Bonn Conference Update: A Unique Experience Not to be Missed




Performance Improvement Crossing Boundaries: 

Innovative Approaches, Lessons Learned, New Opportunities


ISPI EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) invites you to join us in Bonn, Germany for our 15th conference on September 22-24, 2016!


We hope that you are already planning to join us. However, if you are just now hearing about ISPI EMEA and Bonn 2016 for the first time—or if you are still making up your mind—we invite you to visit our website at to learn more about our plans for the Bonn Conference.


You can also access videos from several of our most recent past conferences and/or download the Feedback Report from our 2015 conference in Istanbul.  There is so much value in attending an ISPI EMEA Conference. Consider how you would benefit:


Relationship Building

You don’t just exchange business cards with interesting people at an ISPI EMEA conference. You get to know them by working with them on a simulation team, interacting with them during a Lunch and Learn session, or talking over dinner at a local German winery after a walk along the river near the conference venue—the Maritim Hotel Königswinter


Active Involvement

Our conference participants actually actively participate. Everyone has an opportunity to share their unique perspective by asking questions during concurrent sessions or to our panel of senior executives, in addition to contributing on a simulation team.


In a nutshell, you will greatly benefit from this uniquely valuable learning event. Only you can contribute your unique perspective to the topic that is the theme for the 15th ISPI EMEA conference. 


ISPI EMEA conferences consistently attract participants who are forward-thinking professionals with a global perspective on performance.


Key Conference Features

  • Pre-conference Workshops – Three-hour workshops designed to provide immediately applicable knowledge, skills and tools.
  • Simulation – Running throughout the conference, the simulation is thecenterpiece of this event. Our 2016 client, Never Again Rwanda, and four of our team leaders are highlighted below.
  • Keynote – One-hour presentation by an impressive executive from a very innovative German company, Phoenix Contact. Professor Gunther Olesch was highlighted in the August issue of PerformanceXPress.
  • Senior Executive Panel – Providing an opportunity to hear directly from and interact with respected senior executives from well-known companies (Bill Bowers, Global VP Business Development, SAP Commercial Sales; Mardia van der Walt, Senior VP, International Carrier Sales & Solutions, Deutsche Telekom; and Mr. Ewald, Director/General Manager, Maritim Hotel Konigswinter).
  • Lunch and Learn – Short presentations on a variety of topics over lunch.
  • Concurrent Sessions – 16 one-hour sessions on a variety of topics related to this year’s conference theme.


Highlighting the ISPI EMEA 2016 Simulation


An exciting new client for an experience not to be missed . . .


An original simulation, based on a real organization within its marketplace/operating reality (which forms the centerpiece for each conference) is an ISPI EMEA tradition. And, it’s a tradition that adds a great deal to the value of these learning/sharing events. 


This year’s simulation client is Never Again Rwanda. NAR is a peace-building and social justice organization that arose in response to the 1994 genocide perpetrated against Tutsis. Guided by a vision of a nation where citizens are agents of positive change and work together towards sustainable peace and development, NAR aims to empower Rwandans with opportunities to become active citizens through peace building and development. NAR places a particular emphasis on youth as the future of a peaceful society. NAR is one of the leading national peace-building organizations with nearly 13 years of experience building a cornerstone for peace.


We are excited to bring this client organization to our 2016 Conference through the recommendation and support of USAID through the HICD/R project in Rwanda. NAR will provide an exciting opportunity to work with a local civil society organization (CSO), pursuing serious societal goals.

If you would like the rare and valuable opportunity to work with this client as a member of a diverse team in the safe environment of our ISPI EMEA conference, join us in Bonn! Where else will you be able to gain such valuable real-world experience that is also safe, secure and fun?! 



Introducing 2016 Simulation Team Leaders

An important role for the simulation is that of simulation consulting team leader. Several years ago, we began the process of inviting selected professionals—who were already registered to participate in an upcoming conference—to volunteer for the important role of simulation consulting team leader in advance of the conference. 


That practice allowed us the opportunity to provide team leaders with a package of simulation case overview materials before the conference. It also permits us to introduce our team leaders with some lead time to support the recruiting of team members. Given the diversity of ISPI EMEA conference participants, simulation teams are similarly diverse with respect to experience, expertise, nationality, culture and approach to the subject of performance improvement. This year’s team leaders—as every year—are a diverse group of professionals.


In order to properly introduce them, we asked each to provide us with a short statement about the value of the simulation from their personal perspective and/or why they were willing to take on the team leader role. We also asked each to provide us with a brief bio. Following are our Bonn conference team leaders, each discussing the simulation and providing a little insight into their own unique background.


Sylvia Lee (Canada)


Why be a team leader? 

“Innovative ideas, learning, and friendships – a powerful combination of value from the simulation. You gain the melding of ideas coming from different parts of the world, and new ways of looking at things. If you look at things differently, the things you look at change, as Wayne Dyer said, means if you want things to change, you have to look at them differently. The simulation delivers that and helps you meet new people. What a great combination! Why would I not volunteer? I get to help make this happen!”


Who is Sylvia Lee? 

Bonn will be Lee’s fourth ISPI-EMEA conference (and is her absolute favorite conference, delivering the most value). She is looking forward to leading a simulation team once again and will bring her focus on strengths-based leadership and strengths-based organizations to the discussion. That is the focus of her doctoral thesis too, because she believes deeply that it offers the most productive and constructive way to generate change, high performance and high engagement. She has presented and given workshops at conferences in Sweden (ISPI-EMEA), Georgia (ISPI-EMEA), Istanbul (ISPI-EMEA), Finland, Poland, New Zealand, Uganda, England, Scotland, USA, as well as Canada. Most have revolved around the strengths paradigm. She is an independent management consultant, focusing on organizational design, organizational culture, organizational development, and stabilizing and revitalizing HR departments as contemporary, strategic forces in organizations. She has spent many years in and leading HR and OD departments, as well as having a background in adult education (not to mention microbiology from a former life in the UK). 


Suiunbek Syrdybaev (Kyrgyz Republic)


Why be a team leader?

“In a real life of consultancy, we usually have limited information from a client, and it takes a lot of time and effort to collect it. During the simulation, we are in a different situation when we have a lot of information, but a very limited time for developing a project for the client. And this makes the simulation a unique opportunity to concentrate all that you have learned and known before in one creative and elegant proposal.”


Who is Suiunbek Syrdybaev?

Suiunbek is a partner and a leader of El Group’s management consulting dimension. A well-known expert with more than 15 years of business experience, Suiunbek has an extensive background in Central Asian and Eastern Europe public sector reform processes, including international assignments for the World Bank IDF Grant in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. He is an analytical and a conceptual thinker, who effectively partners with senior managers to assess opportunities, facilitate strategic decisions, and drive successful implementations.


Suiunbek has managed a broad array of projects in industries ranging from public services and media, to education and social welfare. Projects include:


Strategic Planning

Needs Assessment

Business-Process Analysis

Monitoring and Evaluation of Programs/Projects

Functional Analysis

Design and Elaboration of National and Donor Strategic Programs


He graduated from the Tomsk University, one of the oldest universities in Russia and served as lecturer at the Kyrgyz National University between 1993 and 1995. Suiunbek has written for a number of publications and is the author or editor of a number of books and research papers. He is an alumni of the International Visitors Programme (USIA).


John Lazar (USA)

Why be a team leader? 

“I’ve had the pleasure of participating in ISPI EMEA conference simulations, once as a team member and once as a team leader. In both situations, we had the chance to grapple with a client organization’s real-world challenges and breakdowns, diagnose for root cause, pair/select intervention(s), and propose a path forward. For any team, our learning opportunities are to come together quickly as a team, share experience and expertise and deliver effective consulting process and product to the client. All of this is done under time and information constraints, just like in real life!  I look forward to another round in Bonn, with new teammates and many new chances to expand our learning.”


Who is John Lazar?

John B. Lazar, MA, MCC has been a performance consultant and coach since 1983, including 21 years as a leadership/executive coach to CEOs and presidents, business owners, executives, and senior managers through his company John B. Lazar & Associates, Inc. He has made NSPI/ISPI his professional home for more than 30 years.


Lisa Giacumo (USA)


Why be a team leader?

“This is my first year at ISPI EMEA and I am excited to meet people and get to know them through partnering on the simulation project. This year’s client opportunity, Never Again Rwanda, is also very interesting to me. My consulting experience and research interests are intertwined with working to positively change civil society, progress social justice, support relief, contribute to international development and collaborate across cultures. I am looking forward to this opportunity and I hope you consider joining a team. You are welcome to join mine! See you there.”


Who is Lisa Giacumo?

Lisa A. Giacumo is an assistant professor of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning at Boise State University. Her consulting and research interests focus on the use of systems thinking and digital tools, including social and digital media, big data, analytics, and mentoring for training and performance improvement initiatives in global contexts. In previous roles, she has worked as an instructional designer, trainer, and manager for various businesses, universities, non-profits, and non-governmental organizations. Giacumo is an ISPI member, a frequent presenter at AECT, and has presented at LINGO’s Global Learning Forum.


Check our website to learn about all of our 2016 simulation team leaders, including links to videos where you can hear directly from them.


Whether you join a team or decide to observe, you will surely benefit from the 2016 Bonn Conference simulation! Plan to join us!


2016 Senior Executive Panel

One of the perennial highlights of ISPI EMEA conferences—the Senior Executive Panel—is scheduled for Saturday, September 24. Participants at the conference will have the opportunity to hear from and interact with a panel of senior executives with diverse backgrounds in a special two-hour session. We have already introduced our panelists in the August issue of PerformanceXpress.


We would like to introduce our exceptional panel facilitator for this highlighted event, where participants will hear directly from experienced senior executives about the challenges and opportunities facing organizations today, their perspective on the theme of this year’s conference “Performance Improvement Crossing Boundaries: Innovative Approaches, Lessons Learned, New Opportunities” and what we as performance improvement professionals can potentially contribute to organization results in a constructive way.


The two-hour session is specifically designed to engage and involve session participants, who will be invited to offer questions and comments for panelists.


Senior Executive Panel Facilitator   


Juan Pablo Ortiz Jiménez

Partner and Senior Consultant, YesP Consulting AB  (Sweden)

Juan Pablo Ortiz Jimenez has worked as a senior consultant at YesP AB since 2003. During the past 10 years he has been responsible for numerous successful performance improvement interventions and change processes in Europe, Asia, and North and South America. Jimenez is a valued partner in helping organizations, teams and individuals achieve measurable and meaningful results. His experience includes work with large multinationals, the public sector and NGOs. Jimenez combines theoretical and empirical knowledge with strong training, speaking and facilitation skills.


Previously, Jimenez held executive positions in the IT industry between 1998 and 2002, and worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) between 1990 and 1997. He has a formal education in journalism and communications. Jimenez has lived in Mexico, Colombia, Sweden and China, and is fluent in English, Spanish and Swedish.


As a member of the International Society for Performance Improvement since 2004, Pablo has attended many ISPI conferences. He has been facilitating senior executive panels for ISPI EMEA conferences since 2010 in Sweden.


Explore Bonn, the Capital of West Germany (1949-1990) and the birthplace of Beethoven


Though probably best known as the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 (and of reunified Germany until 1999), Bonn actually has a history dating back to the 1st century BC. Roman soldiers were stationed here and the largest known Roman fort was built at Bonn. In medieval times, the town gained prominence when the Archbishop of Cologne transferred his seat to Bonn. The city's most famous son is Ludwig van Beethoven, born in 1770 at Bonngasse, where a museum now honors him. Visit


All conference participants will have a chance to walk along the river and enjoy a traditional dinner together at a wonderful winery, as part of our evening event. If you can already guess that that small taste of this lovely city won’t be enough, come early or stay after the conference is over to see more of Bonn and the rest of Germany! 



Sign Up Now!  


As a reminder, ISPI EMEA Conferences are purposefully intimate in size (limited to 100 participants) with a format, content and presenters designed to attract executives and professionals from diverse backgrounds and experience, that bring with them an enthusiasm for learning, sharing and growing together in the highly interactive atmosphere of the conference.


A successful conference must have both great presenters and great participants!  Once again we plan to use a simulation to involve everyone in an interesting, active way, with a new case and a continuously improving simulation process—just another compelling reason to participate is our Senior Executive Panel session. You don’t want to miss this chance to hear directly from and interact with senior executives.


Come to Bonn to learn, share and contribute to this uniquely valuable event.