Six Boxes Summer Institute 2011 Banner Image

Bainbridge Island, WA        June 20-23          REGISTER

Looking for a chance to learn and network with like-minded professionals, with the time and relaxed setting to reflect deeply on new ideas and their implications? 

The Six Boxes® Summer Institute combines elements of a mini-conference, an interactive workshop, and a professional retreat.  Last year’s participants called it “summer camp with great food” because of the intensity, the fun, the camaraderie… and the great food!  Our goal is to bring together talented professionals who are passionate about what really works to accelerate performance, and who love to share what they’ve learned. We provide structure, new ideas and perspectives, plus opportunities for vigorous conversation.

Join us in a spectacular natural setting to share best practices and new ideas for accelerating results through human performance.  Together with a diverse group of new and experienced users of the Six Boxes® Approach, you’ll learn new models and methods, share powerful insights, build important relationships as part of an extended professional network, and come away re-energized and empowered to accomplish more. Whether your interest is as broad as strategic planning or as focused as peer coaching; whether you’re a people manager or a performance professional; whether you come for one day or four days, the Six Boxes Summer Institute will exceed your expectations.

"The Six Boxes Institute has been added to my 'short list' of extraordinary life experiences. I expect, like the others, it will have a major impact on my future. Thank you."     A 2010 Participant

In addition to the rich content and a blast of new thinking, there are 255 acres of Pacific Northwest forest to explore between sessions, a quiet pond for bird watching, a path to the coast, miles of hiking, and a tower above the canopy for brave souls.

You'll find below:

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 Program description

Download a PDF version of the program descriptions

Monday June 20, 2011       

Introduction to Performance Thinking

Our popular one-day Introduction to Performance Thinking workshop introduces the models and plain English language of The Six Boxes Approach. It provides a framework for improving performance that can be shared across all levels and functions in an organization, both line and staff, from top to bottom. This will set the foundation for those new to performance thinking, and refresh the dialog for experienced Six Boxes users.

Tuesday June 21, 2011         

Starting with the Big Picture: Organization Mapping & the Six Boxes Approach

In this rare public hands-on workshop, Carol Panza, a performance improvement pioneer, will share the secrets of how to get started mapping performance in your own organization, and how to use organizational relationship maps for alignment, opportunity analysis, and planning. We’ll show how the Six Boxes Approach can help you cascade work outputs and measures from the top down, for organization-wide alignment and execution.

Implementation Planning and Change Management with the Six Boxes Approach

Learn how to apply the same models and tools used for performance improvement to manage change and plan for implementation. Ensure success of new programs, strategies, initiatives, systems, and processes by defining the performance required for success and then applying the Six Boxes Approach.  This session offers powerful insights and tools for application back on the job.

Performance Thinking for Managers and Leaders: Updates and New Strategies

What if improving the performance of people were easier for everyone? We believe that real power for change is in the hands of leaders and people managers. We’ll share some of our newest tools and implementation strategies from Six Boxes Management and Leadership, introduce a new product to make Skip Level Meetings more productive (and easier!), and overview a suite of programs that dive deeper into the “boxes”.

Wednesday June 22, 2011       

Linking Measurement, Evaluation and Decision-Making to the Performance Chain

Following Carl’s recent opening chapter from Handbook of Improving Performance in the Workplace, Vol 1, this session presents an elegantly simple strategy for identifying possible measures of performance and selecting metrics based on what’s practical and accessible. This approach offers strategies that line managers and performance professionals can share as they evaluate strategies, initiatives, and interventions, and decide what to do next.

Six Boxes Coaching: Panel Members Share Experiences

You’re excited about the models and tools of Six Boxes Performance Thinking, but how do you share them with others? We know that being able to explain or help someone else is often the best way to learn one’s self.  We’ve brought together a panel of Six Boxes Coaches who’ll share strategies and specific cases, highlight successes and challenges, and raise questions and issues for the whole group to discuss.

Practitioners Share their Work

A big advantage of common models, language and relatively simple tools is that they accelerate communication and learning. In this fast-paced session, practitioners share  examples of their work with the Six Boxes tools, including tricky outputs, interesting criteria, illuminating Six Boxes summaries, creative performance designs, even requests for help. We’ll provide pre-conference advice about what to prepare, and offer “consequences and incentives” for those who share.

Thursday June 23, 2011     

Six Boxes Accelerator Program

Practice the nitty gritty of applying Performance Improvement Logic and Six Boxes tools. Sharpen your interviewing skills, tackle the customer diagram from hell, discover new uses for old tools, build fluency talking about performance – a full day of practice and learning with each other.

In Addition....

Every day will include optional time enjoying the environment with a structured program (a guided nature walk, touring the sustainable facilities,  an edible exploration of the kitchen gardens, etc.). In the evenings we will have guest speakers who bring wisdom and perspectives to topics important to your profession. These are organized around the fireplace for relaxed interaction and dialog.

Download a PDF flyer for the Summer Institute

"The Six Boxes "summer camp" was a GREAT experience -- the content, the facilities, the food and the people! And I left with a better understanding of how to use Performance Thinking for a variety of applications."    A 2010 Participant

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Logistics & Costs


Islandwood Educational Center

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

Accommodations & Meals

A full day at the institute starts about 8:00 am and ends after the evening program, about 8:30 pm. We include lunch, snacks, dinner and beverages for all participants. Lodging is provided in simple but lovely rooms in the facility where we meet, and a full breakfast is included for residential guests.

Program Costs

Single Day Registration    $495
(includes lunch, dinner & materials)

Early registration discount until May 20    $425

3-Day Package    $1150
4-Day Package    $1395


Single room   $175/day
Shared double room   $125/day
(a full breakfast is included with lodging)

Ready to register?

Detailed Agenda

Monday June 20, 2011

7:00 – 8:00     Breakfast for residential participants
7:30 – 8:30      Registration
8:30 – 12:00    Introduction to Performance Thinking
12:00 – 12:30  Lunch
12:30 – 1:30    Optional nature hike or tour of facility
1:30 – 5:00      Introduction to Performance Thinking, cont’d
5:00 – 6:00     Time to relax and debrief with wine, beer and appetizers
6:00 – 7:00     Dinner
7:00 – 8:30      Fireside Chat:   Leadership
                            Irada Sadykhova, Senior Director of Leadership Development, Engineering                                          Excellence, Microsoft

Tuesday June 21, 2011

7:30 – 8:30       Breakfast for residential participants
8:00 – 8:30      Registration
8:30 – 9:00      Welcome & Introductions, Carl Binder & Cynthia Riha
9:00 – 12:30    Starting with the Big Picture: Organization Mapping & The Six Boxes                                             led by Carol Panza
12:30 – 1:30      Lunch
1:30 – 3:00        Implementation Planning and Change Management
Carl Binder
3:30 – 5:00      Performance Thinking for Managers and Leaders: Updates and  Strategies
Cynthia Riha & Karen Rice
6:00 – 7:00       Dinner
7:00 – 8:30       Fireside Chat: Employee Engagement

Wednesday June 22, 2011

7:30 – 8:30       Breakfast for residential participants
8:00 – 8:30      Registration
8:30 – 9:30      Linking Measurement, Evaluation & Decision-Making to the
                            Performance Chain
                            Carl Binder
9:30 – 11:30     SMART Goals with Glenn Hughes
11:30 – 1:30      Lessons in Sustainable Cuisine & Lunch                                          
1:30 – 3:00       Panel of Six Boxes Coaches
3:30 – 5:00      Practitioners Share Their Work
6:00 – 7:00       Dinner
7:00 – 8:30       Night Hike

Thursday June 23, 2011

7:00 – 8:00       Breakfast for residential participants
8:00 – 12:00    Six Boxes Accelerator Program
12:00 – 1:00     Lunch                                         
1:00 – 3:00       Six Boxes Accelerator Program


Registration is now open. The deadline for the early registration discount for single day attendance is May 20, 2011. We have included discounted rates for 3 or 4 day registration which do not have an early deadline.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call 206-384-0493 or email us





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