Learning from the Future: How to Plan for Tomorrow When Everything Has Changed Today – May 2021

This is the first year in PEN’s 34-year history without a budget.  Probably like many of you reading this, our normal process is a board planning retreat every October, followed by the creation and approval of a plan and budget in November-December.  But last November-December was literally the height of the pandemic in the US, [...]

2021-05-25T16:23:09-05:00May 25, 2021|

Never Waste a Good Crisis: 10 Leadership Lessons from the Last Year – April 2021

Never waste a good crisis.  Winston Churchill was credited in first using that phrase toward the end of World War II, and there’s some real wisdom in the statement: if you’re experiencing challenging times, you might as well learn and benefit from them to emerge stronger “on the other side.”  After all, life’s biggest lessons [...]

2021-04-26T15:25:03-05:00April 26, 2021|

The ROI of DEI: Still Much Work To Do – March 2021

It’s not often that I re-run an article (and it’s certainly not often that I rerun it within the same year).  But the events of this month – the beginning of Derek Chauvin’s trial and the mass killing in Atlanta that targeted Asian Americans – along with a continued and growing recognition from business leaders [...]

2021-03-24T23:52:36-05:00March 24, 2021|

The Power of Why: How Asking the Right Questions Can Change the Future – Feb 2021

So last week I was in the grocery store (which, like many or most of us these days, represents the extraverted highlight of my week), and I overheard a young kid – maybe four or five years old – ask, who I assume was his mother, if he could get some cookies.  She said no, [...]

2021-02-23T21:52:36-06:00February 23, 2021|

Stitched Together: Managing Your Organization as a System – Jan 2021

So last week we learned that the COVID-19 variant first discovered in the UK may, in fact, be more deadly than the original virus.  (Don’t worry: this article is not about the pandemic.)  I’m not a virologist, but to me, this is simply the virus mutating to try to sustain itself – to spread more [...]

2021-01-26T20:25:45-06:00January 26, 2021|

Building More Resilient Organizations – Dec 2020

Organizations are built on processes (or at least should be) – they are a system of interconnected tasks, activities, and routines that guide employees (or technology) through decisions and procedures that produce products, services, or programs that are of value to customers or stakeholders.  Simply put, organizations are a set of methods to get valuable [...]

2020-12-15T22:21:36-06:00December 15, 2020|

A Season for Reflection: Gratitude, Generosity, Goodness – Nov 2020

So this month’s column was to be about gratitude, in the spirit of Thanksgiving.  And it still is.  But an article on gratitude seemed somewhat cliché, overly simplified, and quite honestly, a bit insensitive given the circumstances.  The pandemic continues to rage – accelerate, to be more accurate.  I know many of you reading this [...]

2020-11-18T22:23:38-06:00November 18, 2020|

What Excellence Looks Like in Today’s World: Insights from PENworks 2020 – Oct 2020

Winning is relative.  The Dodgers just won the World Series: they didn’t need to be better than then 1906 Cubs (which had a .763 winning percentage, the best of all time), but just better than the Tampa Bay Rays in a seven-game series. What defines success is based on circumstances: what’s considered achieving excellence in [...]

2020-10-28T23:48:47-05:00October 28, 2020|

America’s New Normal: How Stress is Impacting Us (and What We All Can Do About It) – Sept 2020

I recently came across an old Dilbert cartoon that goes like this: The big boss says “How many employees did you say took paid medical leave,” to which Catbert (the evil director of human resources) responds “All of them.”  Catbert goes on to say: “a typo on our wellness website listed stress as an illness [...]

2020-09-29T19:32:07-05:00September 29, 2020|

Performance Excellence Network Recognizes Six Organizations

2019 Performance Excellence Awards Presented at PENworks 2020 Online Conference ST. PAUL, Minn., September 24, 2020 – The Performance Excellence Network (PEN) honors six recipients of the 2019 Performance Excellence Award.  The Award is based on the Baldrige Framework and is the culmination of a rigorous evaluation of an organization’s management and performance system.  The [...]

2020-09-28T17:21:52-05:00September 28, 2020|
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