Exploring the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Organizational Performance — July 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an exciting, emerging technology that offers both incredible possibility, but also potential risk.  At its simplest core, the goal of AI is sensemaking: it can help in making decisions; solving complex problems; enhancing lifestyle; and facilitating commerce, education, healthcare.  We’ve all seen and used it: it’s embedded in Siri and Alexa; it’s[...]

July 26, 2023|

Putting the P in Performance: 8 Drivers of Organizational Success — June 2023

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of participating in a local association’s Leadership Academy, a forum to explore best practices with 60 or more local leaders.  It was a great conversation, full of insights and useful ideas.  In the middle of the session, I found myself responding to a question with a[...]

June 26, 2023|

ASCENDING TOGETHER: 41 Insights from PENworks 2023 — May 2023

PEN hosted our annual conference -- PENworks 2023 -- three weeks ago.  As it (somehow) has become tradition, I walked on stage in costume -- this year as a mountain climber, reflecting the conference theme of ASCENDING TOGETHER: Connect, Discover, Imagine.  Yeah, it was hot in four layers of clothing.  And I felt a little[...]

May 22, 2023|

Performance Excellence Network Recognizes Seven with Award

2022 Performance Excellence Awards Presented at PENworks 2023 Conference ST. PAUL, Minn., May 5, 2023 – The Performance Excellence Network (PEN) honors seven recipients of the 2022 Minnesota 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[...]

May 5, 2023|

The Path to Excellence: The Real Value of Baldrige — PEN April 2023

In the wake of the last “Great Recession” in the 1980s (though we didn’t call it that back then), America was in economic trouble.  The country suffered a two-phase recession in 1980-82 -- one that left unemployment high and interest rates even higher (recall credit cards and mortgages well beyond 20%!).  The economic challenges were[...]

April 27, 2023|

Good Leadership: Part Process, Part Proficiency — Mar 2023

Last week I had the privilege to visit with an undergrad class at St. Lawrence University in Upstate New York about best practices in leadership and management.  So, I figured if the conversation was valuable enough for a couple dozen college students (who are young & emerging leaders), maybe it would be worth sharing with[...]

March 22, 2023|

Lessons Learned from a World Champion — Feb 2023

So, yeah, it happened again: the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII earlier this week.  I know the Vikings and Packers fans reading this (actually, probably anyone outside of Kansas City reading this) may not care, but that’s two championships in four years and another major milestone in this half-decade run.  After 50 years[...]

February 15, 2023|

Starting the Year Off Right: Tips to Improve Your Personal Productivity — Jan 2023

Everyone is trying to do more with less these days (or maybe just more with the same): the world has become more complex, and professional demands seem to be ever-increasing.  In response – and to kick off PEN’s 2023 webinar series earlier this month – we decided to focus on personal productivity, exploring ways that[...]

January 25, 2023|

Dear Santa: Please Bring Us All a Better Tomorrow — Dec 2022

Dear Santa: The last couple of years have been extraordinarily challenging for organizations, for communities, for leaders (and for us all as people).  The combination of the pandemic, staffing issues, supply chain disruptions, growing economic constraints, shifting work environments, among other things have created what might be the most challenging period for leaders and professionals[...]

December 14, 2022|

The Power of (Professional) Gratitude – Nov 2022

The year was 1623.  About half of the Plymouth colony died that year.  And while the community was about ready to head into another difficult winter, recent fall rains ended what was a challenging and persistent drought.  So Governor William Bradford called a gathering – a three-hour “staff meeting” of sorts.  The main purpose of[...]

November 12, 2022|

Improving Leadership; Reducing Stress — Oct 2022

People are fried.  The last two-and-a-half years have thrown curve ball after curve ball at us, with a potpourri of challenges: the pandemic, staffing shortages, continued supply chain issues, shifting workforce needs and work environments, inflation and emerging other economic issues, a polarized political climate, among other things. What many of us hoped would be[...]

October 25, 2022|

Sustaining American Greatness: Communities of Excellence 2026 — Sept 2022

America faces great challenges as we approach the year 2026, the 250th anniversary of our nation’s founding. Communities across our country have struggled to confront systemic problems such as educational disparities, deteriorating public health, and inequities in economic opportunity and quality of life.  Moreover, efforts to address these and other critical issues are often carried[...]

September 26, 2022|
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