The International Society for Performance improvement  is pleased to announce that Performance Improvement Journal (PIJ) now has a new editor: Joan Dessinger, CPT, EdD. Joan has been a long-time member of ISPI and a consisten contributor to the Society and the profession. She has been a frequent presenter at ISPI conferences and coauthored a number of book. Most recently, she co-edited the Handbook of Improving Performance in the Workplace, Volume Three: Measurement and Evaluation for ISPI/Wiley, and she edits dissertations for doctoral candidates in the HPT field. ISPI is happy to welcome her as the new editor of PIJ.

Congratulations on being named ISPI’s new editor of Performance Improvement journal.

Can you briefly describe what you do as the journal’s editor?

I’m responsible for acquiring, reviewing, and selecting manuscripts and contributions for the content of the journal. I work with authors to develop articles that other practitioners and readers find useful for their jobs.

How would you characterize the journal’s mission?

Help readers translate research and theory into practice that is consistent with ISPI’s mission, vision, and standards–help readers become the best possible practitioners.

What makes the journal different from other journals in the field?

PI is not an academic journal and not a magazine–it has the potential to be a creative collaboration among and for performance improvement professionals who want to make a difference and have the experience and ability to communicate new ideas and practices.

How does the journal help bridge theory and practice?

The ideal PIauthor doesn’t just say, “Here is an idea you might find helpful”; he or she explains where the idea came from (research and theory) and who else has applied the idea (best practice and case studies) and how the readers can make it work for their organization (tools and techniques).

What direction would you like to see Performance Improvement journal take over the next few years?

Add more practical tools and techniques; encourage special columns or commentaries from and for special interest groups like consultants; reach out to authors from other fields who can provide a broader perspective on performance improvement.

Who is the audience for the journal? What do you see as the journal’s main purpose?

The audience is global–a mix of HPT and other professionals who are interested in improving the performance of their world, work, workers, and workplace. The purpose of the journal is to provide feasible and sustainable ideas and processes to make it happen.

Every journal has its own viewpoints and personality. If Performance Improvement journal were an ice cream flavor, what would it be and why?

Borrowing from the vernacular of Ben and Jerry–the journal would never be “Half Baked” but should be “Everything but the…” and always be “On a Mission to Marzipan” with “Berried Treasure” in every issue and lots of ideas for avoiding “Cluster Fluff.” It should leave the reader with a “Banana Buzz” and asking for “Smores.”

What are your biggest challenges and rewards as the journal editor?

The challenge and reward will probably be one and the same–filling each issue with top-quality articles and commentaries from top-quality HPT practitioners that inspire HPT practitioners to DO performance improvement in a top-quality way.

What do you want to accomplish during your term as editor?

I’d like to see PIinspire and enable the successful practice of HPT. I want readers to look forward to each issue and find something thought provoking and useful in each issue.

What advice do you have for new practitioners entering the field?

I always tell my student to dream dreams and see visions, but always be able to explain why and how your dreams and visions will work.

What can a submitting author do to increase the chances of his or her manuscript being accepted?

Have something to say that will help practitioners apply research and theory, say it clearly and well, and provide tools and techniques that will help the reader improve performance.

What is the most surprising thing you have learned about human performance technology and performance improvement since entering the field?

Everything old is new again–and everything new was once old. The words may change but the concepts are basic–it’s up to us to mix things up and find new perspectives.

What trends and changes have you seen in the field?

“Use technology” and “do it now” (which are not inherently bad trends), but we should not skip the part where we reflect on why and how.

Any guesses on where the future of the field is heading?

Aside from more technology? I would hope that the field is going to continue expanding and evolving as a good way to do business.

What is “hot” in performance improvement these days?

I wish I could say evaluation! But there are some new buzzwords that could support doing evaluation–like feasibility and sustainability and predictability and viewing HPT as a business. The problem with being “hot” is the inevitable cool-off period.

Any parting words for our readers?

Participate in PI–write articles and commentaries, suggest topics, anticipate reading each issue, and apply what you read! It’s your voice.

About Joan Dessinger, CPT, EdD
Joan C. Dessinger, CPT, EdD, is a performance consultant, instructor, writer, and editor. For over 30 years she has consulted with public and private education, business and industry, health, and service organizations to analyze performance problems or new systems and design, develop, and evaluate performance improvement interventions. She has also taught graduate courses in instructional design, instructional systems planning and management, needs analysis, program evaluation, and adult learning in the Instructional Technology department, at Wayne State University, Detroit.

As a writer, she has coauthored five books: Training Older Workers and Learners (OWLS), (2007, Pfeiffer); Confirmative Evaluation (2004, Pfeiffer); Fundamentals of Performance Technology (2000 & 2004, ISPI), and Performance Improvement Interventions (2001, ISPI) and has written chapters, articles, and papers for professional journals and proceedings. Joan is currently working on the third edition of Fundamentals of Performance Technology. In addition to writing several chapters in the book, she will edit all the chapters.

As an editor, Joan has edited monthly publications for professional organizations, including ISPI’s Michigan Chapter, and has worked as a developmental editor for Wiley publications. Most recently, she co-edited the Handbook of Improving Performance in the Workplace, Volume Three: Measurement and Evaluation for ISPI/Wiley, and she edits dissertations for doctoral candidates in the HPT field.

Joan received her BA in journalism and an MEd in reading education from Marygrove College and her EdD in instructional technology from Wayne State University. She is a four-time recipient of ISPI’s Outstanding Human Performance Communication Award (2001, 2003, 2007, 2009). Joan is a member of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) and the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). She is frequently invited to present at state, national, and international conferences as well as local professional meetings. She may be reached at