Leadership’s Pursuit of Excellence: The Number One Factor for Effective Leadership

April 6, 2013

  1. A Message from the President: Leadership’s Pursuit of Excellence: The Number One Factor for Effective Leadership
  2.  Network News and Events
    • Council’s Annual Best Practice Conference: Celebrating 25 Years of Advancing Excellence—June 4-5 (St. Paul)
    • Seeking Exhibitors, Sponsors for Annual Conference
    • Learn What Drives Organizational Excellence: 2012 MN Quality Award Evaluator Training June 19-21 (Rochester)
    • Self-Defeating Habits of Otherwise Brilliant People—Workshop 4/30 (Austin)
    • Join the Council’s Virtual Community on LinkedIn, Twitter, Blog
    • Best Practices in Hoshin Kanri in India and in Your Organization—PIN 5/3 (Minneapolis)
    • 25 Years of Helping Organizations Improve: The Council’s Minnesota Quality Award—PIN 5/9 (St. Paul)
    • Managing Stress—RAQC 5/1 (Rochester)
    • Managing Assets at St. Louis County—Twin Ports Performance Excellence Network 5/16 (Duluth)
    • New Business Plan, New Funding Help Baldrige Program Move Forward
  3. Partner Events and News
    • Leadership Patterns and Career Derailment—MNODN 5/11
    • Agile Data Analysis—PMI 5/8
    • Chairs Night—MN ASQ 5/8
    • Learning Paths in Manufacturing: Spreading a Best Practice throughout an Organization—MNISPI 5/15
    • MN Business Ethics Award—Annual Recognition Luncheon 5/16
    • Lean Product Development—Getting Highly Manufacturable Products to Market — Enterprise Minnesota 5/23
    • U of M College of Continuing Education Announces Upcoming Courses;
      Council Members Get 10% Discount
    • South Central College Announces Upcoming Courses;
      Council Members Get 10% Discount

A Message From the President: Leadership’s Pursuit of Excellence: The Number One Factor for Effective Leadership

Leaders are never too busy to strive for excellence,” said BG Porter, president of Studer Group at last week’s Quest for Excellence conference in Washington DC. I attend this conference most every year, and I always pick up best practices on what drives organizational performance excellence. This year (since I’m now Tweeting: @LassiterBrian – see my article last month on social media!), I was listening to the remarkable line up of speakers, searching for the 140-character insights. Like this one from Nancy Schlicting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System: “The most important word that creates an entrepreneurial and innovative environment: ‘yes.’” In other words, empower your people and good things will happen.

So this month’s column will be a series of brief quotes (Tweets?!), from leaders about leadership, except for the last one, which is a slightly longer commentary on the one key ingredient common in all successful leaders – the “secret sauce” that drives leadership effectiveness. If you read nothing else in this column, please jump to the end and read that quote…

But let’s start with another quote from the Quest for Excellence Conference: “Excellence can only be achieved when the CEO commits to it,” Gary Meyer, CEO of Schneck Medical Center in Indiana (and 2011 Baldrige recipient). Isn’t it true? – excellence begins at the top of any organization (and so, too, does mediocrity or inferiority). Indeed, culture and performance expectations are set, communicated, and reinforced from the top of the org chart.

Or this quote that came from a change management workshop the Council hosted two weeks ago: “Most organizational problems are in the ‘white space’ in the org chart,” Gary Floss, director of quality and continual improvement at Marvin Windows and Doors. Gary’s comment here is insightful: since most organizations are structured in functional units (and sometimes in isolated dysfunctional silos), many of the challenges organizations face are in the process connections between those silos. In other words, in the handoffs between processes.

Here’s another one from Floss: “The Five Why’s do not include a “Who.’” Quality professionals reading this will instantly recognize The Five Why’s as the basis of root cause analysis, which is a problem solving technique to get to the bottom of process failures. The fact that there is no “who” in this line of questioning simply implies that problems are almost always rooted in process, not people (Deming claimed that 94% of process failures were inherent in the process design itself, not the people that run them, and therefore, process issues are almost always the responsibility of management). And speaking of Deming (and of process failures)…

I don’t think you can have an innovative culture when people are afraid to make mistakes,” Roger Wood, President and CEO, Dana Holding Company. This one was probably said best by W. Edwards Deming himself in one of his 14 points: Drive out Fear. Nothing stifles innovation and risk-taking more than fear of failure (or, more accurately, fear of punishment for making mistakes).

Or how about another one on innovation: “The biggest obstacle for innovation is the fact that organizations need to deal with the here and now – that is their task – and they will see innovation as a threat,” Ben Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel Lucent. I believe Ben is talking about the constant tension between the short- and long-term – about focusing on what’s immediate and right in front of you as managers (today’s operational issues, this month’s or quarter’s numbers, and so forth) versus investing in the things that create future value for the enterprise and its stakeholders. Certainly, leaders need to focus on today, but also need to focus on the future.

Earlier this month, we co-sponsored an event hosted by ASQ – a roundtable discussion as part of their annual Summit. The day-long roundtable focused on many emerging factors facing organizations, and one speaker, now retired Minnesota State Demographer Tom Gillaspy, had this to offer: “…to increase productivity, we must make things better (quality) and make better things (innovation).” Poignant, accurate, and really the center of the Council’s mission.

Here’s another quote about what will drive performance in the future, by Vineet Nayar, Vice Chair and CEO, HCL Technologies Ltd: “To a certain extent, human capital is the most competitive differentiator. Once you work [on it] as a differentiator, people start to view it as importantly as supply chain or other differentiators. CEOs should connect the dots between human capital and business results.” People are most organization’s greatest asset; period.

A moving target is hard for everyone,” says Peter Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg LP. “People just want to know the rules of the game.” I think this speaks to the importance of effective communication and the critical role leaders play in establishing a “constancy of purpose” (another Deming phrase) – promoting stability and creating a predictable path forward that drives towards a unifying vision.

Which leads to the longest quote in this article – one offered in Forbes last December by Mike Myatt. Since this column was a compilation of quotes by leaders on effective leadership, I thought it fitting to end with perhaps the most powerful one:

“One of the most often overlooked aspects of leadership is the need for pursuit. Great leaders are never satisfied with traditional practice, static thinking, conventional wisdom, or common performance. In fact, the best leaders are simply uncomfortable with anything that embraces the status quo. Leadership is pursuit – pursuit of excellence, of elegance, of truth, of what’s next, of what if, of change, of value, of results, of relationships, of service, of knowledge, and of something bigger than themselves. In the text that follows I’ll examine the value of being a pursuer…

“Here’s the thing – pursuit leads to attainment. What you pursue will determine the paths you travel, the people you associate with, the character you develop, and ultimately, what you do or don’t achieve. Having a mindset focused on pursuit is so critical to leadership that lacking this one quality can sentence you to mediocrity or even obsolescence. The manner, method, and motivation behind any pursuit is what sets truly great leaders apart from the masses. If you want to become a great leader, become a great pursuer.

“A failure to embrace pursuit is to cede opportunity to others. A leader’s failure to pursue clarity leaves them amidst the fog. Their failure to pursue creativity relegates them to the routine and mundane. Their failure to pursue talent sentences them to a world of isolation. Their failure to pursue change approves apathy. Their failure to pursue wisdom and discernment subjects them to distraction and folly. Their failure to pursue character leaves a question mark on their integrity. Let me put this as simply as I can – you cannot attain what you do not pursue.

“Smart leaders understand it’s not just enough to pursue, but pursuit must be intentional, focused, consistent, aggressive, and unyielding. You must pursue the right things, for the right reasons, and at the right times. Perhaps most of all, the best forms of pursuit enlist others in the chase. Pursuit in its purest form is highly collaborative, very inclusive and easily transferable. Pursuit operates at greatest strength when it leverages velocity and scale.

“I also want to caution you against trivial pursuits – don’t confuse pursuit with simple goal setting. Outcomes are clearly important, but as a leader, it’s what happens after the outcome that you need to be in pursuit of. Pursue discovery, seek dissenting opinions, develop your ability unlearn by embracing how much you don’t know, and find the kind of vision that truly does see around corners. Don’t use your pursuits to shift paradigms, pursue breaking them. Knowing what not to pursue is just as important as knowing what to pursue.

“It’s important to keep in mind that nothing tells the world more about a leader than what or who they pursue – that which you pursue is that which you value. If you message to your organization you value talent, but don’t treat people well and don’t spend time developing the talent around you, then I would suggest you value rhetoric more than talent. Put simply, you can wax eloquent all you like, but your actions will ultimately reveal what you truly value.

“Lastly, the best leaders pursue being better leaders. They know to fail in this pursuit is nothing short of a guarantee they’ll be replaced by those who don’t. All leaders would be well served to go back to school on what I refer to as the art and science of pursuitology.”

People often ask me what I think is the most important factor in determining if an organization is just good versus one can be truly great. My answer is almost always: effective leadership. But let me take that one step further and say this: organizations that achieve and sustain excellence are ALWAYS led by visionary leaders who embrace change; who encourage innovation and risk taking; who create a shared vision and then are unrelenting in their constancy of purpose toward that vision; who value talent and focus on their workforce’s and their own continued development; who use data to make decisions and who consider their customers/stakeholders in every important decision to be made; who are defined by character, integrity, and ethics; who create an environment that fosters collaboration, involvement, and empowerment, but who can make the tough decision when circumstances dictate; and who – as Myatt states – are never satisfied with traditional practice, static thinking, conventional wisdom, or common performance. In short, performance excellence requires leaders who are simply uncomfortable with the status quo.

I hope you consider attending our (25th) annual best practice conference and celebration June 4-5 in St. Paul, which will feature leaders from 20 high performing organizations, each sharing their processes and methods of improving performance (see article 2 below). It’s our biggest, highest energy, most valuable event of the year. And if you found any wisdom in any of the leadership quotes in this article, come prepared to hear hundreds of them during this extraordinary learning event.

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. And four keynotes are from organizations that have demonstrated world class performance (all four have received the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award).

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

Speakers include:

  • Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton SD (MN Quality Award recipient)
  • Byron Public Schools, Byron (MN Quality Award recipient)
  • Cardinal of Minnesota, Rochester (MN Quality Award recipient)
  • Designs for Learning, St. Paul (MN Quality Award recipient)
  • Freese & Nichols, Ft Worth (Baldrige recipient)
  • HealthPartners, Bloomington
  • Henry Ford Health Care System, Detroit (Baldrige recipient)
  • LifeSource, St. Paul
  • Marshall Public Schools, Marshall (MN Quality Award recipient)
  • Mayo Clinic Health System (former MN Quality Award recipient)
  • Memorial Blood Centers, St. Paul (former MN Quality Award recipient)
  • Nestle Purina, St. Louis (Baldrige recipient)
  • Park Nicollet Health Services, St. Louis Park
  • Pewaukee School District, Milwaukee area (Wisconsin Forward Award recipient)
  • Richland College, Ft Worth (Baldrige recipient)
  • Rochester Community & Technical College, Rochester (MN Quality Award recipient)
  • St. Louis County, Duluth
  • State of Minnesota, St. Paul
  • Target Corp., Minneapolis
  • Workforce Development, Inc., Rochester (former MN Quality Award recipient)

The main conference on June 5 will include four keynotes, 20 one-hour breakout sessions, 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!!

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.

Sustaining: Benedictine Health System.

Gold: Aveda Corp, Seagate Technology, 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, Core Values Partners, Forthright, Hoglund Coaching, LifeSource, Mayo Clinic Health System, Pillsbury United Communities, Plunkett’s Pest Control, Satisfaction Management Systems, The Schwan Food Company, Stratis Health, Strategic Improvement Systems, UW-Stout, VOA of Minnesota, and Werner Electric.

Seeking Exhibitors, Sponsors for Annual Conference

The Council is seeking organizations to exhibit and/or sponsor at our main conference event June 5 in St. Paul. We expect over 400 leaders and professionals to attend this year’s event, which is also our 25th Anniversary Celebration (and therefore should generate more interest, awareness, media exposure, and energy). Sponsors and exhibitors 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

This is our biggest, most valuable event of the year (maybe of the last 25 years!). So we hope you decide to exhibit and/or sponsor…or at least attend the conference/celebration! Thank you for your consideration and support of our mission of advancing performance excellence in the region.

Learn What Drives Organizational Excellence: 2012 MN Quality Award Evaluator Training June 19-21 (Rochester)

Are you interested in learning more about what makes organizations successful? Are you interested in helping other organizations — such as schools, hospitals, non-profits, and businesses — around the state improve their performance? Would you be interested in networking, learning, and sharing with others who feel the same way?

The Minnesota Council for Quality is seeking candidates for the 2012 Minnesota Quality Award Board of Evaluators. The second of three training sessions in 2012 is June 19-21 in Rochester.

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

  • strengthening your understanding of what drives organizational excellence (the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence represent a validated set of best practices for organizational excellence, and can be useful for improving any organization’s performance). The 2012 Criteria has increased emphasis on 1) dealing with complexity in enterprise leadership and management, and 2) customer engagement.
  • networking with influential leaders and professionals (this year’s Board of Evaluators will include about 150 leaders from around the state – executives, middle managers, surgeons and physicians, superintendents and school teachers, non-profit and public sector leaders, quality professionals, and consultants);
  • seeing “best practices” deployed within another organization – knowledge that you could use back at your organization and/or in your career, helping organizations throughout the state – many of them schools, health care providers, non-profits, public sector agencies, and certainly businesses – improve their performance…simply get better at what they do; and
  • developing a set of other professional skills that may help you advance your career – skills such as consensus- and team-building, written communication, verbal communication and interpersonal skills, interviewing, analysis, and systems thinking.

Most Evaluators consider the experience to be among the most valuable of their careers. In fact, many have claimed that the experience and knowledge gained from this process rivals getting an MBA or advanced business degree.

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

Applications for new Evaluators are due May 25 (but can be extended). Applications for returning Evaluators (which only require updates from your most recent application) are due June 8.

In addition to the full training June 19-21, new Evaluators are also required to attend a one-day orientation (you choose: either May 31 in Bloomington, June 6 in Rochester, or June 7 in Rochester).

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

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!!

Join the Council’s Virtual Community on LinkedIn, Twitter, Blog

As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the Council has recently expanded its LinkedIn Group (MN Council for Quality) and Brian Lassiter, Council president, has created a Twitter account (@LassiterBrian). We invite you to join/follow the Council and benefit from our growing online community.

“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,” says Brian Lassiter in his newsletter column last month. “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.”

The Council already has a very pronounced community:

  • we serve over 300 members, representing about 150,000 employees in Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota and beyond;
  • we leverage a fully volunteer workforce of nearly 150 leaders and professionals in the Upper Midwest;
  • we hosted monthly breakfast discussions attended by nearly 2500 leaders and professionals in 2011;
  • we hosted workshops and programs attended by nearly 750 leaders and professionals in 2011.

Council members already share, learn, benchmark, and network with each other heavily. And now we have ways to connect using technology – to expand our virtual community and to deepen the relationships already present in our network.

Please consider joining:

Best Practices in Hoshin Kanri in India and in Your Organization — PIN 5/3 (Minneapolis)

India possesses a dynamic economy with the emergence of numerous world class information technology and manufacturing companies. Twenty Indian organizations have won the prestigious Deming Application Prize since 2000, and four of these winners participated in a research study to better understand the application of Hoshin Kanri within India. The lessons learned from this effort can apply to any organization wanting a more effective planning process.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to welcome Charles Liedtke, Ph.D., principal owner of Strategic Improvement Systems, LLC, to our May 3 PIN: “Best Practices of Hoshin Kanri in India and in Your Organization.”

Hoshin Kanri is also known as Hoshin Planning, Policy Management, and Policy Deployment. In the Indian study, the Hoshin Kanri practices were found to be quite consistent with Japanese-style Hoshin Kanri. However, nuances between the companies were found, and several innovations were revealed. Charles will outline the practical findings from this study, and will explore how some of them translate to your organizations.

At the end of the session, participants will learn practical lessons from four Indian Deming Application Prize winners; will see examples of Hoshin Kanri best practices; will explore practical tips for getting your organization started on Hoshin Kanri.

The discussion is from 7:30-9:00 a.m. on May 3 (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.

25 Years of Helping Organizations Improve: The Council’s Minnesota Quality Award — PIN 5/9 (St. Paul)

The need to improve your organization’s performance has perhaps never been greater. The difficult economy over the last couple of years has created a renewed need for improvement and systemic change within all organizations: customers are more demanding, employees are overextended, and competition has never been as fierce. But — given the complexity of organizations — where does one start? How do you know on which processes to focus? And how to do you sustain the improvement over time?

The Council’s primary product is a comprehensive organizational assessment that helps organizations better understand and prioritize key strengths and improvement opportunities, upon which plans can be created. The assessment 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; and monitors progress over time.

The Council has three assessment processes: a short-cut self-assessment (which we explored with three organizations April 18), a deeper Alternative Assessment, and the fully comprehensive Minnesota Quality Award.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to welcome a panel of four experienced Evaluators with the Minnesota Quality Award: Karen Copp of Hennepin County (currently Chief Judge), Pat O’Boyle of Fire-Formed Consulting (currently on the Assessment Team), Nancy Hoglund of Hoglund Coaching (currently a Team Leader), and Jim Nelson of Cummins (currently an Evaluator) to our May 9 PIN, “25 Years of Helping Organizations Improve: The Council’s Minnesota Quality Award.”

Come and hear directly from an Evaluator, a Team Lead, a member of our Assessment Team, and a Chief Judge as they describe their roles and responsibilities relating to the evaluation process. They will share their views of how getting involved with the process has strengthened their understanding of what drives organizational performance excellence (using a set of validated best practices, the Baldrige Criteria, as the basis for our evaluation), has broadened their network to include hundreds of leaders and professionals interested in promoting excellence in their organizations and communities, has allowed them to see “best practices” deployed within other organizations, has helped them develop other professional skills (such as consensus- and team-building, written communication, verbal communication and interpersonal skills, interviewing, analysis, and systems thinking), and has tapped their expertise to help organizations in the region improve performance — businesses, schools, nonprofits, hospitals, and governmental agencies.

The Minnesota Council for Quality has been training volunteers for 25 years to serve as Evaluators to help organizations achieve better results through process improvement. Whether your organization has considered applying for the Award, you’re interested in volunteering as an Evaluator, or you just want to learn more about the Council’s proven method of advancing performance excellence, come and share in a remarkable process driven by deeply dedicated volunteers and the organizations they help.

The discussion is from 8:00-9:00 a.m. on May 9; 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.

Managing Stress — RAQC 5/1 (Rochester)

Today, we are all faced with increasing pressures — to the point where many feel stress that is impacting their performance, their satisfaction, and even their health and well-being.

The Rochester Area Quality Council, an affiliate of the Minnesota Council for Quality, is pleased to welcome Dr. Edward Creagan, Professor of Medical Oncology and consultant in Palliative Medicine/Hospice Medicine, Mayo Clinic to our May 1 program, “Managing Stress.”

In a humorous and engaging manner, Dr. Creagan will touch on three crucial areas:

  1. How frequent is this phenomenon?
  2. How do we know if we are on the verge of a complete meltdown?
  3. What tactics and strategies can we employ today to avoid this modern pandemic?

At the end of this presentation, attendees:

  1. Will understand the magnitude of the problem and what to do about it
  2. Will have practical, user-friendly tools to maximize their professional gifts and skill
  3. Will know the most important sentence to maintain our sanity in the midst of professional chaos
  4. Be able to utilize the most important and the most effective tool to go the distance in an incredibly volatile professional climate.

The session is May 1 from 7:30-9:00 AM RCTC.

Space is limited. Please register by contacting Jennifer Burmeister before April 27 at jennifer.burmeister@councilforquality.org or 507-213-8132.

Managing Assets at St. Louis County — Twin Ports Performance Excellence Network 5/16 (Duluth)

Asset management is a systematic process of operating, maintaining, and upgrading assets cost-effectively. In the engineering environment, it is the process by which built systems of facilities are monitored and maintained, with the objective of providing the best possible service to users. Asset management is both a tool and a process to aid decision makers and operations staff in managing both small and large asset inventories, from vehicles and heavy equipment to roads, bridges and buildings.

The Minnesota Council for Quality is pleased to welcome James T. Foldesi, P.E. Public Works Director/Highway Engineer with St. Louis County, to our May 16 TPPEN discussion: “Managing Assets at St. Louis County.”

This presentation will cover what St. Louis County is doing with asset management and how it is informing decisions on the best way to invest our finite and precious resources, with a focus on its pavement management system. It will also summarize other innovative management tools used by St. Louis County Public Works that maximize the public’s investment in a safe and well maintained highway system. These processes can translate to other organizations, as every organization has to prioritize and manage its assets, its projects, and its opportunities.

The session is from 7:30-8:30 a.m. on May 16 (networking and continental breakfast begin at 7:00 a.m.) at St. Louis County (main building downtown; details forthcoming). 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.

New Business Plan, New Funding Help Baldrige Program Move Forward

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP), managed for 25 years by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in collaboration with the private sector, has announced that it is transitioning to a new business model that will move the program from federal government funding to a self-sustaining operation. NIST will continue its leadership role in managing the program, but it will be funded through a combination of new fees together with expanded support from the private sector.

The Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award – the private 501(c)3 organization that has supported BPEP for more than 20 years with contributions from the private sector – recently announced that it will fund BPEP through fiscal year 2015, as the transition to the new business model takes place. The foundation will review the gift annually to determine any appropriate adjustments during the three-year period. The foundation also has initiated a new endowment fundraising campaign to ensure long-term sustainability.

“The Baldrige Program and the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence that it promotes offer our business, health care, nonprofit, and educational institutions a proven path to becoming more competitive, more efficient, and more successful in generating and sustaining positive outcomes,” says Thomas Schamberger, executive director of the foundation. “The need is greater now than ever to make Baldrige more accessible to the organizations and communities that need it throughout the country.”

The new Baldrige business model focuses on expanding markets, strategic partners, and customer relationships, with the goal of long-term sustainability and growth for the Baldrige Program and its partner, the newly formed Baldrige Enterprise, which includes the Baldrige Foundation, the Alliance for Performance Excellence – a body made up of the 35-plus state, local, regional, and sector-specific Baldrige-based programs, including the Minnesota Council for Quality – and ASQ.

New products, services, and strategies will generate fee-based income and grow the customer base for the Baldrige Program and the Baldrige Enterprise. These include educational offerings for international quality experts and others, such as the in-depth Baldrige training currently provided only to Baldrige Award examiners; a fee-based alternative assessment that will provide organizations not eligible for a Baldrige Award with the high-quality organizational review given to Baldrige Award applicants; and sponsorships of exhibits and activities at Baldrige events such as the annual Quest for Excellence conference.

Additionally, BPEP plans to reduce costs through the elimination of operations that fall outside its core mission, streamlining the rest and shifting some activities to the Baldrige Enterprise partners. More coordination and integration among these partners’ activities will achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness, with the first step being new Baldrige Award eligibility rules that encourage potential applicants to first seek their state or regional award.

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

Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 90 organizations have received national Baldrige Awards.

More information on the BPEP transition plan is available at www.nist.gov/baldrige/transition/index.cfm

Leadership Patterns and Career Derailment — MNODN 5/11

The MNODN, an affiliate partner of the MN Council for Quality, is pleased to announce its next program: “Leadership Patterns and Career Derailment.” The session will be May 11, 8AM-10AM at University of St. Thomas (networking, breakfast 7:30-8:00), and will be facilitated by Lou Quast, PhD and Professor at the University of Minnesota.

This study investigated the relationship between a model of self-other rating discrepancies and managerial career derailment in several samples of mangers, including the United States, five Asian countries, and nine European countries. The model includes seven categories of rating tendencies as put forward by Quast (2011). Results indicate each category yielded useful information in all samples, related to predicted risk of managerial career derailment even after controlling for job performance. Strong self-promoters, moderate self-promoters, strongly out-of-touch, and moderately out-of-touch managers are significantly more likely to be viewed as at-risk for career derailment than in-touch, moderate self-deprecator, and strong self-deprecator managers.

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

Agile Data Analysis — PMI 5/8

The Minnesota Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI), an alliance partner of the Council, is pleased to announce its next breakfast session: “Agile Data Analysis.” The session will be held May 8, and will be facilitated by Steven Pesklo, the founder and President of SoftLake Solutions.

Most organizations have large amounts of data. Business groups are frustrated by the inability to analyze that data quickly. Business users often get frustrated with IT organizations who do not understand their analytical needs and IT organizations get frustrated by a business who cannot articulate their analytical demands. A traditional “waterfall” approach to data analysis works well when requirements are clearly defined, but often falls short when requirements are missing or poorly articulated. How can I leverage an agile approach to my data projects? How can data analysis occur without clearly knowing business requirements?

This discussion will use real case studies and examples that will include practical tips for applying agile data analysis techniques to your organization. In addition, high-tech interactive feedback devices will be used to get real-time audience responses to questions.

The session is May 8 from 7:00-8:50 AM at Crowne Plaza Mpls West (frm Radisson – Plymouth), 3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth. 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/.

Chairs Night — MN ASQ 5/8

Join our partner, the Minnesota Section of ASQ, for their annual Chairs Night May 8 at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul.

May marks the end of ASQ’s program year so their May program is all about celebration, including Section awards, passing the gavel from Chair to Chair-Elect, and honoring the contributions of past leadership. This year, they are pleased to be hosting our meeting at the 3M Innovation Center, and the even features scheduled tours of the Innovation Center.

The program is May 8. Registration begins at 4:45, dinner at 6:00, and program at 8:15, adjourning by 8:55. Cost is $25 for members ($35 non). For more information or to register, visit http://www.mnasq.org/summit/ .

Learning Paths in Manufacturing: Spreading a Best Practice throughout an Organization — MNISPI 5/15

The MN Chapter of ISPI, an alliance partner of the Council, is pleased to announce their next program: “Learning Paths in Manufacturing: Spreading a Best Practice throughout an Organization.” The session will be May 15 from 6:30-8:00 (networking at 5:30) at the TIES Building on Snelling in St. Paul, and will be facilitated by Rick Swanson of Valspar and Steve Rosenbaum of Learning Paths.

This presentation is a success story of how a good idea became a best practice. Rick Swanson and Steve Rosenbaum share the story of how Learning Paths methodology came into a manufacturing organization on a limited basis, and then quickly spread throughout the organization, in a nearly viral fashion. Rick and Steve describe critical success factors that made Learning Paths a best practice in the organization.

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

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

Lean Product Development — Getting Highly Manufacturable Products to Market — Enterprise Minnesota 5/23

Enterprise Minnesota, a partner of the MN Council for Quality, is pleased to announce their next upcoming event: “Lean Product Development – Getting Highly Manufacturable Products to Market” on May 23 in Maple Grove.

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/.

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.

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.

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

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.