With our focus on performance technology, the International Society for Performance Improvement is in a position to be a powerful force for helping organizations successfully adapt to the ever-changing business environment. Join us at THE Performance Improvement Conference, April 18-23, 2012, in Toronto, ON, Canada, and learn from our many expert presenters sharing their thoughts on adapting to the current external environmental forces and applying and implementing innovations. Come find answers to some of the most significant problems many organizations are facing, share best practices, and network with the smartest minds in the industry from around the globe. ISPI has lined up three amazing keynote presentations for to celebrate 50 years of performance improvement. Get ready for three powerful keynote presentations with Dick Clark, Mitchell Kusy & Elizabeth Holloway, and Eric Landen.

Saturday, April 21
Back to our Future: Evidence-Based Practice for ISPI

Dick Clark, PhD, Director, Center for Cognitive Technology, University of Southern California

Professions such as engineering, health care, psychotherapy, and psychiatry have recently adopted an “evidence-based practice” (EBP) approach to ground their work with clients. Pressures from U.S. and Canadian government, as well as public and private insurance companies have forced the move in some professions because of concerns with quackery and expensive practices that lack systematic evidence of usefulness or, in some cases, evidence that they simply do not work. The professional associations who represent and support professionals in these fields have taken the lead in defining and advancing their member’s application of EBP. Overall, the reaction from clients, regulatory bodies, and their members has been very positive once the approach is implemented and functioning. Is this a movement that ISPI should consider to distinguish itself from competing associations? Is it possible ISPI was one of the earliest advocates for EBP over a half-century ago and has since drifted away from its origins? Should we consider going back to our past to invent our future by making a promise to support only evidence-based practice in our performance products and services? Dick will draw on stories and data collected in other professions in an attempt to answer some of these questions about the use of evidence in performance improvement. Based on others experience, he will examine some of the benefits and cautions for ISPI as we continue our dialogue about adopting EBP.

Dick Clark, Director of the Center for Cognitive Technology at the University of Southern California, is interested in the development of evidence-based practice for teaching complex knowledge to adults in school and at work. He specializes in reviews of research and best practice on strategies for human performance improvement including organizational gap analysis, the development of advanced expertise using cognitive task analysis, performance motivation, and on current applications of instructional technology for instruction. His book Turning Research Into Results: A Guide to Selecting the Right Performance Solutions (2002, CEP Press) received the 2003 ISPI Award of Excellence, and in 2002, Dick received ISPI’s Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award.

Sunday, April 22
Toxic Workplace!: Managing Toxic Personalities and Their Systems of Power

Mitchell Kusy, PhD, Professor, Antioch University
Elizabeth Holloway, PhD, Professor, Antioch University

“The day this person left our company is considered an annual holiday!” This quote, taken from Mitch and Elizabeth’s national research study on toxic behaviors, echoes the frustration and confusion that come from working with or managing an extremely difficult person. Just one toxic person has the capacity to debilitate individuals, teams, and even organizations. Based on their all-new research with over 400 leaders, Mitch and Elizabeth will illustrate how to manage existing toxic behaviors, create norms that prevent the growth or re-growth of toxic environments, and ultimately design organizational communities of respectful engagement–through a three-point systems approach. Their research reveals the warning signs that indicate a serious behavioral problem and identifies how this toxicity spreads in systems with long-term effects on organizational climate, even after the person has left. During this keynote address, they will introduce their new model of civility and its impact on performance and the bottom line.

Mitchell Kusy, a Fulbright Scholar in International Organization Development and professor at Antioch University, PhD Program in Leadership & Change, was head of leadership development for American Express and director of organization development at HealthPartners. Author of several business books, he consults in strategic planning, organization development, and the design of organizational communities of respectful engagement. He received the Minnesota Organization Development Practitioner of the Year Award in 1998. Mitch is a principal in his own international consulting firm; he resides in San Francisco.

Elizabeth Holloway, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and Diplomat in Professional Psychology, is a professor at Antioch University, PhD Program in Leadership & Change. She was a Leadership Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and consults with leaders worldwide on systems approaches to supervision, mentoring, coaching, toxicity, and building organizational communities of respectful engagement. Elizabeth has published extensively in research and training of supervision in professional practice. She is a principal in her own consulting firm and works nationally and internationally. Elizabeth resides in Austin, Texas.

Monday, April 23
The Business of Nature-Appreciating Nature’s Value

Eric Landen, President & CEO, Landen Consulting

The more we learn about nature, the more we see everything is interconnected. Flora and fauna, land, sea, and air–all form a web of natural systems that operate most efficiently when kept in balance. Ecosystem Services provides the connection between the systems of nature and business performance, a connection that may surprise you. Learn how companies are beginning to use market-based solutions to address environmental problems and how they are doing well by doing good.

Since the inception of Earth Day in 1970, recycling and conservation of our natural resources have become part of our everyday lives. While this is a good start, Eric Landen is among a growing group of environmentalists ready to take the next step. Eric and his company, Landen Consulting, are helping business and industry learn how good environmental stewardship makes good business sense. He created one of this country’s first “green” businesses in 1992, an organic cotton and hemp clothing company. In 1994, he coordinated an early 6-week Sustainable Building Conference for the Six Directions Foundation that researched cutting-edge sustainable building techniques, many of which were eventually adopted by the USGBC’s LEED program. In 1995, Eric researched sustainable harvesting methods, at the intersection of marine ecology and sustainable business, for a Sea Vegetable harvesting operation. More recently, he was trained by the World Resource Institute, a global environmental think tank. Eric is a member of the Committee for National Sustainable Agriculture Standards and chairs its Economic Subcommittee project. He is also a member of the Ecological Society of America as well as part of the advisory group for the Global Reporting Initiative, which is working to create the next generation of corporate sustainability metrics. Eric is frequently speak at sustainability events, including Senator Rockefeller’s Sustainability Summit, and the Biofuels Law & Regulation Conference.