My 1st Friday Favorite Guru: Carol Panza

This month we start the First Friday of May 2013 with another of my favorite gurus…

Carol Panza

Carol M. Panza is a management consultant specializing in performance effectiveness systems for clients in a broad range of industries and functions, via her firm, CMP Associates.

Carol holds a BS degree in Marketing and an MBA in Industrial Relations.

She was selected as an Examiner for the New Jersey Quality Achievement Award (NJQAA) in 1992 and continues to serve in that capacity. (The award is based on Malcolm Baldrige criteria.) She has served on the local level of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) as an officer and as an Executive Board member at the chapter-level of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI).

She is also a member of the Human Resource Planning Group (HRPG), the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) and the British Institute of Management (BIM).

Carol’s consulting company, CMP Associates belongs to the International Federation of Training Development Organizations.

CMP Associates is a management consulting firm specializing in the analysis and custom design of improvement strategies for business. The important word here is analysis. She does NOT OFFER an answer in search of a question or an off-the-shelf solution like a training session in interpersonal skills or communication. Before implementing any solution, you first need to ask yourself what changes or performance impact you will measure and how that relates back to the solution?

Prior to beginning her own firm, she was Senior Associate with the Rummler Group (TRG), a research and consulting organization. She managed a number of major projects for TRG over a six (6) year period.

I have know Carol professionally since we started working together in 1981 when I was at MTEC – Motorola Training & Education Center and she was working with Geary A. Rummler.

We did a lot of work together, months and months at a Motorola site near Plantation FL and in the Motorola corporate offices in Schaumburg IL,  and at Geary’s offices – in a house – in Union NJ.

After that I saw her continuously on an annual basis at NSPI – which later became ISPI – Conferences, where she and I were both very involved. We served together on the Board of ISPI for one year, in 2002-3, when Jim Hill was President and I was incoming President-Elect.

I am a big fan of Carol. I helped get her to my ISPI Charlotte Chapter to present at an evening session in early 2012, which was very well received.

Carol has been recognized and honored in her service to many like-minded professionals:

  • ISPI Board of Directors 2001-2003
  • ISPI Distinguished Service Award 2007
  • ISPI Europe/EMEA Board of Directors 2006 – present
  • IFTDO Board of Directors 2005 – present

One of the Many Things I Learned From Carol

Was how to look at an organization  from the top down, in a big picture view, using Organizational Mapping, which she did with Geary for years. She is a master at helping everyone get a big picture view of what’s really going on – so that upstream root causes for business issues can be more readily seen when starting with a symptom – which is a problem. Just not the cause. Addressing won’t solve much for long.

As her web site states:

Establish the CONTEXT.

Start with the macro/context and relationship view of an organization versus process specification.

What I Also Learned From Carol

That her dogs, the Yorkie Girls, travel well. They’ve traveled the world been to Europe, and many ISPI Conferences. I’ve seen them in their little travel bag, under Carol’s arm. They even have their own web site, but I cannot seem to find it now.

Some Great Resources From Carol For You

Carol has a couple of books available via her web site:

Picture This . . . Your Function, Your Company . . . by Carol M. Panza ($13 – discounted price through her web site only) For more information on the book, click here.
The No-Nonsense Guide to Common Sense Management by Randolph I. James ($21.95) For more information on the book, click here. — To visit the James & Associates web site, click here.

Also connect with Carol at LinkedIn – here.

My Favorite Memories of Carol

Are the debriefings at the end of the day we shared with Geary, and often my boss Paul during that work with MTEC in 1981 and 1982.

I learned a lot from the insights she shared from her interviews and observations.

I was learning like a sponge.

And she freely shared, briefing me and debriefing me as I tagged along with her to see her approach. It was an invaluable experience.

Share Your Stories

If Carol has been a valuable influence and/or resource for you – please share your stories about that in the comments section below.

Or share a URL that is relevant.

And thank you for sharing!

My Favorite Guru Series

Next month – Allison Rossett.

The Series so far …

  • Carol Panza – May 2013.
  • Jane Bozarth – April 2013 – here.
  • Judy Hale – March 2013 – here.
  • Margo Murray- February 2013 – here.
  • Neil Rackham – January 2013 – here.
  • Robert (Bob) Mager – December 2012 – here.
  • Joe H. Harless – November 2012 – here.
  • Thomas F. Gilbert – October 2012 –here.
  • Sivasailam Thiagarajan – September 2012 –here.
  • Geary A. Rummler – August 2012 –here.
  • Dale Brethower – July 2012 – here.

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8 comments on “My 1st Friday Favorite Guru: Carol Panza

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  8. Carol is one of my absolute favorites, too. And both Carol’s book and Randy’s book are worth twice what they cost. Ask Randy if he has any copies of his companion book, “The No-Nonsense Pocket Guide to Common Sense Management.” I carry it with me everywhere I go. Carol’s girls can be found at


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