By Eileen Banchoff

..and have more than enough credentials and conference badges to prove it, THE Society gives you a real “kick in the seat of the pants” and “whack on the side of the head”!
Even though I relied on Roger von Oech’s books years ago to help clients be more creative, I have not been very creative in planning my own golden years. But the very last thing I was sure I had no use for was more learning from THE Society. In fact, I was not sure I wanted to travel to Reno and sit through one more educational session. Little did I know that THE 2013 professional development gathering would be one of my best experiences ever! I flew home from Nevada with my head actually spinning with all the “kicks” and “whacks” I was taking back to my newfound, albeit poorly planned, retirement.
Let me share just my top three (of seven) retiree conference take-aways:

1. Matt Donovan gave me the very special gift of helping to judge the fifth annual University Case Study Competition this year. I was blessed to meet several eager, talented emerging professionals who were sponges to learn more about performance improvement and how ISPI approached W4 problems and opportunities. It was so exciting to touch and feel the same enthusiasm I once felt as a newcomer to the field.

    • KICK 1: Seeing that my lifetime of education and experience are not mine to keep to myself and let become obsolete, wither, and die with me.
    • WHACK 1: Craft my retirement so that I continue to give back to human performance technology (HPT) professionals on a regular basis as a successful, tenured coach and mentor.
    • ACTION ITEM 1: Attend local chapter meetings and mentor “green peas”; continue to serve as Michigan Academic Liaison and international Chapter Ambassador; and attend the 2014 Chapter Leader’s Workshop.

2. Drs. Moseley and Van Tiem gave me the opportunity to, once again, reflect on the importance of each phase of our HPT process in their 90-minute educational session. In the early to mid-1990s, I spent a huge portion of my waking hours researching and writing a doctoral thesis on the use (or lack thereof) of ISD models, so I was again enervated with Jim and Darlene’s review of the more systemic HPT model ISD is a smaller part of.

    • KICK 2: Seeing that the ISPI HPT model is a very useful tool that needs to be (and is not) front and center in everything we do as THE Society and performance improvement profession.
    • WHACK 2: Volunteer some of my available retirement hours with ISPI to put the HPT model “out there” for more consistent use by novice and experienced practitioners alike.
    • ACTION ITEM 2: Spearhead a small group of volunteers to create a simple electronic performance support version of the HPT model for the Society’s website. Craft critical questions that practitioners need to consider for each phase of the model and program an interactive tool, tutorial, or template to help others learn more about the HPT process.

3. Jon Katov, a guest presenter at the Executive Round Table and the founder and CEO of The Open Table, gave me the gift of his life-changing encounter with a homeless man named Ernie. Jon led a group of volunteers to help Ernie get back on his feet and live independently. Six years later, from this very unplanned beginning, Jon has grown this poverty-transformation model and expanded the Arizona movement to California, Florida, Iowa, New York, and Texas.

    • KICK 3: Seeing that performance improvement can be used at the mega level to help eliminate poverty and unemployment, one “Ernie” at a time.
    • WHACK 3: Research The Open Table model and begin due diligence to “open a table” in southeastern Michigan.
    • ACTION ITEM 3: Meet with local, urban professionals and church leaders involved in justice and peace efforts to convene a Table and pilot test the process, model, and short-term results.

About the Author
Eileen Banchoff, CPT, PhD, has dedicated 45+ years to the fields of education and training, working in the K-12 arena, higher education, and in the southeast Michigan business community. Eileen has been serving ISPI locally and nationally since 1989, co-authored a chapter in volume 3 of ISPI’s Improving Performance in the Workplace Handbook (2010, Pfeiffer), and, most recently, was recognized by ISPI with the Distinguished Volunteer Award in 2012 at the Toronto Conference.