Chillax: 13 Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress

  1. A Message from the President: Chillax: 13 Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress
  2. Network News and Events
    • Creating a Great Customer-Inspired Experience (Minneapolis) 09/10
    • Continuous Improvement at Dunwoody (Minneapolis) 09/05

    • Listening to the Voice of the Customer (Rochester) 09/10

    • Leveraging Peer Insights Inside Your Organization (St. Paul) 09/11

    • Personality Assessment & Applications — MNODN (Minneapolis) 09/12

    • Perspectives on Effective Leadership (Twin Ports) 09/25

    • Learn What Drives Organizational Excellence: 2013 MN Performance Excellence Award
    • Creating a Great Customer-Inspired Experience (Minneapolis) 10/02

    • Lean Six Sigma Forum (Austin) 10/22

    • Tools to Achieve Process/Operational Excellence – Hold the Date! (Bloomington) 11/12

  3. Partner News and Events

    • Attend the 2013 Baldrige Regional Conferences — (Chicago (9/12), Dallas (9/25))
    • Powerful Customer-Supplier Seminars Coming in September — (Winona, Bloomington) 09/09

    • Theory U: Leading from the Emerging Future — MN Facilitators Network (Minneapolis) 09/12
    • Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference — (Excelsior) 09/17

    • Lean Enterprise Institute — Lean Workshops — Lean Enterprise Institute (Minneapolis) 09/17
    • What You Can Do to Increase the Value of Your Business — Enterprise Minnesota (Richfield) 09/18

    • Innovation Best Practices & NPDP Certification Preparation Conference — NPDP (St. Paul) 09/26

A Message from the President: Chillax: 13 Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress

Quick trivia: from what movie does the line “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” come?  It comes from the 1976 movie, The Network.  Winner of four Academy Awards and with an all-star cast, The Network is a satirical film about a struggling fictional TV network.  The movie climaxes with the anchor of the evening news, after learning he has two weeks before the program is cancelled and after threatening to commit suicide on the air, erupting in a 4-minute on-air rant that inspires the country to unify in his misery (if you’re curious, visit here).

But some 37 years later, most American workers still feel extremely high levels of stress in their jobs.  In fact, in a recent survey, 83% are stressed out by at least one thing at work, and 70% of American workers are disengaged (check out my June blog on how to increase employee engagement).  And it’s getting worse: the World Health Organization predicts that stress will be the leading cause of physical disability in the world by 2020.

It’s no wonder: coming off of a monumental recession, many American workers are asked to do more with less – their days (and sometimes their nights and weekends) are filled with an ever-increasing workload.  So as summer winds down, and people conclude their vacations and long Labor Day weekends, today’s article focuses on the individual worker – 13 ways to reduce stress on the job (or in your personal life) that can be used by anyone in any organization or circumstance…

Exercise more.  I know, I know – easier said than done.  But we’re not talking an hour a day to train for ultra-marathons here: you can do as little as 10 minutes (and some research says 7 minutes) a day to achieve positive effects on your health and happiness.  It helps you relax, releases endorphins (those “happy hormones”), increases your brain power, improves your image and confidence, and also improves health (weight, muscle tone, cardiovascular, diabetes, etc. etc.).  My wife is a fitness coach http://twitter.com/Gianna_BL), so I can’t escape it at home.  But I’ll tell you from personal experience: the more I exercise, the better I feel and the more resilient and capable I am at dealing with daily stress.

Sleep more.  Sleep helps our bodies recover and repair, but it also helps us focus, be more productive, and improve our disposition.  In fact, some research shows that sleep helps us better cope with negative emotions – in other words, helps us deal with stress and improve happiness.  Seven to eight hours of time well-invested for our health and well-being.

Eat right.  Stress sometimes leads people to make poor food choices, but poor diet can lead to additional stress (weight gain, increased blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic health issues).  Generally, the healthier foods you eat, the healthier you’ll feel.  But there are actually a few super-foods that reduce stress.  Try these: turkey (tryptophan boosts serotonin, which helps alleviate stress); spinach (a rich source of magnesium, which helps promote a sense of calm; spinach also boasts energy); salmon (the Omega-3 boosts serotonin, nourishes the brain while mitigating stress hormones, and reduces inflammation and promotes healthy blood flow); nuts and seeds (rich in both Omega-3 and Omega-6); citrus fruit (the Vitamin C reduces stress and serves as an antioxidant that boosts your immune system); root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots (high fiber, good carbohydrates which boost serotonin and help control blood pressure).  Eat better and you’ll feel better.

Spend time with family and friends.  You’ve all heard the saying that you never claim on your deathbed: “I wish I had spent more time at work.”  Social time with those you love – or just love being around – is important to improving happiness (yes, even for introverts).  Humans in general are social creatures.  And there is a tremendous amount of research (such as “Blue Zones” studies) that indicate that happier, healthier cultures are predicated in part on the strength of their social networks.

Center yourself: practice breathing, meditate, or try yoga.  Meditation helps improve focus, clarity, attention span, and also helps keep you calm and composed.  You don’t need a dark, quiet room or some other tranquil environment (though that helps) – you can even take just 2-3 minutes in the office for deep breathing and focusing exercises to clear your head, slow your heart rate, and improve your mood.  Take three minutes for long, slow deep breaths.  Don’t do anything else, but focus your attention on your breathing and your whole body.  And repeat it two or three times a day.  It works: your stress will dissipate.  You can also try yoga, which combines a series of slow-moving and stationary poses with deep breathing.  Yoga improves flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina, and greatly reduces stress.

Take breaks.  Research shows that taking regular breaks during the workday can boost productivity and creativity. Dr. Danny Penman, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, says: “Breaks give your mind space to digest information.  It’s very important to daydream, to let your mind run free at the deepest level.  That’s the source of creativity – taking disparate ideas from different disciplines and putting them together.”  So take a lunch break, stare into space for a few minutes, or take a walk (see “exercise” above and “go outside” below for more on the benefits of a walk!).

Take a vacation.  “Vacations have been shown to increase your on-the-job performance as much as 40% when you return. So having rested employees is really critical for business,” says Joe Robinson, author of Don’t Miss Your Life.  But yet more than 25% of American workers don’t GET any vacation and an even larger number don’t TAKE vacation.  Vacations offer a physical, mental (and emotional) separation from work, recharging our psychological batteries and oftentimes curing work-related burnout.  Robinson: “vacations have been shown to re-gather crashed emotional resources.  Vacations heal us.”  Sometimes when you least think you can afford to take a vacation is exactly the time you need it the most.

Get outside!  In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor claims that spending even 20 minutes outside improves your mood, broadens your thinking, and improves your memory.  So take a walk, go for a run, or just go sit by the lake or watch the sunset.  Reconnecting with nature has a rejuvenating effect on us all.

Unplug from technology.  We’re bombarded with data all day – emails, text messages, phone calls.  And studies have shown that technology is making us more distracted, impatient, and forgetful (it forces us to think in shorter time increments – to process information more quickly).  This causes stress and sometimes the loss of perspective of the bigger picture.  So give yourself permission to turn it off – shut down for the night (or weekend or at least during your vacation time!).

Volunteer.  To make yourself feel better, make others feel better – volunteer.  In fact, research shows that the happiest individuals spend at least 100 hours per year volunteering (or just two hours per week!).  It gives us purpose; it makes us feel productive and useful; and it improves our own self-worth and disposition.

Try acupuncture or massage.  Both methods change energy flow and/or chemicals in the body – they reduce the stress-induced cortisol, they stimulate blood flow, they reduce blood pressure, and – at least with massage – they relax muscles.

Smile.  Yes – real smiles (not fake, contrived smirks).  Even better, laugh.  There are many studies that show the positive impact of laughter – it releases endorphins and improves our moods.

Practice gratitude.  Sounds simple, but it really is effective.  Humans are wired to sometimes focus on the negative (the weather stinks, our favorite sports team is struggling, the economy is unstable, I’m tired, etc.).  Try focusing on the good things in your life – you may journal about it try or just try thinking of three things each night for which you are thankful.  Sounds corny, but it does refocus you on positive thoughts, reduces stress, and gives you a better outlook.

As leaders, try to create an environment that reduces employee stress – it’s best for their satisfaction and well-being, and it optimizes their productivity and maximizes their effectiveness.  But stress is inevitable: with today’s constantly changing world and ever-increasing demands, I’m afraid we can never fully eliminate stress from the workplace.  However, we can – as leaders and individual workers – deliberately manage stress.  And we should: our professional performance depends on it.  Indeed, our health – both as individuals and as organizations – depends on it.  Enjoy the rest of summer and a much-needed long weekend!

Want to participate in a discussion on this topic?? Visit our LinkedIn group and/or post a comment below!

And if you want to read more on any of these tips, I pulled from several articles I found this summer:

Kill stress before it kills you
Five Ways to Reduce Stress at Work
10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science
Mindfulness At Work: 5 Tricks For A Healthier, Less Stressful Work Day
Take a Break
7 Foods That Reduce Stress
The 4 C’s for Stress Management in the Workplace

Yours in Performance Excellence,
Brian S. Lassiter
President, Performance Excellence Network (formerly Minnesota Council for Quality)

Creating a Great Customer-Inspired Experience (Minneapolis) 09/10

A great customer experience begins with a solid understanding of your customers.  But it also requires that your employees use those insights to build programs that your competitors cannot duplicate.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Jim Tincher, Senior Business Advisor with Satisfaction Management Systems, to a special full-day workshop September 10: “Creating a Great Customer-Inspired Experience.”

Jim will build off of the PEN breakfast earlier this summer, sharing the three keys to build a great customer-inspired experience for your business, and you will pick up actionable steps you can implement literally tomorrow!

Learning objectives for the workshop include:

  • Understanding best practices to monitor your existing experience, including relationship and transactional measurements
  • Determining top priorities for action
  • Developing a customer experience business case for change
  • Leveraging front-line employees to build out your improved customer experience
  • Building customer experience change in your organization
  • Developing and tell stories to drive your change

A great customer experience leads to enhanced loyalty and significantly higher financial returns.  Join this discussion to learn more!

The discussion is from 8:30-4:30 on September 10 at the Art Institute of Minneapolis, downtown.  Cost is $250/person for groups of two or more members (or $300 for single members, $600 for single non-members).

Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

Continuous Improvement at Dunwoody (Minneapolis) 09/05

Dunwoody College of Technology has a long history of commitment to continuous improvement.  It began in the early 90s, adopting many principles of quality that at the time were really only being used by businesses.  And it has continued today, evolving.

The Performance Excellence Network is pleased to welcome Mike White, Dean of the Bachelor’s of Applied Management Program and Director of Quality, Dunwoody, to our September 5 PEN: “Continuous Improvement at Dunwoody.”

Mike will discuss how a higher education institution defines and measures quality and will outline the initiatives the college uses to drive improvement.  He’ll also explore the process the college went through to determine the quality framework they currently use, as well as what Dunwoody has learned about themselves on the journey.  Mike will demonstrate how their efforts ultimately led to improvements in how they serve their customers, the students and stakeholders at Dunwoody College.

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on Sept 5 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m.) at MCTC, 1501 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis (near the Basilica).  Admission to PEN is FREE for Network members; $15 for partner organizations; $30 for the public.  Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

Listening to the Voice of the Customer (Rochester) 09/10

Money is tight and innovation seems risky.  If you are a little uncertain and uneasy about your business strategies, you are not alone.  But is it smart to play it safe when you have to continue to improve and change?

The Performance Excellence Network is pleased to welcome Jeri Meola, president of Satisfaction Management Systems, to our Sept 10 SE Minnesota PEN: “Listening to the Voice of the Customer.”

Learn about ways to position your company to gain market share and drive sales growth over the next year, backed by solid market research data.  The status quo is not a good strategy right now: according to the Research Institute of America, as many as 90% of unsatisfied customers will not come back or buy again.  During this session, Meola will work with the audience to see how empathy can drive change and growth.  “If you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will,” says Meola.  “Don’t gloss over this just because you’ve heard it before – it costs 5-20 times more to acquire a customer than to retain one.  There is a strong financial link between high levels of customer satisfaction and your company’s bottom line.”

The session is Sept 10 from 7:30-9:00 AM RCTC.  No cost for members; $30 for non-members.

Space is limited. Please register by contacting jennifer.burmeister@performanceexcellencenetwork.org (or 507-213-8132).

Leveraging Peer Insights Inside Your Organization (St. Paul) 09/11

Peer groups work on the basic premise that the answer to a given question resides within the group.  In this setting, peers learn how to listen, understand other perspectives, and solve problems.  This process of working with and through others teaches the group how to become better – and more effective –leaders.

Under most scenarios, peer groups are comprised of individuals from multiple companies – just like our own Performance Excellence Network!  But what if you could create internal peer groups within your organization?  Could you tap into each employee’s knowledge and experience to the betterment of the group and the overall organization?  Could you create a learning organization, which is eager to implement positive change and continuous improvement?

The Performance Excellence Network is pleased to welcome Rod Johnson, CEO/President, and Debbra Ricci, VP, both of Bizgames, Inc. to our September 11 PEN: “Leveraging Peer Insights Inside Your Organization.” 

BIZgames has a tool to raise thought provoking questions in team/peer group settings.  The tool is called “Praise or Concern.”  In this discussion, you will understand the value of utilizing the “knowledge in the room,” will experience game play with the Praise or Concern Tool, and will realize how implementing a learning environment within your organization can impact your collaboration, culture, and growth.
The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on Sept 11 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m.) at Metropolitan State University, 700 E 7th St  St Paul, MN 55106 (just east of downtown St. Paul, off of Mounds Blvd and 7th St).  Admission to PEN is FREE for Network members; $15 for partner organizations; $30 for the public.  Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

Personality Assessment & Applications — MNODN (Minneapolis) 09/12

The MNODN, an affiliate partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce its next program: “Personality Assessment & Application.”  The session will be Sept 12, 5:30-7:30 PM at University of St. Thomas, and will be facilitated by Scott Gregory, General Manager at Hogan Assessment Systems.

Historically, personality has been conceptualized in several key ways, each with implications for measurement and application.  This presentation will include a brief overview of traditional approaches and applications, and will highlight personality conceptualized as one’s reputation.   Defining personality in this way makes it easily applicable to the workplace at the level of the individual, team, and organization as a whole.  We will explore measures of thebright side, the dark side, and the inside developed from this modern perspective on personality and review a variety of business and leadership applications that practitioners should find thought provoking and accessible.The session is $25 ($20 for Network members, as allied partners).  More information at http://www.mnodn.org/.

Perspectives on Effective Leadership (Twin Ports) 09/25

So many factors are important to organizational success. But no single factor is greater in predicting performance excellence than effective leadership.

The Performance Excellence Network, Twin Ports, is pleased to welcome Chris Swanson, CEO of PureDriven a web marketing firm out of Two Harbors, to our Sept 25 TPPEN: “Perspectives on Effective Leadership.”

Chris is the founder of The Computer Shop, a former City Council member for Two Harbors, and was appointed by Governor Pawlenty to the Minnesota Ultra High Speed Broadband Task Force. He knows what it takes to lead, and he’ll share some best practices and tips that will translate to any leader in any organization.

The session is from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Sept 25 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:00 a.m.) at a location TBD in Duluth. Admission to TPPEN is FREE for PEN members and guests ($20 for non-members).

Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

Learn What Drives Organizational Excellence: 2013 MN Performance Excellence Award

Are you interested in learning more about what makes organizations successful?  Are you interested in helping other organizations — such as schools, hospitals, non-profits, and businesses — around the three-state region improve their performance?  Would you be interested in networking, learning, and sharing with others who feel the same way?

The Performance Excellence Network is seeking candidates for the 2013 Performance Excellence Award Board of Evaluators.  The final of three application deadlines for 2013 is October 1.

There are many benefits to becoming an Evaluator, such as:

  1. The experience strengthens your understanding of what drives organizational excellence.  The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence represent a validated set of best practices for organizational excellence – practices that can help your organizations reach higher levels of performance.
  2. Networking with other Evaluators can expand your contacts and form deep relationships with influential leaders and professionals from across the state.  Last year’s Board of Evaluators were about 130 professionals representing all sectors (manufacturing, service, healthcare, education, non-profit, and government), all levels of leadership and all organizational roles (CEOs, presidents, Superintendents, VPs and department/unit leaders, physicians and surgeons, RNs, school teachers, and many other practitioners).
  3. The experience allows you to see “best practices” deployed within another organization – knowledge that you could use back at your organization and/or in your career.
  4. Your contribution helps organizations throughout the region – many of them schools, health care providers, non-profits, public sector agencies, and certainly businesses – improve their performance…simply get better at what they do.  Your participation helps Minnesota, North and South Dakota improve its competitiveness and productivity, and helps create/sustain jobs.
  5. You can develop or refine a set of other professional skills that may help you advance your career – skills such as consensus- and team-building, written communication, verbal communication and interpersonal skills, interviewing, analysis, and systems thinking.
  6. You can earn three hours of undergrad or graduate-level credit through the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Stout, for those interested.
  7. We expect a sharp increase in the number of organizations seeking an assessment in 2013, so we are trying to grow the number of Evaluators in our program.  In other words, we need resources this year!
  8. And we have greatly improved our process this year, eliminating significant time for our volunteer Evaluators.

Most Evaluators consider the experience to be among the most valuable of their careers.  In fact, many have claimed that the experience and knowledge gained from this process rivals getting an MBA or advanced business degree.

Applications for “cycle 3” are due Oct 1 (but the deadline can be extended if you email brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org before Oct 1).

Evaluators are required to attend Baldrige 101 (new Evaluators) and Baldrige 201 (all Evaluators), and new Evaluators are also required to attend a one-day orientation (Nov 7 or 8).  Evaluators will then be placed on a team (cycle 3 teams will launch mid-Nov and Evaluators will attend consensus/training Dec 11-12).

We hope that you would consider (re)joining the Board of Evaluators and/or encourage others to do so.  For more information on our Award process, benefits of becoming an Evaluator, or an Evaluator application, please visit http://performanceexcellencenetwork.org/who-we-are/evaluators/ or email brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org

Creating a Great Customer-Inspired Experience (Minneapolis) 10/02

A great customer experience begins with a solid understanding of your customers.  But it also requires that your employees use those insights to build programs that your competitors cannot duplicate.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Jim Tincher, Senior Business Advisor with Satisfaction Management Systems, to a special full-day workshop September 10: “Creating a Great Customer-Inspired Experience.”

Jim will build off of the PEN breakfast earlier this summer, sharing the three keys to build a great customer-inspired experience for your business, and you will pick up actionable steps you can implement literally tomorrow!

Learning objectives for the workshop include:

  • Understanding best practices to monitor your existing experience, including relationship and transactional measurements
  • Determining top priorities for action
  • Developing a customer experience business case for change
  • Leveraging front-line employees to build out your improved customer experience
  • Building customer experience change in your organization
  • Developing and tell stories to drive your change

A great customer experience leads to enhanced loyalty and significantly higher financial returns.  Join this discussion to learn more!

The discussion is from 8:30-4:30 on September 10 at the Art Institutes International Minnesota, downtown.  Cost is $250/person for groups of two or more members (or $300 for single members, $600 for single non-members).

Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

Lean Six Sigma Forum (Austin) 10/22

The Performance Excellence Network is pleased to announce the next Lean Six Sigma Forum on Tuesday, October 22 from 9AM to 1PM, hosted by Hormel in Austin.

Further details of the agenda are forthcoming.

Offered in partnership with the Joseph M. Juran Quality Leadership Center at the Carlson School of Management, the Lean Six Sigma Forum provides a means for leaders and practitioners from organizations using Lean, Six Sigma, and/or other techniques to share knowledge and best practices on successfully using process improvement methods. The Forum is open to the public, but there is a capacity constraint at our host facility.

We look forward to seeing you then!

Cost is $150 for members of PEN ($300 for non-members). To register, email brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

Tools to Achieve Process/Operational Excellence – Hold the Date! (Bloomington) 11/12

The Performance Excellence Network is pleased to announce our fall conference November 12 in Bloomington, focused on tools to achieve process/operational excellence. 

Hear tips, best practices, and useful information on how and when to use a variety of improvement tools to improve process performance – in all types of organizations (businesses, healthcare, education, government, nonprofit).

Topics will cover beginning, intermediate, and advanced process improvement tools, such as PDSA, Lean (A3, Value Stream Mapping, Kaizen, 5S), Six Sigma/DMAIC, ISO, various problem solving tools, Hoshin Kanri planning, Quality Function Deployment, 7 Quality Tools, and many others!

Tentative speakers include 3M, IBM, Mayo Clinic, Seagate, Hennepin County, and many others!  Detailed agenda will be announced mid-Sept.

Costs start at $250.  For more information, visit http://www.councilforquality.org/specialevent6.cfm. 

Hold the date, spread the word, and register early (Early Bird October 18) by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org!

Don’t miss this extraordinary learning and networking event!

Attend the 2013 Baldrige Regional Conferences — (Chicago (9/12), Dallas (9/25))

Attend the 2013 Baldrige Regional Conferences in Chicago and Dallas for a one-day showcase of Baldrige best practices!

The conferences will be held:

September 12
Chicago, IL
Wyndham Lisle-Chicago Hotel & Executive Meeting Center

September 25
Dallas, TX
Crowne Plaza Dallas Galleria-Addison

Come, learn, network, and engage in a day dedicated to improving your organization’s performance. The exciting conference programs include in-depth plenary session featuring senior executives from the 2012 Baldrige Award recipients, 15 interactive management sessions to choose from, and closing session featuring the leader of a Baldrige Award recipient.

Learn how these role-model organizations achieve high performance and outstanding results in areas such as leadership, strategic planning, customer and workforce focus, operations, innovation, and much more!

An optional Pre-Conference Workshop for Baldrige beginners facilitated by a Baldrige recipient is available the day before each conference.

Sponsorship opportunities are available!

Register now! To learn more, visit the Regional Conferences Webpages.

The conferences are co-sponsored by Illinois Performance Excellence, the Quality Texas Foundation, and the Alliance for Performance Excellence, in which Minnesota’s Performance Excellence Network participates.

For questions about the conferences, contact the Baldrige Program at 301-975-2036 or baldrige@nist.gov.

Powerful Customer-Supplier Seminars Coming in September — (Winona, Bloomington) 09/09

The ASQ Customer-Supplier Division announces their 2013 one-day seminars in Minnesota during the week of September 9-11, 2013. The Introduction to Supplier Management and Handling Supplier Nonconformances courses will be offered in Bloomington and Winona, MN and in Madison and Milwaukee, WI.  Also, Supply Chain Business Continuity will be offered in Bloomington MN and Milwaukee, WI.

For detailed information, including registration fees and site locations, please visit the Customer-Supplier Division’s web site at http://www.asq.org/cs/courses/. Classes are limited to 30 participants and pre-registration is required. 

Theory U: Leading from the Emerging Future — MN Facilitators Network (Minneapolis) 09/12

Please join the MN Facilitators Network, an alliance partner of the Network, for their next meeting Sept 12: “Theory U: Leading from the Emerging Future.”

What facilitation practices can allow groups to let go of habits that aren’t working, see things freshly, and open up to deep innovation? A group from MIT pioneered an approach called Theory U, which has led to breakthrough performance in corporate and community settings. Michael Bischoff will facilitate a practical introduction to Theory U and related facilitation tools.

The session will be from 5:30-8:30 PM at Bethany Lutheran Church in South Minneapolis. Session is free (suggested donation $5). Everyone interested in MFN and facilitation is welcome. For more information, visit http://www.mnfacilitators.org/.

Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference — (Excelsior) 09/17

PEN is happy to announce a special one day Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices (ASIP) conference, sponsored by a PEN member, Strategic Improvement Systems, on September 17.

The purpose of the conference is to assemble experts from various types of organizations in a beautiful setting to learn with each other how to improve organizations from a strategic perspective. The conference will be held at the BayView Event Center which overlooks picturesque Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior, Minnesota. This is the fifth year of the conference and it has been a great success. You will have the opportunity to learn with many exceptional individuals in a relaxed atmosphere by attending the conference. There will be outstanding presenters from manufacturing, service, healthcare, and state government organizations as well as academia. Please pass this invitation along to your colleagues, and register early to assure yourself a seat.

The registration fee of $325 per person includes:

  • The opportunity to hear numerous presentations and learn with other participants
  • A continental breakfast buffet, plated lunch, and break refreshments
  • Beverages during the networking session immediately following the conference

For more information or to register, contact Charles A. Liedtke at caliedtke@aol.com

Lean Enterprise Institute — Lean Workshops — Lean Enterprise Institute (Minneapolis) 09/17

The nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI) will run a program of 13 lean management workshops in Minneapolis, MN, Sept. 17-19, 2013, that address fundamental lean concepts such as standardized work and kaizen, along with sessions on the management skills needed to support them, including coaching and how to lead in a company culture of continuous improvement.

The workshops will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marquette Hotel, 710 Marquette Avenue,Minneapolis.

The schedule is:

Sept. 17

Improvement Kata Seminar

Key Concepts of Lean

Lean Problem Solving

Standardized Work: the Alien Spud Kaizen Challenge

Sept. 18

Coaching Skills for Lean Implementation Leaders

Kaizen: The Culture of Continuous Improvement

Leader Standard Work

Optimizing Flow in Office and Service Processes

Sept. 19

Leading in a Continuous Improvement Culture: Engaging and Coaching Problem Solving Thinkers

Managing Kaizen Events

Managing to Learn: The Use of the A3 Management Process

The Lean Management System

Value-Stream Mapping: a Methodology for Sustainable System Improvement

Lean Workshop Tuition

One-day workshops are $800. Two-day workshops are $1,600. PEN members are eligible for a 20% discount. Prices include tuition, training materials, breakfast, lunch, and snacks each day. For complete details about course content, instructors, discounts, and to register, call 617- 871-2900. For more information, visit the workshop page.

What You Can Do to Increase the Value of Your Business — Enterprise Minnesota (Richfield) 09/18

Enterprise Minnesota, a partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce their next upcoming event: “What You Can Do to Increase the Value of Your Business”on Sept 18 in St. Paul.

How can manufacturers achieve strategic value in the eyes of an investor? Investors will ask… Is your company known and competing in a market niche that can be successful? Do you deliver products/services most efficiently? Do you differentiate products and services within markets with the greatest potential? The key lies in how well your company understands the role of values in the journey to create business value and the mindset that creating value is key to successful continuous improvement. Come hear what successful manufacturers are doing to identify and develop identifiable worth inside their company.

For more information on this and other programs, click here: http://www.enterpriseminnesota.org/events-and-seminars.html

Innovation Best Practices & NPDP Certification Preparation Conference — NPDP (St. Paul) 09/26

Come and ‘collect’ the dots so you can ‘connect’ them later.  Attend this two day conference to learn about best practices in new product development and innovation.  Speakers include Medtronic, General Mills, Marvin Windows, Cargill, Lockheed Martin, Sopheon. 

Cost is $799.  Discounts for Early Bird and membership.  Conference location University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education, St. Paul.  More information at https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/?eventid=1241460