Changing the Way Organizations Change

1. A Message from the President: Changing the Way Organizations Change
2. Managing Transformational Change: Fall Conference Nov 14; Pre-Con Nov 13 (Bloomington)
3. Lean Six Sigma Forum — Rochester 12/4
4. Self-Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People — Conflict Resolution Workshop 12/11
5. Interested in Improving Your Organization? Try New Self Assessment
6. One Size Fits None: Selecting the Right Process Improvement Approach — St. Paul PEN 11/7
7. Why Social Media Matters in Business — SE Minnesota PEN (RAQC) 11/13
8. Aligning Training with Strategy & Career Progression at Cirrus — Twin Ports PEN 11/21
9. A New/Old Path to Powerful Personal & Leadership Development — MNODN 11/1
10. Deming’s Red Bead Experiment — MN ASQ 11/13
11. Core Competencies for Facilitators — MN Facilitators Network 11/8
12. Successes in Business Innovation: Manufacturers Lead the Way — Enterprise MN 11/14
13. Courage to Connect in Critical Times: Fearless Leadership — PMI 11/13
14. South Central College Announces Upcoming Courses; Network Members Get 10% Discount
15. U of M College of Continuing Education Announces Upcoming Courses; Network Members Get 10% Discount

A Message From the President: Changing the Way Organizations Change

In case you missed it, the world changed about three years ago. We’ve even created labels for what happened: “The Great Recession” caused our “New Normal.” Organizations of all sizes, of all types, and in all regions of the US are compelled to operate differently: budgets are tighter because resources are tighter; customers are selective because they can afford to be; and workers are disengaged – some even may be disenfranchised (see my column last month on deteriorating employee engagement).

Today – perhaps more than ever – organizations are facing incredible amounts of change. And because it doesn’t look like it will end soon, organizations are faced with a simple choice: systematically manage change to remain competitive, successful, and vibrant…or don’t. But realize that if you choose not to change, there are consequences: many of those organizations will deteriorate and ultimately fail (if you don’t believe me, think of Polaroid, Circuit City, Blockbuster, and just last week, Newsweek).

But why is managing change so hard? And what can leaders do to more effectively navigate – indeed, create and sustain – change within their organizations? I’ve compiled 13 ideas…

The case for action is clear. Walter McFarland, in a compelling Harvard Business Review article last week (“This is Your Brain on Organizational Change”) declares: “Increasing competition, globalization, technological changes, financial upheaval, political uncertainty, changing workforce demographics, and other factors are forcing organizations to change faster and differently than ever before.” I’m convinced.

He goes on to say that the track record of change efforts are terrible and may be getting worse! (It’s estimated by many sources that over 70% of change efforts fail, and that percentage might be rising.) But why? Change efforts have been studied for at least 30-40 years, so why is it that they show no sign of improving? There are probably many reasons:

  • Poor communication (by senior leaders and throughout the organization).
  • Lack of senior leader commitment and/or competencies to manage the change.
  • Lack of focus. Constancy of purpose is critical during change. Switching directions, inconsistency in decisions, and/or poor alignment between vision and action will always cause fear and distrust.
  • Poor planning or under-resourced efforts. McFarland suggests that change is always dreaded and usually a surprise to employees, which implies a lack of preparation as well as a lack of communication and feedback loops.
  • A perceived need to “create a burning platform” – trying to motivate employees by creating an expressed or implied threat. While most change efforts do originate from a legitimate reason to change, creating a burning platform sometimes (perhaps oftentimes) results in a natural neurological response: it makes people uncomfortable and creates the same fight-or-flight stress response as is created by life-threatening stimuli. Let’s face it: we are wired for self-preservation. So maybe creating the burning platform is having the exact opposite effect as what leaders hope!
  • Leading change from the top of the organization down: concentrating change efforts with only a few individuals leads to under- (or mis-) communication, which creates fear. McFarland notes that change emanating from the top-down is depriving employees of several key social needs – namely: status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness.

I probably could go on. I think those issues are all causes of ineffective change efforts, but they are also symptoms of the main root cause: leaders generally lack the ability to engage people – in short, to manage human resistance to change.

Let’s face it: traditional management training focuses on the organization as if it were a machine – a system of processes and activities that presumably generate value for customers and stakeholders. While that is true on one level, I think it misses the point that organizations are lead, operated, and run by people. So it stands to reason that just feeding a change order from the top down into the organization won’t work: you can’t just reprogram the “machine” and see the change automatically stick.

On the contrary, it has been said that organizations are living entities, because they are comprised of other living entities (people) who actively exchange energy (decisions, activities, work), who engage in meaningful relationships, and who operate both within and outside a system that creates value. Norman Wolfe, President and CEO of Quantum Leaders, Inc. in a December 2010 Fast Company article described it as this: “[Organizations] are organic systems with physiology, emotions, and spiritual context.” He goes on to say that organizations are driven by a contextual foundation – an underlying belief system – which I think gives it personality, ethics, and values. We call that culture. And we’ve all recognized that every organization has a distinct culture.

McFarland seems to agree with this concept. He suggests that to think about change differently, we must think about people differently – not as commodities on which leaders impose change, but as “sources of real and powerful competitive advantage.” In other words, leaders need a more collaborative, cerebral approach to change that involves a greater proportion of the organism. He also suggests that leaders need to think of change differently – not as a perpetual crisis, “but as an opportunity to be better prepared and equipped to manage organizational shakeups as a normal part of doing business, and as an opportunity to personally develop and grow.” Sounds like the new normal to me.

Change is messy. It is non-linear – it is usually chaotic, full of emotions, and completely counter to human’s survival wiring. No wonder organizations struggle in making successful change!

So what can leaders do to more effectively navigate change – or at least create a culture that is more resilient to change? Here are 13 ideas from a variety of sources:

  • Give people control. Rosabeth Moss Kanter (in an HBR article published last month: “Ten Reasons People Resist Change”) suggests that change interferes with autonomy and can make people feel as if they’ve lost control. It’s about who has the power, and as McFarland illustrates on a neurological level, if people sense a loss of control, their fight-or-flight reaction will kick in. So good leaders give people choices – they invite employees into planning and decision-making, giving them ownership of the change.
  • Ease employees into change. This one, too, is all about being sensitive to how humans are wired and our natural resistance to change. As Moss Kanter states: “Decisions imposed on people suddenly, with no time to get used to the idea or prepare for the consequences, are generally resisted. It’s always easier to say ‘no’ than to say ‘yes.’ Leaders should avoid the temptation to craft changes in secret and then announce them all at once.” In other words, make change gradual and bring people along by introducing a series of smaller, more easily digestible changes. Plant seeds, offer hints of what might be coming – not to tease employees, but to create a more gradual transition. A series of smaller, more digestible changes also allows for more frequent feedback from your people.
  • Reduce uncertainty. Similar to the one above, we are creatures of habit and really don’t favor uncertainty or ambiguity. “Trust me” usually isn’t a phrase that’s eagerly embraced by employees when it comes from management. Moss Kanter suggests that “people will often prefer to remain mired in misery than to head toward an unknown” – the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. So leaders should try to create certainty by communicating clear and simple action plans, timelines, and milestones. This creates more certainty – more safety – for employees.
  • Minimize transitions. Sometimes change is resisted not because of a disagreement over the need to change, but because of the magnitude of change. Remember, people prefer the status quo – we’re creatures of habit. So leaders should try to minimize the number of changes needed, keeping focused on the central change. Whenever possible, keep things familiar. As Moss Kanter says, remain focused on the important things and avoid change for the sake of change. Morten Hansen, also in HBR (“Ten Ways to Get People to Change”) calls this “embracing the power of one.” Leaders should focus on one behavior to change at a time, sequencing the change of more than one behavior over time.
  • Use data. According to David Witt in an article published earlier this week in Blanchard LeaderChat (“Trying to Help Someone Change?”), most leaders live and die by the numbers. So one way to convince leaders (and many employees) of the need to change is to share data, information, and a compelling fact-based case for action.
  • Make change relevant. Similar to using data, employees need to understand not only the need to change, but how their efforts to make and sustain any change will pay off. Paint the picture for them, illustrating how their “investment” (of time, energy, emotion) to make the change will increase results, improve customer satisfaction, make their work easier or more effective, and so forth. Jim Balasco in the seminal book “Teaching the Elephant to Dance” declared: “Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and undervalue the value of what they may gain by giving that up.” So help people see how the change benefits them and the organization’s other stakeholders.
  • Measure change. Not only is data useful in building a case for action, but they are useful in monitoring progress of the change. But be sure to “make it sticky,” says Hansen – measures and goals must be concrete and measurable. “Listen actively” is vague and not measurable. But “paraphrase what others say and check for accuracy” is a behavior that’s more concrete and measurable.
  • Acknowledge that change takes effort. Here’s a fact: making change takes time, effort, energy. It is indeed more work. And people are generally overworked already. So acknowledge the effort required by rewarding and recognizing participants of change – give them extra perks if you can. Give them time off; give them a gift certificate for a nice dinner so they can decompress with their family; give them something to note the sacrifices they are making.
  • Let go of the past. All change requires moving from current state to some sort of future state. As such, the people associated with the current state (the one that didn’t work or at least is being changed) may be defensive about it. Moss Kanter: “When change involves a big shift in strategic direction, the people responsible for the previous direction dread the perception that they must have been wrong.” Leaders should help maintain people’s dignity by celebrating those elements of the past that are worth celebrating. In the words of Daniel Goleman: “Release with dignity that which is no longer vibrant – honor it, and release it.” There may be a brief period of necessary mourning, but then you must move on and let go.
  • Mobilize the crowd. This is a pretty funny (but highly instructive) 3-minute video. Where would you join the dance – early, middle, or late? Leaders need to mobilize the crowd by convincing a critical mass of the need to change. Early adopters and key influencers create some peer pressure for others to join in (psychologists have labeled this “social comparison theory”): energy and momentum are created, and eventually change efforts reach a tipping point where late-comers and laggards eventually join in. Change can occur when concepts spread more naturally, more virally. Good leaders use the power of social networks to diffuse change.
  • Be aware of unintended consequences. Change impacts not only the areas directly affected, but oftentimes other departments, customers and other stakeholders, partners and suppliers outside the organization – which can negatively impact supply chains and customer satisfaction. Leaders must consider all parties, create buy-in, and work with them to minimize disruption.
  • Be genuine. Change is hard because change oftentimes hurts. Jobs are sometimes lost; reporting relationships and roles sometimes change; investments and contributions people have made are sometimes erased. Therefore, successful change requires servant leadership. In the words of Moss Kanter: “Leaders need to be honest, transparent, fast, and fair. Although leaders can’t always make people feel comfortable with change, they can minimize discomfort.”
  • Institutionalize change. Once change is made, organizations need to “hardwire” it into their systems – making sure that new behaviors are rewarded, embedded in training, succession planning, and other processes so that the organization doesn’t snap back into old habits. Stay the course.

Change is hard, but change is real. The need for organizational change has always been there, but today it’s more prevalent – and more significant – than in the past. Leaders can increase the odds of more successful change by acknowledging the human element of today’s organizations. Communicate; listen; involve; appreciate; empower; be genuine.

To hear 12+ leaders share best practices on their organization’s change efforts – including the CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System, the President of the University of Minnesota, and many more – consider attending our fall conference November 14, “Managing Transformational Change.” Pre-conference tools workshops also on November 13. More information is in the second article below or visit here. Don’t miss this extraordinary learning and networking opportunity.

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

Yours in Performance Excellence,

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

Managing Transformational Change: Fall Conference Nov 144; Pre-Con Nov 13 (Bloomington)

“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.

Indeed, in today’s fast paced world, ALL organizations are going through extraordinary levels of change — restructuring, downsizing, acquisitions/mergers, new technology, process and business model changes, new leadership, and so forth. How organizations systematically manage this change is often the difference between success and failure. There are tools to manage the change, and there are many best practices that can help organizations successfully make the transition.

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

Hear valuable best practices, tips, and useful information for managing and implementing change in all of our organizations. Keynote speakers from high performing (and significantly changing) organizations: Dr. Robert Nesse, CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System, Eric Kaler, President of the University of Minnesota, and Andy Slavitt, EVP of Optum (United Health Group). Additional insights provided by speakers from Hennepin County, Medica, Delta Airlines, MN Hospital Association, Allina’s Mercy Hospital, HCMC, Stratis Health, and General Mills.

Costs start at $200. For more information, visit

Don’t miss this extraordinary learning and networking event!

Lean Six Sigma Forum — Rochester 12/4

The Performance Excellence Network is pleased to announce the next Lean Six Sigma Forum on Wednesday, December 5 from 8AM to 12PM, hosted by the Rochester Event Center in SW Rochester.

The December 5 Forum will feature five higher education institutions, each outlining how they are improving their own operations using Lean, Six Sigma, Baldrige, and other methods, and each also sharing what resources and training offerings they have to support Lean and/or Six Sigma deployments in the community. The discussion will feature:

  • Rochester Community & Technical College,
  • South Central College (Mankato),
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout (Menomonie),
  • Western Technical College (LaCrosse), and
  • Winona State University.

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

We look forward to seeing you then!

Cost is $125 for members of PEN ($250 for non-members). To register, email

Self-Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People — Conflict Resolution Workshop 12/11 (Twin Cities)

This session sold out last year — don’t miss it!

Through thousands of seemingly insignificant interactions, teams unknowingly create environments that are either cohesive or adversarial.

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 admitted they are disengaged from work or actively undermining the efforts of others. At a cost Gallup estimates, of 34¢ on the dollar. Fortunately, organizations can reverse these discouraging trends.

The Performance Excellence Network is pleased to announce a special workshop December 11 in the Twin Cities: “Self Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People.” The session will be facilitated by Anna Maravelas of TheraRising (Thera is Greek, meaning “to heal”).

In this seminar, the specific behaviors, and their far-reaching consequences, become stunningly clear. You will learn why negative assumptions pick up momentum and spread, how to short-circuit destructive disagreement, and eliminate unconscious behaviors that spark power struggles and mistrust. Thera Rising’s conflict resolution work consistently generates return on investment between 600% and 900%!

Executives and front-line employees testify that this seminar transformed the way they respond to disagreement – in their professional and personal lives. Thera Rising’s strategies have been featured in dozens of publications including The New York Times, HR Magazine, Harvard Management Update, Oprah Magazine, and MSNBC.

Attendees have reported:

* Less anger, depression, and resentment
* A proven strategy to prevent anger from derailing group efforts
* Skillfully handling ongoing frustrations – demands, delays, and disagreements
* Renewed energy, collaboration, and optimism
* Improved morale and restored trust

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

* Turn resentment into shared responsibility
* Avoid the mistakes that derail productivity and erode cohesiveness
* Reverse power struggles
* Short-circuit the hidden costs of contempt
* Shift the focus off people and personalities to the five root causes of workplace tension
* Turn self-righteous indignation into a search for solutions
* Be hard on the problem, soft on the people
* Build teams that endure – even during times of rapid change

Cost is $200 for members, $400 for non-members.

Space is limited. Please register by emailing your name, organizational affiliation, and membership status.

This session sold out last year (and had nearly 100% attendee satisfaction!). Don’t miss this valuable program!!

Interested in Improving Your Organization? Try New Self Assessment

The Performance Excellence Network’s primary product is a comprehensive organizational assessment that helps organizational leaders better understand and prioritize key strengths and improvement opportunities, upon which action plans can be created. This assessment, much like an annual health physical, helps managers understand what is working well in their organizations, and on what they should be focusing their attention. The foundation of the assessment is the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which outlines validated criteria that have been shown to produce excellent organizational results. While recognition comes with our assessments, its main focus is on organizational learning, resource optimization, and improvement.

Why Consider an Organizational Assessment?

The value of an assessment is its ability to improve performance – to improve outcomes and drive tangible organizational results. There is growing evidence of the value of systemic organizational assessments. Consider the data from one study in 20011. Organizations that won their state quality award compared to a control group show superior performance:

  • operating profit margins of 46.8% versus 2.7%,
  • return on assets of 10.3% versus -5.5%, and
  • return on equity of 18.7% versus -5.9%.

In another similar study2, award winners show tremendous growth over a control group of similar organizations:

  • 58% faster growth in stock price appreciation,
  • 116% faster growth in sales,
  • 114% faster growth in total assets, and
  • 229% growth in employees.

In fact, organizations that use this process show high levels and improvement trends in a variety of indicators – financial, customer/student/patient/stakeholder, employee, and operations.

Objectives of the Assessment

Our organizational assessment has several goals. It:

  • Enhances organizational learning and prioritization of key strengths and improvement opportunities, upon which plans can be created
  • Facilitates the improvement, alignment, and integration of overall organizational effectiveness and capabilities
  • Assists in the delivery of ever-improving value to an organization’s customers and stakeholders
  • Facilitates organizational and personal learning
  • Monitors progress over time

The Baldrige framework is divided into seven Categories, which form an organizational system. Our assessments evaluate processes such as leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations; and results. The assessment evaluates organizational approaches (processes), the extent to which they are deployed, evaluated/improved, aligned, and integrated throughout the organization, and their effectiveness at driving organizational outcomes and results.

Currently, the Network offers three assessment options, from a comprehensive diagnostic and learning experience (the Performance Excellence Award) to a more prescriptive, consultative short-cut process (the Alternative Assessment), to a brief, less intense evaluation (the Self Assessment).

The Self Assessment is the quickest, easiest way to help leaders identify and prioritize improvement opportunities – through the perspective of their workforce. Leveraging the online “Baldrige Express” survey for up to 25 workers (more can be added for a fee), this process takes about two hours of senior leaders’ time, plus about two hours per survey respondent to offer input on where to improve the organization’s performance.

If you would like to learn more about the assessment processes, visit or contact us directly ( We look forward to supporting your improvement efforts and partnering with you on your journey to excellence.

One Size Fits None: Selecting the Right Process Improvement Approach — St. Paul PEN 11/7

Note there is no Minneapolis PEN meeting in November due to the fall conference on change. For more information on the Nov 14 conference, see the second article above.

Process improvement has been at the heart of every major performance improvement movement of the last 30 years. TQM, BPR, Six Sigma, Lean, Horizontal Management, ERP, Theory of Constraints (and other methods) each have an important business process component. Most organizations that have invested in these approaches realize measurable short-term benefits. However, after the low-hanging fruit is harvested, few are able to achieve a culture of ongoing operational and strategic improvement. Why is that?

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Paul King, president and founder of Orion Development Group, a training and consulting company that specializes in strategic process management, to our November 7 PEN: “One Size Fits None: Selecting the Right Process Improvement Approach.”

Paul will help you see past that hype and determine which approach — or which combination of approaches — will deliver sustainable operational excellence in your organization. He will explore the similarities and differences between leading process improvement approaches, will discuss how to assess your organization’s capacity to adopt process improvement in general, and will explore how you can evaluate which approach(es) are the best fit your organization’s strategy and culture.

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on November 7 (note second Wed); 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

Why Social Media Matters In Business — SE Minnesota PEN (RAQC) 11/13

Social media isn’t a fad and it is most certainly here to stay. Methods of communication are rapidly changing, and print media is becoming less and less influential as digital and social methods are ever on the increase. Facebook and Twitter are certainly the most popular and people ARE talking about your business online. The only question is: are you involved in the conversation? If not, others are in control of your message.

The Performance Excellence Network, SE Region, is pleased to welcome Frank Chiapperino, father, tech-addict, pastor, author, speaker (and social media expert),to our November 13 PEN: “Why Social Media Matters In Business.” Frank will lead an interactive discussion about why social media matters and how it can grow your business.

Frank will explore other platforms (besides Facebook and Twitter), will share why you might start blogging, will explore how social media can increase traffic to your website, will discuss why content is so critical, and will outline a few social media myths. Join us for a productive conversation on the power of this new communication and marketing channel!

The session is November 13 (note second Tues) from 7:30-9:00 AM RCTC.

Space is limited. Please register by contacting (or 507-213-8132) by November 9.

Aligning Training with Strategy & Career Development at Cirrus — Twin Ports PEN 11/21

As we all know, training is an important way to develop employees, align job responsibilities to key strategic objectives, develop succession and career progression, and increase workforce satisfaction, competencies, and engagement.

The Performance Excellence Network (formerly the Minnesota Council for Quality) is pleased to welcome Lynx Johnson, Training Manager for Cirrus Aircraft, to our November 21 TPPEN discussion: “Aligning Training with Strategy & Career Progression at Cirrus.”

Lynx will share how Cirrus has incorporated career progression into its manufacturing training program over the last 12 months, beginning with entry level positions and continuing to the most complex specialty roles. Cirrus’s progression system now includes career opportunities by core competencies and by departments. Lynx will also share how Cirrus redesigned all training materials to show progression opportunities within a technician’s immediate job. As part of this system, Cirrus has rolled training into a Learning Management System that captures individual training assignments, allows technicians to access new assignments, and enables area leadership to query their technicians’ status and report on training progress.

At Cirrus, technician training and employee career progression were 2012 strategic objectives and will be a 2013 focus, as they continue to mature their workforce development programs and strive towards once again being an “Employer of Choice.” Come hear how Cirrus’s success can translate to your organization’s training and development objectives.

The session is from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on Nov 21 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:00 a.m.) at Cirrus (details at registration). Admission to TPPEN is FREE for Council members and guests ($20 for non-members).

Space is limited so register today by emailing

A New/Old Path to Powerful Personal & Leadership Development — MNODN 11/1

The MNODN, an affiliate partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce its next program: “A New/Old Path to Powerful Personal & Leadership Development.” The session will be Nov 1, 5:30-7:00 PM at University of St. Thomas, and will be facilitated by Doug Baker, founder and president of the True North Groups Institute, an organization he created in 2011 with co-author Bill George (retired Medtronic CEO).

The use of groups in leadership development is not a new concept. However, by combining proven processes with new elements and emphasis, a small group becomes a powerful vehicle for personal and leadership development. As important, the group also becomes a safe, confidential place for on-going support, development and feedback.

The speakers will outline the uses of these groups in a variety of settings – corporations; non-profits; alumni organizations; graduate school courses; and in the community. These experiences are viewed as particularly useful with emerging leaders as a proven way to increase participants’ emotional intelligence (EQ), building our next generation to be authentic, lead effectively and remain resilient in an ever-changing world.

The participants in True North Groups range in age from mid-20s to the 60s. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, functional areas, and leadership roles.

In this interactive session, the speakers will share the secrets of the success of these groups, offer participants a taste of the methodology and lead a discussion on how and where the methodology can be successfully leveraged.

The session is $25 ($20 for Network members, as allied partners). More information at

Deming’s Red Bead Experiment — MN ASQ 11/13

Join our partner, the Minnesota Section of ASQ, for their next program Nov 13: “Deming’s Red Bead Experiment.”

The name red bead is a metaphor for the problems that we experience every day in our life. The world is a never ending supply of problems. You get up in the morning and solve the problems of the day. Solve one problem and more problems appear. It is the way of the world.

Quality Guru Dr. W. Edwards Deming said “It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.” To help teach the 14 Points for Management, he created a teaching tool that he used in his seminars around the world called the RED BEAD Experiment. We are pleased to create this memorable learning experience for our members.

Registration begins at 5:00, dinner at 6:00, and program at 6:45, adjourning by 8:45. Hilton MSP Airport. Cost is $25 for members ($35 non). For more information or to register, visit

Core Competencies for Facilitators — MN Facilitators Network 11/8

Please join the MN Facilitators Network, an alliance partner of the Network, for their next meeting Nov 8: “Core Competencies for Facilitators.” The session will be facilitated by Rachel Hefte and Phil Grant.

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
Successes in Business Innovation: Manufacturers Show the Way — Enterprise Minnesota

Enterprise Minnesota, a partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce their next upcoming event: “Successes in Business Innovation – Manufacturers Show the Way” on Nov 14 at US Bank in Richfield.

For more information on this and other programs, visit

Courage to Connect in Critical Times: Fearless Leadership — PMI 11/13

The Minnesota Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI), an alliance partner of the Performance Excellence Network, is pleased to announce its next breakfast session: “Courage to Connect in Critical Times: Fearless Leadership.” The session will be held Nov 13, and will be facilitated by John Crudele, a Certified Speaking Professional.

It’s not enough just to work hard. It’s not enough to do a great job. If you want to succeed, you must learn how to connect with people! Your sense of community improves, your ability to create team work increases, and your influence skyrockets. People who connect with others have better relationships, experience less conflict, and get more things done than those who don’t!

The session is Nov 13 from 7:00-8:50 AM at Crowne Plaza Mpls West, 3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth, MN 55441. Cost is $34 ($32.30 for Network members) before Oct 30 (PEN members should contact for discount code). For more information, visit

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

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

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

Oct 24-25: Fundamentals of Quality Assurance; Faribault, $445

Oct 30-Nov 13: Engineering Statistics; online; $149

Nov 8: Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA); Faribault, $235

Dec 11-12: Understanding ISO 9001 & Internal Auditor Skills; Mankato, $445

For more information, please contact Laura Hardy at 507-332-5802 or at or Tom Kammer at 507- 389-7336 or

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.

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 or call 612-624-4000.