ISPI CLT: What was the most rewarding performance improvement experience you've had?
Thiagi: Working for 3 years in Liberia (West Africa) applying HPI principles to revamp elementary education with $10 million funding from USAID.
ISPI CLT: What was the most frustrating performance improvement experience you've had?
Thiagi: Working for 3 years in Liberia (West Africa) to watch the HPI project crumble after a military coup, decapitation of my local counterparts, and internal wars.
ISPI CLT: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone new to the HPT field?
Thiagi: Build airplanes while flying them. Don’t waste your time on pre-design analysis. Design a rapid prototype and tweak it as you go.
ISPI CLT: What was the greatest learning experience you've had?
Thiagi: You never come up with The Best Intervention. It’s always a case of successive approximation: building one version at a time.
ISPI CLT: When did you have your a-ha moment when you knew HPT was for you?
Thiagi: When HPT project after project kept crumbling: I am resilient and masochistic.
ISPI CLT: What is the greatest marketplace opportunity for those in performance improvement (PI) professions that you see emerging looking out to the next 2-3 years?
Thiagi: WBT training (for absolutely wrong reasons).
ISPI CLT: What is the greatest marketplace risk for those in PI professions that you see emerging looking out to the next 2-3 years?
Thiagi: It’s the design, stupid. Confusing technology and delivery systems with effective design is the greatest risk. A stupid design delivered through a sophisticated bells-and-whistles technology is still stupic.
ISPI CLT: What advice would you offer to PI professionals to help them improve their relationships with clients and customer (internal and external)?
Thiagi: Be trustworthy. Attend my workshop on March 14, 2014.
ISPI CLT: A lot of energy and dialogue has taken place in the last two decades about the importance of demonstrating and measuring the value of PI projects. In your opinion, what has resulted from this dialogue and energy around the measurement and evaluation of training and other PI efforts?
Thiagi: More people talking about the importance of Level IV evaluation and ROI and collecting data using invalid and unreliable smile sheets.
ISPI CLT: How should the PI thought-leaders move the profession as it relates to measuring and evaluating PI projects and initiatives?
Thiagi: By walking the talk.
ISPI CLT: If you were not in HPT, what would you be doing?
Thiagi: Be a street-corner magician.