My 1st Friday Favorite Guru: Roger Kaufman


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

Roger Kaufman

I first learned of Roger Kaufman when first attending NSPI  – now ISPI, the International Society for Performance Improvement conferences. That would have been 1980, 18 years after Roger helped found the Society, back in 1962.  He’s been to all but one conference since the first.

R Kaufman

I have enjoyed Roger’s, and his lovely wife Jan’s company on many conference occasions – and I love his continued attempts to refocus those of us at ISPI and elsewhere, on the big picture and mega…

Talk About Social Responsibility

Roger calls it Mega.

From Wikipedia

Kaufman has developed a model for strategic thinking and planning he calls “Mega Planning.” Kaufman argues that many organizational planning models incorrectly begin, and end, with internal or organizational performance and therefore fail to provide organizations a chance to plan how they deliver value outside of their organizations. Traditional planning ends with “Macro” level results, which are organizational results such as profits, graduation rates, ratings, etc. While these are important measures of organizational performance, they do not indicate the impact of an organization on external clients and society. Kaufman’s model is similar to some of the concepts behind “double bottom line” literature.

“Mega Planning” starts with the question of “What kind of world do you want for your children and grand-children?” with responses distilled in terms of consequences. An Ideal Vision defines the measurable variables for Mega planning including survival, self-sufficiency, and quality of life. He calls Mega planning (a system approach) “Mother’s Rule” because if you ask just about any mother what kind of world they want for their children, they don’t talk to means (credentials of teachers, money spent on social programs) but the survival, health, and happiness of their children.

Roger sees Mega as the basis for useful planning and thinking.

From his biography at 

Roger Kaufman is professor and director, Office for Needs Assessment and Planning at Florida State University where he received a Professorial Excellence award. He also has served as Research Professor of Engineering Management at the Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA and is also Director of Roger Kaufman & Associates.

His Ph.D. is in communications from New York University, MA from Johns Hopkins University and BA from George Washington University.

His past and current consulting clients include public and private organizations in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, and Europe. Before entering higher education he served in senior advisory and human resources/ training positions with Douglas Aircraft, US Industries, Bolt, Beranek & Newman, Martin Baltimore, and Boeing. He served two terms on the U.S. Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Board on Education and Training and continues to consult to a broad array of public and private clients around the globe.

He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of School Psychology, and a Diplomat of the American Board of Professional Psychology.

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He was awarded the “Member for Life” designation, the highest honor of the International Society for Performance Improvement and the Thomas F. Gilbert Professional Achievement Award by that same organization.

Kaufman has published over 40 books, including Mega Planning, Strategic Planning Plus, and Strategic Thinking – Revised, and co-authored Useful Educational Results: Defining, Prioritizing, and Accomplishing. and Strategic Planning and Thinking Field Book, as well as over 275 articles on strategic planning, performance improvement, quality management and continuous improvement, needs assessment, management, and evaluation.

An Example Project of Roger’s

For the city of Colon City, Panama March 2009 – Strategic and tactical plan for the transformation of Colon City, Panama. Supported by the President of Panama, the Minister of Tourism, and the Colon business community. The plan would deliver a positive return on investment within the first year.

Roger on Video

Here is Roger doing  my HPT Practitioner Series video from 2008 – below…

The video is 5:30 minutes in length.

And here he is in the longer HPT Legacy Series video from 2010…

This video is 30 minutes in length.

Here he is in a video interview by Stephanie Moore…

This video is 19 minutes.

One of the Many Things I Learned From Roger Kaufman

Roger makes distinctions. Between:

  • Needs versus Wants
  • Assessment versus Analysis
  • Needs Assessment versus Evaluation

Needs assessment is proactive and evaluation is reactive/after-the-fact.

Roger Kaufman

Read more about Needs Assessment – here.

What I Also Learned From Roger Kaufman

Is his Organizational Elements Model (OEM). OEM links 3 levels of results with 2 levels of resources and methods… read more – here.
And the “Double Bottom Line” approach… read more – here.

Some Great Resources From Roger For You

Books – Roger has published over 40 books to date.

Here is a link to Amazon’s listings of his offerings – here.

Articles & Publications

Many articles from Roger may be found in ISPI’s Performance Improvement Journal (PIJ).

Here is one available online:

We are what we say, do, and deliver

By Roger Kaufman and Ryan Watkins

ISPI International members have access to – PIJ – the Performance Improvement Journal at Wiley via the ISPI web site – here.

My Favorite Memories of Roger

Are of me watching him watching his wife Jan tie my bow tie just before the start of the formal NSPI/ISPI Society banquet dinners of the past.

Connecting and Networking via the Web & Social Media

Roger’s LinkedIn page is – here.

Roger’s Wikipedia page is – here.

Share Your Stories

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

Or simply share a URL there that is relevant.

And – thank you – for sharing!

The My First Friday Favorite Guru Series

We each have many influencers, mentors, both active and passive, knowingly and unknowingly in their respective roles in our development.

This series is my attempt to acknowledge all of them… one by one… in no particular order… as I attempt to consciously reflect on what I have have learned and who I have learned it from, regarding all things “Performance Improvement” – my focus.

I have a long list. Lucky me.

Next month –  Will Thalheimer.

Links to all each the Past Posts in the MFFF Guru Series – are available here.

  • Roger Kaufman – October 2013
  • Roger Addison – September 2013
  • Ray Svenson – August 2013
  • Dick (Richard E.) Clark – July 2013
  • Allison Rossett – June 2013
  • Carol Panza – May 2013
  • Jane Bozarth – April 2013
  • Judy Hale – March 2013
  • Margo Murray – February 2013
  • Neil Rackham – January 2013
  • Robert (Bob) Mager – December 2012
  • Joe H. Harless – November 2012
  • Thomas F. Gilbert – October 2012
  • Sivasailam Thiagarajan – September 2012
  • Geary A. Rummler – August 2012
  • Dale Brethower – July 2012

Links to each of the Past Posts in the MFFF Guru Series – are available here.

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7 comments on “My 1st Friday Favorite Guru: Roger Kaufman

  1. Pingback: Reflections on Roger Kaufman – RIP | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: T&D: Reflections on 40 Years in the Biz | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  3. Pingback: L&D/PI: Thankful for My Many Mentors | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  4. Pingback: Review: The My First Friday Favorite Guru Series | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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