Excellence, ISPI, and You by Cindy Miller

June 10, 2015 2:34 PM | Anonymous

Reflections on the ISPI Conference 

I challenged myself to come up with a one word summary of the 2015 ISPI national conference. But how to choose just one word to represent four days of workshops, reflections, new friendships, and the opportunity to meet the rock stars of performance improvement: Bob Brinkerhoff, Roger Addison, Roger Chevalier, Judy Hale, Kery Mortenson, Dick Handshaw and others?

The word that I kept coming back to was: excellence.

Excellence touched every aspect of the experience. Whether it was explicitly stated or not, excellence was a part of every workshop and all of the keynotes. And, the word seems a fitting summary, because it is what performance improvement is about. We strive to make people better at what they do using a systematic approach that focuses on results.

Here are the top two things I learned:

  1. From a chapter perspective, every chapter struggles with programming! It’s difficult in our larger geographic locations to offer programming that is convenient to everyone. In addition, we serve a wide range of professionals so it’s also a challenge to offer something to meet everyone’s growth needs. One potential solution we discussed is co-located programming. In the future, we will be sharing our event calendar with other chapters. The recent Ask the Expert call-in was a great example…we sent our event information to ISPI and the Michigan, Charlotte, Florida, and Virginia chapters. We hoped that this would not only be a great way for other ISPI and chapter members to take advantage of performance improvement leaders, Lisa Toenniges and Kery Mortenson, but also that it would begin to broaden our connections and perspectives by attracting views from across the country. We are an amazing and talented group of people; it’s time we got to know one another!
  2. John Heun from TIAA-CREF provided another top idea: project charters. A project charter is applicable to consultants and those who work in corporate learning. In both spaces, there are more projects and work to be done then hands and budget to do them. The charter provides a mechanism to focus on and prioritize those projects with the highest return and best opportunity for successful completion. It helps project sponsors think through the specifics of what they want to accomplish with the learning request and begins the needs assessment – what is it that the sponsor is seeing that is leading to a learning request? It also asks for information on human capital and budget resources. Even the best, most needed project won’t be successful without the resources needed to make it happen. We wouldn’t begin construction on a house with no manpower and no money. Why would we take on a learning project with the same conditions? Yet we do and the opportunity cost is enormous. Check out the Chicago ISPI tools website for an example of a project charter.

If you were able to attend the conference, we would love to have you share your top ideas…start a discussion on the Chicago ISPI website under discussions: http://www.cispi.com/Community-Discussions

 Or maybe you have an example of a tool that you couldn’t live without – share it with others using the resource referral section: http://www.cispi.com/Contribute-a-Resource.

 Help us build excellence in your ISPI community.

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