ISPI’s Outstanding Human Performance Communication award recognizes an outstanding article, book, curriculum, course, or workshop that enables individuals or organizations to achieve excellence in human performance technology. In this category, five communications were selected for the prestigious award. The winners will be honored at THE Performance Improvement Conference, Monday, April 14, 2014, in Indianapolis, IN.

Exemplary Performance: Driving Business Results by Benchmarking Your Stars
Paul Elliott, PhD, and Al Folsom, PhD

Do you want to capture greater results with your existing resources to the tune of 5%, 15%, or even 25%? This book provides you with the required models to shift the performance curve for your own team, department, division, or enterprise. It demonstrates that you do not have to accept the significant difference that exists between the results that your good and your best performers produce. You will begin to capture the insights of exemplary performers and identify ways of using their expertise to drive greater results. Why? Because for over 25 years, these authors have helped organizations reach their goals by doing just that: replicating the performance of stars and shifting the performance curve to the right, producing greater results with current resources! In this book, Paul Elliott and Al Folsom outline what it takes to prioritize performance efforts to identify the true stars and create models of optimal performance for critical roles within an organization. Exemplary Performance also shows how to create the changes required to shift the performance curve. The authors include the common characteristics that star performers share and describe the role of leadership that enables high performance. The book stresses the need to align the multiple influences that can support or inhibit high performance. Step by step the book explores how to address such critical issues as training, readiness, and performance support, as well as proven methods for hiring and assigning the right people to the right job.

Performance-based Certification: How to Design a Valid, Defensible, Cost-Effective Program, 2nd edition
Judith A. Hale, CPT, PhD

Performance-based Certification: How to Design a Valid, Defensible, Cost-Effective Program, 2nd edition, is the foremost textbook for professionals planning to create a certification program or manage an existing one. “This book makes sense; it encourages the reader to think about designing certification around real competences that are necessary for success and achieving the wanted results” (Kevin Wilson, PIJ, Vol. 52, Number 8, September, 2013, p. 43). The book shows readers how to make certification work, in plain, simple steps. The book is filled with job aids, guidelines, checklists, and real-world examples. The book has 10 chapters that parallel the performance improvement process, beginning with determining the need and ending with evaluating the results. The chapter on going global reflects ISPI being the largest association dedicated to performance improvement in the world. Every chapter gives readers the guidance they need to address specific issues in the use of certifications to both define the expected performance and measure the actual performance. Anyone involved in some aspect of certification with the intent to improve performance needs this book as an essential reference. Hale’s consistent and thoughtful way of linking data-gathering, measurement, assessment, and evaluation provides us with valuable tools for success. This is a “must read” book for any performance professional.

The School Improvement Specialist Field Guide
Deb Page, CPT, and Judith A. Hale, CPT, PhD

The School Improvement Specialist Field Guide is the premier textbook for professionals engaged in facilitating systemic and sustainable change in schools. The first of its kind, this book supports the thousands of professionals who are working to turn around struggling schools and move good schools to meet 21st-century needs. The book emphasizes the how of facilitation of performance improvement rather than the what. It describes how to apply practices that those working in schools must gain proficiency in to improve schools. Page and Hale, while researching the practices of successful performance improvement facilitators, found these individuals had independently evolved implicit processes for guiding others through adoption of improved practice. Practically no one reported having training or an explicit process for guiding adoption of practices or implementation and sustainability of solutions. The research codified the implicit practices of effective school performance improvement facilitators, which Page and Hale used to develop national performance standards for school improvement practitioners and an evidence-based certification. Those who have read the book comment on its unique voice, “It’s like having a trusted coach whispering in my ear as I guide schools,” and its practicality and usefulness, “I wish I had this book years ago. The first day I read it I could immediately put it to work in my school.” The book is filled with job aids, guidelines, checklists, and real-world examples. The book has 10 chapters that parallel the Certified School Improvement Specialist performance standards.

Photo Jolts! Image-based Activities that Increase Clarity, Creativity, and Conversation
Glenn Hughes & Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan; Brian Remer, Contributor; Nancy Duarte, Foreword

Photo Jolts! shows human performance technology (HPT) practitioners how to improve the performance of individuals, teams, and organizations through photo facilitation. In the first book to address this growing field, Thiagi and Hughes describe what photo facilitation is, explain why it is effective, and then show how to use photos to generate breakthrough results.

Written for consultants, trainers, teachers, coaches, managers, and HR professionals, this comprehensive reference provides tested recipes that drive results in dozens of areas, including problem solving, idea generation, conflict resolution, team building, communications, and design. The book illustrates in practical terms how to select, plan, modify, implement, and evaluate performance interventions utilizing photo facilitation. Each of the 51 ready-to-facilitate activities includes recommended topics, a step-by-step script, multiple variations, a sample event, debrief questions, and advice for running each activity in a virtual setting.

Renowned leaders and practitioners–including Jim Kouzes (co-author of The Leadership Challenge), Nancy Duarte (CEO of Duarte Design and author of slide:ology), Robert H. Thompson (executive coach and author of The Offsite), Edward Muzio (CEO of Group Harmonics and author of Make Work Great), and Brent Bloom (vice president of Learning & Development and Organizational Effectiveness at Applied Materials)–have endorsed Photo Jolts! for its ease-of-use and effectiveness.

Filled with worksheets, case studies, video links, and more than 125 images, Photo Jolts! ensures that any practitioner–from novice to expert–will be able to lead a successful intervention. The videos, downloadable worksheets, and additional supplements are also available at

Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology, 3rd edition
Robert A. Reiser, PhD, and John V. Dempsey, PhD

The third edition of Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology is designed to enable readers to describe the nature of the instructional design and performance improvement fields, discuss the history and current status of those fields, and describe the key trends and issues that have affected the field and are likely to affect it in the future.

The third edition, which contains 18 new chapters, provides future instructional designers and performance improvement specialists with a basic understanding of many of the key performance improvement principles and practices (e.g., careful analysis of learning and performance problems; use of a systematic analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation processes).

The use of a variety of performance improvement practices is the focus of many chapters in the book. These include chapters written by several of the leading figures in the performance improvement field, including Jack Phillips, Harold Stolovitch, Marc Rosenberg, and Allison Rossett. These chapters address such topics as the development and evolution of the performance improvement field, measuring return on investment, and the use of a variety of non-instructional solutions to performance problems (e.g., performance support, knowledge management, and informal learning).

In addition, the book includes chapters that focus directly on several of the ISPI guiding principles. For example, an entire section (three chapters) focuses on global trends in the field; another chapter focuses on diversity issues; and two others focus on networking and the importance of involvement in professional associations such as ISPI.