Are you interested in learning more about what makes organizations excellent — go from good to truly great?  Are you interested in helping other organizations — such as schools, hospitals, non-profits, and businesses — around the region improve their performance?  Are you interested in helping Minnesota and North/South Dakota become more competitive?  Are you interested in developing or refining skills and knowledge that helps your employer and personal career?


Today, organizations are seeking ways to improve their operations and sustain their performance.  PEN is seeking candidates for the 2018 Performance Excellence Award Board of Evaluators to help organizations improve results, facilitate innovation, sustain operations, and reach higher levels of excellence.


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

  • strengthening your understanding of what drives excellence (the Baldrige Framework – the foundation of the Performance Excellence Award – is a validated set of best practices for organizational excellence),
  • networking with influential leaders and professionals from across the state and across the Upper Midwest,
  • seeing “best practices” deployed within another organization – knowledge that you could use back at your organization and/or in your career,
  • forming deep relationships with other professionals interested in organizational improvement,
  • helping organizations throughout the region – many of them schools, health care providers, non-profits, public sector agencies, and certainly businesses – improve their performance…simply get better at what they do, 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.

Evaluators must have first attend a “Principles of Excellence: Baldrige 101” workshop (there are many upcoming offerings available), and then are trained by PEN to learn how to conduct a Baldrige-based evaluation.  Evaluators are then placed on teams of six to 10 volunteers — leaders, professionals, and experts from all over the region and from all professional walks of life (business leaders, school teachers and superintendents, healthcare professionals, and nonprofit leaders).  Evaluators follow a three-phase assessment process (described here) — Independent Review, Consensus, and Site Visit — culminating in a Feedback Report that’s delivered to an organization’s leadership team in an Improvement Planning Session.


The experience for Evaluators offers rich learning (some have commented that it compares to a mini-MBA in just a few months!), tremendous networking, and purposeful volunteer work to help improve the performance of organizations in our region.


Thank you for considering (re)turning as an Evaluator in 2018.  PEN’s mission is to advance continuous improvement and performance excellence throughout the region, and our assessments are a key way for leaders to accelerate improvement efforts and focus on the “right things” to improve outcomes.   Evaluators are key to improving the quality of our region.


For more information or an application, contact Brian Lassiter.