The Systems View of Human Performance

By Geary A. Rummler & Alan Brache – 1988

Thanks to Alex Salas for posting this article PDF from 1988 on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The more people in L&D who “get it” the better the entire field will be IMO.

PDF: The-Systems-View-of-Human-Performance – Rummler 1988

Dr. Geary A. Rummler was the founding Partner of the Performance Design Lab (PDL), where he was continuing his life-long work on organizational performance improvement in complex systems until his death on October 29, 2008. Prior to founding the Performance Design Lab, Geary was the founding partner of The Rummler-Brache Group, an organization that became a leader in the business process improvement and management business in the 1980s and 1990s. Prior to that, Geary was President of the Kepner-Tregoe Strategy Group, specialists in strategic decision making; co-founder (with Thomas F. Gilbert) and president of Praxis Corporation, an innovator in the analysis and improvement of human performance; co-founder (with George S. Odiorne) and director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Programmed Learning for Business.

Geary was a pioneer in the application of instructional and performance technologies to organizations and brought this experience to the improvement of organization effectiveness. His clients in the private sector included the sales, service and manufacturing functions of the aircraft, automobile, steel, food, rubber, office equipment, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, chemical and petroleum industries; as well as the retail banking, and airline industries. He also worked with such federal agencies as IRS, SSA, HUD, GAO and DOT. Geary’s research and consulting took him to Europe, Asia, Canada and Mexico.

In addition to consulting, teaching and presenting at conferences, Geary published a steady stream of articles and contributed to a variety of books ranging from labor relations to the development of instructional systems.  His articles appeared in numerous professional and management journals and handbooks. In 1988, he co-authored Training and Development: A Guide for Professionals, with George S. Odiorne. In 1990, he co-authored Improving Performance, How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart with Alan P. Brache.

Geary received his MBA and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and served as:

  • The national president of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI)
  • A member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Training & Development (ASTD)
  • A member of the Editorial Board of Training Magazine.

Geary’s professional accomplishments include:

  • Induction into Training Magazine’s Human Resource Development Hall of Fame in 1986
  • The Distinguished Professional Achievement Award from ISPI in 1992
  • The Enterprise Reengineering Excellence Award from Enterprise Reengineering Magazine in 1996
  • The Distinguished Contribution Award for Workplace Learning and Performance from ASTD in 1999
  • The Life Time Achievement Award from the Organization Behavior Management Network in 1999.

*** *** ***

ISPI’s Tribute to Geary Rummler – here.

Visit the Geary Rummler website for many more resources – here.


Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart 3rd Edition, Kindle Edition


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