My 1st Friday Favorite Guru Series: Jeanne Farrington

We begin the First Friday of this month, March 2015, with another of my Favorite Gurus, Jeanne Farrington, Ed.D.


I first met Jeanne at ISPI. We possibly served on a committee or two together (perhaps) back in the 1990s – and then we served on the ISPI Board together for two years – 2002-2004. I invited her (and two others) to the ISPI Charlotte chapter to present in 2010 (video of that is below).

She knows the research – so I always trust what she writes and presents.

From LinkedIn

Jeanne Farrington

Performance improvement and training consultant for companies of all sizes. Change management, process design and definition, corporate training and coaching programs for all kinds of corporate audiences.

Specialties:Performance improvement (human performance technology), instructional design, organization design, development & alignment, management & executive coaching, change management

University of Southern California

Ed.D., Educational Psychology & Technology


From Her Web Site : J. Farrington Consulting

Jeanne Farrington, Ed. D.

Dr. Jeanne Farrington works with organizations to define strategic approaches to learning and performance improvement.  She also designs and facilitates training and performance improvement projects for all types of audiences in a variety of organizations: from small businesses to the Fortune 500, including business and industry, healthcare, government agencies, the military, and utility companies. She has worked internally as a training professional and manager at Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, and Hewlett-Packard.

At Hewlett-Packard, Jeanne was responsible for the development of their worldwide workforce development community, which included internal professionals and consultants in training, instructional design, human performance technology, quality, and organizational change and development.

Jeanne works with training and performance improvement organizations to assist them in developing strategies for internal as well as customer training. She has written business plans for Corporate Universities and training organizations in the high-tech arena. At Hewlett-Packard, Jeanne was responsible for creating and implementing the strategy for the development of their worldwide education community.

Jeanne has over 25 years of experience in developing training programs and creating performance improvement initiatives. During that time, she has contributed to the development of hundreds of projects, either as the lead designer, as part of a team, or as a consultant to others. Over the years she has worked with many different organizations, including the California State Automobile Association, Cisco, Clarify, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Levi Straus, McKesson, Oracle, PG&E, Pacific Pulmonary Services, PeopleSoft, Proctor & Gamble, Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle), Taco Bell, the U.S. Army, and VERITAS Software (now a division of Symantec).

In 2006, Jeanne’s company won the Outstanding Human Performance Intervention Award from the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) for a comprehensive change initiative for Pacific Gas & Electric Company.  The project included a change readiness assessment, working with senior employees to standardize a systems-oriented methodology, training, evaluation of the program, and performance incentives.

In addition to creating a wide variety of programs for a variety of audiences, Jeanne has also taught instructional design and performance technology in corporate, government, military, and university settings.  Jeanne has a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from San Jose State and a doctorate in Educational Psychology and Technology from the University of Southern California.  As an adjunct professor at USC she taught their graduate seminar in Instructional Design.

Jeanne is co-author of From Training to Performance Improvement: Navigating the Transition, and she has contributed chapters and articles to a number of publications. She is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), and she is a past president of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), where she is a frequent speaker.


We help organizations to take advantage of untapped opportunities and to solve business problems. How? First we figure out what’s keeping people from doing their best work, and then we figure out how to get those barriers out of their way.

Jeanne Farrington, Ed. D | People

Problems and Opportunities
Everyone and every organization has opportunities for improvement. Most people and organizations have problems to solve. Here are some examples:

  • People don’t know what to do.
  • They don’t know how to do it.
  • They can’t get started.
  • Their efforts aren’t quite focussed.
  • Things don’t get finished on time.
  • There are too many errors.
  • Managers don’t delegate.
  • People aren’t working as a team.
  • Conflict gets in the way of getting things done.
  • The organization of the organization isn’t helping.
  • Some processes are inefficient, irrational, irrelevant, or just plain impossible.
  • A change in the works will cause or is already causing a huge lack of productivity.
  • The training program isn’t working.
  • New people aren’t getting up to speed fast enough.
  • The new training staff should use instructional design.
  • Executives, managers, HR folks, and/or the training people should have more of a performance focus.
  • We need a strategy for learning and performance improvement.

We work with companies that want to align their organizations to increase the contribution their people can make to business results. Our customers recognize that people are their most important asset and they want to make sure that they are able to make their best contributions.

Our services include developing training and performance improvement strategies and programs. When there is something keeping employees from doing their best work-a lack of knowledge, skills, motivation, tools, or processes-we figure out what the barriers are to their achievement and then create solutions to remove those barriers.

Our expertise is in performance technology and instructional design. We take a human performance, systems approach to making improvements in an organization. We help your company improve the performance of managers and employees to achieve superior business results. The types of consulting and solutions we provide include:

  • Diagnosis: figuring out what is going on, what causes it, and how to fix it
  • Knowledge solutions: training, coaching, job aids, information, feedback, web-based solutions
  • Motivation solutions: helping employees to choose, persist, and engage with desired tasks to achieve important results
  • Organizational and environmental solutions: design and creation of structures, rational processes, methodologies, tools, templates, etc.
  • Evaluation: measuring results to ensure that business goals are achieved

In addition to working directly on projects to improve business results, we also work with training and performance improvement organizations to help them improve their knowledge, skills, and practices. We assist training organizations to transition into performance improvement organizations, providing workshops, coaching, plans, and consulting, as appropriate.

A Partial Client List
At J. Farrington Consulting, we work with people in a variety of organizations—large, small, old, new, high tech, retail, financial, governmental, academic, nonprofit, local to Silicon Valley or across the country. The common denominators are requirements for learning, organization alignment, or improved performance. Here is a list of some of our clients:

  • Borland
  • Community College League of California
  • California State Automobile Association
  • Cisco Systems
  • Darryl L. Sink & Associates
  • Dell Computer
  • Fireman’s Fund Insurance
  • Foothill-DeAnza Community College District
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Hitachi Data Systems
  • Intel
  • Institute for Creative Technologies (at USC)
  • International Society for Performance Improvement
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Kellogg’s
  • Learning Tree International
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • McKesson
  • Oracle
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • Pacific Pulmonary Services
  • Pacific Rim Capital
  • Precept
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • SanDisk Memory Systems
  • Southern California Edison
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Taco Bell
  • UltraLink
  • University of Southern California
  • U.S. Army
  • VERITAS Software (now Symantec)
  • West Valley-Mission Community College District


Book by Jeanne

From Training to Performance Improvement – April 9, 1999

Some of Jeanne’s Articles

Video – HPT Practitioner Podcast 2012

Video is just over 7 minutes in length

Video – Myth Busting at ISPI 2010

Here Jeanne Farrington is joined by Clare Carey and Mary Norris-Thomas – Myth Busting!

Video is just under 90 minutes in length

Video – Myth Busting at ISPI Charlotte 2011

Video is just under 78 minutes in length

Jeanne On Social Media Sharing

Web Site/Blog:

Twitter: Jeanne Farrington (@ajeanne)


Jeanne Farrington – Google+

My Lessons Learned From Jeanne

I think the biggest Lesson I learned from Jeanne was about “calling out the Snake Oil” – when I see it.

And – to value those who also call out the snake oil – AND – share the science – and help me and other avoid the Foo Foo (Snake Oil) that is just too prevalent in our field (Learning/ Training/ Knowledge Management) IMO.

From her Snake Oil article with Dick Clark:

Staying Out of Trouble

Once you have discovered that a favorite solution, theory, or principle is not supported by the literature, you probably need to tell someone. You may be in the unenviable position of telling your manager, employees, team, or clients that the direction they have been wanting to travel has some minefields in it.

Following are tips for discussing opposing views without triggering an explosion:

• First, it is important not to be too persuaded by a particular view just because it reflects our own beliefs. The powerful contribution of science is that it suggests counter intuitive facts. For example, we will not fall off the end of the world if we walk or sail too far. But this was once commonly believed because it fit people’s perceptual experience. Remember that today’s unquestionable beliefs will quite possibly be modified tomorrow.

For 4 more tips – see the article.

Share Your Stories

If the work of Jeanne Farrington 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 learned and whom I have learned it from, regarding all things “Performance Improvement” – my first focus.

I have a long list.

Lucky me.

Next month – Darryl Sink.

Links to All of the Past Posts in the MFFF Guru Series

Here is a page with links to all of the Past Posts from this My First Friday Favorite Guru Series, as listed below – find that – here.

  • Jeanne Farrington – March 2015
  • Don Clark – February 2015
  • Frank T. Wydra – January 2015
  • Philip B. Crosby – December 2014
  • Donald L. Dewar – November 2014
  • Joseph M. Juran – October 2014
  • W. Edwards Deming – September 2014
  • Bonnie B. Small – August 2014
  • Walter A. Shewhart – July 2014
  • Carl Binder – June 2014
  • Ruth Clark – May 2014
  • Rob Foshay – April 2014
  • John Carlisle – March 2014
  • Miki Lane – February 2014
  • Harold Stolovitch – January 2014
  • Bill Wiggenhorn – December 2013
  • Will Thalheimer – November 2013
  • 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) F. Mager – December 2012
  • Joe H. Harless – November 2012
  • Thomas F. Gilbert – October 2012
  • Sivasailam Thiagarajan (Thiagi) – September 2012
  • Geary A. Rummler – August 2012
  • Dale Brethower – July 2012

Here is a page with links to all of the above Past Posts in My First Friday Favorite Guru Series – here.

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3 comments on “My 1st Friday Favorite Guru Series: Jeanne Farrington

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

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

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

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