My 1st Friday Favorite Guru Series: Timm Esque

We begin the First Friday of this month, August 2015, with another of my Favorite Gurus, Timm Esque.


I first met Timm via NSPI – now ISPI the International Society for Performance Improvement – back in the late 1980s. I’ve attended many of his presentations over the years – and always find something of great utility in his sessions.

He is a rock solid Performance Improvement expert who freely shares his approaches in using evidence based practices for measured results.

I’ve been a fan for decades.

About Timm

Timm J. Esque is a dedicated student of management practices and an internationally known thought leader on performance improvement and project management. Since 1996, Timm has been helping high stakes project teams do what they say they are going to do, leading to faster delivery of higher quality products at lower cost. Many if not most technical projects at Intel Corporation (where Timm worked for 15 years) still begin with a project planning technique Timm helped develop called “Map Day”.

Timm is co-Founder and Managing Partner of Ensemble Management Consulting, whose clients include some the world’s fastest and most valuable global corporations, as well as small and medium sized businesses. Timm’s work with project teams has been featured in Product Development Best Practices Report and Training Magazine. He has been cited as an expert on performance under pressure in the Wall Street Journal and quoted in many other publications.

Timm frequently presents and publishes his findings. He has published over 50 articles and chapters in a variety of publications. He was a regular essayist for ISPI’s Performance Journal from 1997-2002. Timm’s book No Surprises Project Management: A Proven Early Warning System for Staying on Track (ACT Publishing, 1999) describes in detail the commitment-based approach to project management. He has authored an award winning book on management in general calledMaking an Impact: Building a Top Performing Organization from the Bottom Up (CEP Press, 2001) and edited a third book called Getting Results (HRD Press, 1998). His most recent article is “Motivation 3.0: A User’s Guide”, due to come out in a special issue of PI Journal in 2015.

Timm and his team enjoy traveling and working with different cultures. Timm has taught, consulted or presented to project managers in Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, China, Cyprus, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Macedonia, the Philippines, Portugal, Taiwan, Turkey, Germany, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK and across the United States.

Timm is a Certified Performance Technologist (CPT) and a former Board Director for the International Society of Performance Improvement. Timm received his B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University in 1981 and his MEd in Educational Technology from Arizona State University in 1985. He was lead developer of the Masters of Technology Management curriculum for the University of Phoenix, and is a Master Trainer of the Chain Gang Simulation for improving individual and team productivity.

Timm is a 2002 recipient of ISPI’s DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD – This award recognizes outstanding and significant contributions to the betterment of ISPI on a long-term basis. Prior to 1991, this award was called the Outstanding Member Award.

Timm is a co-founder of Ensemble Management…

Ensemble Management Consulting

Ensemble Management Consulting is a premier training and consulting firm focused on helping organizations achieve success through Commitment-Based Project Management (CBPM). Led by Timm Esque and Mike Porter, prominent advocates and experts of the CBPM approach, Ensemble is at the forefront of applying the new commitment-based methodology to changing the way teams and organizations collaborate and succeed in executing complex, high stakes projects (and not so complex ones as well).

Ensemble has worked with project teams, team leaders, and program managers in a range of organizations and across many sectors. The Ensemble team brings considerable industry experience from managing large scale projects and cross-functional and virtual teams to bear in their engagements with client organizations. While CBPM is just now emerging into the mainstream, Ensemble has been using and promoting it for over 15 years.

Timm’s Specialties

Commitment-Based Project Management, Project Management Consulting, Project Management


Articles by Timm

Here are just two of Timm’s many publications. Find more on his web site.

Books by Timm

No Surprises Project Management: A Proven Early Warning System for Staying on Track


Striving for agile, adaptive teams and organizations is a growing trend in management education, and for good reason. Modern organizations operate in an environment of intense competitive pressure and technological uncertainty. No Surprises Project Management anticipated this trend and remains the best documented description of how pressure and uncertainty, when not addressed, combine to produce mediocre to poor performance. More importantly, No Surprises Project Management provides key principles and a system of practices for achieving excellent performance even in the most challenging high stakes environments.

Making an Impact: Building a Top-Performing Organization from the Bottom Up


What’s a Self-Sustaining Performance System? It’s an innovative approach to performance consulting that promotes long-term performance improvement by helping individuals, departments and entire organizations learn to: Prevent performance problems from occurring in the first place, identify when performance problems do arise,and resolve those problems so that they do not reoccur. The Self-Sustaining Performance System approach has generated remarkable bottom-line business results for a wide variety of organizations.

For more information and/or to order, please go – here.

Videos of Timm

HPT Practitioner Video 2011

I recorded this video with Timm at the ISPI Conference in 2011.

My Lessons Learned From Timm

Timm has a great approach to project management – leveraging people up and down the hierarchy, to create buy in, and accountability – and to quickly drive results.

His article series with Carl Binder and Julie Capsambelis, available on the ISPI web site on “Got Results?” was inspirational.

Timm on Social Media


Contact Info for Timm

Web site – here.


Share Your Stories

If the work of Timm Esque 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 – Jim Pershing.

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.

  • Timm Esque – August 2015
  • Ryan Watkins – July 2015
  • Ken Silber – June 2015
  • Roger Chevalier – May 2015
  • Darryl Sink – April 2015
  • Jeanne Farrington – March 2015
  • Don Clark – February 2015
  • Frank T. Wydra – January 2015 RIP
  • Philip B. Crosby – December 2014 RIP
  • Donald L. Dewar – November 2014 RIP
  • Joseph M. Juran – October 2014 RIP
  • W. Edwards Deming – September 2014 RIP
  • Bonnie B. Small – August 2014 RIP
  • Walter A. Shewhart – July 2014 RIP
  • 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 RIP
  • Thomas F. Gilbert – October 2012 RIP
  • Sivasailam Thiagarajan (Thiagi) – September 2012
  • Geary A. Rummler – August 2012 RIP
  • 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.

# # #

3 comments on “My 1st Friday Favorite Guru Series: Timm Esque

  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

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.