New Year’s Resolutions for Personal Productivity, Health, Happiness

  1. A Message from the President: 14 New Year’s Resolutions for Personal Productivity, Health, and Happiness
  2. Learn What Drives Organizational Excellence: 2012 MN Quality Award Evaluator Training Feb 21-23 (Twin Cities)
  3. 2011 MN Quality Award Event: Celebrating 25 Years of Advancing Excellence &emdash; Hold June 5!
  4. Creating a High Performing Team &emdash; PIN 2/2 (Minneapolis)
  5. Continuous Improvement in Public Education: A Highly Variable and Relational System — PIN 2/8 (St. Paul)
  6. Workforce 2020 &emdash; RAQC 2/7 (Rochester)
  7. Customer Focus at Memorial Blood Centers &emdash; Twin Ports Performance Excellence Network 2/15 (Duluth)
  8. Baldrige-Based Performance Excellence Generates 820 to 1 Return on Investment
  9. Is Wal-Mart’s Global Expansion Strategy at Odds with Its Domestic Strategy? &emdash; Association for Strategic Planning 2/28
  10. I Heart Quality &emdash; MN ASQ 2/14
  11. Earning the “E” in EPMO &emdash; PMI 2/14
  12. From Corporate Training to Performance Consulting &emdash; MNISPI 2/21
  13. Tap the Hidden Power in Organizations &emdash; MNODN 2/10
  14. Your Story: The Ground of All You Do &emdash; MN Facilitators Network 2/9
  15. Nominate a Business for the 2012 MN Business Ethics Award
  16. U of M College of Continuing Education Announces Upcoming Courses; Council Members Get 10% Discount
  17. Hamline University Announces Upcoming Management Courses; Council Members Get 15% Discount

A Message From the President: 14 New Year’s Resolutions for Personal Productivity, Health, Happiness

Research shows that up to 80% of New Year’s resolutions are broken, and that the average date of breaking resolutions is about January 20 (so if you made it this far, you are better than most!). But if you want a second chance, here are 14 research-based New Year’s resolutions for you to try – tips for improving your personal productivity and time management, your health, your happiness, and your overall levels of success in 2012. They come from several sources – an annual University of Buffalo study of research-based resolutions, Inc. Magazine, CNN, and NPR. I’ll bet if you try just two or three of them (and stick with it for more than three weeks!), you’ll see instant improvements in your personal and professional performance this year…

The Council’s mission is to advance excellence within organizations, communities, and individuals. However, much of our visible work is in facilitating organizational excellence, so I thought it fitting to kick off the New Year with some tips for improving personal performance.

First, here are nine suggestions for improving your professional performance in 2012:

  1. Work backwards from goals to milestones to tasks. (1) According to project management blackbelt Tony Wong, just “writing ‘launch company website’ at the top of your to-do list is a sure way to make sure you never get it done.” He suggests you break down the work into smaller and smaller chunks until you have specific tasks that can be accomplished in a few hours or less. Not only will it sequence and pace your work in a more effective way, but it will also be motivating to you, as you complete the smaller tasks that eventually lead to large accomplishments.
  2. Stop multi-tasking. (1) Everyone’s busy these days, juggling multiple projects and competing priorities. Furthermore, in today’s instant-access society, we’re also constantly inundated with emails, phone calls, texts, social media alerts, and all sorts of other demands on our time. So there is a constant tendency to want to work on a few things at once. But get this: according to a British study reported by CNN2, switching tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber than being stoned on marijuana! Seriously: smoking pot drops your IQ by about five points, but multitasking decreases IQ by an average of 10 points (five for women and 15 for men!). Focusing on one thing at a time will improve your completion rate as well as your effectiveness at doing all things well.
  3. Be militant about eliminating distractions. (1) We hosted a workshop three years ago, facilitated by Professor Art Hill of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, in which he shared effective strategies for improving personal productivity. In it, I remember Dr. Hill commenting that we get interrupted on average about 200 times a day – yes, about every two-and-a-half minutes. And the average time to recover from one distraction? Ten minutes. That’s the amount of time it takes to refocus your mental energy back on the task at hand. So, yes, do the math: we spend a big part our days dealing with distractions, causing considerable loss of personal productivity. So lock your door; put a sign up for people to leave you alone; turn off your phone, texts, and email; in fact, you may want to disconnect from the Internet/satellite altogether so as not to be tempted to check messages when you are concentrating on something else. Go to a quiet area and focus on completing one task.
  4. Schedule your email. (1) Also suggested by Dr. Hill, batch your emails two or three times a day. Checking your email constantly throughout the day creates a ton of noise and kills your productivity: you are continually in reaction, fire-fighting, response mode rather than focusing on higher priority (or at least higher value) tasks.
  5. Work on your own agenda. (1) Most people begin their day with email. Don’t. As mentioned in #4, emails can really waylay your time in that they can cause you to have to react to others’ requests rather than accomplish what you need to. So after you wake up, have something to eat (to get the glucose back up) and drink (preferably water to rehydrate) and then set prioritized goals for the rest of your day. I usually script my to-do list: 4-6 key tasks that I want (or have) to accomplish. You can then start tackling these tasks systematically (and email can be left until later).
  6. Use the phone. (1) Email is a great communication tool, but it isn’t for ALL communication. Certainly, it’s not intended for conversations, so don’t reply more than twice to an email. Pick up the phone instead; you’ll get resolution quicker.
  7. Use LinkedIn effectively. (3) According to a December article in Inc. Magazine, there are five key mistakes people make in using LinkedIn: posting an unprofessional photo, soliciting fawning recommendations (go for recommendations with substance over those with superlatives), linking to an overly personal webpage (it’s best to keep personal and professional separate), providing a trail to youthful indiscretion (make sure your LinkedIn profile only contains relevant information and that people can’t follow threads to questionable content elsewhere on the Internet – like that picture of your college kegger), and misspelling anything (mistakes will lead people to believe you are stupid or careless; or both). LinkedIn is a great networking tool, but try to avoid these five common mistakes to increase your effectiveness and credibility.
  8. Be a humble leader. (5) According to research conducted by Dr. Bradley Owens, assistant professor of organization and human resources in the University of Buffalo’s School of Management, humble leaders are more effective and better liked in the workplace. In his interviews of leaders at military, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, retailing, and religious organizations, Owens found that “admitting mistakes, spotlighting follower strengths, and modeling teachability are the core of humble leadership. These three behaviors are powerful predictors of the leader’s personal growth, as well as the organization’s growth.” Sounds like the classic definition of servant leadership, a concept that has been around for about 20 years, and has widely been validated as best practice in leadership effectiveness.
  9. Work in 60 to 90 minute intervals and move around every hour. (1,4) Your brain uses up more glucose than any other bodily activity: typically you will have spent most of it after 60-90 minutes (which is why people feel so tired after long meetings or long days). Also, new research last year shows that those in sedentary jobs are 64% more likely to develop heart disease than those who are more active. So take break: stand up to take your phone calls; go for a walk; do a couple of minutes of stretching or light calisthenics. Do anything to get the blood flowing and to recharge your mind. The general rule is a few minutes of activity every hour.

And now for a few quick personal resolutions, all from the University of Buffalo’s annual research-based list of best ways to increase your health, happiness, and success in 2012 (5):

  1. Floss every day to protect against pneumonia and heart disease.
  2. To lose weight, eat the same foods over and over (although variety is necessary for balanced nutrition).
  3. Read more fantasy to combat loneliness – this satisfies a need for human connection.
  4. Maintain separate e-mail accounts (one for work and one for personal) to avoid being scammed.
  5. For better health, reflect on the things that give your life meaning. Feelings of spirituality appear to offer protection against emotional distress and physical ailments.

Sure, most of us will fall into old habits pretty quickly, but if you’re looking to improve your personal productivity, your health, and/or your overall well-being in 2012, try some of these resolutions. And let us know how it’s going – visit our blog to post a comment! I’ll check back with you next month to see if you made it past the first 20 days!

Yours in Improvement,

Brian S. Lassiter
President, Minnesota Council for Quality

(1) 7 Things Highly Productive People Do, Inc. Magazine, 12/13/11

(2) Emails Hurt IQ More than Pot, CNN 4/22/05

(3) LinkedIn Mistakes: Top 5 Ways to Kill Your Credibility, Inc. Magazine, 12/13/11

(4) Sitting All Day: Worse For You Than You Might Think, NPR, 4/25/11

(5) Ten (Research-Tested) New Year’s Resolutions, Quality Digest 12/22/11

return to top

Learn What Drives Organizational Excellence: 2012 MN Quality Award Evaluator Training Feb 21-23 (Twin Cities)

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 state improve their performance? Would you be interested in networking, learning, and sharing with others who feel the same way?

The Minnesota Council for Quality is seeking candidates for the 2012 Minnesota Quality Award Board of Evaluators. The first of three training sessions in 2012 is February 21-23 in the Twin Cities.

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

  • strengthening your understanding of what drives organizational excellence (the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence represent a validated set of best practices for organizational excellence, and can be useful for improving any organization’s performance). The 2012 Criteria has increased emphasis on 1) dealing with complexity in enterprise leadership and management, and 2) customer engagement.
  • networking with influential leaders and professionals (this year’s Board of Evaluators will include about 150 leaders from around the state – executives, middle managers, surgeons and physicians, superintendents and school teachers, non-profit and public sector leaders, quality professionals, and consultants);
  • seeing “best practices” deployed within another organization – knowledge that you could use back at your organization and/or in your career, helping organizations throughout the state – 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; and
  • developing 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.

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.

Furthermore, Evaluators can earn college (undergrad and post-grad) credit for participating in training. For interested Evaluators, the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Stout both offer three (3) hours of credit in partnership with the Minnesota Council for Quality.

Applications for new Evaluators are due January 27 (but can be extended). Applications for returning Evaluators (which only require updates from your most recent application) are due February 10.

In addition to the full training Feb 21-23, new Evaluators are also required to attend a one-day orientation (either Feb 1, 7, or 9 – you choose, and all in the Twin Cities).

We hope that you would consider (re)joining the Board of Evaluators and/or encourage others to do so. For more information on the process or benefits, please visit www.councilforquality.org/assess.cfm. To obtain an application, visit http://www.councilforquality.org/assess_eval_appl.cfm or email brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org.

return to top

2011 MN Quality Award Event: Celebrating 25 Years of Advancing Excellence &emdash; Hold June 5!

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to announce the date of the 2011 Minnesota Quality Award event: Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The full-day event will include the following:

  • keynote presentations from CEOs of world class organizations and recipients of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award – businesses, schools, healthcare organizations, governmental agencies, and nonprofits;
  • remarks from Governor Dayton (invited);
  • break-out workshops, featuring 20+ organizations on the journey to excellence – current and former MN Quality Award recipients, each sharing some aspect of how they are improving their outcomes and processes; and
  • an evening reception and celebration, featuring senior leaders from high performing organizations (Baldrige recipients); the evening will also feature the MN Quality Award recipient organizations’ accomplishments, will thank our Board of Evaluators and other key volunteers, and will promote networking with leaders and professionals interested in performance excellence.

It is also an opportunity to celebrate the Council’s Silver Anniversary and look forward to our next 25 years!

The event will be held at The Great Hall in downtown St. Paul, and we expect 400+ leaders and professionals to attend. The event is open to the public.

Save the date!

The Council will also be seeking sponsors for the event to help offset expenses. Sponsors will be recognized in all marketing and during the event itself. If your organization is interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, please email brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org.

return to top

Creating a High Performing Team &emdash; PIN 2/2 (Minneapolis)

Does your team experience the following:

  • A high level of trust among individuals.
  • Conflict is managed openly and honestly.
  • A strong commitment by all team members.
  • Accountability as a key component of the success of the team.
  • Consistently achieving the results you want.

If you answered “no” to any of these, this interactive session is for you.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to welcome Karen Black, founder of Insight Edge, to our February 2 PIN: “Creating a High Performing Team.”

Karen will share information to help your team, department, or unit become higher performing. Her insights are based on the work of Patrick Lencioni and his Five Dysfunctions of a Team. She will share the five areas on which teams need to focus to ensure effective performance, and she will provide techniques and ideas to help move your team forward.

The discussion is from 7:30-9:00 a.m. on Feb 2 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:00 a.m.) at MCTC, 1501 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis (near the Basilica).

We thank our sponsor, University of Phoenix and ASQ Minnesota Section 1203, for their support of this session, helping us to keep it complimentary for members.

Admission to PIN is FREE for Council members; $15 for partner organizations; $30 for the public.

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

return to top

Continuous Improvement in Public Education: A Highly Variable and Relational System &emdash; PIN 2/8 (St. Paul

Is your organization experiencing high variability due to changes in the marketplace and/or the multiple demands placed on your systems? How do you, your team, your department or unit deliver consistency in processes and services in spite of this variability?

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to welcome Dr. Rick Spicuzza, Assistant Superintendant of Curriculum and Assessment of South Washington County Schools, and Dennis Cheesebrow, Founder of Teamworks International, to our February 8 PIN: “Continuous Improvement in Public Education: A Highly Variable and Relational System.”

Public Education, with public expectations of consistent performance and accountability, has experienced seismic shifts in fundamental assumptions, expectations, practices, and structure — largely driven by NCLB amid tightening budgets. Changes in focus include: a shift from a class of students to individual students, from self-referencing benchmarks and quality to external standards, from largely qualitative and infrequent quantitative data to frequent quantitative data. In all of these changes, a key development is the development of learning process measures and metrics.

Rick and Dennis will share information and tell the South Washington County Schools story to help you understand how the district is creating more stable systems (despite high levels of variability) with the input from key stakeholders. This insights could apply to any organization that is in a changing environment (and who isn’t these days?!).

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on Feb 8 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:30 a.m.) at Metro State University, 700 E 7th Street, downtown St. Paul.

We thank our sponsor, Metropolitan State University, for their support of this session, helping us to keep it complimentary for members.

Admission to PIN is FREE for Council members; $15 for partner organizations; $30 for the public.
Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org.

return to top

Workforce 2020 &emdash; RAQC 2/7 (Rochester)

National headlines continue to boast and affirm Rochester as the best place in America to work, live and play. Are we ready to realize our fullest potential? What is our greatest threat? Where does the opportunity reside?

The Rochester Area Quality Council, an affiliate of the Minnesota Council for Quality, is pleased to welcome Jessica Ihrke, VP, Education/Workforce Development, Rochester Chamber, to our February 7 program, “Workforce 2020.”

Jess will share the evolution of Workforce 2020 and how it continues to impact our community. She will share the history of Workforce 2020, why it is important to the community and local organizations, and lessons learned.

The session is Feb 7 from 7:30-9:00 AM RCTC.

Space is limited. Please register by contacting Jennifer Burmeister before Feb 3 at jennifer.burmeister@councilforquality.org or 507-213-8132.

return to top

Customer Focus at Memorial Blood Centers &emdash; Twin Ports Performance Excellence Network 2/15 (Duluth)

In today’s environment, focusing on your customers is paramount — listening to their needs, delivering innovative products/services that satisfy those needs, building relationships that create deep levels of customer satisfaction and engagement. Whether you are a business, school, healthcare organization, governmental agency, or nonprofit, systematically focusing on your customers can be the difference between success and failure.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to welcome Tania McVean, Community & Hospital Relations Coordinator, Memorial Blood Centers, to its February 15 session: “Customer Focus at Memorial Blood Centers.” Tania will share some of the many processes — including the Customer Experience Management Process, voice of the customer processes, and customer communication mechanisms — used by MBC to build a culture that focuses on its customers — its donors, recipients, hospital partners, and other stakeholders.

The session is from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on February 15 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:00 a.m.) at Memorial Blood Center. Admission to TPPEN is FREE for Council members and guests ($20 for non-members).

For more information, please visit http://www.councilforquality.org/TPPEN.cfm. Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org.

return to top

Baldrige-Based Performance Excellence Generates 820 to 1 Return on Investment

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The news in 2001 was impressive, but it’s even more emphatically evident a decade later: the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) significantly benefits the U.S. economy. That’s the finding from a new economic study to determine the practical value to organizations using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence—the benefits of the program outweigh the overall cost by 820 to 1.

The new study by professors Albert N. Link of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and John T. Scott of Dartmouth College follows up on a 2001 analysis by the same team examining the potential benefits versus costs of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP). The program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in conjunction with the private sector.

In 2001, the duo estimated the total potential economic benefits of the Baldrige Program to the U.S. economy at nearly $25 billion and its total operational cost at $119 million, a cost-to-benefit ratio of 207 to 1. The finding was derived using data from a Baldrige Criteria benefits survey of corporate members of the American Society for Quality (ASQ)—showing an 18 to 1 cost-to-benefit ratio—and then extrapolating the results to the entire country based on the assumption that other companies in the economy used the Baldrige criteria and benefited to the same extent as the firms responding to the survey.

In their latest study, Link and Scott took a more direct approach, surveying the 273 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award applicants since 2006. They also expanded their assessment of the practical value of the Baldrige Criteria to these organizations on three levels—cost savings, customer satisfaction and financial gain (gains from increased value of sales). Link and Scott estimate that the benefits outweigh the overall cost of the BPEP by a ratio of 820 to 1.

In their report documenting the new study, Link and Scott explain that even this figure may be on the conservative side. “If the social costs were compared to the benefits for the economy as a whole, the benefit-to-cost ratio would be considerably higher,” they wrote.

The authors summarized their results by stating, “The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, with the imprimatur of national leadership and a prominent national award … creates great value that could not be replicated by private-sector actions alone.”

The BPEP raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy; provides organizational assessment tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit organizations about the practices of national role models; and recognizes them by honoring them with the only Presidential Award for performance excellence.

For more information or a copy of the full report, visit http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/baldrige-011812.cfm

return to top

Is Wal-Mart’s Global Expansion Strategy at Odds with Its Domestic Strategy? &emdash; Association for Strategic Planning 2/28

The Association for Strategic Planning-Minnesota Chapter, an alliance partner of the MN Council for Quality, is pleased to announce its next meeting: “Is Wal-Mart’s Global Expansion Strategy at Odds with Its Domestic Strategy?” The session is facilitated by Dr. Dave Brennan, professor of marketing and co-director of the Institute for Retailing Excellence at the University of St. Thomas.

Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailers with sales of over $400 billion, 26% from outside the U.S. It has a presence in over 30 countries under over 50 banners. Its domestic strategy is based on operational efficiency, vendor squeeze, everyday low pricing, hands-on action-oriented culture and customer focus. This presentation focuses on Wal-Mart’s domestic and global strategic mismatch.

Registration, networking, and breakfast is at 7:00 AM; the program is from 7:45-9:00 AM. The meeting location is the University of St. Thomas, 1000 LaSalle Ave in Minneapolis, Opus Hall 202. Advance cost is $35 to the public or $25 for members of Council. For more information or to register, contact Laurieberickson@msn.com or visit http://www.strategyplus.org/chapters/Minnesota.php.

return to top

I Heart Quality &emdash; MN ASQ 2/14

Join our partner, ASQ, for their monthly meeting Tuesday, February 14: “I Heart Quality.”

Every company, every agency, every military service today confronts the same question: “How do we enhance customer satisfaction and increase our business while reducing costs.”

The answer is quality based education that demonstrably reduces, rework, eliminates defects—AND tracks and calculates real savings. The discussion includes 10 helpful, practical suggestions for making a “business case” which is credible, persuasive and has achieved results. The program is interactive, paints the big picture, and is practical. It includes a summary of how ASQ credits are recognized by institutions nation-wide.

The discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Bob Gee, President and Founder of The National Graduate School of Quality Management (the nation’s sole higher education accredited institution whose programs all use quality as their foundation), and Elizabeth Miller, a Client Development Associate at Dale Carnegie Training in Minnesota.

The meeting is at 5:30pm at Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Airport: 3 Appletree Square, Bloomington. Cost is $25 for Council members ($35 for non). For more information, visit http://mnasq.org/spotlight/program0212/.

return to top

Earning the “E” in EPMO &emdash; PMI 2/14

The Minnesota Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI), an alliance partner of the Council, is pleased to announce its next breakfast session: “Earning the “E” in EPMO.” The session will be held February 14, and will be facilitated by Steve Beise, PMP Practice Director, Trissential.

One “e” can make difference a in successful portfolio and resource management. In this engaging session, Steve will outline how to raise up your PMO to that coveted seat at the table!

The session is Feb 14 from 7:00-8:50 AM at Holiday Inn, 2201 Burns Ave., St. Paul, MN 55119. Cost is $34 ($32.30 for Council members) before Jan 31 (MCQ members should call 651.209.8991 for discount). For more information, visit http://www.pmi-mn.org/.

return to top

From Corporate Training to Performance Consulting &emdash; MNISPI 2/21

The MN Chapter of ISPI, an alliance partner of the Council, is pleased to announce their next program: “From Corporate Training to Performance Consulting.” The session will be 6:30-8:00 (networking at 5:30) at the TIES Building on Snelling in St. Paul, and will be facilitated by Steve Schad, Manager of Corporate Learning & Organizational Development, Anderson Corp.

Corporate training departments, by definition, offer training. As members of MN ISPI, we know that, as valuable and important as training can be, it is not the only solution for improving performance. What might be accomplished by orienting those same limited resources toward performance improvement, with training becoming just one of the tools in the toolbox?

Cost is $15 to the public, free for MNISPI members. Council members get 10% discount.

For more information, visit http://www.mnispi.org/.

return to top

Tap the Hidden Power in Organizations &emdash; MNODN 2/10

The MNODN, an affiliate partner of the MN Council for Quality, is pleased to announce its next program: “Tap the Hidden Power in Organizations.” The session will be 8AM-10AM at University of St. Thomas (networking, breakfast 7:30-8:00), and will be facilitated by Vikas Narula and Michael Stewart of KeyHubs.

Organizations traditionally rely on an ORG chart to make change decisions, assess influence of individuals and/or teams, and describe how the organization is structured. However, business journals and magazines such as, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and Fortune have all written about a more potent and useful chart for making these decisions: the informal (human) network (i.e. the hidden ORG Chart).

In this session, Vikas Narula will educate participants on the power of informal relationships and why uncovering them should be a central focus for business leaders, executives and organizational development experts.

The session is $25 ($20 for Council members, as allied partners). More information at http://www.mnodn.org/.

return to top

Your Story: The Ground of All You Do &emdash; MN Facilitators Network 2/9

Please join the MN Facilitators Network, an alliance partner of the Council, for their next meeting Feb 9: “YOUR STORY: The Ground of All You Do.” The session will be facilitated by Catherine Reid Day, Founder, Storyslices.

Can something as simple as your story add to your tool box while also increasing trust, effectiveness and productivity? Drawing on exciting new research and some fun tools, we’ll explore ways your story serves as the ground for your most effective work. In addition to developing rapport and trust with your participants, story gives you a distinctive way to stand out with prospects and give them a reason to choose you as their professional. Your story just might be your most compelling hook! We’ll help uncover the clues to shaping your best message, as well as review the research that shows why your story matters. You’ll have a chance to shape a simple story that makes you compelling to your audience.

The session will be from 5:30-8:30 PM at the St. Paul Area Council of Churches, 1671 Summit Ave West (2 blocks west of Snelling at Summit and Pierce), St. Paul, MN 55105. Free parking on street or in lot north of building off Pierce. $25 (Council members pay $15). Everyone interested in MFN and facilitation is welcome. For more information, visit http://www.mnfacilitators.org/.

return to top

Nominate a Business for the 2012 MN Business Ethics Award

Has an organization impressed you with its commitment to the highest standards of ethical business conduct? It could be your company, or one of your customers, suppliers, or competitors. Once you have identified an organization(s) to be nominated, please visit www.mnethicsaward.org and click on “Nominate a Business.” The deadline for nominating a business is January 27, 2012.

Now in its 13th year, the MBEA recognizes Minnesota businesses that have exemplified and promoted ethical conduct for the benefit of the workplace, marketplace, environment, and the community. Award recipients will be recognized at an Awards event on May 16, 2012.

return to top

U of M College of Continuing Education Announces Upcoming Courses; Council Members Get 10% Discount

The University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education, an alliance partner of the Council, is pleased to announce their upcoming improvement and business courses. Council members receive a 10% discount on all CCE courses.

2/1-2 Management Essentials for Success

2/22 Financial Intelligence

2/29-3/1 Strategic Planning and Measurement

3/28-29 Developing Leadership Skills

4/12 Developing Direct Reports and Employees

5/3 Using Influence to Drive Results

5/24 Virtual Management

6/28 Customer-Focused Marketing

All courses are 9AM-4PM on the St. Paul Campus.

For more information on any of these courses or a complete listing of coursework, visit the University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education’s website at www.cce.umn.edu/professionaleducation or call 612-624-4000.

return to top

Hamline University Announces Upcoming Management Courses; Council Members Receive 15% Discount

Hamline University, a partner of the MN Council for Quality, is pleased to announce the following upcoming programs:

Feb 10: Major Gifts 2: Identifying, Researching and Cultivating Your Top Major Gift Prospects, 1:00-5:00 p.m.; $99 (15% off for MN Council Members)

Feb 20-24: LEAN SIX SIGMA GREEN BELT TRAINING; 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; $3,000 ($2,200 for MN Council of Quality members)

Feb 21-22, Mar 27-28: PMI® AGILE® PROJECT MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION PREPARATION ESSENTIALS, 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.; $1,295 (15% off for MN Council Members)

Feb 27-28, Mar 5-6, Mar 12-13, Mar 19-20, Mar 26: PMP® EXAM PREPARATION ESSENTIALS, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.; $1295 (15% off for MN Council Members)

Mar 2: Improving Board Involvement and Fund Raising, 1:00-5:00 p.m.; $99 (15% off for MN Council Members)

Mar 19-23, Apr 16-20: LEAN SIX SIGMA BLACK BELT TRAINING, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; $3,000 ($2,200 for MN Council of Quality members)

For more information on any of these courses or to register, contact Bridget at bknisely01@hamline.edu or 651-523-2650.

return to top