I’ve Ordered the T-Shirt: The Cult of Performance

No kidding! I really just created and ordered The T-Shirt.

Back in my guest appearance on David James’ Learning & Development podcast in 2020, I said I wouldn’t hold my breath about the awakening or Pivot to Performance in L&D.

David just published an article in Forbes magazine – hereGoing From Learning Provision To Performance In L&D – and is one of today’s champions of Performance-Based Instruction/ Training/ Learning.

There are others who champion this notion of Performance – but we are a tiny minority overall – across the population of L&D Practitioners and Leaders.

As someone who was “schooled” in a Performance Orientation in T&D (as it was called back in 1979 when I joined the field/profession).

And that Performance Orientation starts with Analysis or Discovery or Figuring It Out or whatever you need to call it in YOUR CONTEXT.

For example, in a manufacturing enterprise, they might call it Requirements Definition. In a merchandising enterprise, they might call it Marketplace Analysis – or something along those lines.

Get out your erasers, and color me hopeful. Because…

Maybe “we can get THERE from here” – and maybe, just maybe, we can/will begin to answer Rummler’s lament – in his article that was first a foreword for a book in 1969, that – “We Can’t Get There From Here” – and we will act as Performance Technologists.

This was back when “technology” meant “application of science,” not digital stuff or computer stuff.

Join Me in the Cult of Performance

You can order one of these T-Shirts yourself – here.

See ya online!

Go for Performance!


Go For Performance Short Video: Performance Tests

A focus on Tasks and Outputs during Instructional Development enables you to build Performance Tests to enable the learners to prove their levels of Performance Competence in the learning process, and/or back-on-the-job.

That’s the nature of Performance-Based Instruction.


43 Years Ago Today

August 6, 1979, was my first day in the profession now known as L&D.

I had driven just over 800 miles from Lawrence, Kansas, to Saginaw, Michigan, the weekend before (stopping in the southern Chicago suburbs to stay with friends from Grade and High School) and was now at the headquarters campus of Wickes Lumber on the banks of the Saginaw River – and in a separate building where Training Services and its TV Studio were located.

I worked as an Inside Sales Representative for two and a half years in Lawrence at one of Wickes’ 280 lumber centers across North America while finishing college after my 3 years in the US Navy, and now I was a Program Developer.

On that first day, I was given three items to read:

  • A September/October 1970 Praxis Newsletter on Guidance: The Short Way Home
  • Analyzing Performance Problems – a 1970 book by Mager & Pipe
  • Human Competence – a 1978 book by Tom Gilbert

I read that Praxis newsletter immediately – as we talked about how we were going to default to Job Aids instead of Training – after Analysis – as most tasks did not have to be memorized and “at the ready” and could be what I now call a Referenced Performance Response versus a Memorized Performance Response.

That evening in my hotel room, I read Analyzing Performance Problems – and boy, was I pumped. This all made so much “more” sense. You see, I had worked at Wickes and had taken many of their Training programs, and just like in the US Navy, they were all mostly centered on Knowledge and not on Performance.

That Gilbert book took me longer to get through. In fact, I made two false starts before the third attempt when I started with chapter 10, and after finishing the rest of the book, I reread chapters 1-9.

The next week I was given materials from a Praxis workshop from 1972 and a bunch of Harless workshop materials.

Then the next month, in September 1979, I joined our “local” NSPI chapter in Detroit – 100 miles away – and attended my first meeting of the professional affinity group that would become my professional home.

On the drive back to Saginaw, I was told that I had been volunteered to serve on the Newsletter Committee. That’s how things were done back in the day.

I went to the next National NSPI Conference in April 1980 in Dallas, and then served on many committees, and then as a Director on the Board (1999-2001) after NSPI become ISPI, and then as President-Elect and President (2002-2004). I also co-founded a chapter in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2009.

After 2 years or so at Wickes, I went to Motorola in the suburbs of Chicago, and after 2 years there, I joined a small consulting firm run by Ray Svenson. After 15 years there, where I first became a silent partner and then a not-so-silent partner, I founded CADDI and did that for 5 years before going solo in 2002 at EPPIC.

I’ve been at EPPIC for 20 years. I’m semi-retired now, but I still take on projects that interest me, such as performance-based Curriculum Architecture/Instructional Architecture projects, and ISD/LXD staff development in performance-based Analysis, Instructional Design, and ISD/LXD Project Planning & Management.

To borrow a phase, “Lately, it occurs to me, What a long, strange trip it’s been.”


Performance Guides Guide Performance

Does the Performance Context

Allow for a Referenced Performance Response

or does it

Demand a Memorized Performance Response?

In my 1999 book, lean-ISD, I referred to what was then better known as Job Aids at the time, as “Performance Aids.” Just as I had called Job Models “Performance Models” – as they both address performance of more than one job – in a cross-functional Process, or what’s known today as WorkFlows.

My list of categories and types of Performance Guides has expanded a bit since my 1999 list (below) but they were all rooted in what I learned from Rummler & Gilbert in their 1970 newsletter on Guidance – The Short Way Home.

The Short Way Home

That Praxis Report – the Rummler & Gilbert newsletter from September/October 1970 – was something I was given on Day 1 in my first job out of college – that I started on August 6th, 1979 – 43 years ago today.

I was also given 2 books to read.

A Recent Book

You can learn more about this book – here.

In it, I position Performance Guides as one category of Performance Support of “things that enable the WorkFlow” where the disruption to the Flow of Work is minimal compared to enrolling into a Group-Paced or Coached Learning Experience. Yet – all 3 Modes of Instruction – Self-Paced, Coached, and Group-Paced are Performance Support – in my view.

My List of Performance Guide Types

And there’s this recent book.

And you can learn about this recent mini-book – here.

It’s Not All About Learning
– It’s All About Performance.


HPT Video 2022 – William J. Ryan

This was my first conversation with Bill Ryan. We have been connected on Twitter for years and just recently on LinkedIn – an oversight I had just discovered and addressed as soon as I discovered that we weren’t connected there. Bill is a Performance-Kind-of-Guy, and I wanted to share and promote him – as that’s my current mission: Promote the People in the Cult of Performance to Others.

Adapted from LinkedIn

William partners with organizations to develop, engage, and drive retention while improving performance using learning strategically. I focus on increasing your competitive advantage by aligning the 3P’s: Purpose, People, & Process.

With 25+ years of connecting people across time and distance, he focuses on maximizing his client’s investment in technology and people by ensuring they work together efficiently and effectively while minimizing the distance and time barriers your dispersed workforce faces. He works in rapidly changing environments as a learning strategist for leading national companies focused on business outcomes and delivers solutions to help operational groups and senior staff lead virtual and globally remote teams.

William brings the skills and techniques leaders, teams, and organizations can use to define and develop their talent pipeline while improving the performance of their current workforce, supporting collaboration remotely, and helping people succeed in a world of constant change. 

The Video

This video is 35:03 minutes in length.

Connect with William

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/william-j-ryan



  • 502.797.2479 (Mobile)




Guy’s HPT Video Series

The HPT Video Series … formerly known as the HPT Practitioner and HPT Legacy Video Series … was started by Guy W. Wallace in 2008 as a means of sharing the diversity of HPT Practitioners, and the diversity of HPT Practices in the workplace and in academia.

The full set of videos – over 150 – may be found and linked to – here.

HPT – Human Performance Technology – is the application of science – the “technology” part – for Performance Improvement.

As the late Don Tosti noted, “All performance is a human endeavor.”

Whether your label for HPT is that, or Performance Improvement, or Human Performance Improvement, it is all about Evidence-Based Practices for Performance Improvement at the Individual level, the Team level, the Process level, the Department level, the Functional level, the Enterprise level, and at the level of Society/World.

HPT Practitioners might operate at any of these levels, as this Video Series clearly demonstrates.

Although ISPI – the International Society for Performance Improvement is the professional home of many HPT Practitioners – the concepts, models, methods, tools and techniques are not limited to any one professional affinity group or professional label.

ISPI just happens to be where I learned about HPT – and has been my professional home since 1979.

This Series Has Evolved Since 2008

These videos were first posted on Google Video, then they were moved to Blink, and now they may all be found on YouTube. And my name for them has changed as well…

HPT Practitioner Video Podcasts and HPT Legacy Video Podcasts

– Practitioner Series – short 2-10 minutes, following a script. Intended to show the diversity of HPT and HPT Practitioners. (2008-2018)

– Legacy Series – longer 15-40+ minutes, also scripted, with added stories of other NSPI/ ISPI’ers from the earlier days of the Society or others who were of great influence. Intended to capture the stories of the people who influenced us. (2008-2018)

– HPT Video Series (2019+) – is a continuation of the first two types of videos in this series, but with less focus on capturing NSPI/ISPI members – and expanding out to any and all who use Evidence-Based Practices in Performance Improvement regardless of any affiliation with ISPI or not.


Revisiting My 2001 Book: T&D Systems View


A systematic view of the 47 processes necessary for an enterprise T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management function.

Reviewer Quotes:

Roger Chevalier
T&D Systems View makes a lot of information available for both the experienced training professional or those new to the field. The focus of the book is on enhancing an organization’s training and development system while improving bottom-line results.

The “twelve hour clock” serves as a performance aid to guide the reader through headings for each hour that make up the 12 systems that contain the 47 processes of the overall corporate training and development system. The 12 systems are:
1. Strategic Planning
2. Operations Planning and Management
3. Cost/Benefit measurement
4. Process Improvement
5. Product and Service Line Design
6. Product and Service Line development
7. Product and Service Line Deployment
8. Marketing and Communications
9. Financial asset Management
10. Human and Environmental Asset Management
11. Research and Development
12. Governance and Advisory
What follows the descriptions of 12 training and development systems and the 47 related processes is an incredibly useful 48-page performance aid that guides readers in conducting self-assessments of their organization’s systems. This performance aid is “worth the price of admission” alone.

Miki Lane
“Guy Wallace has done it again! After demystifying the ISD process in his lean-ISDSM book, he tackles the corporate training and development system and puts it in a business-focused perspective. Whether you are in-house or serving as an external consultant, you will find Guy’s model an invaluable tool for enterprise training and development.

This analytic and design process ensures that you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s when moving your company or client to Learning by Design, not Learning by Chance. The elegant clockface model helps you develop a clear picture of any organization and clearly helps you map out how best to effectively manage all the elements of the enterprise. Once the elements are mapped out, the model, through enclosed assessment and prioritizing tools, helps determine where and when to put corporate assets to maximize corporate return on investment.

This is a must-have book for any consultant or organization that is concerned about improving the performance of their organization through improving processes and competencies.”

Joe Sener
Once again Guy Wallace hits a home run with this informative text for the Training and Development organization. His process approach is one not often thought of by HR and T&D professionals. Clearly, this robust approach will shed new light on the management of training and development for your organization.

Judith Hale
T&D Systems View by Guy Wallace presents one of the best models for clarifying roles and responsibilities of leaders, managers, and workers when it comes to getting the desired job performance. The model really drives meaningful conversations about what is and is not in place, why, and who is responsible for making it happen. The model makes asking the questions about what has or has not been done and who should do it a whole lot easier. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to better understand what must be in place for people to perform well and how to enroll management in the process of making it happen.


This book is available as a Kindle and as a Paperback.

See all of Guy’s books on his Amazon Authors Page: