With the completion and wrap-up of THE Performance Improvement Conference this year in Reno, NV, all of us at ISPI publications hope everyone enjoyed the journal we slipped into your bag. The April issue of the Performance Improvement journal has been guest edited by Holly Burkett, CPT, PhD, on the topic of sustainability. Holly’s intent in the issue is to explore the concept of sustainable performance, its relationship with corporate sustainability principles, and its impact on the theory and practice of human performance technology (HPT). Jack Phillips, Immediate Past President of ISPI, elaborates on the process, model, or theory of organization and criticality if the company is going to drive value. Darlene Van Tiem and James Moseley (co-editors of the journal) set the stage with their mind-set of valuing sustainability, and Holly Burkett elaborates on this theme with her new agenda for adding value. These great openings pave the way for articles by Brett Watson, Jack and Patty Phillips, Thomas M. Van Soelen, Anthony W. Marker, and Mark Boccia. Read these great introductions, commentaries, and articles in print or online (available to all ISPI members). Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts about this issue of the journal in the space provided below.
Criteria for Sustainability
By Jack Phillips, Immediate Past President of ISPI
Sustainability of any process, model, or theory in an organization is critical if it is going to drive value. Sustainability translates to endurance, and endurance is relevant to the performance improvement profession, and particularly to the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), on two dimensions. First, ISPI’s fortitude in driving the message that human performance technology (HPT) is the linchpin to long-term organization success has yet to waver during its 50 years as a professional society. It has endured economic, societal, and even environmental change over these years. With the proper focus and attention, it can endure another 50 years. Second, ISPI encompasses many performance initiatives, models, theories, and tools. It is our responsibility to ensure that these initiatives sustain the ebb and flow of organization change and that they too can survive economic, societal, and environmental change. To do so, each model must meet five criteria.
A Mind-Set Valuing Sustainability
By Darlene M. Van Tiem, CPT, PhD, and James L. Moseley, CPT, EdD
Sustainability. Management fact or management fad? Sustainability is the extent to which an organization’s programs or legacy is successfully institutionalized. It is a strategy that secures the future of our fast-changing, globally charged, and culturally diverse workforces. Sustainability, along with its complementary terms sustainable growth and sustainable excellence, should be added to the lexicon of performance improvement terminology. Jeff McElyea, principal of Lucid Business Strategies in Shelby Township, Michigan, has this to say: “In my humble opinion, sustainability is the single biggest advancement in thinking in the performance improvement field that I have seen. Our job is not to design, develop, and implement correct interventions. . . . It is to create lasting organizational improvement. Learning how to build sustainable change is at least as important as the process of what to change!” Holly Burkett, our guest editor for this issue, has secured a fine thought-provoking selection of articles on the topic of sustainability. Each article cements the notion that sustainability is here to stay, and it will revolutionize the way we think, do, and engage partnerships.
Sustainable Performance: The New Agenda for Adding Value
Guest Editor, Holly Burkett, CPT, PhD
The Development of Practical Wisdom: Its Critical Role in Sustainable Performance
By Anthony W. Marker
We occasionally make complex decisions. Sometimes we later judge that we acted unwisely. Sometimes we judge that we acted with wisdom. Organizational leaders have similar experiences. When they decide unwisely, their organizations suffer, and so can society. Are there ways to learn how to act with greater wisdom? Neuroscientists tentatively say “yes.” Here we will explore what wisdom is, what relevant brain science offers, and what you–as a human performance technology practitioner–might do to help yourself and others gain wisdom.
Building a Sustainable Culture of Feedback
By Thomas M. Van Soelen
Explicit and intentional collaboration have served as highly reliable and replicable processes in the development of a rigorous and unique teacher evaluation system. The leaders have deprivatized their practices, focusing on upgrading the performance improvement feedback they offered to classroom teachers. The story of this school district contains lessons for any organization willing to establish learning goals and remove hierarchies to build meaningful and multilayered sustainability.
The Expanding Role of Industrial Human Performance Technology in Corporate Sustainability
By Brett Watson
Many companies are embracing business goals that support corporate sustainability. As they do, technology, industrial processes, and regulatory requirements will become even more sophisticated. Current human performance technology research and application are heavily biased toward economic business outcomes such as sales, profit, and inventory. Human performance technology research and application must expand beyond purely business metrics and become intrusively involved in technical, industrial work processes. Industrial human performance technology specialists will be needed to analyze the human performance interface between people, technology, and equipment.
Measuring the Return on Investment on Green Projects and Sustainability Efforts
By Jack Phillips and Patti Phillips
This article explains how following a step-by-step process and finding the return on investment of green projects and sustainability initiatives will prove to executives, government officials, community leaders, and others involved with the environmental movement that the ultimate payoff is positively substantial. By explaining to readers how to implement the ROI Methodology into these projects and initiatives, this article details how to prove the benefits of green efforts, which include climate control, deforestation, food and hunger, and many other issues we face.
Social Business by Design: Transformative Social Media Strategies for the Connected Company
By Mark Boccia
Social business–is it a passing fad or a movement that is fundamentally changing the way work is being done? This introductory book provides practitioners with the foundational knowledge of social business practices, terminology, and relevant examples across multiple industries and organizations. Whether you are a C-level executive or a performance improvement practitioner, this book provides easy-to-remember success stories as well as cautionary tales. The authors’ 10 tenets of social business practices along with a number of illustrations and checklists clearly lay the foundation for practitioners interested in exploring social business. Social Business by Design: Transformative Social Media Strategies for the Connected Company (2012; ISBN: 978–1–118–27321–0) is published by Jossey-Bass.