Sustaining Excellence, Resilience during Challenging Times — Jan 2022

We’ve all just experience an incredible two years, with layers of unprecedented challenges that have impacted our organizations, our communities, and ourselves.  But in every crisis, there is opportunity –opportunity to learn and discover new (and better) ways of doing things, of more effectively managing change and navigating challenges, of maintaining stability and resilience. Winston[...]

January 25, 2022|

Finding Your Ikigai: Aligning Your Career & Your Purpose — Dec 2021

We’re all dealing with a lot: a continuing global pandemic; significant changes in work environments and other organizational challenges (staffing shortages, supply chain issues, workplace toxicity); and the stresses of constant work/life pressures.  The events of the last nearly two years have compelled many to reexamine how their professional lives align or harmonize with their[...]

December 13, 2021|

A Season for Reflection: Gratitude, Generosity, Goodness – Nov 2021

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 -- maybe accelerate to our fifth wave, to be more accurate.  I know[...]

November 15, 2021|

The Future of Work – Oct 2021

Work is changing.  I mean really changing – a shift as big as the Industrial Revolution.  In fact, many have called this current shift the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a label first used by Klaus Schwab in 2016 to describe the rapid advancement of technology into human knowledge work. But technology is only one factor that’s[...]

October 27, 2021|

Performance Excellence Network Recognizes Four Organizations

2020 Performance Excellence Awards Presented at PENworks 2021 Online Conference ST. PAUL, Minn., September 24, 2021 – The Performance Excellence Network (PEN) honors four recipients of the 2020 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[...]

October 26, 2021|

Innovating Today, Imaging Tomorrow: Insights from PENworks 2021 – Sept 2021

What is excellence?  Seriously, what does it mean to be excellent at anything – at a sport; at an artistic endeavor; in business?  Excellence is a tough thing to define – kind of “I’ll know it when I see it” type thing. Merriam Webster says excellence “is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good,”[...]

September 29, 2021|

Lessons from a 16-Year-Old Intern: What NOT to do in Business – Aug 2021

[Our Back to the Future trivia results are at the end of my column, including announcing the winner of a free ticket to PENworks 2021!  Read on!] So my daughter finished her summer internship last week – an office job in an accounting/finance department of a midsize business, and her first “real job” outside of[...]

August 18, 2021|

Getting Back to the Future: Lessons from the Classic Movie (& the Theme of PENworks 2021) – July 2021

It’s summer. So this month’s column will be a little more whimsical than normal, focusing on the themes and hidden meanings of the 80s classic trilogy Back to the Future.  Why in the world a 36-year-old movie?!  Well, after 16 months of constant challenges, we all greatly desire to move forward to a better, brighter[...]

July 27, 2021|

Overcoming Today’s Staffing Challenges: Recruiting, Retention, Redesign – June 2021

Last weekend was Father’s Day, so in honor of, my wife and two kids were going to treat me to a brunch – nothing noteworthy (although emerging from pandemic, any visit to a restaurant these days is noteworthy).  We tried one of our favorite places in south Minneapolis, but found a sign on the door[...]

June 23, 2021|

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,[...]

May 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[...]

April 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[...]

March 24, 2021|
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