I started wondering how we can help solve this problem for our profession, ISPI, and our children/parents to understand what we do.
I have to check here more often! Great questions, Dan, and I hope many others respond to you.
I often say something to the effect that, "I help my organization solve problems related to people, processes, information, and resources. For example, when a new system needs to be implemented, I help identify everything that is going to be affected - from processes that need to change to training that needs to be created - as well as identify how to resolve all the related issues."
People usually start zoning out on me to if I use the word analysis. I like Ann's description for the performance improvement profession. For instructional design specifically what about telling them "I'm here to help you perform well by creating development activities that take your attributes and those of the job into consideration"?
Anne - I'm going to do a better job of keeping up with the posts too!
Dan Johnson hopefully will join this conversation - he's working on this for us. I'd love to hear his thoughts. I'll email him to let him know we're talking about it.
I'm a big believer in simplicity and that "less is more." When asked what I do, I'll say that I help clients close the gap in workplace or leadership performance -- the gap between the current and the desired level of performance for an employee, team, or leader. Beyond that, if they show interest, I show them a one-page chart that illustrates the 80/20 rule (80% of performance gaps are external to the learner and do not lend themselves to "training"). I find that a single, clearly constructed chart does the trick. I adapted my chart from the Wile model contained in this article (see Figure 7 in the article).
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