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Performance Breakthroughs, Inc.

Performance Breakthroughs, Inc. (PBI) assists NTIS and Federal agencies by providing a holistic approach to leadership, management, and communications training, consulting, and coaching that leads to individual, team, workforce, and organizational excellence (as depicted in the graphic below).

PBI’s Framework for Organizational Excellence

Organizational Excellence Triangle:  Leadership, Management and Communications

Founded in 1998, PBI’s roots come primarily from its founder’s experience running the US Coast Guard’s training, performance improvement, and leadership development programs. Building on this foundation, our philosophy, framework, and experience also encompasses the “performance consulting” methodology espoused by the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) and the government’s “writing in plain language” communication initiatives (now Federal law H.R. 946).

Basically, three factors make PBI distinct and differentiate it from most other training/consulting firms:

  • First, we have a resolute focus on improving performance – of individuals, teams, the workforce, and overall organizations.
  • Second, we embrace the philosophy of treating our clients as we wish to be treated. Thus, we have a “Client Bill of Rights” to which we strictly adhere.
  • d, we have an unyielding desire to deliver true “customer (client) delight” in all that we do.

In fact, you will find that we display passion in our work, have the client's “best interests at heart,” listen and collaborate well, and possess deep individual experience and expertise in both the public and private sectors that we leverage in a professional and synergistic manner. Furthermore, all of PBI’s training is highly interactive (through discussions, exercises, use of videos, etc.), contextual (tailored to the client’s needs), practical (real world, not just theory), applied (results in an action plan), and uses peer learning and networking for reinforcement.

PBI’s Training and Services Overview

PBI solves organizational and team problems in the workplace. Listed below are the most common reasons that we are contacted – to help solve organizational or team “pain” ... or to help identify and achieve “gains” – guiding you toward excellence.

Do you have any of these typical organizational pains? If your answer is “Yes,” then PBI can help!


PBI Team Pains and Acheive Gains


Organizational and Team Excellence

PBI uses proven frameworks to build High Performance Teams (HPT) and High Performance Organizations (HPO). These complex concepts are displayed as simple puzzles (see below for an example) with Customers showcased as the centerpiece component of each puzzle.


Key Elements of a High Performance Organization (HPO)

Key Elements of a High Performance Organization


These frameworks provide organizations and teams a common conceptual picture and common language – more quickly unifying the group’s efforts and results. A significant component of this work is defining the strategic direction (vision, strategic plan, core values, Balanced Scorecard, etc.) in clear, compelling, and measurable terms. See the “Organizational Excellence White Paper” for more detail on the approach and the benefits from investing in it. Read More »


Our leadership training and development stems from the follower’s perspective. Followers expect leaders to set the vision (though they’d appreciate the opportunity for some input), acquire the necessary resources, shape the culture, and deal with the “external” world.

We draw heavily on the experience of the students and coachees. We ask participants to think about that leader or manager they would follow anywhere and identify “What did they say or do? What did they not say or not do?” From that, we create a template of desired leadership traits and behaviors that come from a personal and emotional connection and are in the context of our client organization. Read More »


Similarly, PBI’s management training and development also uses the follower’s perspective. Here, it’s “Are they fair?” and “Are they consistent?” This training is also very interactive and applied.

One of our key management exercises asks participants to describe the organization’s needs of its employees … and the employees’ needs of the organization. Thus, simply stated (but difficult to do) … the manager’s job is to balance those two lists. We have captured compelling Level III evaluation data (results and impact back on the job three or more months later) for this as well as the HPO and leadership courses. Read More »


Effective communication—particularly written—can make the difference between success and failure (for an organization and/or an individual). There is also a new law (signed by President Obama in October 2010) that requires federal agencies to write government documents in plain language and provide training to employees on how to write in plain English. If you (or your organization) are not writing in plain English or find your communications to be long-winded, off-the-mark, confusing, boring, riddled with errors, and/or ineffective, PBI can help “right your writing wrongs.”

We use a simple, yet proven and powerful approach to help you improve the effectiveness of your written communications. The POWER (Plan, Organize, Write, Evaluate, and Revise) writing approach helps students break through “writer's block;” become “reader-focused;” organize information for readability and logical flow; streamline the writing of drafts; use plain English to write clearly and concisely; and confidently edit, proofread, revise and finalize a variety of document types. Our training also helps students hone their skills in grammar, structure, mechanics, and style. In addition, we provide training for collaborative writing (writing as part of a team), writing effective emails, and using “visual rhetoric” (graphics, photographs, document design and layout, color, etc.) to complement your writing. Read More »

PBI’s New Certificate Program at George Mason University (GMU)

George Mason University (GMU) LogoRecently, PBI started teaching its’ new Certificate program “Managerial Development for Organizational Effectiveness” for George Mason University (GMU). The following are each one-day workshops offered through this certificate program:

  • Defining and Developing a Strategic Direction for Your Business Unit
  • Building Commitment and Trust in Your Organization
  • Using Performance Expectations and Feedback to Increase Performance
  • Leading and Managing Change Successfully
  • Designing and Using Measures that Matter

You can find more detail about our Certificate program on GMU’s website (

PBI’s website:

PBI’s contact information:

Jeff Parks
(703) 897-0724