L&D/PI: Back to the Future – What Works – From 1990 and NSPI

What Works – 6 Pack – NSPI 1990

NSPI is now ISPI. And what these 6 gurus tell us/told us in 1990 – What Works – address the very same things many are still struggling with today in Learning & Development – and Performance Support – and Beyond Instruction via Learning & Performance Support. And that is: What Works?

Same as it ever was.


The 6 gurus are:

  • Karen Brethower
  • Tom Gilbert
  • Joe Harless
  • Geary Rummler
  • Sivasailam Thiagarajan (Thiagi)
  • Don Tosti

I struggled a bit myself – converting the 6 cassettes – that Marc Rosenberg sent me last week – to digital files for editing and then posting. The cassettes are 27 years old and the sound isn’t always great – but the messages are. Great back then and still great today IMO. I sat in on 2 of these 6 back in the day. And I’m very happy to be able to share these gems with you.

Sorry about the poor audio in places. Again, the tapes are 27 years old now.

Interesting note: Back in the day HPT – Human Performance Technology was referred to as PT – Performance Technology.

And although the name has changed to Human Performance Technology and Performance Improvement – in 27 years it would seem – from the comments in my SM networks – that little has changed – terms of the struggles/challenges that we who are in this Practice face. That’s why I titled this Back to the Future.

Note: each audio podcasts is about 1 hour in length – and sometimes they are just a little over that.


Back to the Future

Karen Brethower: What Works 1990

Sorry about the poor audio in places.

Tom Gilbert: What Works 1990

Sorry about the poor audio in places.

Joe Harless: What Works 1990 

Sorry about the poor audio in places.

Geary Rummler: What Works 1990

Sorry about the poor audio in places.

Sivasailam Thiagarajan: What Works 1990

Sorry about the poor audio in places.

Don Tosti: What Works 1990

Sorry about the poor audio in places.

Bios And/Or Link to My First Friday Favorite Guru Series Blog Posts

Karen Brethower

 Karen Brethower, Ph.D., Executive Consultant with The Advisory Alliance, has over 25 years of experience as a business-focused executive leadership consultant, with extensive experience in executive assessment, succession planning, talent management and C-suite executive coaching. She has been a consultant to executives, teams, and organizations making change in the face of industry restructuring, de-mutualization, divestiture, deregulation, and merger & acquisition.

Karen assists companies in clarifying their strategic options and projecting the talent needed to deliver against those options. Karen partners with executives in a variety of ways. Conducting Executive Assessments (Board-initiated and other) Designing and preparing Board presentations on Executive Talent Revitalizing and designing Executive Succession Planning Creating Talent Review/Management processes Analyzing strategic plans and deriving key talent issues.

Karen has facilitated successful organization changes in a variety of settings. Her organization effectiveness work has included:

Conducting Board-initiated Executive Assessment of the internal CEO successor in recently merged company. Subsequently assessed top three layers of executives.

Upgrading the Country Manager success rate via changes to candidate assessment, selection and placement for a global Fortune 500 company with predominantly domestic senior management.

Created a post-divestiture process for Headquarters and Field units. Re-established “at risk” sales levels and customer service quality.

Karen has extensive experience in the manufacturing, marketing, pharmaceutical, finance, telecommunications, defense, energy and research industries.

She has held national offices in the American Society for Training and Development in the areas of research, evaluation, organization development and national issues. She has also been a member of the Training Research Forum, National Society for Performance and Instruction, Organization Development Network, Conference Board Development Council, Environmental Scanning Association and Human Resource Planning Society.

Karen holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Michigan. She also attended The University of Mexico and taught an executive development program in Mexico in Spanish. She has taught in numerous executive development programs and has been a keynote speaker in the U.S., Latin America and the Pacific Rim.

From: https://advisoryalliance.com/spm_people/karen-brethower/

Karen’s LinkedIn Profile – here.

Guy’s: My First Friday Favorite Guru Series Post: https://eppic.biz/2015/10/02/my-1st-friday-favorite-guru-series-karen-brethower/

The late Tom Gilbert

RIP Tom.

Guy’s: My First Friday Favorite Guru Series Post: https://eppic.biz/2012/10/05/1st-friday-favorite-guru-thomas-f-gilbert/

The late Joe Harless

RIP Joe.

Guy’s: My First Friday Favorite Guru Series Post: https://eppic.biz/2012/11/02/1st-friday-favorite-guru-joe-h-harless/

The late Geary Rummler

RIP Geary.

Guy’s: My First Friday Favorite Guru Series Post: https://eppic.biz/2012/08/03/1st-friday-favorite-guru-geary-a-rummler/

Sivasailam Thiagarajan

Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan is the founder and Resident Mad Scientist at The Thiagi Group, an organization with the mission of helping people improve their performance effectively and enjoyably.

Thiagi served as the editor of ISPI’s Performance & Instruction for more than 10 years. He has written a monthly GameLetter for 15 years; it currently appears as the GameBlog on this website.

Thiagi has twice been elected the president of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), 27 years apart (in 1979 and 2006). He has also been the five-time president of the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA).

As a global nomad, Thiagi has lived in three different countries and has conducted training workshops in 21 others. Earlier in his life, he has been a high-school science teacher, street corner magician, researcher, editor of a professional journal, keynote speaker, college professor, USAID project director, and writer.

From: https://seriousplayconf.com/speaker/dr-sivasailam-thiagi-thiagarajan/

Thiagi’s web site – here.

Thiagi’s LinkedIn Profile – here.

Guy’s: My First Friday Favorite Guru Series Post: https://eppic.biz/2012/09/07/1st-friday-favorite-guru-thiagi/

The late Don Tosti

RIP Don.


And has been since the mid-1990s.

Visit the ISPI web site soon and sign up as its FREE – but please note that it’s currently undergoing a massive renovation:


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7 comments on “L&D/PI: Back to the Future – What Works – From 1990 and NSPI

  1. Pingback: What Works – 6 Audio Podcasts from NSPI 1990 – HPT Treasures – for Evidence Based Performance Improvement

  2. Pingback: L&D: Audio File: Don Tosti: What Works 1990 | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  3. Pingback: L&D: Audio File: Sivasailam Thiagarajan: What Works 1990 | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  4. Pingback: L&D: Audio File: Geary Rummler: What Works 1990 | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  5. Pingback: L&D: Audio File: Joe Harless: What Works 1990 | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  6. Pingback: L&D: Audio File: Tom Gilbert: What Works 1990 | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  7. Pingback: L&D: Audio File: Karen Brethower: What Works 1990 | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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