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Six Boxes Performance Thinking Summer Institute 2015 Banner Image

2017  Six Boxes Summer Institute

Bainbridge Island, WA        June 18 - 22,  2017                 

Save these dates!  We're still working on the program for our 8th Annual Six Boxes® Summer Institute, but descriptions below highlight some of what we think will be among the most interesting sessions, all connected to our 2017 theme of SUSTAINMENT.

Early Registration Discount Deadline is May 12.


If you're looking for a chance to learn and network with like-minded professionals, with the time and relaxed setting to reflect on new ideas and their implications, this is for you.  The Six Boxes Summer Institute is a unique blend of user conference, hands-on workshop and professional retreat. We bring together performance professionals with all levels of experience, some new to Performance Thinking and some very experienced, then we build an agenda with opportunities to learn, to practice, to question and discuss, and we do it all in a beautiful location tucked into the woods on an island in the Puget Sound. It’s unlike any event you’ve been to.

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The Summer Institute brings together individuals from many roles, many industries, and often diverse countries, but everyone shares a passion for performance improvement. Whether your interest is as broad as strategic planning or as focused as peer coaching, whether you’re a team leader or an HR executive, whether you’re an internal or external consultant, the program will address your needs and interests. There will be plenty of others who have faced the same challenges. We keep the institute small enough so you can get to know almost everyone, but big enough to include a diversity of perspective and experience. We promise to send you home with new ideas, new capabilities, and a list of new colleagues.

Resource > IWentrance.jpg by:Our venue is Islandwood, an outdoor educational facility on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, WA. The facilities are rustic but comfortable (yes, there's wifi), the food is fresh and delicious, and the 255 acres of forest offer miles of trails for hiking, strolling, or running. We strive to create an environment where you can learn and interact more deeply, in a focused and relaxed way.

Here’s what a few participants from years past had to say:

"Amazing experience. Fun, educational, universal approach that you can apply to most situations and environments. Very engaging - learned a lot."

"A great environment to learn about, discuss and explore the applications of the Performance Thinking-Six Boxes approach. Good balance between thought leadership and application. Small enough so that you don't feel like "just another conference participant."  Truly have an opportunity to engage with Dr. Binder and other thought leaders, and thought provoking conversations with other participants. All in a great atmosphere - peaceful, quiet, away from the busyness of the city/work, with great food and accommodations."

"The networking was incredible and the learning never stopped!"

"Well designed content and presentations by the developers of the models; incredibly smart participants from diverse backgrounds who are inspired to contribute with their own examples, experiences, questions and insights."

“Loved the relaxed atmosphere coupled with the intensity of ideas.”

You'll find below:

Program: Two Ways to Participate

We're again offering two ways to participate, one for those new to Performance Thinking and one for experienced users. We aren’t calling them tracks because you will at times be together and at other times be in separate sessions. This will allow those who have never completed one of our programs to acquire a practical capability — coaching with the Six Boxes Approach — while learning the basics of Performance Thinking.  Those with experience will have opportunities to learn advanced applications with and from each other.

Option 1: Summer Institute + Six Boxes® Performance Coaching  

(Monday through Thursday)

The easiest on-ramp to Performance Thinking is learning to have a performance coaching conversation with another individual. This program will break down the elements of the approach in a simple but comprehensive way, and then show you how to conduct a conversation about performance leading to agreed-upon action steps for improvement. This program is equally valuable for leaders and managers or performance professionals working with clients and stakeholders, while providing a solid foundation for other applications of Six Boxes Performance Thinking.

We’ll spread the workshop over 3 days, starting with a full day on Monday, then work Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Afternoons and Thursday will be in combined sessions with experienced participants where you’ll have the opportunity to practice with them and be mentored. This path is required if you have not already completed either the Six Boxes® Practitioner Program or one of our programs for leaders and managers. Experienced users who are considering Six Boxes Performance Coaching for their companies, or who would like to learn the application for themselves, are free to register for the program as well (please contact us if you're interested).

Option 2: Summer Institute with Special Topics

(Monday evening through Thursday)

For experienced users who have completed either the Six Boxes Practitioner Program or one of our Coach-Manage-Lead programs, we've organized a 2-day series of sessions on selected topics to explore applications in greater depth, share case studies and insights, and learn from one another based on the group’s diversity of experience and roles.  In the afternoons you'll participate with the full group, sometimes having the opportunity to mentor and coach those learning the approach for the first time.



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General Sessions – Selected Highlights for the 2017 Summer Institute

The following are some of the sessions that will include everyone regardless of the program you choose. These may be updated as we refine the agenda and confirm speakers.

Sustainment of Performance: An Overview

What do we mean by our Summer Institute theme, Sustainment?  From the challenge to make training "stick" by supporting performance on the job, to ensuring that any intervention has lasting effects by configuring and then revising behavior influences as needed, to growing a culture of continuous performance improvement with communities of practice – these and other forms of sustained impact can be systematically programmed using Performance Thinking tools and methods.

Beyond Putting the S in ADDIES: Evolving Performance Thinking at Amgen

You'll learn how a strategy of re-checking behavior influences periodically after initial implementation of training support has evolved into a robust approach for sustaining performance improvement and expanding the impact of interventions for thousands of employees at Amgen.

Building Performance Thinking into the Entire Talent Development Process

We'll hear how Easter Seals Bay Area is combining implementation of The Performance Thinking Manager with a set of Six Boxes Practitioner projects to design an entire talent development and management process, from initial hiring through annual review and promotion. The key is to anchor performance expectations in work outputs, not competencies.

Employee Engagement Plans for Managers and Leaders

We'll introduce tools for use by managers, leaders, and performance consultants for creating Employee Engagement Plans for  teams, departments, and whole organizations.

The Performance Thinking Virus: From Petri Dish to Whole Organization

We'll start an evening fireside chat by having one of our early adopters describe how he nurtured and extended application of Six Boxes Performance Thinking across the entire organization – spreading like a virus.  From initial adoption by a single learning and performance team, through formal and informal efforts to introduce the language, demonstrate results, share credit, and engage senior leaders, he helped Performance Thinking to become a company-wide continuous improvement strategy at a large, global organization.

Execution of Strategic Plans for Impact and Sustainment

We'll introduce an approach to strategy execution that can be applied at any level in an organization. Using simple tools and application exercises, you'll begin to plan how you or your management can ensure more consistent and focused execution of strategic plans using the models and logic of Six Boxes Performance Thinking.

Assessment of Management Practices

We teach specific models of leadership and management in Performance Thinking® programs. This session introduces a simple tool for beginning to assess your own management practices or those of the organization in which you work, based on the extent to which those practices are likely to optimize employee performance and engagement.

Performance Measurement: A Key to Sustaining Performance

Measurement sets expectations, provides feedback, and may prompt revision of management or performance improvement interventions.  It is a challenging and difficult topic for many. This session will provide a rationale and simple tools for creating practical performance measurement plans that enable you to monitor impact and make changes, as necessary.

How Six Boxes Practitioners and Managers / Leaders Can Work Together

Performance Thinking® programs provide a rare shared language and rationale for improving and sustaining performance.  Programs available for  staff professionals in various departments and for leaders/managers responsible for the performance of their teams and departments teach the same models and logic, with different tools, for those audiences. When they work together using this shared framework, the potential for systemic, integrated, cost-effective performance improvement is enormous. We're just beginning to see the full impact of this synergy as more organizations adopt our programs for both sides of the house.

Tidbits from Behavior Science:  Acceptance and Commitment Training

Dr. Binder will offer his annual foray into discoveries and applications of behavior science by providing an overview of how a body of research called Relational Frame Theory (RFT) has laid a foundation for a powerful approach to therapy and self-development called Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT). In future program developments, The Performance Thinking Network hopes to build this approach for helping individuals optimize their personal and work lives into management, leadership, and self-development programs.  This session will give you a glimpse into this evidence-based approach that combines rigorous scientific underpinnings with surprisingly practical strategies and tactics. 

And this is just highlights...


Logistics & Costs


Islandwood Educational Center
Bainbridge Island, WA
(a 35-minute ferry from downtown Seattle)

Accommodations & Meals

The Summer Institute is a residential program. The program cost includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and beverages. Meals are healthy and delicious (you will rave about the food, we guarantee it), and include vegetables from their organic garden. They gladly accommodate any adjustment you might request (vegetarian, non-gluten, non-dairy, etc.) Lodging is provided in simple but comfortable rooms with a private bath. 

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Program Costs

Early registration discount ends May 12

Option 1: Summer Institute + Six Boxes Performance Coaching  (4 days) 

$2700 before May 12, $2950 after May 12

Option 2: Summer Institute with Special Topics  (3 Days)  

$2000 before  May 12, $2250 after May 12

If you are a non-profit or a small organization, please contact us about discounted pricing. We have limited spaces available for select clients.

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Single room    $155 per night
Shared double room   $90 per night
Shared triple room   $60 per night

 "I stay at hotels far too often and prefer something a bit different. IslandWood met this criteria perfectly. Food was healthy and delicious. Staff was friendly and welcoming. I was able to get outside to run, walk, and enjoy nature."


The deadline for the early registration discount will be May 12. Please note that we have a limited number of  rooms available so we recommend registering early.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call 206-780-8578 . 


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