Forgot your password?

Back to sign in

Six Boxes Performance Thinking Summer Institute 2015 Banner Image

2018  Six Boxes Summer Institute

Bainbridge Island, WA        June 17 - 21,  2018                 

Save these dates!  We're still working on the program for our 9th Annual Six Boxes® Summer Institute, but the program listed below will give you a good idea of the general design of the Summer Institute. 

Our 2018 theme of Performance Thinking Across the Enterprise will emphasize how the plain English language and models of Performance Thinking® programs allow people at any level or any function to contribute to continuous performance improvement.  We'll illustrate with case examples how the ease with which people learn to think and communicate about performance using Six Boxes Performance Thinking enables this approach to spread like a virus. And we'll discuss practical strategies for accelerating and expanding Performance Thinking across different types of organizations.

Early Registration Discount Deadline is May 1.


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.

It's good news that we will not be raising our prices in 2018 to account for the usual increases in our costs, so you can use 2017 pricing to know exactly what to put in your budget.

Resource > IWwelcomedeer.jpeg by:
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."

"The Summer Institute was the best conference or seminar type of learning opportunity that I have ever attended."

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.  


Resource > SImeetings.jpeg by:

General Sessions – Selected Highlights for the 2017 Summer Institute

Here is a list of presentations and workshops for 2017, in addition to the Six Boxes Performance Coaching program.  We'll have a new set of sessions in 2018, but equally engaging.

Framing Performance Projects  

This session reviews the 5 types of performance improvement projects, provided as a starting place for figuring out how to approach a project, specifically how to go about identifying work outputs, criteria, and behavior.  We’ll practice and discuss deciding how to approach several different types of projects represented in brief case descriptions.

Project Case Studies

Given brief descriptions of real life cases, participants will decide how to approach each project. This will be followed by brief recorded presentations of how Six Boxes Practitioners decided to approach and conduct the projects.

Introduction to Sustainment  

We’ll introduce this year’s Summer Institute theme, sustainment, describing how Six Boxes Performance Thinking® models and methods provide an approach to performance improvement that is inherently sustainable. We’ll provide an overview of the program, showing how each session fits into this theme.

Beyond Putting the S in ADDIES   

Gina Rester-Zodrow of Amgen will talk about her organization’s decision to extend and sustain the impact of training by formally including a sustainment phase in the analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation (ADDIE) process.  Performance consultants conduct follow-up analyses to check and tweak behavior influences, ensuring optimal impact and sustainment of performance gains. She’ll then explain how this focus on sustainment has evolved with a global community practice that includes more than 150 certified Six Boxes® Practitioners at locations in facilities around the world.

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.

Nurturing the Performance Thinking Virus  

Bill Blunt, who introduced Performance Thinking at Amgen more than 7 years ago, will describe his efforts over the years to help spread the language and concepts of this approach across the company.  Currently, it has been adopted globally as a key continuous performance improvement strategy deployed by a growing number of over 150 Six Boxes Practitioners, led by Bill’s successor, Gina Rester-Zodrow.  We’ll discuss strategies and tactics that others have used in their organizations, and how we can adapt them to nurturing a sustainable culture of continuous performance improvement.

Graphic Display of Performance Measures  

We’ll discuss issues and challenges related to collecting, using and displaying performance measures to provide feedback and to support decisions related to performance interventions.  We’ll have a demo of a powerful, easy-to-use web-based data display system for monitoring performance, analyzing impact, and making decisions and discuss how this technology can be helpful for performance consultants and leaders/managers.

Flexible Application Performance Thinking® Logic and Tools

Once we’ve mastered the discipline of performance analysis and performance design following the Performance Improvement Logic, we can apply this approach with a great deal of flexibility. That’s a key aspect of the “thinking” in Performance Thinking!   We’ll explore the dimensions of flexibility in this approach, including a continuum of depth and detail in the analysis of performance and design of interventions, guided by a job aid that participants will receive.

Implementation Planning for The Performance Thinking® Manager 

Ian Cook will share with us his Six Boxes® Practitioner certification project which involved proactive implementation planning to embed the practices and tools taught in The Performance Thinking Manager program into day-to-day management and coaching practice. His project exemplifies application of Six Boxes Performance Thinking to ensure impact and sustainment of interventions, and demonstrates how we recommend organizations maximize ROI for our Performance Thinking® programs.

Assessing Management Practices  

Leaders and managers have as major work outputs the behavior influences that support and develop performance of the people whom they lead and manage.  This session introduces the Six Boxes Model as a framework for assessing strengths and needs in the management practices of a team or organization. It engages participants in an assessment of the management practices in the teams where they work, either as managers or as individual contributors.

Creating an Employee Engagement Plan  

We have noted for years the remarkable alignment of The Gallup Organization’s Employee Engagement survey with the cells of our Six Boxes Model.  The Six Boxes Model itself provides a framework for identifying opportunities to improve employee engagement in a team, a department, or a larger organization.  Participants will begin to draft Employee Engagement Plans for the teams or organizations where they work, either as individual contributors or as managers/leaders.

A Six Boxes® Long View and Perspective 

John Schanck, who is joining our Performance Thinking Team, first encountered the Six Boxes Model when it was being formulated and refined, while he was Senior Vice President of Sales at Dun and Bradstreet and a client of Carl’s consulting firm in the mid 1990’s.  He has not been part of Six Boxes Performance Thinking in recent years, yet continues to be an enthusiast about the model, a key part of the Performance Thinking approach.  John will share insights, observations, and perspectives after participating in this year’s Summer Institute, and will prompt discussion about where we’ve been and where we’re going.

Tidbits from Behavior Science:  RFT & ACT

Carl will repeat his annual dive into findings and applications of behavior science that we don’t usually discuss in Performance Thinking programs. This year he’ll summarize Relational Frame Theory (RFT), which provides an explanation for how we learn and combine both cognitive and emotional or interpersonal behavior.  He’ll describe Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT), an off-shoot of RFT that has wide application, and involves clarification of values and mindful self-management of relational frames that can get in the way of values-driven action. We think that ACT may be a valuable addition to our Leadership programs and want to hear what our colleagues think about that idea.

Execution Planning for Impact and Sustainment  

According to thought leaders, very few strategic plans are ever fully executed. The link from strategic business goals to practical action is often unclear, but Performance Thinking provides an approach that can clarify that link, leading to measurable execution plans.  Who needs to do and produce what in order to achieve desired business or societal goals?  This session will present the rationale for such execution planning, and provide participants an opportunity to begin planning execution of a strategic or operational plan in their work settings.

State of the Network 

We’ll summarize where we have been over the last year and where we are going.  The goal of this session is to build enthusiasm and engage participation in the next steps, as we enlarge and extend the impact of The Performance Thinking Network, which potentially includes everyone attending the Summer Institute.

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. 

Resource > IWfood.jpeg by:

Program Costs

Early registration discount ends May 1

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

$2700 before May 1, $2950 after May 1

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

$2000 before  May 1, $2250 after May 1

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

Resource > IWRooms.jpeg by:


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 1. 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 . 

register SOON!

Home/Products & Services/2018 Six Boxes Summer Institute

Ask a Question |Share:

Content Summary

To learn more call 800.358.3629