Let Me Tell You Why - by Ann E. Battenfield CPT, MA and Member of ISPI
Recently I attended a networking event for consultants. During an exchange with another networker, he looked at my card and read aloud, “Ann Battenfield, CPT.” He paused and said, “What’s a CPT?” After we talked about it for a minute or so and explained what a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) is, he said, “Why was it important to you to get the CPT designation?”
I admit that I was stumped. I wasn’t stumped for an I-Am-Marketing-Myself glib answer, you know the ones that read like an advertisement delivered in a comedic skit, such as “I received the CPT because it sets me above the pack. It shows my commitment to this industry and my clients. It proves my work is equal to or above anyone else’s.” [Hint: read the above with a pompous voice achieved by speaking deep in your throat, squaring your shoulders, and squinching your face into a very serious pose.]
What stumped me was how he asked the question. He was one of those rare people who appeared absolutely genuine and, in being genuine, demands the same from others. I couldn’t casually peel off one, two, or three of the benefits that are used to market the CPT by many of us. With his eyes looking intently into mine, I needed to be honest but I didn’t have it at the ready. I’d never thought about it beyond the marketing side.
I do want to be clear. I do believe the CPT designation is important from a marketing perspective. It does set me apart from people who do not have it. It does show my commitment to the field, the standards, and my work. But wasn’t there more to why I applied for the CPT besides marketing myself?
In that moment, I realized how much I want the CPT to be the catalyst for defining our profession. My vision of ensuring every employee on Planet Earth has what he or she needs in order to do a job well done is predicated on our profession and what it offers. To me, the CPT says, “Hey! Over here! There is a better way and we can help.” The CPT says, “You bet we can add value in ways you’ve never imagined. Just give me a couple of days to show you.”
I also realized that I’ve always wanted the CPT to become the standard, the norm, what everyone in our field earns, rather than the exception. In my perfect world, he wouldn’t ask me what a CPT was anymore than he would ask a lawyer what the “esquire” on a business card meant.
To me, the CPT indicates that the person doing the work has moved beyond “I do training,” and has joined the ranks of people who can’t easily explain what they do to their grandmother or Uncle Bernie, but who can make a million dollar difference in their company. In my perfect world, Human Performance Technology would be de rigueur in the corporate structure. Because many senior managers see the training the HR does as a fixed-cost benefit, in my perfect world HR would still do much of the training it does, but it would be called enrichment. Training, then, would happen only when it was shown that the employees lacked the skill and knowledge to do an important part of their job.
I looked at him and said, “Getting the CPT to me meant that I had the power to change the world.”
Ann Battenfield, CPT, MA
Ann E Battenfield, CPT, MA has been collaborating with her clients to improve performance for over 20 years. She became a consultant in 2004 after being “downsized.” Over the years, she’s honed her HPT skills and has tried to practice in a way that adds value to her clients, herself, and society. Ann is a CISPI past-president and sat on Judy Hale’s CPT Kitchen Cabinet. She earned her BA from Illinois Wesleyan University and her MA from Governor’s State University. Ann can be reached at Ann.Battenfield@Clarity-P-A.com.