When Forces Collide: Social Networking, Community, & Brand

1. A Message from the President: When Forces Collide: Social Networking, Community, & Brand
2. Council’s Annual Best Practice Conference: Celebrating 25 Years of Advancing Excellence — June 4-5 (St. Paul)
3. Seeking Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Expert Presenters for Annual Conference
4. Leading Change for Results that Stick: A One-Day Workshop on Change — April 12 (St. Paul)
5. Self-Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People — Workshop 4/30 (Austin)
6. Conducting Rapid Process Improvement Events: Using Lean Kaizen in DEED — PIN 4/5 (St. Paul)
7. Making the Journey to Excellence Easier: Using Self-Assessment to Improve Performance — PIN 4/18 (St. Paul)
8. Unleashing Innovation throughout Your Organization to Drive Growth — RAQC 4/3 (Rochester)
9. Strategic Planning at UMD — Twin Ports Performance Excellence Network 4/18 (Duluth)
10. Vision for New Baldrige Enterprise Takes Shape
11. Quest for Excellence Conference — April 16-18 (Washington DC)
12. Creating Advantage in Today’s Challenging World — MN ASQ Professional Summit 4/2
13. Happily Ever After: Tales from the Land of Project Management — PMI 4/10
14. Out of Another @#%^! Crisis — ASQ Hiawatha Workshop 4/12
15. From Corporate Training to Performance Consulting — MNISPI 4/17
16. Designing & Facilitating Sustainable Change Initiatives — MNODN 4/13
17. Embracing Paradox in Personality: Exploring Conflict with Lumina Spark — MN Facilitators Network 4/12
18. GreenLean: Eliminate Time and Energy Wastes — Enterprise Minnesota 4/19
19. MN Business Ethics Award — Annual Recognition Luncheon 5/16
20. Patient Safety: Medication Rconcilitation — MN Healthcare Quality Professionals Webinar 4/19
21. U of M College of Continuing Education Announces Upcoming Courses; Council Members Get 10% Discount
22. Hamine University Announces Upcoming Courses; Council Members Receive 15% Discount
23. South Central College Announces Upcoming Courses; Council Members Get 10% Discount

A Message From the President: When Forces Collide: Social Networking, Community, & Brand

How critical is social networking to an organization’s success? How important is an organization’s brand? Those two seemingly different questions collided for the Council just this week, creating considerable insight into just what defines a community. I think the implications can also translate to your organization. Let me explain…

As many of you know, the Council is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year — an exciting time to reflect on our first quarter century and prepare for our second 25 years of advancing performance excellence (join us June 5 for our annual conference/celebration)! To mark this milestone, to address our expanding footprint into both Dakotas (see article 5 in the August 2011 newsletter), and to more accurately reflect our mission and purpose, the Council’s board has agreed to reposition our brand in 2012. The process has been anything but linear, and the insights we’ve gained – not only about the brand, but about how communities work and the power of social networking – could be insightful for any organization, any community…

Let me begin by saying that, admittedly, I’m somewhat of a holdout on social media. I am on LinkedIn, and I just registered for my first Twitter account (http://twitter.com/LassiterBrian – more on that in a minute). However, I refuse to sign up for FaceBook, FourSquare, Pinterest, or any number of similar sites (I just don’t need people to know what I had or where I ate my breakfast, and I certainly don’t care what others had!). Nevertheless, I’m beginning to understand the power of social networks as it relates to building professional (and personal) community.

In our rebranding effort, the Council took all the traditional steps that an organization should probably take: we had two or three frank conversations at a board level about our history, our mission, our position in the marketplace; we conducted several focus groups in key markets and with key stakeholders; we researched what other similar state quality award programs have done across the US; and we hired an expert branding firm (Spangler Design Team) to guide our thinking. Spangler has taken our information and has helped us narrow our choices to eight potential brand names and taglines. We are now seeking feedback from various stakeholders in additional focus groups and live conversations.

But we did one more thing that, until last week, I would have personally considered inconsequential: we opened a LinkedIn dialogue with several hundred stakeholders who track the Council’s group. I really didn’t know what to expect by doing so, and since the invitation to start the conversation was sent on a Sunday afternoon, I figured if we got four or five comments, we’d have useful feedback and would consider it a successful attempt at some virtual dialogue. To date, we’re nearly at 80 comments and growing (not to mention all the phone calls and personal emails I’ve received in addition)!

Of course, the perspectives in that dialogue vary – some people have strong opinions about certain brand names, and there isn’t yet a universal consensus. I guess I really didn’t expect one, as rebranding, I’ve been told, is a very messy process – rife with emotion, perception, and preferential differences. But the difference of opinion isn’t my point here (indeed, all of that feedback is useful, and some trends and consensus are emerging).

My point is this: many have said that social media is a method to build community – to create groups that share an affinity and can therefore relate and interact. I would assert that it’s the exact opposite: social media ENABLES communities that already share an affinity to better relate and interact. Subtle but very, very different.

By the way, if you’re interested in reading the dialogue on the Council’s new brand, we invite you to do so. In fact, we’d welcome you to join in the conversation and offer your reaction to the brands we are considering. The link to the virtual dialogue is here (and if you are not yet part of the Council’s LinkedIn group, just let us know and we’ll approve you in!). We plan to reveal our new brand at the 25th anniversary celebration on June 5!

But our experience with social media this week doesn’t stop there. Feeling pleased with the unintended success of my first real attempt at social media, I decided to set up a Twitter account. Now, don’t get me wrong, I find zero interest in hearing from an athlete in some locker room at halftime, or from a celebrity on what he or she just bought at Tiffany’s in Beverley Hills, or from some actress on how her salad tasted at lunch, or even from some random mom in my personal network that is pleased that their little Johnny or Jane just at his or her first bite of apple. I’m sure there are those who love that stuff, but speaking personally: I just don’t have the time to follow anyone else’s life – I barely have time to enjoy my own mundane life.

But I’m beginning to see the potential power of Twitter in a professional sense. If a community really exists – if you have relationships with customers, stakeholders, or some group with a common affinity – then what a great channel to facilitate a (very brief) dialogue with that community! My Twitter account (http://twitter.com/LassiterBrian) – brand new and without many followers – will be used exclusively to share insights and witticisms about the journey to performance excellence.

I’ve been told that these newsletter columns are (usually) full of ideas, insights, and helpful tips on improving organizational performance, and that I should consider publishing them all someday in a book. Maybe that will eventually happen (and I sincerely appreciate the feedback), but for now, I’ll publish them in 140-character quips about what drives results in your business, your school, your hospital, your nonprofit – things I’m seeing in my daily interactions with the hundreds of organizations we serve; things I’m reading about in the various publications I scan every day; and things that I’m hearing in the many conferences and events that the Council and our partners frequently host. Only you can tell me if they are helpful and supportive on your journey to excellence, but I feel compelled to try to share these pretty good practices on a broader platform.

Ok, so I’m a laggard. I’m now sold on LinkedIn and Twitter (and maybe someday the other sites, if I can be convinced they have a true business/professional application). And I guess I’d be considered a laggard, because the data show that the adoption of these communication channels has literally exploded. I can’t verify the complete accuracy of these data, but even if they are only for illustrative purposes, I think they prove a point. Every day, there are:

877,000 new members on FaceBook

457,000 new members on Twitter

142,000 new members on LinkedIn

Over 1 billion items shared on FaceBook

69,000 hours of video uploaded and over 3 billion videos watched on YouTube

142 million tweets on Twitter

27 million iPhone apps downloaded

Nearly 1 million people joining Google+

For an app (of course!) that calculates those – and other mind-boggling social media and technology statistics – visit here.

It has been said that “social media empowers the human desire to connect.” I think that’s very close the scientific truth. In fact, what’s behind social networking may surprise you: it’s likely genetic and a trait within all humans.

A recent study by Harvard Medical School researcher Coren Apicella published in the journal “Nature,” found that hunter-gathers in remote Tanzania some 10,000 years ago lived with social networks very similar to ours today (albeit without smart phone applications, FaceBook, and Twitter!). In that study, researchers “found that individuals who are willing to cooperate prefer the company of other cooperative people, and that free riders [in that society] tend to stick to their own kind as well.” Seems like groups of affinity to me. Community.

Statistician Stanley Wasserman of Indiana University (and not involved in the study), said that “these networks of primitive cultures are not that different from the kinds of networks that exist in modern society.”

There are a few theories of why this is, including natural selection and the hypothesis that social networks may have evolved for purposes of survival. In fact, other research has shown that social networks of identical twins are more similar than those of fraternal twins, suggesting genetics play a role in this. Indeed, social networks appear to be a genetic, important component to humans as social creatures. It’s no wonder, then, that electronic forums have literally exploded the last few years to enable this form of networking.

What does all of this mean to you and your organization?

  • For one, I invite you to join the Council’s LinkedIn group. In so doing, you’ll join an existing community (I didn’t pick that word lightly) that is passionate about continuous improvement and performance excellence in their organizations, their careers, and their geographic communities. Simply visit LinkedIn, search for the MN Council for Quality group and request to join. We’ll approve you.
  • Second, consider following my new Twitter account (http://twitter.com/LassiterBrian). If you can read a 1500-word article every month (and thanks for doing so!), I trust you can find time for my 140-character tips and insights. And I hope that I can add just a little value to your day, sharing some of the great practices from within our community.
  • Third, consider using social media within your own organizations and your other networks. Due to space, I really can’t offer many examples here, but I know that many of our members have robust and highly effective approaches to using social media (in fact, we’ve already featured Mayo Clinic in live forums and will feature Essentia Health’s use of social media to build relationships with patients). Not only can social media be used to build relationships and communicate key information to your customers and other stakeholders, but it’s a way that you can monitor what the market is saying about your organization. In fact, the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence now suggests that it is a best practice when organizations systematically use social media as a method of gathering voice of the customer and marketplace. Since social media is usually a little more free-flowing than more formal complaint processes (or compliment processes, for that matter), you might just learn a little about what your customers candidly think of you.

So like it or not, social media is here to stay, likely because social networking has been a part of humans for at least 10,000 years. As a member of our community interested in performance excellence, I hope you’ll use social media to enable further dialogue and relationships with others on the journey to excellence. And within your own organizations, I encourage you to use social media to develop and expand relationships with other communities.

And, oh yeah, if you want to participate in a discussion on this topic, visit our blog to post a comment!

Yours in Improvement,

Brian S. Lassiter
President, Minnesota Council for Quality

Council’s Annual Best Practice Conference: Celebrating 25 Years of Advancing Performance Excellence — June 4-5 (St. Paul)

You’re invited to join 400 other leaders and professionals interested in continuous improvement and performance excellence at the Council’s biggest, most valuable event of the year: our annual Best Practice Conference and Celebration, June 5 (pre-conference June 4) at The Great Hall, downtown St. Paul.

Don’t miss this high impact, high energy, high value event! Hear best practices in organizational innovation, and learn what drives and sustains performance excellence across all sectors — business, healthcare, education, and nonprofit/government. Twenty (20) leaders from high performing organizations will share how they have improved leadership, planning, customer focus, measurement/knowledge management, workforce processes, operations, and results. At least four speakers are from Baldrige recipient organizations — organizations that have demonstrated world class performance in their processes and outcomes.

Also, this event will celebrate the Council’s first 25 years, our expanded footprint into South/North Dakota, and our new brand!!

Committed speakers so far (2011 Award recipients indicated with *):

  • Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton SD*
  • Byron Public Schools, Byron*
  • Cardinal of Minnesota, Rochester*
  • Designs for Learning, St. Paul*
  • Freese & Nichols, Ft Worth (Baldrige recipient)
  • Henry Ford Health Care System, Detroit (Baldrige recipient)
  • LifeSource, St. Paul
  • Marshall Public Schools, Marshall*
  • Memorial Blood Centers
  • Nestle Purina, St. Louis (Baldrige recipient)
  • Pewaukee School District, Milwaukee area (Wisconsin Forward Award recipient)
  • Richland College, Ft Worth (Baldrige recipient)
  • Rochester Community & Technical College, Rochester*
  • Target Corp.
  • And many others to be added!

The main conference on June 5 will include four keynotes, 20 breakout sessions (50-minutes each), a late-afternoon reception, and an early evening celebration. The June 4 pre-conference will include four half-day workshops on starting, accelerating, and/or sustaining your journey to performance excellence using the Baldrige framework.

Early bird is May 11, so register today!!

Cost for the full June 5 conference (full day conference, reception, and evening keynotes/celebration) is $250 for members ($300 after May 11); $500 for non-members ($600 after May 11); and $375 for members of partner organizations ($425 after May 11). Award recipients inquire about complimentary passes.

Cost for the June 5 reception/celebration only is $30 or Council members and Award recipient guests; $45 for Council partners; $60 for the public. Inquire about group rates. The reception/celebration is complimentary for employees of 2011 MN Quality Award recipients and 2011 volunteer Evaluators.

Cost for the June 4 pre-conference workshops TBA.

To register, please email brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org with your name, organizational affiliation, and desired events (full June 5 conference/reception, June 5 reception/celebration only, and/or June 4 pre-con workshops).

For more information, visit http://www.councilforquality.org/2011mqaprogram.cfm.

We expect 400+ leaders and professionals to attend. The events are open to the public, but space is limited. Spread the word in your organization/network and register today!


We thank our sponsors for this event. Gold: Aveda Corp, Spangler Design, and University of Phoenix. Silver: 3M, AgStar, DuFresne Manufacturing, Memorial Blood Centers, Metropolitan State University, Padilla Speer Beardsley, and Winona Health. Bronze: Abdo Eick & Meyers, ActiveStrategy, BlueCross Blue Shield of MN, Cargill, Forthright, LifeSource, Mayo Clinic Health System, Pillsbury United Communities, Stratis Health, Strategic Improvement Systems, UW-Stout, VOA of Minnesota, and Werner Electric.

Seeking Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Expert Presenters for Annual Conference

The Council is seeking organizations to exhibit and/or sponsor at our main conference event June 5 and Baldrige experts to present at our June 4 pre-conference workshops. We expect over 400 leaders and professionals to attend this year’s event, which is also our 25th Anniversary Celebration (which should generate more interest, awareness, media exposure, and energy). Sponsors, exhibitors, and presenters will also be seen by over 12,000 professionals who receive the Council newsletter, as well as thousands who will visit our website over the next couple of months.


We would like to invite your organization to consider making a one-time contribution to support the event. Sponsorship allows volunteer Evaluators to attend the celebration at no charge, keeps the cost down for the broader community, and this year also helps underwrite our rebranding effort. Your sponsorship entitles you to 1) receive prominent marketing exposure before, during, and after the event in public support of our mission of advancing performance excellence; and 2) send groups to attend the event to benefit from the learning/networking. To inquire about sponsorships, email brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org.

Exhibitor Booths

Exhibitor booths are reserved for consulting firms, training/development institutions, and other expert organizations which complement our theme of advancing performance excellence. We expect experts to exhibit from a variety of subject matters, including leadership, planning, customer focus, measurement/data, workforce/employee engagement, process/operations improvement, and/or experts who use Baldrige or other systems approaches to drive enterprise excellence.

Exhibitors receive booth space, listing on the Council’s website and conference proceedings, and one full conference registration (valued at $250 for members, $500 for non-members); additional registrations can be purchased (or obtained with sponsorship). For more information call Beth Neu at 952-484-8108 or at beth.neu@councilforquality.org

RFP for Pre-Conference Presenters

Finally, we invite experts in advancing performance excellence (Baldrige) to submit proposals to deliver a half-day workshop during our Monday, June 4 pre-conference. Expected topics might include: how to write a 50-page narrative (or org profile only); how to prioritize/implement OFIs once you complete an assessment; how to engage senior leaders on the journey; how to sustain the journey; and so forth. We expect experts to be consultants, higher education institutions, and other professional development firms with deep expertise in Baldrige. Proposals for this competitive RFP are due Friday, April 6 by 5PM CT. For more information on presenting, including guidelines for submission, please email brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org.

This is our biggest, most valuable event of the year (maybe of the last 25 years!). So I hope you decide to exhibit, sponsor, present, or at least attend the conference/celebration. Thank you for your consideration.

Leading Change for Results that Stick: A One-Day Workshop on Change — April 12 (St. Paul)

Nearly sold out – register today!!

Did you know that only 30% of change programs succeed according to John Kotter in his landmark book, “Leading Change”? If you’re charged with developing or deploying changes – Lean Six Sigma, ISO certification, Baldrige, best practice implementations, culture changes, or others – this workshop will provide significant help. Or if you are at the receiving end of change activities that fall short on specifics, measures, and defined results that are expected, this workshop will give you the tools to proactively push through with the right questions.

You’ve likely heard pitches like this before. But in this workshop, the two facilitators are practitioners – two professionals who will explain what works, what doesn’t from the perspectives of having the “burnt fingers and scars” to learn what’s puffery and what actually works in the real world. John Fechter and Gary Floss have been leading, directing, and evaluating change programs since the early 1980s – working in the processes and on the processes as national Baldrige Examiners, VPs at Fortune 500 companies, graduate course instructors, and business consultants.

What’s different about this workshop is the opportunity to actively use these tools. You’ll learn to ask the questions that separate wishes from real project charters, how to use the words of your team members and executives to define what is truly needed, and how to make the incremental changes that lead to the lofty goal becoming reality. You’ll learn and get to practice developing a start to finish plan that can be carried through to results.

The plan will include identifying key ingredients needed to START, naming the barriers that are in the way of success and need to STOP, and highlighting the activities that are working and that you need to KEEP.

Come join John and Gary on April 12th from 8:00 to 5:00 in St. Paul (University of St. Thomas) to learn a new model for change that is being offered exclusively through the Minnesota Council for Quality. Cost is $200 for members of the Council, $400 for non-members. To register, email brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org with your name, affiliation, and membership status.

Self Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People — Workshop 4/30 (Austin)

The average manager spends between 30 and 50% of their time grappling with the fallout of mistrust and lack of cohesiveness. In a recent Gallup poll, nearly 70 % of employees report they are disengaged from work. Fortunately, there are proven strategies to resist and reverse these discouraging trends.

The Minnesota Council for Quality, and our affiliate the Rochester Area Quality Council, are pleased to announce a special workshop April 30 in Austin MN: “Self Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People.” The session will be facilitated by Anna Maravelas of TheraRising (Thera is Greek, meaning “to heal”).

Through thousands of seemingly insignificant interactions, we unknowingly create environments that are either cohesive or adversarial. In this life-changing seminar, these behaviors, and their far-reaching consequences, become stunningly clear. You will learn how to short-circuit destructive disagreement, extinguish incivility and eliminate reactions that trigger anger and blame. Both executives and front-line employees testify that this seminar transformed the way they respond to disagreement and discontent – in their professional and personal lives. The strategies have been featured in dozens of publications including The New York Times, HR Magazine, Harvard Management Update, Oprah Magazine, and MSNBC.

At the end of the day you will be able to:

• Resist the temptation to bond teams by denigrating the efforts of others

• Prevent destructive forms of disagreement, instead of continuously being hindered by their toxic effects

• Eliminate behaviors that divide and discourage

• Turn resentment into a shared responsibility for the future

• Short-circuit the Ten Hidden Costs of Contempt

• Renew energy, collaboration and optimism

• Be hard on the problem, soft on the people.

• Shift the focus off people and personalities to the five root causes of workplace tension

Cost for the full day workshop is $200 members; $300 members of partner organizations; $400 non-members.

Space is limited. Please register by emailing brian.lassiter@councilforquality.org your name, organizational affiliation, and membership/partnership status.

These same workshops last year were sold out and had 100% attendee satisfaction! So don’t miss this valuable program!!
Conducting Rapid Process Improvement Events: Using Lean Kaizen in DEED — PIN 4/5 (Minneapolis)

In today’s world, every organization can and should be focused on improvement — on eliminating waste and improving the bottom line. Even governmental agencies are working to systematically improve performance, using tools that have proven useful in business and other organizations. The concepts of process improvement are similar.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to welcome Cristine Leavitt, Continuous Improvement Director of DEED (State of MN, Dept of Employment & Economic Development) to our April 5 PIN: “Conducting Rapid Process Improvement Events: Using Lean Kaizen in DEED.”

In this session, participants will learn what is a rapid process improvement event (Lean), the steps for conducting a rapid process improvement event, and how to avoid pitfalls in the process so that productivity goals are achieved. Cristine will share how to define the Lean project and engage others, how to hold the event and implement the action plan, how to monitor progress and performance, and how to adjust and sustain improvement over time.

The discussion is from 7:30-9:00 a.m. on Apr 5 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:00 a.m.) at MCTC, 1501 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis (near the Basilica).

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.

Making the Journey to Excellence Easier: Using Self-Assessment to Improve Performance — PIN 4/18 (St. Paul)

What do Du Fresne Manufacturing, Designs for Learning, and William’s Fastener have in common? All three of these businesses are on a journey of continuous improvement, and all recently completed an abbreviated self-assessment to confirm their organizational strengths and identify and prioritize improvement opportunities.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to welcome Patricia Pearson, VP of Quality, DuFresne Manufacturing; Craig Siiro, Owner, William’s Fastener and Supply; and Andrew Adelmann, Project Manager, Designs for Learning, to our April 18 PIN, “Making the Journey to Excellence Easier: Using Self-Assessment to Improve Performance.”

Pat, Craig, and Andrew — all experienced MN Quality Award Evaluators — will share their personal experiences with the Self Assessment process, a new service introduced by the Council in 2011, as a “short cut” version of the longer Baldrige-based Minnesota Quality Award. The panel will discuss why they chose to do the assessment, the value of what their organizations learned from the process, and how they have moved forward with their findings.

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on April 18 (note third Wednesday this month; 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.

Unleashing Innovation throughout Your Organization to Drive Growth — RAQC 4/3 (Rochester)

Innovation is one of the most sought after attributes in growing organizations today; however, it is also one of the most elusive. Reaching new pinnacles of organizational growth requires a dedication and commitment to innovation through all functional areas and all levels of management.

The Rochester Area Quality Council, an affiliate of the Minnesota Council for Quality, is pleased to welcome Glenn Bottomly, VP, Marketing & Technology, Corporate Graphics Commercial, Taylor Corp., to our April 3 program, “Unleashing Innovation throughout your Organization to Drive Growth.”

Glenn will explore how growth can stagnate within organizations, yet how by using a systemic-view of innovation, an organization can be prepared for opportunities. It has been said that luck is when preparation meets opportunity, Glenn will show that understanding market and competitive forces can help drive timely and innovative breakthroughs. Glenn will explore the art and science of innovation through colorful cross-industry examples that will highlight that the desire for innovative thinking is unending, and that everyone can play a role in making their organizations more innovative.

The session is April 3 from 7:30-9:00 AM RCTC.

Space is limited. Please register by contacting Jennifer Burmeister before Mar 30 at jennifer.burmeister@councilforquality.org or 507-213-8132.

Strategic Planning at UMD — Twin Ports Performance Excellence Network 4/18 (Duluth)

Strategic planning is critical for any organization: it allocates resources to what’s truly important to the organization, it focuses action plans on addressing strategic challenges facing the organization, it aligns activities with the organization’s core competencies, and it assists leaders in decision making. And equally (if not more) important to developing strategy is successfully executing and adjusting strategy to meet the ever-changing needs in today’s environment.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to welcome Dr. Lisa Erwin, Vice Chancellor for Student Life, and Dr. Dennis Falk, Faculty Fellow for Strategic Planning, both of UMD, to our April 18 TPPEN discussion: “Strategic Planning at UMD.”

The session is from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on April 18 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:00 a.m.) at UMD (location TBA). 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.

Vision for New Baldrige Enterprise Takes Shape

With a great deal of optimism and the spirit of collaboration, as well as the acknowledgement of a great deal of work ahead, the senior leaders of the Baldrige Enterprise a few weeks ago to achieve consensus on the vision of the “Baldrige Enterprise” and a rough timeline to accomplish it. In order to consider the myriad of possibilities open to the Enterprise and not be held back by current realities, the leaders chose 2020 as the goal to achieve the vision.

Brian Lassiter, chair of the Alliance for Performance Excellence (the consortium of state/local quality award programs); Debbie Collard, chair of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; David Spong, former chair of the foundation and ASQ board and a two-time Baldrige Award recipient CEO; Paul Borawski, CEO of ASQ; Harry Hertz, director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP); and Bob Fangmeyer, deputy director of BPEP, met in Gaithersburg, MD, to iron out the Enterprise’s vision:

To enhance the competitiveness, quality, and productivity of organizations through an integrated, financially sustainable Baldrige Enterprise with a strong core program and strong partner programs that carry the Baldrige brand/name.

The 10 most important elements for the Baldrige Enterprise were determined:

1. Integrated model: organization structured around the Baldrige Foundation, the core program, and partners, with a centralized and distributed work model (Core program includes the Baldrige Program while partners include state and local programs, ASQ, and potentially other programs.)
2. Stakeholder governance model, which includes a governing board comprised of the Baldrige Foundation, ASQ, the Alliance, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (where BPEP is located), plus representation from the volunteer workforce, Baldrige Award recipients, and other partners
3. Retained and strengthened Presidential ties and prestige
4. Globally recognized Baldrige brand as the strategic framework in which performance improvement tools fit and with the reinforcement that the brand is more than just the Award
5. Expanded public and private partnerships for revenue, reach, and impact
6. Operational solvency, with endowment income devoted to the public good
7. Readily available and widely accepted evidence base to demonstrate the efficacy of Baldrige
8. Engaged and effective large, diverse volunteer workforce
9. Rigorous, credible, and ethical enterprise, with confidentiality built into assessment processes
10. Balanced participation across industry sectors
Each of these elements will be considered in the design of organizational structure, processes, and shared strategy for the Enterprise.

The senior leaders also met with BPEP staff to assure them of the Foundation’s support and to share some of the effort and spirit of collaboration between the members of the Enterprise.

Next steps include:

• Improvement of coordination and communication, with the agreement to think and act as though the Enterprise already exists
• Identification of processes that need to be brought into alignment between the Alliance and BPEP, as well as a rank order based on dollar impact and timing
• Continued weekly planning calls

The senior leaders agreed that Baldrige is very important, and the programs of the Enterprise, from the core program to all the partner programs, and the people who have built them over the years, deserve the best effort to grow into the future.

“Speaking personally,” says Brian Lassiter, Chair of the Alliance for Performance Excellence, “I am very encouraged by the progress that all four partners are making to create an integrated Baldrige Enterprise that leverages all stakeholders’ core competencies, eventually promotes more consistency and less redundancy in the system, and fosters growth and increased impact in our collective work. There are many details that still need to be addressed, but I am confident that we collectively are creating a path forward to sustain and grow the Baldrige Enterprise — not only for the benefit of state/local programs, but more importantly, for the organizations and stakeholders we all serve and for the improvement of our country.”

Watch for more information/details about the emerging Enterprise model, and if you want to get involved, feel free to contact the Minnesota Council for Quality (info@councilforquality.org).

Quest for Excellence Conference — April 16-18 (Washington DC)

Attend the 24th Annual Quest for Excellence Conference April 16-18 in Washington DC. The event features the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient organizations, along with 22 other high performing organizations (all former Award recipients), each sharing their best practices on how they improved performance and results in leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce focus; and operations.

For more information, visit http://www.nist.gov/baldrige/qe/index.cfm. Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to learn and network with other organizations on the journey to excellence!

Creating Advantage in Today’s Challenging World — MN ASQ Professional Summit 4/2

Join our partner, ASQ, for their first annual Professional Summit April 2-3 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. The Summit them is “Creating Advantage in Today’s Challenging World.”

Businesses today are facing chal­lenges unlike any they have ever experienced. Changing economic conditions are coinciding with a rapidly evolving business and technology environment, creating both daunting challenges and exciting new opportunities. These forces of change have given us all a new understanding of – and appreciation for – a fundamental shift taking place in the way people live, work and interact. It’s a different world view, one that demands new and better ways of doing business

The Summit is Monday, April 2, with a second day of post-Summit workshops on April 3. Costs range from $275 to $620, depending on member status, early bird discounts, and attending one or both days. For more information or to register, visit http://www.mnasq.org/summit/ .

Happily Ever After: Tales from the Land of Project Management — PMI 4/10

The Minnesota Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI), an alliance partner of the Council, is pleased to announce its next breakfast session: “Happily Ever After: Tales from the Land of Project Management.” The session will be held April 10, and will be facilitated by Cindy Lee Weber, Program Manager for Trissential.

As project managers, we can find many common threads between our favorite fairy tales and our profession, and can apply many of the lessons learned in these stories to our everyday projects. This presentation introduces three examples of fairy tales and project management scenarios that share important themes. Audience interaction is encouraged and facilitated. When the attendees leave, they should be equipped to think outside the box of handling difficult situations in a light-hearted, easy to describe way to their team members and stakeholders.

The session is April 10 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 Mar 31 (MCQ members should call 651.209.8991 for discount). For more information, visit http://www.pmi-mn.org/.

Out of Another @#%^! Crisis — ASQ Hiawatha 4/12

Mike Micklewright will impersonate Dr. W. Edwards Deming and alternate between the low pitch monotone Deming and the much more dynamic Micklewright in a very entertaining and thought provoking presentation. Learn about Dr. Deming, his principles (14 Points), how he would have viewed today’s business and quality world, and his viewpoint on current trends in Lean, Six Sigma, and ISO 9001.

The session is April 12 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM at Cabella’s in Owatonna. Cost is $245 (Council members get 10% discount).

To register, visit http://southcentral.augusoft.net/index.cfm?fuseaction=1010. For more information, email laura.hardy@southcentral.edu.

From Corporate Training to Performance Consulting — MNISPI 4/17

The MN Chapter of ISPI, an alliance partner of the Council, is pleased to announce their next program: “99 Second Presentations on Human Performance Improvement (HPI): Hints and tips from MNISPI members.” The session will be April 17 from 6:30-8:00 (networking at 5:30) at the TIES Building on Snelling in St. Paul, and will be facilitated by several presenters.

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

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

Designing & Facilitating Sustainable Change Initiatives — MNODN 4/13

The MNODN, an affiliate partner of the MN Council for Quality, is pleased to announce its next program: “Designing & Facilitating Sustainable Change Initiatives.” The session will be April 13, 8AM-10AM at University of St. Thomas (networking, breakfast 7:30-8:00), and will be facilitated by Lisa Kimball, is President, Plexus Institute.

Organizations spend millions to identify “best practices” and disseminate them through training and change management initiatives. However, it’s widely known that most of these initiatives fail to create significant change that is sustained. In contrast to most of these approaches are change methodologies based on the insight that knowledge alone doesn’t change behavior. Neither does finding out how “somebody else” solved your problem. If it did, nobody would smoke and everyone would floss. The primary hypothesis of these new approaches is that within any organization, there are people whose unique behaviors allow them to find solutions to problems that most in the organization find impossible to solve without additional resources. Come hear about some case examples from health care, education, government, and the US Army where throwing out “best practices: in favor of a bottoms up approach to behavioral and cultural change has produced significant results. Participants will have the opportunity to explore where and how these innovative approaches might apply in their own work and walk away with several tools they can use to try them out.

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

Embracing Paradox in Personality: Exploring Conflict with Lumina Spark– MN Facilitators Network 4/12

Please join the MN Facilitators Network, an alliance partner of the Council, for their next meeting Apr 12: “Embracing Paradox in Personality: Exploring Conflict with Lumina Spark.” The session will be facilitated by Jane Schuette, professional educator and coach.

Can facilitators both respect conflict and facilitate its appearance to the benefit of a working group? Presenter Jane Schuette uses Lumina Spark to lead us in an engaging understanding of conflict that goes beyond differences in opinions, plans, or ideas. The Lumina Spark model is designed to retain the developmental and conceptual benefits established in a Jungian approach, while firmly basing its constructs on the latest empirical Big 5 research. In this session we will explore how we can use this lens to positively anticipate and manage situations of conflict that may arise within our sessions, helping us to accomplish the goal while holding the relationship in high esteem. Learn how to manage conflict situations as an effective way to facilitate client working group sessions.

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/.

GreenLean: Eliminate Time and Energy Wastes — Enterprise Minnesota 4/19

Enterprise Minnesota, a partner of the MN Council for Quality, is pleased to announce their next upcoming event: “GreenLean: Eliminate Time and Energy Wastes” on April 19 at Medtronic in Brooklyn Park.

Learn how and why Green and Lean practices will drive growth and innovation inside your company. By sharing the sustainability experiences of their own companies our expert presenters will make the business case for reducing or eliminating time and energy wastes. See how it can become a productive business strategy for your organization

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

MN Business Ethics Award — Annual Recognition Luncheon 5/16

Created in 1999 by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures and the Minnesota Chapters of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, the Minnesota Business Ethics Award recognizes Minnesota businesses that have exemplified and promoted ethical conduct for the benefit of the workplace, the marketplace, the environment and the community. Award recipients will be recognized at an Awards event on May 16, 2012, 12:00-1:30 at Nicollet Island Pavilion. For more information or to register, visit www.mnethicsaward.org.

Patient Safety: Medication Reconcilitation — MN Healthcare Quality Professionals Webinar 4/19

The MN Healthcare Quality Professionals, an alliance partner of the MN Council for Quality, is pleased to host a (free) monthly webinar seminar series. The series, hosted by MHQP and HealthForce Minnesota, is a monthly “quality in the trenches” brownbag education series. The objective of these sessions is to provide a healthcare quality “survey course” using selected materials from the National Association of Healthcare Quality (NAHQ)’s Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) preparation materials.

Upcoming webinars include (over the lunch hour):

4/19 Creating Patient Safety: Medication Reconciliation

5/17 Infection Prevention: Minimum Requirements for Outpatient Settings – CDC

6/21 ICD-10

The intended audience includes healthcare quality professionals who want a re-grounding in the breadth of their profession, and clinicians who want to learn more to become champions of change. MHQP especially wants to reach out to healthcare professionals in rural/outstate Minnesota who don’t get many quality education opportunities.

For more information, visit http://www.healthforceminnesota.org/pages/Programs/courses.html or contact skipvalusek@comcast.net.

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.

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.

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:

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.

South Central College Announces Upcoming Courses; Council Members Get 10% Discount

South Central College is pleased to announce their upcoming quality and performance improvement curriculum. Council members are entitled to a 10% discount.

The following courses are scheduled soon (prices before member discount):

Apr 10-May 22: Quality Engineer Certification (CQE) Review: Self-Study & Online, 6:00-9:00pm, Online, $199

Apr 18: Project Management, 8:00am-4:30pm, Rochester, $235

June 6: Workplace Lean PILLARS (Introduction to Office Lean), 8:00am-4:30pm, Faribault, $249

For more information, please contact Laura Hardy at 507-332-5802 or at laura.hardy@southcentral.edu or Tom Kammer at 507- 389-7336 or tom.kammer@southcentral.edu.