she believes that the annual performance review should not be considered feedback and that employees need to know on an ongoing basis where they are.

Hale said that although each component part of the measure is important, none can stand on its own. “What we really want is the outcome. To attain the results, or outcome, we have to have all the component parts. There’s the tendency to think that one will compensate for all the others, but this isn’t so; every element is important to an employee’s performance.”

The Measurement Model
Before any initiative is implemented, Hale recommends that an organization develop a model to measure the initiative’s results. Hale’s three-point measurement model is composed of three phases (Figure 4).

Figure 4. 3-Point Measurement Model

Phase one involves analysis. During this phase, organizations establish a business case for a particular initiative or measure. Defining the specifics of an initiative is important, said Hale. “What is the business case for these key initiatives? What are you using as evidence? And what are your goals? Do we have the resources to sustain it over time? And are we really going to find out over the long haul what we want from it?” She emphasized that this is a time to set baselines, identify success measures, and confirm initiative feasibility.

Common business case dilemmas revolve around how to use benchmarking data and the need to identify and leverage current measures to an organization’s advantage. But what Hale is finding is that there is no company-wide sharing of the data. “There’s benefit to leveraging this information,” said Hale. “You have to ask yourself what you’re doing to leverage it.”

Hale said the most common mistake organizations make is to only consider measurement at the end of a project. “An executive went to a training course, came back, and said that he wanted all of his executives and support staff to go and do it,” said Hale. “After they’d already sent 125 people to the training, I was brought in to assess whether or not they got a return on their investment.”

The training took six weeks and cost the organization $5 million. Hale told them that they had a problem: “They’d never defined what they wanted the training to accomplish or how they were going to measure it. How else do you measure an initiative’s effectiveness?”

Once an organization defines its initiative, it moves into creation and implementation, which is phase two.

At the beginning of phase two, the organization needs to determine what it is trying to track. She suggested asking five questions: What is the intent? What is being used as evidence? What is the situation today? How feasible is it that the solution will work? And what metrics can be leveraged?

Formative and predictive metrics come from a variety of sources: user expectations; reactions from employees, customers, stakeholders, and suppliers; product specifications; user environmental requirements; technology requirements; and cultural norms. “There’s a bunch of stuff we can look at to show us how feasible an initiative is, where we can make progress, and what hurdles we have to face in ensuring its implementation,” said Hale.

Key business metrics may touch on hitting goals, customer and employee satisfaction, time-to-market, performance, finances (revenue, cost, cash flow, and return), growth, and compliance. Within these categories, Hales identified some leading indicators: user and stakeholder reactions, the rate and speed of adoption by users and workers, the percentage of critical mass adoption at specific milestones, the number of endorsements and champions at specific milestones, and the compatibility with current systems and cultures.

According to Hale, organizations sometimes make the mistake of thinking they have to put a new measurement system in place to achieve something. “Why don’t you use what’s already there? Why not use those as your indicators?” she asked. “Companies have HR retention studies and exit interviews, but I’m not sure that information gets shared with anyone.” Other sources of results metrics include survey data, Q&A data, customer satisfaction data, production reports, internal and external audit reports, and finance data.

In phase three of the model, the post-implementation phase, organizations must examine whether the initiative was successful by looking into the measurements gathered. At this point, outputs, outcomes, and fall-outs are measured. At the end of the year, an organization can assess whether it achieved the results it wanted by asking: Are customers staying longer? Are they paying faster? Are employees giving prompt feedback?

Without question, interventions disrupt social and work relationships. And those disruptions may result in either positive or negative side-effects. In phase three, the organization will learn the true nature of these side-effects, which could either justify or undermine the effectiveness of the solution.

Hale warns organizations against the propensity of wanting to fix everything among the three phases of the model. She advised that it can take years to fully institutionalize new behaviors. Therefore, part of an initiative’s feasibility should involve setting interim goals. “In this manner, when we talk about the feasibility of a particular solution, we can get some quick hits,” she said. “But determining the feasibility of a solution long-term is not done overnight.”

Note: This article was first published by APQC in the APQC CenterView newsletter. Visit


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

In keeping with our intent
for TrendSpotters in 2005, our guests this month are internal practitioners who are well positioned to spot trends in their organization. Captain Matt Peters, CPT, is the Commanding Officer of the U.S. Navy’s Human Performance Center (HPC). Matt is also a newly elected ISPI director. Janet Weisenford, CPT, is the Executive Director of the Navy’s Human Performance Center (HPC), and the ISPI Advocate representative for the Navy HPC.

Ably joined by a large and growing staff, Matt and Janet guide efforts to identify problems and shortfalls in Navy commands, programs, and policies at the individual, team, and organizational levels in an effort to improve performance. The pressures on the Navy to increase its agility and maintain its superior standing as a military service are parallel to those facing companies in the private sector. We had a wide-ranging discussion about the opportunities the HPC offers to the Navy, its employees, and the field of HPT.

A growing emphasis on employees as a key strategic resource, on the bottom line, on improving organizational alignment, and on increasing efficiencies (without incurring risk) led the Navy to determine that it must actively manage human performance.

In response, the HPC was conceived by the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Vern Clark, in 2003 and positioned so that its staff could tackle high-level organizational problems and opportunities with speed and efficiency. With a goal to develop blended solutions to address all human performance improvement needs, HPC staff are stationed at key client sites around the United States to facilitate the analysis, development, and implementation of critical projects.

Current Trends
The HPC’s “…focus on performance, not the performer” provides a framework for identifying trends that change how Navy employees work. First, their new emphasis on outcomes and results is raising the awareness of performance measurement. Second, they are tempering their concentration on success in warfare with a shift to evaluating bottom-line performance. Organizations and people are increasingly held accountable for the results of performance and the use of taxpayers’ funds. Third, they are increasingly open to using non-government organizations as sources for benchmarking and best practices, helping to align the public and private sectors.

Implications of These Trends—Internally
The Navy, like many organizations, used to assume that a sailor’s sub-standard performance was caused by a skill or knowledge deficiency, or both. Now, HPC employees are working on projects that prove much of what is in the HPT literature; they have seen that 83% of performance improvement issues cannot be solved with training and require other solutions. This type of discovery is changing the work environment on a grand scale. The aforementioned sailor is now likely to benefit from a more accurate diagnosis and be provided with appropriate coaching, job aids, or other support systems rather than being automatically sent off to training. More important, the system within which the sailor operates is being improved as processes, environment, and equipment are scrutinized from the performer’s perspective.

Implications of These Trends—Externally
While the Navy leads the other U.S. military services in innovation in the performance improvement arena, a recent human performance improvement summit of all the services increased interest in the HPC’s accomplishments. Active mentoring of the HPC’s program by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense has helped to raise the Navy’s profile.

Other nations have also noticed the Navy’s work. The military services of several allies have come to the United States to learn firsthand what the HPC is accomplishing, and they are interested in adapting the U.S. Navy’s model in their own countries. The HPC will soon be partnering with several NATO nations on a number of exciting performance improvement initiatives. Most recently, the HPC met with officials from the Royal Australian Navy’s Improvement Strategies team and from the Canadian Navy’s training and performance organizations in an effort to build a running dialogue on the topic of human performance deficiency and its possible solutions.

Implications of These Trends on Organizational Results
The HPC’s work is producing visible results across the Navy. The consulting role, as practiced in the HPC, is a new one for the Navy, and because it is uniquely positioned as an internal entity, client comfort levels are rising as opportunities to partner on projects become available.

There is an increase in teaming to work on projects and address issues. More often than not, these are cross-functional teams aligning themselves across disciplines to improve performance. This, too, is a new and positive change for the Navy.

New people are attracted by the HPC’s success and are eager to join the team of performance improvement professionals. This trend supports the HPC’s stated desire to deploy “ethical brokers” to help clients improve performance. By hiring novices and training them in vital HPT skills, they develop bias-free practitioners who can tackle a range of performance improvement opportunities. This effort is supported by an extensive job task analysis for the Navy’s performance improvement professionals. With a career path tied to skills and knowledge currently under construction, the Navy is adding yet another professional opportunity to the long list of career choices it offers to recruits and new civilian hires.

Impacts of These Trends on the Field of HPT
Matt and Janet believe that the work of the HPC will increase the visibility of performance improvement in the public sector and that it will be known as a practice that gets results. The Navy is rapidly accumulating case studies, presentations, work models, simulations, and results that they plan to contribute to the professional literature. The lessons learned from the scale of the HPC’s work are considerable. By building a career path for performance improvement, the Navy will hire more people and help grow the field of HPT.

Another happy result of the Navy’s intense efforts in performance improvement is their leadership in reviving two, once-dormant ISPI chapters: the Armed Forces Chapter, a non-geographic community of U.S. military practitioners, and the Hampton Roads Chapter serving the southeastern Virginia community of Hampton Roads. Welcome back!

Advice to Performance Improvement Professionals
When we asked Matt and Janet how they would advise incumbent and aspiring HPTers, they said, “We should focus on the results: on the what not on the why.” It is critical to “get the right people on the bus” at the organizational level who are aggressive and who challenge the status quo. And for new people: Keep your eyes open and be inquisitive.

If you have been spotting trends that may be of interest to the PerformanceXpress readership, please contact Carol Haig, CPT, at or or Roger Addison, CPT, EdD at




How many times have you tried to write an email or memo and said, “I know what I want to say. I just don’t know how to say it”? (Or as my 8-year-old grandson puts it, “I know what I want to say, but the words aren’t in my mouth yet.”) In fact, the problem is usually with the “what” and not the “how.” In other words, you probably have only a vague idea of the subject. In scores of seminars and coaching sessions, I’ve seen that once people clarify their thinking about the “what,” the “how” (the actual writing) comes relatively easily.

Yes, the trick is to think more clearly, but how do you go about that? I’ll discuss six ways that I and other writers have used for years (and some new tricks we’re adding to our repertoires).

The first step is to know why you are writing. Generally, people write for one of the following reasons:

  • Inform or update
  • Ask
  • Persuade
  • Get action
  • Gain understanding
  • Build a relationship
  • Combination of the above

NOTE: When you are writing to inform or update and you also want the reader to take action, taking action is usually more important. Emphasize the action while keeping your second objective in mind.

Most writers use a combination of techniques, which include the following:

  • Talk it out
  • Mind map or fishbone
  • Jotting and sticky notes
  • Free writing
  • Planner sheet or outline
  • Research

Talk It Out
This technique is exactly what it sounds like: The writer speaks his or her ideas either to the world at large or into a recording device. Some people are so comfortable with this technique they can talk through the whole document. Other people use recorders as note-taking devices (“Memo to self: Include something about ‘jotting’ in the article on clear writing”).

Mind Map or Fishbone
These techniques encourage brainstorming in a non-linear fashion, especially when working with groups. With either approach, the writer begins with a purpose and an audience, and branches out from there.

To Mind Map:

  1. Begin with a blank page.
  2. Record and circle a central idea or goal in the middle. Identify the audience.
  3. Create satellite ideas in smaller circles and draw lines to connect them to the main idea.
  4. Develop satellites of the satellites.
  5. Review the clusters. Eliminate ideas that do not support your main thesis.
  6. Sequence the remaining clusters.

Click here to download a PDF of the Mind Map Diagram.

To Fishbone:

  1. Begin with a blank page.
  2. Draw a diagonal line and record a central theme or goal at the “head” of the fish. Identify the audience.
  3. Attach horizontal lines at wide intervals to the diagonal spine and put major ideas on the lines.
  4. Group subordinate ideas under the horizontal lines. Put another set of vertical lines for sub-points.
  5. Review the “bones” and eliminate any ideas that do not support your main thesis.
  6. Sequence the ideas.

Click here to download a PDF of the Fishbone Diagram.

Jotting and Sticky Notes
Take one minute to think about the topic. Do no writing, even to make notes. Try to recall everything you know about the subject or revisit events you want to write about. Then for the next two or three minutes, jot down one or two words for each idea. Avoid writing sentences until you have captured all of the ideas. The goal is quantity, not quality. When you have exhausted your store of ideas, begin to organize them.

A variation of this approach is to write out each idea on a separate sticky note. Then use a sheet of paper, flipchart, or wall surface to organize.

Free Writing
Take one minute to think about the topic. Try to recall everything you know about the subject. Then just write the memo, report, or email. Once you start, keep writing.

Planner Sheet or Outline
Use the planner sheet (click here to download a PDF of the Planning Guide) or the following outline:

I am writing to: Name the person or persons you are writing to.
Copies must go to: Indicate any cc’s; include a file folder as a copy recipient, if relevant.
Writing style: Note whether your primary reader likes information short and sweet or loves to dwell on the details.
Dates: Is a deadline involved? Do events have to occur in any particular sequence?
Details: Jot down a few key ideas to include.

Perhaps you need a few more facts.

All professional business writers use one or more of these techniques on a regular basis. Practice these techniques until you find one or more that help you clarify your thinking. You will discover that now you know both what to say and how to say it.

Since, 1976, Jane Ranshaw has been president of Jane Ranshaw & Associates, Inc. Her company offers in-house workshops and consulting services in business writing (including proposals and business cases), listening, and consulting skills. She teaches consulting skills to graduate students at DePaul University. Jane received her MBA from The University of Chicago, and her BS in Business from Indiana University. She may be reached at


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  1. Should ISPI be a technology-driven organization or a member-driven organization?
  2. Is ISPI obsessed with instruction or with non-instructional interventions?
  3. Should our language be precise and specialized or should we speak the customer’s language?
  4. Should we specify performance expectations or encourage workgroups to be self-directing?
  5. Should we avoid trivializing learning with fun and games or should we make learning more fun?
  6. Should we quickly specify the outcomes we want or should we spend time on systematic analysis before identifying the outcome?
  7. Should we autocratically empower our employees or let them figure things out?
  8. Is it easy for our clients to understand the value of correcting a performance issue or is it difficult for our clients to understand the root cause of a performance issue?

These questions are based on a set of paradoxes sent by PX readers in response to last month’s Open Question. The provocative answer to these questions is “Yes.”

An Alternative to Problem Solving
Recently, I have been wondering whether or not our primary task in HPT is to reconcile paradoxes (or manage polarities) rather than to solve problems. After all, one person’s solution is another person’s problem. Today’s solution is tomorrow’s problem.

I hope that this disturbing wonderment will soon pass because it gives me a headache. For the present, I am not suggesting that we replace our basic paradigm of solving performance problems. However, perhaps we should look more into handling paradoxes. Maybe the opposite of every profound truth is another profound truth that operates in other contexts. I experienced a recent example of this disturbing possibility when ISPI’s Will Thalheimer convinced me (and other members of the audience at the eLearning Guild Producer’s Conference) that almost everything I know about learning objectives is wrong. Will’s presentation reminded me of one of my favorite papers by Jim Evans, “Behavioral Objectives are No Damn Good.”

An Annotated Bookshelf
If you are interested in exploring the concept of paradoxes as applied to personal and professional performance improvement, here are some books that I recommend. Warning: These books may turn your world upside down.

Barrett, D. (1998). The Paradox Process: Creative Business Solutions...Where You Least Expect to Find Them. New York: AMACOM. (ISBN: 0-8144-0356-5)

Barrett suggests that opposites are the building blocks from which all reality is constructed. He provides instructions for three types of paradoxical thinking: contrary thinking, Janusian thinking, and Hegelian thinking. The book includes several thought experiments. Sample practical suggestions: Switch back and forth between opposite moods, processes, and actions; actively search for information and passively relax to assimilate; move about in the outdoors and hole up in the office.

Farson, R. (1996). Management of the Absurd: Paradoxes in Leadership. New York: Simon & Schuster. (ISBN: 0-684-80080-2)

This classic book attacks facile formulas, catchy slogans, 10-step programs, and quick fixes. Farson presents 33 paradoxical pieces of advice and supports each with examples and logic. Sample practical suggestion: Once you find a management technique that works, give it up. Over time, newfound techniques work to prevent closer human relationships and produce the opposite of their intended effects: “I see what you are doing. Don’t treat me as if you are my therapist!”

Farson, R., & Keyes, R. (2002). Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins: The Paradox of Innovation. New York: The Free Press. (ISBN: 0-7432-2592-9)

This book relates business innovation to paradox. It explores the fallacy of labeling events as success or failure. Sample practical suggestion: Retain unorthodox, difficult, imaginative employees because innovation depends on their creativity.

Fletcher, J., & Olwyler, K. (1997). Paradoxical Thinking: How to Profit from Your Contradictions. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. (ISBN: 1-881052-80-X)

Peak performance requires opposing moods and attitudes: Sprinters who relax run faster. Fletcher and Olwyler suggest that optimal performers have a combination of contradictory qualities. The book provides detailed instructions for finding your own core personal contradictions and harnessing them to achieve outstanding results. Sample practical suggestion: Rather than trying to suppress your negative characteristics, learn to use them in positive, mature, and constructive ways.

Johnson, B. (1996). Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, Inc. (ISBN: 0-87425-176-1)

This book helps you differentiate between problems to be solved and polarities to be managed. Using several examples, the author presents a five-step model for identifying, describing, diagnosing, predicting, and prescribing suitable ideas for dealing with interdependent opposites. Sample practical suggestion: Divide a square into four parts. Write the two opposing poles on the right and left halves. Write all positive aspects of each pole on the upper half and negative aspects on the lower half. Use the content of all four quadrants to explore the polarity.

Sutton, R.I. (2002). Weird Ideas That Work: 11-1/2 Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation. New York: The Free Press. (ISBN: 0-7432-1212-6)

This is a thought-provoking book with such paradoxical ideas as “Hire people who make you uncomfortable.” Sutton explains how to move from exploiting old ways for organizing for routine work toward exploring new ways for organizing for innovative work. Sample practical suggestion: If you know a lot about a problem and how it has been solved in the past, ask people who are ignorant of it to study it and help solve it. Young people, including children, can be especially valuable for this task.
More Paradoxes
I am leaving the Open Question webpage open. Please click here to contribute additional HPT or ISPI paradoxes and to read other paradoxes.


Every year the President of United States prepares and delivers a State of Union message, summarizing what has happened and looking to the future. As outgoing president of the International Society for Performance Improvement, I think I have an obligation to try to do something similar.

Perhaps ISPI’s most important recent accomplishment is getting the seven Professional Communities off the ground. At the Annual Conference in Vancouver, you will have an opportunity to participate in the further establishment of these communities. A second significant accomplishment is that we are beginning to come to an agreement on the definition and scope of the technology, a process that began under Past President Guy Wallace. Our first accomplishment will help us expand our reach to other professional organizations and strengthen our technology. The second will help bring us together around a broad and powerful technological foundation.

We are seeing increased interest, around the world, in the potential power of our applications. People are becoming aware that our technology is not limited to the repair of “broken systems.” We can fill performance gaps, but we can also do more. Human Performance Technology (HPT) has the power to be an innovative force enabling us to design new and better ways of doing things. The scope of HPT is not limited to individual performance and training; it can have a profound effect on operational and organizational performance as well.

ISPI has nearly 1,000 Certified Performance Technologists, increasing their value as professionals and our value as a professional field. We are constantly searching for new ways to support them and have recently established a full-time position on staff in order to aid this endeavor.

“Performance” is becoming a popular term. Our days of being a “well-kept secret” seem to be over. We are beginning to establish ourselves as integrators who can provide frameworks that allow other professionals to amplify their contributions—working in collaboration with them, not in competition. We are moving in the direction of becoming performance generalists, able to contribute to organizational functions from marketing to finance.

What about the future? I do not have a crystal ball. But perhaps we can generalize from what’s happened in other professions. Medicine offers an example. One hundred fifty years ago the practice of medicine was largely focused on anatomy and anatomical functions. Doctors were good at patching up wounds or removing limbs; but in the Civil War, more soldiers died of infection than of their wounds. Doctors at that time failed to appreciate that the body is fundamentally a biological system, not just a physical one. Not until the introduction of cell and germ theory was medicine able to begin making enormous advances in its ability both to restore injured and ill people to health and to begin learning how to prevent illness.

The practice of management today strongly focuses on business and operational functions. Managers often do not appreciate that at its most basic level every organization is a human performance system—built by people and run by people for the sole purpose of delivering value to its human stakeholders. It may be that with broader understanding and acceptance of human performance theory and practice, we will see similar strides in our ability to contribute to organizational effectiveness.

It has been my pleasure to serve you as president. I have tried to build on the work of my predecessors to move the Society forward and hope that my contribution and that of the Board of Directors will help us realize an even better tomorrow.



Are you registered to attend the ISPI 43rd Annual International Performance Improvement Conference on April 10-15 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada? If not, you still have time! Join your peers at the world’s only conference solely dedicated to your field, with beautiful Vancouver as a backdrop. Here is a taste of what you will experience:

The event begins with ISPI’s HPT Institutes on April 10-12: Principles & Practices of Performance Improvement and Making the Transition to Performance Improvement. In addition to the Institutes, the conference offers attendees the opportunity to participate in half-, one-, and two-day workshops on April 11-12.

On Tuesday, April 12, the conference kicks off with an Opening Session that will establish two key themes: networking and emphasizing the first “I” in ISPI. A complimentary reception immediately follows.

Chip R. Bell, best-selling author and senior partner with Performance Research Associates, Inc., will give the Keynote Presentation, Magnetic Service: Increasing Productivity Through Great Partnerships, on Wednesday, April 13.

The 2005 Masters’ Series presenters are J. Robert Carleton; William R. Daniels; Joe Whittinghill; Alyce Dickinson, PhD; Joseph J. Durzo, CPT, PhD; and Paul Lange, CPT. These speakers will address the trends and issues facing human performance improvement practitioners.

The conference program includes more than 200 encore, special, and concurrent sessions on topics such as Fluency Coaching; Evaluation; Low-tech Learning Solutions; Creating a Motivating Environment; Training Ain’t Performance; and the Third Annual Research Exchange.

Be sure to visit the ISPI Community Center located at the Parkview Terrace in the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre, open from April 12-15, to meet and talk with conference sponsors, shop in the bookstore, network with colleagues, browse the Awards of Excellence, and visit the Job Fair.

The 2005 Annual Conference is poised to continue the tradition of being the premier performance improvement event of the year. All we need to make it complete is YOU! Register today!


Welcome to CPT@Work,
an article series designed to increase the visibility of the impact that CPTs are making in the workplace. These collected stories are meant to provide a showcase for CPT successes. Please feel free to share them with your clients.

This Month’s Performance Issue
The issue was one of incongruence. A Southwest, municipally-owned energy company set all of its organizational goals at one time annually. However, performance feedback (appraisals) and individual goal setting were both conducted on the anniversary of an employee’s date-of-hire. Incongruent. Employees couldn’t always be sure what their goals were; managers might re-direct employee efforts midyear; two employees doing similar jobs could have different goals.

Additionally, data tracking to ensure goal alignment across the organization, individual performance management against goals, and quality and frequency of performance feedback were nearly impossible due to an antiquated support system.

Performance Analysis
With just over 4,000 employees, this organization is one of the largest municipally-owned energy companies in the United States, providing natural gas and electric services to the city of San Antonio as well as many surrounding municipalities. The municipality sought a software solution that could decrease administrative time, create a database of information critical to performance management, and deliver consistency within its performance review process.

Performance Solution

  • Formation of a key stakeholder committee to identify commonly occurring performance issues and provide a recommended solution. This cross-organizational committee identified the common performance management issues, reviewed recommended (cultural, technical, and procedural) solutions, and ensured that the implementation plan remained free of obstacles.
  • Reprocessing of performance management procedures, including the customization of internal process to support new Human Resources (HR) procedures and software requirements, was conducted. Customization of software solutions to fit organization specifications, including some customization of internal processes to fit software configuration, was also required. Additionally, HR information was extracted from existing sources, cleansed and updated, then imported into the new system. In addition to its on-going basis for data around performance, the data could be used for wage administration and market competitiveness studies.
  • Training employees and managers. Employees started receiving communiqués about the change eight months before the deployment date, which built a sense of excitement across the organization. Employees were encouraged to surface their questions and concerns; supervisors attended classes on SMART objectives, goal setting, and coaching and conducting performance appraisals; and key members of certain organizations were made trainers to provide manager training. Managers were also provided hands-on training with the software.
  • Formation of implementation team. In addition to organizational requirements, the new software requirements were met through a cooperative effort with the vendor. A planning map outlining essential steps, ownership, and key performance indicators was developed and followed. Variations in levels of computer expertise, in addition to resistance from skeptical managers, were handled through an internal IT customer service hotline and internal software support representatives who would respond to concerns in real time. Additionally, managers who were the most uncomfortable with the new software would be allowed, for this first review only, to complete the form in hard copy, which was then entered into the system by the support team.
  • Assignments of roles and responsibilities for the support team (software support representatives), which ensured the smooth rollout of the new processes and software, were given to 23 employees. These employees, generally, were the first “go-to” people if anyone was incurring difficulty with either the software or the process.

Organizational Results
To eliminate the performance appraisal issue, the organization decided to implement an electronic performance appraisal system, which required hands-on training to 500 managers who, in turn, completed appraisals for 2,000 salaried non-executive employees. Within 60 more days of the first wave, another 2,000 wage-scale (hourly) employees were given performance appraisals.

This facilitated the move from an anniversary-driven annual review to a focal-point annual review. The focal-point review means that all employees would be reviewed concurrently, which allowed for an alignment of goals across the organization.

Lastly, quarterly reviews were implemented to increase the dialogue between employees and managers. The need for better performance feedback was surfaced as a performance management issue by the key stakeholder committee. Supervisors and managers could utilize the electronic version, it desired.

Bottom-line Results
The new performance appraisal system has had a positive impact on the operation of the business. Since implementing the new approach, the workload has been reduced to such a significant degree that four HR administrative employees have been repurposed into different, value-added jobs. In addition, a corresponding reduction in storage space requirements due to use of electronic forms freed up needed space.

The organization realized the velocity for completing the appraisal that it sought; the completion rate for all reviews increased across all divisions of the business.

Consistency within an approach to performance management was achieved through the development and rollout of its new performance management process organization-wide. In addition, the organization-wide utilization of SMART objectives achieved through the training program provided employees with clearer and more frequent feedback with related improvements in employee performance.

About the CPT: Steven Price, certified in 2003, is an Organizational Development Analyst for City Public Services in San Antonio, Texas. He may be reached at

To submit a CPT success story, contact Brian Desautels at

   Brian Desautels, CPT, is a past ISPI Board Director and Society Treasurer, 2000 ISPI Conference Chair, and co-founder of the Seattle chapter of ISPI. He is a former Sr. HR Manager for Microsoft Corporation and is currently the Managing Partner of JB2D Performance, a Seattle-based consulting firm which applies performance technology strategies to human resource management.



For most of us, the major use of the Standards of Performance Technology and the Code of Ethics is in guiding the way in which we work with our clients. They also provide the underlying structure for becoming designated as a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT). But we are now seeing an increased use of the Standards of Performance Technology and the Code of Ethics by organizations for the selection, development, and advancement of their performance improvement professionals.

The first four Standards, that of focusing on results, taking a systems view, adding value, and establishing partnerships, are principles that guide us in nearly every performance improvement opportunity that we undertake. The remaining six Standards, that of assessing performance gaps or opportunities, determining causes or limiting factors, designing and developing solutions, implementing those solutions, and evaluating the process as well as the results, describe the systematic approach we use.

The Code of Ethics is intended to promote our ethical practice in serving our clients. It is based on six principles that further promote our adding value, using validated practices, collaborating with clients, continuing to develop professionally, being honest with our clients, and maintaining confidentiality.

The Standards of Performance Technology and the Code of Ethics are increasingly being applied by organizations for the selection of new performance improvement professionals and the development of existing staff. Some have gone so far as to imbed the CPT designation as a criterion for selection, development, and advancement. Applicants are given a preferred status when applying because they have demonstrated that they have successfully used performance technology in previous projects. For those already employed, certification has been used as a goal to ensure that work performed meets the requirement of the Standards and the Code of Ethics.

There also several graduate school programs that now align their curricula with the Standards of Performance Technology in much the same way that they have used the ADDIE Model (assessment, design, development, implementation, and evaluation) for educating instructional designers in the past.

Because the Standards and the Code of Ethics were developed by a professional organization, because they have been validated, and because they offer both principles and a standardized approach to improving performance, both are appealing for organizational use. Is it time that your organization imbed the Standards and the Code of Ethics into the way in which you select, develop, and advance your performance improvement professionals?

Are you ready to apply for your CPT designation? Visit for the most current information and to download the application form. There is also a new Self-Assessment Guide to assist you in evaluating your readiness to apply for the CPT designation, as well as a new Work Description Example that shows how all 10 Standards of Performance Technology can be met with one project.



“Superstition” is a term that we post-moderns use with particular disdain, suggesting an unwholesome and false response to circumstances, silly behavior done believing that it will produce a good outcome or avoid a bad one. defines superstition as “a belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance.” It’s possible that more of our individual and collective lives are governed by superstition than we think, due to a simple principle derived from behavior science than to consciously held, irrational beliefs.

Research Background
B.F. Skinner (1948) published “ ‘Superstition’ in the Pigeon,” illustrating the power of positive reinforcement with a series of laboratory experiments. In those experiments, he automatically presented food to hungry pigeons periodically (e.g., every one minute) independently of what the pigeons happened to be doing at the time. The pigeons rapidly developed strange, stereotyped behavior such as head bobbing or walking in circles. The analysis was simple: whatever the pigeon was doing at the instant of food delivery increased in probability. This effect defined positive reinforcement, an event that occurs after a behavior and increases the likelihood of that behavior occurring again. When Skinner reinforced whatever behavior happened to be occurring at the moment of food delivery, that behavior increased in frequency. When the next food came, it was more likely that the same behavior would be happening. With the cumulative effect of many reinforcements, the birds “learned” to perform arbitrary, sometimes complex and often humorous patterns of movement. If we believed that pigeons think, we could only conclude that they “thought” their strange behavior actually produced the food. Much like a rain dance or other ritual that some might call “superstitious,” the pigeons repeated behavior that had no relationship to the outcome, but which frequently had occurred just before the outcome.

So why should we care? Beside the fact that Skinner’s experiment was amusing and easily repeated by anyone with a hungry animal and the right conditions, it provided insight into the sometimes unnecessary behavior that we exhibit as individuals or organizations.

Have you personally ever had a “lucky charm,” like the special tie I wore to high school debate competitions? Have you ever developed patterns in your golf game or before sales calls that you recognize as silly, but can’t seem to shake for fear of failure? Have you ever punched the buttons at street crossings or in elevators a certain number of times, or in a certain way, in the half-conscious belief that such behavior might hasten the outcome?

More to the point, have you ever worked in an organization where people continue to do things in inefficient or patently disorganized ways, simply because the company has been successful, and “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”? This last condition can be a great obstacle to performance improvement because the very success that such companies have had has inadvertently reinforced resistance to change that will undermine improvements for the future. I’ve found that some of my most successful corporate clients are sometimes stuck in their ways because their products, their technology, or their market conditions have been so favorable that they overcame terrible processes, business practices, or management systems. Unfortunately, people working in those organizations sometimes think that it was those processes, practices, or systems that led to success!

When it comes to avoiding negative outcomes, superstition can be very powerful. Like the absence of crocodiles in the village attributed to an ancient ritual, we can always claim to have successfully avoided negative outcomes by behaving in particular ways. No one might ever know better. There are many things that individuals and organizations do because they seem to avoid negative outcomes. However, with a systematic data-based approach and careful attention to variables that influence performance, we can often identify and eliminate behavior, stages in processes, or other types of “superstition” and replace them with more effective or efficient ones.

Facing and overcoming such superstition can be one of the great challenges for change management.

Skinner, B.F. (1948). “Superstition” in the pigeon. The Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38, 168-172.

Skinner, B.F., & Morse, W.H. (1957). A second type of “superstition” in the pigeon. The American Journal of Psychology, 70, 308-311.



Dr. Carl Binder is Senior Partner at Binder Riha Associates, a consulting firm that teaches clients to apply the FluencyBuilding™ training and coaching methodology, the Six Boxes™ Performance Management model, and practical performance measurement for evaluation and decision making. His easy-to-remember email address is, and you may read other articles by him at




The International Society for Performance Improvement
(ISPI) has two special honorary awards that recognize individuals for their significant contributions to Human Performance Technology (HPT) and to the Society itself. Those awards are the Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service Award. ISPI is pleased to announce this year’s recipients: William R. Daniels and Christine Marsh. The awards will be bestowed at the 2005 International Performance Improvement Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 10-15.


Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award
This award recognizes outstanding and significant contributions to the knowledge base of HPT. This year’s award goes to William R. Daniels.

William (Bill) R. Daniels has been working since 1973 with organizations in numerous industries to improve managerial performance and organizational productivity. His work has focused on the causal relationship between managerial behavior and organizational results. He is passionate about finding a way to fully use human assets in organizations. An organization that balances its focus on both people and performance (tasks and outputs) obtains a high level of productivity with employees who feel successful and satisfied with their work. Bill also believes that it is extremely important to rely on group work and to listen, listen, listen to each other.

In 1979, he joined Don Tosti and Bob Carleton in the formation of Operants, Inc. Their development of Performance Based Management was a milestone in performance improvement at the organizational level. This program has provided a key foundation for many of the subsequent performance-based approaches to management, leadership, and large-scale organization culture change.

Today, as CEO of American Consulting & Training, Inc., Bill provides the following services: executive and management development, training design and development (including workshops and simulations), and keynote presentations. He also enjoys being a member of ISPI and serving as a past member of the Board of Directors for the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI).



Distinguished Service Award
Congratulations to Christine Marsh, this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, an award that recognizes long-term, outstanding, and significant contributions to the betterment of ISPI.

Christine Marsh is more than just a witty, charming lady. She is an astute professional who skillfully applies and articulates Human Performance Technology (HPT): facilitating tough executive strategic planning sessions, enabling teams to identify complex root causes, and designing solutions that get results. Her global experiences demonstrate her ability to work across cultural boundaries, within all levels of an organization; to move effortlessly between functional teams; and to mediate the development, implementation, and institutionalization of new goals and objectives.

Since 1995, Christine has been a truly active ISPI member: presenting concurrent sessions, “Cracker Barrel” topics, and a 2001 Masters’ Series; publishing articles in Performance Improvement; contributing virtually to committees; planning and hosting conference International Rooms. Over the past three years, Christine’s facilitation skills have been instrumental in helping ISPI Europe develop a strong chapter with successful annual conferences in the Netherlands, Paris, and Lisbon.

Christine has also been an amazing ambassador and teacher globally. She used wallpaper (flipcharts were not available) to share the Principles of HPT with professionals in Siberia, presented at ISPI South Africa’s inaugural conference, and shared her experience and wisdom with IFTDO in Brazil and India.

Anyone who meets Christine soon learns that she continues to be innovative through her elegant, simple, insightful, and effective approach to solving business and organizational challenges. Five minutes in her presence may engage the other party in a discovery exercise, illustrative story, role-play, or team effort to answer pertinent questions. One ISPI colleague reports that Christine is an instructive and nurturing coach to newcomers as well as to experienced performance consultants.

Christine continues to make a valuable contribution to ISPI, ISPI Europe, other professionals, and global corporations. She quietly and effectively gains the respect of everyone with whom she interacts. Christine truly epitomizes distinguished professional service and is a role model for this very special award.



With ISPI’s Annual Conference
just around the corner, we thought it would be of interest to share some links about Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. So whether or not you are able to attend the conference, you can travel to the latest location for performance improvement inspiration. We’ll forgo our regular categories to provide a list of interesting sites. 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.

Performance improvement is everywhere. We discover this is true with an assortment of links about Vancouver, British Columbia, the site of the 2005 Annual Conference on April 10-15. The following are a list of sites about the Vancouver scene that may be of interest to visitors by foot or web. I’ve tried to highlight aspects of interest to PTs. Tread gingerly...

First stop for any visitor to an ISPI conference host city is the local chapter. The ISPI Vancouver Chapter is a very welcoming site for ISPIers, with a host of resources for visitors. Stop by their Conference 2005 Information Centre to get your questions answered, or volunteer as a roving reporter to write about the conference for their website. You can also peruse their newsletter, e-Spectrum, and consider submitting a “guest article.” And special thanks for their link to PerformanceXpress from their home page!

The City of Vancouver Visitor Information highlights arts and culture, tourism and sightseeing, general interest, and much more about the city. As for innovation in performance, options abound, from the play Last Train to Nibroc to British Columbia Fashion Week April 10-15.

Tourism Information for British Columbia has many resources for enjoying the area around Vancouver. Helpful links and articles highlight specific topics—for example, you have the option to improve performance by reading Ian Cruickshank’s Vancouver Island Golf—Land of Undiscovered Gems.

The British Columbia Chamber of Commerce conducted an analysis about Closing the Skills Gap that demonstrates the capacity for sound analysis to inform public policy and economic development.

While You’re in Town, Consider

  • Attending a Vancouver City Council meeting on April 12, and see this unique body in action, “unique in B.C. in that it is governed by a provincial statute called the Vancouver Charter, rather than the Local Government Act.”
  • Celebrating the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi Akhand Path on April 14-17. According to MSN Encarta, Baisakhi “celebrates the founding of the Sikh religion, in the late 15th century, by Guru Nanak, who is said to have begun his missionary travels on this day.”
  • Betting on the latest most popular baby names in British Columbia, the new list to be posted in April. In 2003, the top three names for boys were Ethan, Joshua, and Matthew and for girls were Emma, Emily, and Olivia.

Extreme Vancouver
The oldest building in the area: the old Hastings Mill Store and Post Office (circa 1865). The world’s smallest marine protected area: the Vancouver Aquarium’s Point Atkinson Research Fishing Closure. The world’s largest gingerbread man: “weighed a whopping 168.8 kg (372.13 lb) and was made by chefs at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Vancouver, Canada, on November 19, 2003.”

So, whether you travel by plane, by car, or by web, safe journeys until next month!

When he is not Internet trawling for ISPI, Todd Packer can be found improving business, non-profit, and individual performance through research, training, and innovation coaching as Principal Consultant of Todd Packer and Associates based in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He may be reached at


Can you distinguish sense from nonsense, fact from folklore, science from serendipity? What if you had an entire community to help you? Well, you do! The Vancouver conference offers golden opportunities to explore the breadth of research activities essential to valid and reliable practices, ranging from today’s cutting-edge discoveries to tomorrow’s emerging issues. Whether you are a researcher, practitioner, faculty, or student, novice to veteran, regardless of specialty, research-validated practices are essential. That’s exactly why the Science and Research Community and the Research Committee bring you these research-anyone-can-use sessions:

Third Annual Research Exchange
Wednesday, April 13, 2:00-3:30 pm

This energetic, annual event brings you up-to-date on the vanguard discoveries and rising issues of the research community that supports our practices. Hear about today’s latest and greatest research findings and tomorrow’s principles and practices directly from leading authorities.

Science and Research Community Caucus
Thursday, April 14, 8:15-9:45 am

The Science and Research Community, one of ISPI’s seven Professional Communities, welcomes you to its conference debut. A Professional Community is about sharing, exchange, dialogue, interaction, even butting heads. Typically, we do this virtually. The conference, however, gives us the opportunity for real-time, in-person, face-to-face, participant-centered, community experiences. A panel of distinguished colleagues will lead discussions on pivotal topics such as translating research into practice, recognizing how research informs us, preparing our students through academic curricula, coming to terms with our research taxonomy, and more. Come contribute to the conversation, commune with colleagues, and connect with expert resources.

Snake Oil or Results? How You Can Improve, Validate (or Justify) Your Practices
Thursday, April 14, 1:00-2:30 pm

Challenge assumptions about what works (or not), find out why, and discover how to distinguish snake oil from valid and reliable practices in this interactive atmosphere where research and practice come together at ISPI. These engaging roundtable discussions, which focus on transferring research into practical applications, are brought to you by leading researchers and practitioners.



Holly Burkett, CPT, MA, SPHR, Principal of Evaluation Works, a consulting practice that assists public and private sector clients enhance the business value of their performance improvement initiatives, has been selected as the new editor of Performance Improvement (PI).

Formerly with Apple Computer, she created organizational readiness strategies for results-based performance improvement efforts and led the operation’s first performance measurement impact studies, including a study that earned a select ISPI Research Award Grant. As a certified Return-on-Investment (ROI) professional, she has served as an elected board member of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) ROI Network Advisory Committee and ROI Content Editor for the ASTD ROI Network Newsletter and the monthly “In Practice” ROI Links features.

Publications include co-author of The ROI Fieldbook (in progress); author of the evaluation chapter in HPI Essentials (2002); ROI case studies with ASTD’s In Action series (2002, 2001, 1999); co-author of an ASTD Info-Line, “Managing Evaluation Shortcuts” (2001); and featured profiles as an evaluation practitioner in the Istanbul HR Journal (2004), T & D Journal, and the Japanese HRM and Training Magazine(s) (2000).

A certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), she also serves as adjunct faculty with HRD programs at California State University, Sacramento and the University of California Davis. She earned her master’s degree in Human Resources and Organization Development (HROD) from the University of San Francisco.

Holly’s vision for PI includes:

  • Providing members with best practice information, tools, and resources that will develop and recognize the proficiency of members and advocate the use of human performance technology
  • Providing service-driven communication and publication products that contribute to the field of human performance technology
  • Driving the delivery of ISPI publications and priority work products designed to meet the needs of members and targeted market segments
  • Focusing on the performance and value proposition of ISPI’s publication services and products

More importantly, she wants to maintain the journal’s strengths: “consistently providing well-researched, thought-provoking, and relevant articles with multiple voices and multiple perspectives related to the practice of human performance technology.”

Holly succeeds Doug Leigh, who ends his two-year term as editor this month. If you are interested in contacting Holly, her email address is


The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) and Proofpoint Systems, Inc. recently entered into a co-marketing agreement to promote Proofpoint’s groundbreaking organizational performance analysis software and membership in ISPI. This agreement represents a long-standing relationship between ISPI and Proofpoint whose founder, Dr. Jim Hill, served as ISPI president from 2002 to 2003.

Richard Battaglia, Executive Director of ISPI, explained the merits of Proofpoint’s software and the importance of the relationship to ISPI by saying, “Proofpoint has created a cutting-edge performance analysis system, which can help our members improve the speed, quality, and effectiveness of their work through their implementation of this new tool.”

Proofpoint is a global provider of industry-leading organizational performance analysis systems. Their unique software suite helps customers gain independence from high-priced consultants and increase critical performance measures. With this kind of promotion, Proofpoint expects to achieve even greater visibility in the marketplace. In addition to its current work with various federal government agencies, Proofpoint is entering the high-technology and manufacturing sectors. As noted by Dr. Hill, “This kind of visible support from an industry-leading professional body tells our customers that our products and services are highly reliable, meet rigorous standards, and can help them achieve amazing business results.” Proofpoint will continue to promote membership in ISPI and participation in its programs and services.



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

Annual Conference Sponsors
Understanding your business processes is key to improved business performance. GEM’s Process Power™ solutions include training in process modeling, process assessment, and gap analysis, leading directly to enhanced employee process knowledge. Our GEMWorX FlowModeler® process tool supports your business improvement goals. Visit GEM, or call 215-706-4190.

With at your fingertips, you’re one step ahead! Print and proof finished, bound documents from your desktop, with next morning delivery for orders placed by 10pm ET. Secure digital libraries for quick re-orders. Exceptional quality. Reliable turnaround. Flexible specifications. Try free: or 800.Go.Mimeo.

Positive relationships are a prerequisite to efficient teams. The Strength Deployment Inventory® is a memorable relationship-building tool that integrates seamlessly into performance improvement programs. The SDI® recognizes the motivation behind behavior—revealing why individuals act the way they do. Mention ISPI for a free SDI. or 800-624-SDIS.

Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops
Have YOU registered for The Learning and Performance Strategies Conference "Faster, Cheaper, BETTER" hosted by The Thiagi Group and DSA, June 28-30? Upcoming workshops: Instructional Developer Workshop, March 29-31, Rosemont, IL; Criterion-Referenced Testing Workshop, April 26-27, Oakbrook, IL; and Course Developer Workshop ONLINE anytime. Visit

ISPI Hits Las Vegas. Seeing Double? Nope, ISPI is holding two conferences simultaneously September 19-24. One conference is focused on Instructional Systems and the second on Management of Organizational Performance. For more information, visit

FASTER, CHEAPER, BETTER. Thiagi and his friend Darryl Sink have put together the 2005 Learning and Performance Strategies Conference. When? June 28-30. Where? Monterey, CA. Why? Explore the basic principles of rapid instructional design and performance improvement. Attend performance-based mini workshops. Visit



Job and Career Resources
ISPI Online CareerSite is your source for performance improvement employment. Search listings and manage your resume and job applications online. Be sure to visit the Job Fair at the 2005 Annual Conference in Vancouver.

Magazines, Newsletters, and Journals
The International Journal of Coaching in Organizations (IJCO) is a professional journal, published quarterly to provide reflection and critical analysis of coaching in organizations. The journal offers research and experiential learning from experienced practitioners representing various coaching schools and methodologies.

Performance Improvement journal is ISPI’s premier HPT publication, reporting on the latest applications, trends, and ideas in the field. A subscription to PI is a benefit of membership, and non-members can subscribe for only $69 in the United States ($105 international).

Performance Improvement Quarterly, co-published by ISPI and FSU, 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. Subscribe 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, visit, or simply click here.



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