Going Slow to Go Fast

1. A Message from the President: Going Slow to Go Fast
2. Forming Additional Roundtables this Fall — Peer Problem Solving and Knowledge Sharing Groups
3. Quality is Never Going Away: An Exclusive Interview with the Star Tribune
4. Performance Excellence Network Changes Email, Web Address, Breakfast Knowledge Forums
5. Managing Transformational Change: Fall Conference Nov 13-14 (Hold the Date!!)
6. Learn What Drives Organizational Excellence: 2012 Performance Excellence Award Evaluator Training October 16-18 (Twin Cities)
7. How to Build and Deliver Brain-Based Technology Training — Minneapolis PEN 8/2
8. If You Don’t Take Care of Your Customers, Somebody Else Will — Part 2 — St. Paul PEN 8/8
9. How Kwik Trip Became a Leader in the Convenience Store Industry — SE Minnesota PEN 8/7
10. Twin Ports PEN Resumes 9/19
11. Successful Outcomes for Conflict Resolution — PMI 8/14
12. Attend the 2012 Baldrige Regional Conferences: 9/14 Des Moines, 9/28 Phoenix
13. Creatively Exploring Mindset– MN Facilitators Network 8/9
14. Exporting in 2012: The Practices of Profitable Companies — Enterprise Minnesota 8/22
15. U of M College of Continuing Education Announces Upcoming Courses; Council Members Get 10% Discount
16. Hamline University Announces Upcoming Lean Six Sigma Courses; Council Members Receive 15% Discount

A Message From the President: Going Slow to Go Fast

Legend has it that during World War II, Navy fighter planes had a watch embedded in the steering column – not to help the pilot keep time, but to help save his life. You see: the first step in a pilot’s emergency response process was to wind the watch. It may sound crazy, but Navy psychologists had proven that the split second required for a pilot to wind the watch was enough time for him to clear his head of distractions and to focus instead on the emergency at hand. The one second spent winding that watch bought him considerable time, enabling him to react in a more logical, coherent way.

In today’s business world, we are all so busy, so stretched, so overcommitted, and so inundated with information, that we sometimes forget to wind the watch – to focus on what’s important and create space to accomplish our ultimate objectives…

That concept struck home for me last month during our 25th annual conference and celebration, when an attendee of one of the pre-conference workshops came up to me and offered a simple, yet powerful comment. She mentioned that she really appreciated our offering half-day workshops as a part of the event, in that they allowed her to go deeper into the content, creating time for absorption and reflection, and enabling her to really internalize the material. She remarked that, while she had heard much of the content before, this time it “seemed to really stick” – light bulbs were going off like they never had before.

In short, she appreciated the time to slow down and think. Which got me thinking…in today’s fast-paced work world, maybe there’s wisdom in slowing down. I know that it’s counterintuitive, as shorter and faster is usually preferred over longer and slower. After all, today is all about quick communication: email, social media including 140-character Tweets, webinars instead of conferences, speed dating instead of the real thing. We’re all just so busy. Therefore, quicker decisions, quicker action, quicker resolution allows us to move on to other things. Today, speed reigns.

But speed also kills.

Frank Partnoy, a professor of law/finance at the University of San Diego and author of “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay,” summed it up in an HBR article published July 13 (“Act Fast, but Not Necessarily First”): “The crush of technology forces us to snap react. We blink, when we should think. E-mail, social media, and 24-hour news are relentless. Our time cycle gets faster every day.”

He continues by declaring that, as decision-making accelerates, long-term strategy becomes even more crucial, and that those who find time to step back and think about the big picture – even for a few minutes – will have a major advantage over those who knee-jerk react. “If everyone else moves too quickly,” he says, “we can win by going slow.” He believes that humans – leaders – are often better off resisting biology and technology by managing delay.

Partnoy references a military strategy, similar to winding the watch I mention above. A decision-making framework developed by military strategist John Boyd decades ago is still being used by many military (and business) leaders today. It’s called the OODA model, simply the acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. Its premise is basically allowing your enemy (or, in business, your competitor or other third party market forces) to go first, and then quickly react to the situation. It’s about not necessarily being first (with a product, a process, a technology, or what have you), but being the fastest at responding to changing market conditions (and “market” can be external or internal to the organization).

Obviously, you can see the advantage this creates in war. In many ways, America won the Revolutionary War because we let the British “go first” in revealing their strategy, and then we used unconventional warfare to surprise and attack their weaknesses. On a smaller scale, you can see this even in a fighter plane dog fight: if you allow your enemy to “show his hand” by moving left, for example, you go right and create space to maneuver, to avoid his fire, or to create a clearer shot for yourself.

As Partnoy indicates, the ultimate goal of OODA is not being first, but instead having a fast response, which requires slowing things down up front so that you can move quickly when ready. That philosophy works in other settings as well. Consider sports…

One of my childhood heroes was George Brett of the Kansas City Royals, the Hall of Fame third baseman (probably as famous for his pine tar tirade as his 3000+ hits, his flirtation with the milestone .400 batting average in 1980, his 13 All-Star appearances, and his 1985 World Series championship). Brett was what many would call a “pure hitter” – similar, in many ways to Joe Mauer today. He had a natural swing and was incredibly comfortable in the batter’s box, especially during critical moments of the game.

But he revealed years after his retirement that the secret of his hitting success was in his ability to see the ball out of the pitcher’s hand, and in a split second – by observing the velocity and rotation of the baseball stiches – determine what type of pitch was being thrown. Are you kidding me?! Brett – and I imagine many of the other hitting greats – could actually see the quarter-inch red stitching on a three inch baseball some 60 feet away, oh, and travelling some 95 miles an hour at his head? I guess that is what separates the good from the great in major league baseball. But it also illustrates a key point here: in doing so, Brett was able to delay his swing by milliseconds but adjust with the “right” swing given the pitch that was being thrown. In essence, he slowed down to speed up. And he is still considered one of the top dozen or so best hitters to ever play the game.

Most of you aren’t in the military or professional athletes, but the same philosophy is true in running a business (or a hospital, a school, or a nonprofit). If a leader acts too quickly – without first understanding the situation, gathering all the information, and analyzing the impact and implications of a decision – then the decision may sub-optimize the outcome. (As I Tweeted last weekend during the final round of the British Open @LassiterBrian: “In golf, you’d rarely make a putt without first reading the green. So why make business decisions without first getting all the data?”)

Here is the four-phase OODA framework, as translated by Partnoy, and with my commentary added beneath each step:

1. Observe – According to Partnoy, the first step of any good decision is to take in information. What are opponents doing? How are they superior or weaker? Are there relative drawbacks to your product or service?

My sense is that this step may be the hardest, but also the most important for effective decision-making. Remember to wind the watch: before proceeding with any of the other steps, take a moment to observe what you see in your marketplace, your workforce, your product quality, emerging competition, possible new regulations, and any other factors that are changing in your environment. Despite how busy we all are and despite the urge to move forward quickly, take the time to gather the data.

2. Orient – According to Partnoy, once you have gathered the relevant information, the next step is to process it and position yourself for a decision. This step requires becoming aware of the implications of what you are seeing. How important are particular strengths and weaknesses? Where is the open water?

My sense is this step is also difficult when faced with time pressures. It’s easy to skip the analysis, to go with intuition or partially-considered implications and rush to action. After all, most organizations reward quick response and a sense of urgency. Don’t do it. If you take the time to analyze the situation and consider all the implications that the data are telling you, then you will increase your chances of making the “right” decision, saving you considerable downstream time – not to mention avoiding the potential waste that is created by making the wrong decision and having to correct.

3. Decide – According to Partnoy, once a manager has gathered information and understands the key questions (who, what, when, and where), it is time to make a choice. Notice that this step is distinct from action: it is purely mental…the moment right before implementation.

I think it’s important to note that this step is about making a deliberate decision, based on the data and analysis done in the first two steps. It’s about putting a stake in the ground and declaring what action(s) are forthcoming; it also may involve sharing that decision – communicating – to stakeholders who need to know what direction you have decided to take.

4. Act – According to Partnoy, every businessperson understands the importance of execution. Once a decision has been made, it should be implemented in the most efficient, straightforward manner. Don’t look back.

I think it’s important to note that this fourth step, while the last in this framework, is not the final one: the process reverts back to step one, observing. Once you’ve implemented a decision, measure the effectiveness of that implementation and of the decision itself. Did it work? Is it having the desired response in your marketplace, with your workforce, in your operations?

The quality professionals reading this will quickly note that OODA is very similar to PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act), in that decisions should be based first on data and observation, tested in a small scale, then implemented on a grander scale. What PDCA explicitly espouses that’s not as evident in OODA is the concept of testing – starting small, gauging efficacy, adjusting, and implementing on a larger scale. But what OODA espouses that’s not as explicit in PDCA is the deliberate observation-orientation-decision chain – really, the decision-making process itself – that managers should go through to arrive at the best decision. Both methods are right; both methods can be useful.

I’m quite certain that time won’t slow down for us anytime soon: expanding technology will continue to facilitate and accelerate information and knowledge exchange, and organizations will continue to place a premium on quick decisions, fast response, and a sense of urgency. But heed the wisdom of John Boyd, of our navy fighter pilots and their watches, and of George Brett: avoid the tendency to impulsively react. Instead, take time to gather data, analyze the situation and potential implications, make a deliberate decision, and then confidently take action.

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

Yours in Performance Excellence,

Brian S. Lassiter

President, Performance Excellence Network (formerly Minnesota Council for Quality)

Forming Additional Roundtables this Fall — Peer Problem-Solving and Knowledge Sharing Groups

About 18 months ago, the Performance Excellence Network launched a valuable new service for leaders dedicated to improvement and performance excellence: peer Roundtables. These facilitated problem solving sessions provide a unique way for leaders and professionals to share insights, ideas, and best practices that help you address the actual challenges in your organization, your career, and potentially your personal life. Roundtables are private cohorts that become your own board of advisors, such that you can tap the collective expertise of your peers, accelerating your improvement efforts and realizing your professional/organizational goals.

Feedback from the first cohort has been positive, so we are launching more later this year! We’d like to invite you to a social hour to network with other leaders/professionals and to discuss the power of this concept.

August 21, 4:00-5:30 (Ciao Bella, Bloomington)

September 12, 4:00-5:30 (WA Frosts, St. Paul)

Snacks will be served; cash bar.

The purpose of the Roundtable is to accelerate performance and improvement within participants’ organizations and to facilitate professional and personal growth in a safe, open, confidential environment. Specifically, the goals of these roundtables are to:

  • Share ideas, solutions across organizations
  • Solve real business problems in a collaborative format
  • Explore best practices from regional and national experts
  • Enhance leadership skills and build long-term relationships with like-minded individuals
  • Promote value beyond your investment of time/money: provide a measurable ROI

To attend one social networking sessions (or for more information), email brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org. The cost of the session is free. Space is limited, so let us know today!

Quality is Never Going Away: An Exclusive Interview with the Star Tribune

This interview ran in the July 1 Minneapolis Star Tribune Business Section. For a link to the full article, visit http://www.startribune.com/business/160872305.html.

The 25-year-old organization has a new name and territory but continues to press members to pursue excellence.

Even in tough times, Brian Lassiter’s message to businesses remains the same: Never skimp on quality.

Lassiter, president of the Performance Excellence Network, works with a wide range of groups to find ways to make their operations and products more effective. Through assessments, workshops and monthly forums, firms ranging from large corporations to schools are able to evaluate themselves and find ways to improve their quality.

The group, formerly called the Minnesota Council for Quality, is celebrating its 25th anniversary and is also expanding its network to North and South Dakota. (Hence the name change.)

Lassiter, who was elected president of the network in 2001, sat down with the Star Tribune to discuss the network’s vision and goals.

Q How did the recession affect the focus of the network? Is your mission more relevant now than ever before?

A Absolutely. What we’ve experienced the last few years has only served to validate that. Quality is never going away. In fact, the bar continues to get raised. If you’re not constantly improving and moving forward, you’re definitely slipping backwards …. And leaders are realizing that you have to focus on the basics. You have to focus on what drives customer satisfaction and what makes your employees happy. That’s what we’re all about.

Q What are some of the services you offer area groups?

A Our (award) programs are comprehensive, thorough evaluations that delve into leadership systems and strategic planning process, customer focus areas, workforce focus areas, operations, and the data organizations use.

Q Did fewer organizations seek out your services during the economic downturn, or did more of them come your way for advice?

A A little bit of both. We held our own during the recession. Our membership was stable, but the demand for a lot of our services did go up.

Q How is the network funded?

A About 40 to 45 percent comes from our membership. We serve about 300 members: mainly organizations, and some individuals. Another 40 to 45 percent comes from fee-based services like assessments, training and workshops. The rest comes from grants.

Q What’s the most common organizational flaw you encounter during your assessments?

A Organizations often have good ways of doing things that aren’t consistently deployed across the system. … Another one is that most organizations, at least early in their journey, don’t have fact-based evaluation and improvement in place. And this, I think, is the root of all things quality.

Q As you’ve become more involved with nonprofit groups and public institutions, how have you had to tweak your assessment programs?

A Every organization has leaders, employees, and maybe not customers, but some sort of stake holder. And every organization has data and a planning process, or should at least. The concepts apply and the best practices can be transferred. … A vital need we serve is connecting those dots for organizations, making leaders feel part of a larger network that’s willing to share best practices and learn from each other.

Q Going forward, what’s your vision for the network?

A I hope to have a much larger presence than we have today. There’s 115,000 businesses in Minnesota. Our market share is pretty small, so we’ve got a lot of work to do. It would please me to no end, not just to be bigger, but to have much greater impact for the state and for the region.

Also, we’re a part of a national effort with the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and other state programs to make the United States more competitive. … So if you were to check back with me in two to five years, our work, while still focused on Minnesota and the Dakotas, will be far more integrated with what we’re trying to do nationally.

Walker Moskop • 612-673-4265

Performance Excellence Network Changes Email, Web Address, Breakfast Knowledge Forums

Reflecting our transition to the new corporate name of “Performance Excellence Network” from Minnesota Council for Quality, we are changing a few technology addresses:

Our website is migrating to www.performanceexcellencenetwork.org. The splash page is now live, and the website itself will be redesigned and launched this fall.
Our emails are migrating to first.last@performanceexcellencenetwork.org effective immediately.
Our LinkedIn group has changed from MN Council for Quality to Performance Excellence Network. If you’re in the group, please note the change. If you’d like to be invited to the group (now approaching 500 and growing!), just send us an invitation request.
The Twitter address will remain the same (@LassiterBrian) and will continue to feature quotes and tips on continuous improvement and performance excellence.

In addition, the monthly breakfast forums – Performance Improvement Network in the Twin Cities and Rochester Area Quality Council (RAQC) – will now become Performance Excellence Network discussions, reflecting a consistent brand throughout our network. The Duluth forum (Twin Ports Performance Excellence Network) will remain the same, as the brand preceded the corporate name change.

Watch for further brand changes this fall, as the Network redesigns our website and our marketing collateral material.

Managing Transformational Change: Fall Conference Nov 13-14 (Hold the Date!!)

“The only constant is change.” You’ve probably heard that famous quote, most recently recited by Isaac Asimov in the 1980s. But – thanks to many factors, including the proliferation of technology and the expansion and access to information and knowledge – think of how change has only accelerated today. And now consider that the quote first comes from Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher in about 500 BC! I’m sure he simply could not comprehend the acceleration of social, technological, economic, and political change the world would experience some 2500 years later.

The Performance Excellence Network, in partnership with the Minnesota Healthcare Quality Professionals, is pleased to host a two-day conference on organizational change in St. Paul: pre-conference workshops featuring change experts on November 13 and a conference featuring best practices from 10+ high performing organizations November 14.

Hold the date, and spread the word!! This conference will offer valuable best practices, tips, and useful information for managing and implementing change in all of our organizations. Watch for more information next month – we hope you can join us for this extraordinary learning and networking event!

Learn What Drives Organizational Excellence: 2012 Performance Excellence Award Evaluator Training October 16-18 (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 Performance Excellence Network is seeking candidates for the 2012 Performance Excellence Award Board of Evaluators. The final of three training sessions in 2012 is October 16-18 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 Performance Excellence Network.

Applications for new Evaluators are due Sept 7 (but can be extended). Applications for returning Evaluators (which only require updates from your most recent application) are due Sept 21.

In addition to the full training October 16-18, new Evaluators are also required to attend a one-day orientation (you choose: either Sept 13, 18, or 19 (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@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

How to Build and Deliver Brain-Based Technology Training — Minneapolis PEN 8/2

You’ve been charged with teaching others on using software, a new process, or a high tech device. So what’s different about technology training? How do you help your group – especially confused, frustrated, and resistant participants – turn what they learn in your session into practical knowledge that they can apply on-the-job? What are best ways to gain the mental “real estate” you need from each learner? How do you ensure learners actually use the skills and knowledge you’ve shared?

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Jack Mateffy, President of Mateffy & Company, to our August 2 Minneapolis PEN: “How to Build and Deliver Brain-Based Technology Training?”

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • How technology has changed your brain’s structure and chemistry
  • How to create a normative learning experience
  • How to establish teaching guidelines for your technology vendors
  • The role performance support tools play in on-the-job application

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on August 2 (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 Council members; $15 for partner organizations; $30 for the public.
Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

If You Don’t Take Care of Your Customers, Somebody Else Will — St. Paul PEN 8/8

In today’s competitive market, it’s not enough to just have satisfied customers. To grow, thrive, and succeed, organizations need to focus on systematically capturing the voice of the customer, but also building deep relationships that promote true customer loyalty, advocacy, and engagement.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Jeri Meola, president of Satisfaction Management Systems (SMS) to our August 8 St. Paul PEN: “If You Don’t Take Care of Your Customers, Someone Else Will – Part 2!” Jeri will be joined by Peter Baskin, director, Jobs2web Product Management, SuccessFactors.

Building off the insights she shared a couple of years ago, Jeri will share various methods of how to systematically obtain the voice of your customers in understanding marketplace needs, making product/service decisions, and building relationships. She will explore new trends of how organizations today are measuring customer loyalty and engagement, rather than just satisfaction. Finally, she will offer some best practices in how some organizations systematically build and nurture deep relationships with their customers.

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on August 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 PEN is FREE for Council members; $15 for partner organizations; $30 for the public.
Space is limited so register today by emailing brian.lassiter@performanceexcellencenetwork.org.

How Kwik Trip Became a Leader in the Convenience Store Industry — SE Minnesota PEN 8/7

Kwik Trip began in Eau Claire in 1965. Since that time, Kwik Trip has grown to more than 425 stores with 10,000 coworkers in three states and has been named a Top Workplace in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Kwik Trip not only serves customers with convenient, clean retail stores, but also produces more than 80% of the products featured in the stores. Kwik Trip’s La Crosse-based headquarters operates its own commissary, bakery, and dairy and maintains its own distribution center and transportation fleet.

The Performance Excellence Network, Southeast Minnesota Region (formerly the Rochester Area Quality Council/MN Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome John McHugh, Manager of Corporate Communications and Leadership Development at Kwik Trip to our August 7 program, “How Kwik Trip Became a Leader in the Convenience Store Industry.”

John will discuss the company’s evolution into a leader in the industry, and how their employees are empowered to lead the way.

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

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

Twin Ports PEN Resumes 9/19

Twin Ports Performance Excellence Network (TPPEN) sessions will resume September 19. Topic/speaker to be announced next month. Enjoy the rest of summer!

Successful Outcomes for Conflict Resolution — PMI 8/14

The Minnesota Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI), an alliance partner of the Council, is pleased to announce its next breakfast session: “Successful Outcomes for Conflict Resolution.” The session will be held Aug 14, and will be facilitated by Chet Anderson is a Program Manager/ Senior Project Manager for Trissential.

When dealing with people, you can guarantee that there will be conflict. Whether it’s a behavioral issue, a dispute between team members or something else entirely, this presentation can point the way to successful resolution. Chet’s engaging case studies and examples show audience members how to see conflict as an opportunity to further interests, select the best approach for a given situation, and structure a conversation to achieve the best outcome.

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

Attend the 2012 Baldrige Regional Conferences: 9/14 Des Moines, 9/28 Phoenix

Attend the 2012 Baldrige Regional Conferences for a one-day showcase of Baldrige best practices!

The events will feature at least 13 current and former Baldrige Award recipients, and the exciting conference programs include an in-depth plenary session featuring senior executives from the 2011 Baldrige Award recipients , 18 interactive management sessions to choose from, and a closing session featuring the President of a Baldrige Award winner.

Register today, and come learn, network, and engage in these dynamic events! Advance registration rates are still available.

The conferences will be held:

September 14

Des Moines, IA
Embassy Suites Hotel on the River

September 28

Scottsdale, AZ
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Paradise Valley

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

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please visit our Web site for more information and become a Regional Conference sponsor!

Join the Baldrige Program as it celebrates our 25th Anniversary and build an even better future!

The conferences are co-sponsored by the Arizona Quality Alliance, the Iowa Quality Center, and the Alliance for Performance Excellence.

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

Creatively Exploring Mindset — MN Facilitators Network 8/9

Please join the MN Facilitators Network, an alliance partner of the Council, for their next meeting Aug 9: “Creatively Exploring Mindset.” The session will be facilitated by an Dennis Stauffer.

Can mindset be used by a facilitator to help a working group find the direction it wants to go? A growing body of research into the impact and malleability of a person’s mindset informs fields as diverse as education, psychology, creativity, innovation and leadership. We are now coming to understand what a profound impact our mindset has on how we perceive, interpret, imagine and impact the world around us.

Dennis will speak on how treating mindset as an analytical lens provides powerful insights and options for facilitators seeking to “move” the people in the room to a new place, a new understanding, a new level of effectiveness and performance, as individuals, as teams and as organizations. Understanding mindset also provides us with a powerful vocabulary for describing the impact that facilitation has.

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/.

Exporting in 2012: The Practices of Profitable Companies — Enterprise Minnesota 8/22

Enterprise Minnesota, a partner of the MN Council for Quality, is pleased to announce their next upcoming event: “Exporting in 2012: The Practices of Profitable Companies” on August 22 at Mortensen Construction in Golden Valley.

For more information on these programs, visit http://www.enterpriseminnesota.org/.

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

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

August 1, 2012 Management Essentials for Success

August 1, 2012 Principles of Supervision

August 3, 2012 Project Initiation

August 3, 2012 Foundations in Business Writing

August 7, 2012 Delegate to Enhance Job Performance

August 9, 2012 Project Planning

August 16, 2012 Fundamentals of Organization Development

August 17, 2012 Project Execution

August 21, 2012 Principles of Employee Compensation

August 21, 2012 Project Management Foundations

August 23, 2012 How to Deal with Difficult People

August 23, 2012 Financial Intelligence

August 24, 2012 Advanced Editing and Proofreading Strategies

August 24, 2012 Project Control and Closure

August 28, 2012 Staffing: Recruitment and Selection

August 28, 2012 Build Teamwork and Commitment

September 7, 2012 Project Risk Management

September 11, 2012 Process Mapping and Analysis

September 11, 2012 HR Test Prep

September 11, 2012 Legal Issues for Supervisors and Managers

September 13, 2012 Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Skills

September 13, 2012 Investigations and Documentation

September 14, 2012 Introduction to Business Analysis

September 19, 2012 Managing Business Requirements

September 20, 2012 In-Depth Coaching: Lead Individual Change Interventions

September 21, 2012 Project Leadership

September 21, 2012 Business Grammar Update

September 24, 2012 Online HR Test Prep

September 25, 2012 Project Management Foundations

September 25, 2012 Strategic HR Planning

September 26, 2012 Strategic Planning and Measurement

September 26, 2012 Business Process Modeling and Analysis

September 28, 2012 Negotiate for Agreement

October 1, 2012 Online Business Analysis

October 2, 2012 Project Initiation

October 2, 2012 Leading Change

October 3, 2012 Develop Leadership Skills

October 4, 2012 Data and Process Modeling

October 5, 2012 Technical Writing

October 9, 2012 Measuring and Improving Work Processes

October 9, 2012 Project Planning

October 10, 2012 Assess Training Needs

October 12, 2012 Achieve Results Through Personal Power and Leadership

October 12, 2012 Project Management and Chaos Theory

October 16, 2012 Performance Management Process

October 16, 2012 Principles of Supervision

October 17, 2012 Deliver High Impact Presentations

October 17, 2012 Introduction to Business Analysis

October 18, 2012 Successfully Lead Enterprise-Wide Change Management

October 19, 2012 Business Acumen

October 23, 2012 Project Execution

October 24, 2012 Create Dynamic Webinars

October 24, 2012 Employee and Labor Relations

October 24, 2012 Managing Business Requirements

October 26, 2012 Project Management and New Product Development

November 1, 2012 Exercise Organizational Influence

November 6, 2012 Project Control and Closure

November 7, 2012 Design and Develop Training Solutions

November 8, 2012 Business Process Modeling and Analysis

November 9, 2012 Writing Business Reports and Proposals

November 13, 2012 Employee Benefits Practices and Trends

November 13, 2012 Project Risk Management

November 15, 2012 Successfully Deal with Conflict at Work

November 15, 2012 Process Innovation

November 16, 2012 Use Case Fundamentals

November 27, 2012 Project Leadership

November 27, 2012 Coaching for Excellence

November 28, 2012 Design On-Boarding Programs

November 29, 2012 Measure Training Results

November 30, 2012 Business Analysis Planning

December 4, 2012 Negotiate for Agreement

December 6, 2012 Lead Successful Team Intervention Strategies

December 7, 2012 Working Assertively

December 11, 2012 The Human Resource Audit

December 11, 2012 Implementing Process Change

December 14, 2012 Writing for the Web

Most 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.

Hamline University Announces Upcoming Lean Six Sigma Courses; Network Members Receive 15% Discount

Hamline University, a partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce the following upcoming programs:

July 16-20: LEAN SIX SIGMA BLACK BELT TRAINING, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; $3,000 ($2,200 for Performance Excellence Network members)

August 13-17: LEAN SIX SIGMA BLACK BELT TRAINING, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; $3,000 ($2,200 for Performance Excellence Network members)

These programs develop in students the skills necessary to solve an organizations most challenging issues, including Customer Satisfaction, Cost Reduction and Complexity Reduction. Achieves a phenomenal Return on Investment (ROI), executing projects with an average ROI of 10x-25x PER PROJECT (many projects achieve a 50x ROI or better). The training approach is equally applicable to Transactional, Service and Manufacturing environments.

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