I would like to begin with an invitation to all of you to join me in celebrating ISPI’s 50th birthday and the CPT’s 10th anniversary. I’m excited that my presidency, 2011-2012 will signal the beginning of a two-year celebration. I remember not too long ago that some people predicted ISPI would not survive and the CPT would disappear into obscurity. Well those doubters were wrong. ISPI is resilient and more organizations are pursuing the CPT for their staff. I credit our staying power and resiliency to previous boards starting with Jeannie Farrington, Matt Peters, and Darlene Van Tiem. They had the backbone to demand discipline and focus. This past year Miki Lane added a new level of discipline by ensuring our committees’ goals were aligned with ISPI’s strategic direction. His conference this April, also represents a return to one of our fundamental principles that distinguishes us from other players in the performance space–being evidence-based. He opened his conference with a full-day of educational sessions dedicated to research-to-practice.

Now it’s my turn and obligation as President to lay the ground work for the next 50 years. To do this I’m experimenting with a new marketing approach. Historically ISPI’s approach can be best captured in the phrase “Come join us! Read our journals, and learn about HPT, at our annual conference!” Well, I’m doing a 180 degree turn around on this approach. Successful HPT consultants, both internal and external, build their practice by applying the principles of HPT to their clients’ context. This involves learning (quickly!) to communicate in the client’s language and to use the client’s frame of reference.  So my new mantra is “May we join you?”  I believe our future depends on our having the courage to venture into new relationships with business and government.

The idea of ISPI building strategic alliances with government and industries as a way to spread the word began when I was the director of certification and started the industry teams.  The emergency management team opened the door for us to provide programming about HPT for the Emergency Management Forum, a monthly on-line education series. This team also led to ISPI co-sponsoring the Fire Marshal’s conference in Loveland Colorado in February. We were responsible for providing speakers for a track on HPT. The team will continue to contribute program content and expertise about HPT to the Emergency Management Forum and we expect to co-sponsor the 2012 Fire Marshal’s conference.

Another example is ISPI’s new certification for professionals in school improvement. The Certified School Improvement Specialist (CSIS) is a proficiency-based designation, similar to the CPT, but for people who facilitate school improvement initiatives. To earn the credential candidates have to give evidence of at least three-years of sustained improvement at the student, teacher, and school system levels. There are approximately 30 people in the pilot group. This certification has paved the way for ISPI to be a player in education. It has opened the door to relationships with state departments of education and commissions on professional standards. I was invited to speak at the Advanced Ed conference for school superintendents in Chicago this past March and earlier this year to the Academy of School Superintendents. ISPI is no longer on the side-lines of the debate about how to improve education and this program will create opportunities for ISPI’s members to be active participants in local school improvement endeavors.  It will also serve as a model for how ISPI and its members might work to improve the nation’s healthcare system.

A third example of how ISPI will reach out is through its new accreditation services. We plan on accrediting internal programs, academic programs, and vendor programs. We are piloting the accreditation of internal programs with JetBlue. We have begun a dialogue with a State Agency about piloting our accreditation of its courses. We met with two fire marshals at the Orlando conference to discuss the possibility of ISPI accrediting their department.

So please join me in starting the celebration of our history and our future. My future articles will explain more abut how ISPI plans on building name recognition and promoting HPT.