As my professional home – ISPI – the International Society for Performance Improvement – begins the celebration of its 50th year – part of the focus of the upcoming conference in Toronto this April – I have been reflecting on my history with the Society.

It’s the Serious People Involved (ISPI)!!!

Seriously – it’s the serious people involved – in evidence based practice – what used to be called researched-based back in the day.

For me, back in the day goes back to 1979 when I joined what is now the Michigan Chapter of NSPI. My first National Conference was in Dallas in 1980. I’ve been to 30 of the last 32. I go for many reasons, to see great presentation about what is valid – and what is not – under varied situations/contexts.

Lessons learned from the people of NSPI/ISPI have included the bogus nature of many very popular approaches, methods, tools and techniques that are marketed heavily at similar associations/affinity groups. Popular, and with tons of Face Validity, lots of Intuitive-ness – but bogus non-the-less.

What sets ISPI apart – or has for the past 50 years – is that it is NOT a trade group. It does not represent the trade – those with things to sell. Those who peddle what members of the Society sometimes refers to as Snake Oil occasionally come and participate – but soon leave as they get challenged by those who know and can recite the research – always a good crowd to hang with and learn from.

The wisdom of that crowd is different than the wisdom of other crowds.

And so I will trek north come April to see my crowd – and continue to learn from them to enhance my continuing practice of Performance Improvement.

I hope to see familiar faces – and many non-familar faces who also look for such a crowd!

BTW – you’ll need your Passport if you are going into Canada from the USA.

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