A UNIQUE conference experience, not to be missed!

USAID  ispi-squareChemonics   

Many conferences offer participants the opportunity to hear new ideas and meet interesting people. Some even allow you to gain many of the benefits of attending without leaving your office! ISPI EMEA conferences are different in important ways that are highly valuable to those who participate. You can find out for yourself by reading the Feedback Report from our 2012 conference or watching the video. If you do not feel like reading a Feedback Report at the moment or have no time to watch a video, let us just say that at an ISPI EMEA Conference there is value in being there.

Consider how you would benefit from…
Relationship building–You do not just exchange business cards with interesting people at an ISPI EMEA conference. You get to know them by working with them on a simulation team, interacting with them during a Lunch and Learn session, or talking over dinner at a traditional Georgian restaurant.

Active involvement–Our conference participants actively participate. Each has an opportunity to share his or her unique perspective by offering questions during Concurrent Sessions or to our panel of senior executives, in addition to contributing on a simulation team.

In a nutshell, you too can benefit from this uniquely valuable learning, sharing event. Furthermore, only you can contribute your unique perspective to the topic that is the theme for the 11th ISPI EMEA conference:

Improving Performance in Emerging Markets


Tbilisi, Georgia (September 26-28, 2013)

It is not only large multinational corporations that look for opportunity beyond their local “marketplace.” Even small businesses cross borders these days, and all organizations have “customers”! Otherwise, why and how would they continue to exist? So, are there challenges to be faced in getting or remaining successful with the customers you serve in your own local operating environment? Of course there are, and that’s true of non-profits, government agencies, and departments or divisions of large companies and for-profit businesses of all sizes, in all sectors, and operating in all markets.

If we can agree that all organizations have customers and all face challenges, how about emerging markets where infrastructure, resource availability, or rules and regulations, among other factors, may present significant and unique challenges? First, we believe in looking for opportunity, rather than being halted by challenges. And, we believe that no organization can afford to merely maintain the status quo, to just relax, hope for the best, and operate as is.

We also suggest that it is a given that the external marketplace, your operating environment, is continuously changing no matter who you are. Therefore, all organizations must maintain an ongoing focus, both on the external marketplace and on identifying internal performance challenges (opportunities) to be systematically transformed into valuable improvements. Again, that is true whether the organization is large or small, successful or struggling, profit making or not for profit, operating in a mature market or one that is emerging. The impact of the external operating environment is the reality facing all organizations. Within that external operating environment, the local marketplace, regional and global economy, and, ultimately, society at large all play a role.

Outside-in, focus on “customers”
The Tbilisi conference, like all ISPI EMEA conferences, provides a very real and practical outside-in customer focus. Features–such as the simulation, which is based on a real case with direct client involvement and which runs throughout the conferences–form a “safe,” fun opportunity to apply skills and knowledge and to get to know fellow conference participants by working together on a truly customer-focused effort. Another unique and customer- or client-focused feature, our senior executive panel, provides a rare window into the thoughts of senior executives, i.e., people who lead organizations, leaders who are our customers or clients. Therefore, as with past conferences, this one promises to attract high-quality professionals for an innovative and highly participative event. You will not want to miss actually being there for the 2013 ISPI EMEA, Tbilisi conference.

More Features
There will also be great presenters with varied backgrounds, from a range of countries, offering sessions covering valuable performance improvement topics; short presentations on performance improvement topics delivered in a casual roundtable format; and a special evening event when we will tour the ancient and lovely city of Tbilisi, after which we will enjoy dinner together.

Greater than the sum of its parts
A conference should be more than its programs and presenters. In fact, our conference participants have always been every bit as much a part of the total learning experience as our compelling presenters. Therefore, we invite forward-thinking professionals with a global perspective on performance to join us in Tbilisi. We invite you to contribute your unique ideas, experiences, and point of view as an active, involved conference participant.

Simulation Case Study–National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement, Georgia
An original simulation, based on a real organization within its marketplace or operating reality, which forms the centerpiece for each conference, is an ISPI EMEA tradition. And, it is a tradition that adds a great deal to the value of these learning and sharing events. As part of last month’s Tbilisi conference update for PerformanceXpress, we included a very brief introduction of our 2013 simulation client organization, the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement (NCEQE). Following, we would like to share a bit more about the situation being faced by this client, which will afford conference participants the rare and valuable opportunity to work with a real client with very real challenges (opportunities), but which has never before contracted for performance improvement consulting support. Where else will you be able to gain such valuable real-world experience that is also “safe,” secure, and fun! This is an experience not to be missed!

To give you a taste for the simulation experience, following is the Introduction to the case study and client overview that will be provided to simulation teams in advance of the briefing session with NCEQE executives.


ISPI EMEA 2013 Simulation Case Study

The simulation is designed to give conference participants the opportunity to respond to a request for consulting support from the NCEQE (National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement) in Georgia.  The request for proposals (RFP) has been initiated and communicated by the center’s director, who is a highly educated, sophisticated, and instinctively performance-focused executive. The director is fully committed to the very constructive, quality-focused, and continuous improvement–oriented mission and goals articulated when the former National Center for Educational Accreditation became the NCEQE on September 1, 2010.  However, the director also recognizes that legislation to rename the center and dramatically revise its stated mission and goals is not sufficient to drive the transformation required of the center as it serves and supports the success of the Georgian education system. Though it is certainly not a direct impact and measurable responsibility area, the NCEQE does contribute to the development of a skilled, knowledgeable citizenry and workforce, which, in turn, supports economic development through the performance of Georgian organizations.  Moreover, it is important to recognize that the center must continue to operate, while simultaneously undergoing the changes required to support its new mission and goals.

A brief summary of the director’s request for consulting assistance is as follows:

Our overall objective is to facilitate the transformation of NCEQE from a compliance-focused organization to one providing high-value consulting services to educational institution clients in their pursuit of performance excellence and continuous improvement. As part of the center’s customer-focus objective, we would like to significantly improve our results regarding the response rate, resolution quality, response time, and customer-satisfaction feedback for incoming calls to NCEQE from all customers, including Georgian citizens and permanent residents, students, faculty, and educational institutions.

In response to the RFP, consulting teams will be asked to:

  1. Present their approach to identifying performance improvement opportunities at NCEQE
  2. Describe how and why their recommended approach will result in a clear, comprehensive, effective, and results-focused set of improvement opportunities, including findings and recommendations

Whether you join a team or decide to observe, you will surely benefit from the 2013 Tbilisi Conference simulation! Plan to join us!

Explore Tbilisi, the 1,500-Year-Old Capital of Georgia!
Tbilisi has been the capital of Georgia for 1,500 years and has been a true urban center for far longer. There are layers upon layers of history and the blending of myriad cultures, some now long gone. Long a central and vital trade city, Tbilisi has two faces, East and West, and is a remarkable mixture of the two.

The name for the city derives from the word “tbili” (warm). With its warm climate, stone houses built around vine-draped courtyards, and winding streets, the city has a lively, Mediterranean atmosphere.

The old city, spreading out from the right bank of the river, has numerous frescoed churches (the most noteworthy being the sixth-century Sioni Cathedral), 19th-century houses with arcaded open galleries on the upper floors, a castle, and a surprising number of cafes and enticing tourist shops selling locally produced arts and crafts.

Recommended Sites for Visits

  • The Narikala Fortress built in the fourth century AD.
  • Health-giving sulphur baths in a domed, Oriental-style, 19th-century bathhouse.
  • The open-air Museum of Ethnography, which is close to Turtle Lake, has interesting models of rural buildings and artifacts.
  • The Georgian State Museum exhibits a collection of icons, frescoes, and porcelain, as well as an outstanding display of jewelry discovered in pre-Christian Georgian tombs.
  • The Georgian Museum of Arts exhibits the works of the contemporary artists.

The main shopping streets are Rustaveli, Chavchavadze, and Gamsakhurdia (former Pekin) Ave., and the Shardeni area. High-quality art shops, galleries, and exhibition halls can be found in the Vake and Vera districts, along Rustaveli Avenue as well as in streets of the Old Town around Sioni church (Shardeni area). It is worth visiting the Art Open Air Gallery, which is close to Baratashvili Bridge.

Following are some images from the 1500-year old city of Tbilisi:




The Board and Conference Committee of ISPI EMEA together with our host and partners, Chemonics and USAID, look forward to meeting and working with you in Tbilisi, Georgia!

Book your place now for September 26-28, 2013!

For more information on the conference content, please visit

http://ispi-europe.blogspot.com      www.ispi.org       www.ispiemea2013.com