Learning from Geary Rummler

Those of you who have talked with me a lot or have read some of my work (especially No Magic Bullet) know how highly I think of Geary Rummler.  The performance world lost a true friend and original pathfinder when he passed away in 2008.

I was fortunate to get a number of unique opportunities to collaborate with Geary.  He and I both served on ASTD’s Board of Directors at the same time—we had some great discussions.  He took all of the kidding from some of us about his last book (Really Serious Guide to Performance Consulting) in good spirit. Continue reading

I Feel the Need – the Need for Speed!

I’ve had a couple of opportunities to look at where performance improvement is headed and how I think it may play out in the future (see T+D, August 2004, “The Future of Performance”).   I know there are a lot of HPI/HPT thought leaders who argue that  the future is bright for those in the performance field—that this is a growth industry.  I don’t think it’s that simple.

It is absolutely true that in a more competitive world (and the more global we are, the more competitive things become) and one where outcomes and results matter more, the performance consulting field has more opportunities to show value and impress.  That said, there is also increasing pressure to do something “yesterday”.   Quite simply, time pressure for action grows and there is less tolerance for someone saying “it will take us two years to fix this” or “I’ll get on it next month.” Continue reading

Performance Lessons from Pearl Harbor

Some recent client work with the intelligence community took me out to Honolulu.  Despite being busy with client demands, I had an opportunity to take a US Navy tour of Pearl Harbor.

Seeing the sites and revisiting the lessons from Pearl Harbor attack are a sobering experience.  The picture you see is from the USS Arizona memorial.  The Arizona still rests on the bottom of Pearl Harbor with over 1,000 of her sailors and marines still entombed within her hull.  Oil from the hull still leaks out to this day (that’s what the picture shows—the oil slick from underneath the Arizona Memorial).

This isn’t intended to be a review of military tactical and strategic insights from the attack on Pearl Harbor.  But from a performance consulting perspective, there are some critical insights. Continue reading