By Klaus Wittkuhn, CPT
The new Board had its first meeting just after the conference in San Antonio, April 30 to May 1. To continue the strategy development process that began in November 2014, we took two days to consolidate all the input and feedback we collected during the conference. Overall it was a highly reassuring experience to connect with so many members and to see how deeply they care about the future of our Society. So many people approached us and offered their support. And we found an overwhelming number of members agreeing on the three pillars that we suggested as the base for our strategy:
Pillar 1 shows the scope of what ISPI has to offer. We are professionals who bring a valuable approach to the table when it comes to improving human performance, and we are professionals who have developed a scalable methodology that enables us to add value to organizational performance and beyond.
We are serious when we talk about societal impact, and we are serious when we think about the ethical implications of such an approach. So far, the Society has not showcased these aspects of our profession systematically, and we will do this in the future. We will be looking at changes to the conference structure and finding new ways to develop, collect, and share knowledge. We will explore designing paths for personal and professional development that offer an ever-growing scope of challenges for those who chose to take this path. Task forces are on their way, and we should see first results before the year is over.
Pillar 2 structures ISPI’s value proposition. It is a response to an ever faster changing world. During the next several years, we will see many more changes than we can currently imagine. Technology, globalization, demographics, just to name a few, will bring about dramatic differences in how we do business, structure our organizations, organize work, and learn. While it is not necessary for each individual to be at the forefront of all these developments, ISPI should be the platform that equips its members with the necessary knowledge, tools, and networks to evolve along with these upcoming challenges. If we want to have a seat at the table in the future we must quickly and continuously innovate. Some new developments will call for new answers. We will address this with a task force as well.
Pillar 3 explicitly gives ISPI a global reach. We have “international” in our name yet still have not systematically explored the opportunities this offers. From now on we will systematically expand and go global. We will build on existing approaches such as ISPI’s highly successful EMEA conferences, and the strong relationships that have been established with China, Korea, South Africa, Rwanda, and other countries. First talks have already taken place.
All this adds up to a considerable amount of work that we cannot expect our limited staff to do alone. Therefore, the Board has decided to be more of an operational body during this transition period. Later, we will revert to a more governance-oriented Board once again. Let me thank the Board members for this huge commitment.
We are working on many changes and cannot do it alone. The Board and staff will reach out to the people who have offered their help. It might take some time and additional work until we are ready to do so, but we are determined to find meaningful ways to involve as many members as possible in the carving of ISPI’s future. We will work hard and do whatever is possible with the limited resources we have. Forgive us in advance if we fail to value appropriately all the offers we received. It is not intentional, it is overload.
We will embark on a journey toward an open horizon. Nobody knows how this will work out. The Board and our dedicated staff will pursue it systematically and with determination. And we are all convinced that with the support of our membership we will succeed.
About the Author
Klaus D. Wittkuhn, CPT, Dipl. Paed., serves as managing partner of three consultancies that are based in Germany and the United States. He has more than 20 years of experience in managing multinational projects to develop customer specific solutions. His areas of expertise include organization assessments, strategy development, organization (re)design, process (re)design, management systems, and leadership development–always with a focus on performance. Prior to working in his own companies, he served in senior management of Germany’s biggest financial consultancy with more than 800 employees, and had a first career as an officer in the German Air Force. Klaus has published more than 15 articles on performance improvement in the Handbook of Human Performance Improvement, Performance Improvement journal, Performance Improvement Quarterly, and German magazines, and he co-authored the German book Improving Performance. In addition, he teaches performance improvement at a university in Switzerland and has been training and coaching consultants in performance improvement in more than 15 countries.