Remembering Rummler

 RIP Geary A. Rummler

April 16, 1937 – October 29, 2008.


Timeless advice. And warning.


Guy and Geary in 1982 at an MTEC meeting in the Phoenix area

It was at MTEC – Motorola’s Training & Education Center (later Motorola University) that I got the lifetime chance to work with Geary on a bunch of projects, one thing morphing into several.

He was my consultant 1981-1982 and I carried his pencils as the joke went back in the day.

I had heard and read about him in 1979 when I joined Wickes Lumber in Saginaw where I worked in a Training department where Geary’s brother-in-law worked, and I worked directly with 2 who had worked with Geary’s brother in Detroit. Then I left there and joined MTEC in the Chicago suburbs in 1981.

I left MTEC after 18 months and joined another consulting firm where I later became a partner – but I stayed close to Geary. I brought a couple of my clients to him, and he steered some business my way.

In 2002 he reluctantly joined me in my ISPI Presidential Initiative, an attempt to resurrect something he began in 1983 … the definition of HPT.


Page 2…


Here is a PDF of that entire article: Wallace_Rummler_July02 … and a couple of additional Rummler items from my archives:

As you review some of the above PDF pages – which I share to give you a taste of his thinking and work … please keep in mind that Rummler did invent the point-4 font size – according to the late Claude Lineberry.

From BPTrendsPaul Harmon …

To understand the impact of Geary Rummler, you need a bit of history. Geary Rummler began his career at the University of Michigan in the early Sixties and then went on to manage a series of consulting companies focused on analyzing and improving human performance in organizations. When I worked for Geary, in the late Sixties, in New York, we focused on helping organizations with human performance problems. Computers had just been introduced in the Sixties and were confined to supporting back office tasks. They didn’t play a large role in most of the processes that companies were concerned with. Thus, in the Sixties, process work was very aligned with psychology, training and motivation, and focused on getting the people who performed the company’s work to do so in a more efficient manner.

In the course of the Seventies, Rummler refined his overall approach, and in the Eighties, he joined with Alan Brache to form a consulting company, Rummler-Brache. During the Eighties Rummler undertook a number of major consulting engagements that introduced process thinking in major corporations. It was in the early Eighties, for example, that he spent several years working on process change at Motorola. In hindsight, it’s easy to see Rummler’s work as the stimulus that sparked the folks at Motorola to combine TQM and process analysis to create Six Sigma in the late Eighties.

Yes, I was there when that all began … the evolution of Rummler’s methodologies and merger with TQM.

Here is a whitepaper where I shared my thoughts in 1982 to what I had been exposed to earlier: MTEC White Paper 1982


And here is a 2013 post all about that – from back in 1982 – here.

And another – here.

Video from 2008

We were going to do a multi-hour video interview at the next conference but we lost Geary prior to that.

Find more of my prior posts about my mentor and friend – here.

The Performance Design Lab 

And please see even more about the good doctor at the Performance Design Labhere – where his former partners are carrying on and extending Geary’s and their work.

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