Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 3 – Your Governance (Past Webinar)


Past Expert Insights Video

This  video is a continuation of Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice: Part 1: Your Value Proposition that can be viewed HERE 

Part 2:  Your Practice Charter that can be viewed HERE

This third and final session in Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice poses questions that should be considered when it comes to the governance of an enterprise-level business architecture practice.

Participants will learn about considerations for:

Engagement – How do others access your services?

Deliverables – What products and services are you providing?

Interactions – What are the roles and responsibilities of the people involved?

 

How do you stand up a business architecture practice within an organization?

This 3-part Expert Insights Webinar Series will provide strategies used by Maureen Mathias  to stand up a practice in her organization.

Watch Video Here

WATCH THE FIRST WEBINAR IN THIS SERIES HERE

Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 1: Your Value Proposition

Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 2: Your Business Architecture Practice Charter

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Maureen Mathias


Maureen Mathias earned her Master of Arts from Rutgers University, later adding a Certified Business Architect from the Business Architecture Guild and a Business Architecture Certificate from Metro State University in St. Paul Minnesota.

Maureen started a journey in 2008 that led to a career as a business architect. “Through the journey, it seems I have hit every situation you would want to avoid. One thing that stands out, is that a business architecture practice anywhere must fit the culture and the needs of an organization.”

In her business architect role for an insurance company, she has established training for the teams that utilize architecture tools and for those that need to learn what business architecture is and how it relates to their day-to-day responsibilities for several years.

Maureen is excited to share her experience: what works and what does not as well as learn from the experiences of other business architects.

*Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 2: Your Business Architecture Practice Charter – Past Webinar


Past Expert Insights Webinar

* Please Note 

This Expert Insights focuses on Business Architecture and is intended for an audience with a background or understanding of Business Architecture.

How do you stand up a business architecture practice within an organization?

This 3-part Expert Insights Webinar Series will provide strategies used by Maureen Mathias  to stand up a practice in her organization.

This is a continuation of Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice: Part 1: Your Value Proposition that can be viewed HERE

Many are doing the work of business architecture within their organizations.  How does this work by siloed individuals become a coordinated effort within an organization?  How do you stand up a business architecture practice within an organization?   Taking a cue from lawyers, the answer is “it depends.”  While there are many paths, this Expert Insights Webinar Series will provide the strategies used by Maureen Mathias to stand up a practice in her organization.   This 3-part Expert Insights Webinar Series will start in April.

The second session on Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice will provide tips and strategies for establishing a charter for your business architecture practice.

Participants will learn about:

  1. The elements that go into a solid charter

  2. Aligning the charter to the value proposition

  3. Mission, vision, and goals to track success

WATCH THIS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED WEBINAR HERE

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Maureen Mathias


Maureen Mathias earned her Master of Arts from Rutgers University, later adding a Certified Business Architect from the Business Architecture Guild and a Business Architecture Certificate from Metro State University in St. Paul Minnesota.

Maureen started a journey in 2008 that led to a career as a business architect. “Through the journey, it seems I have hit every situation you would want to avoid. One thing that stands out, is that a business architecture practice anywhere must fit the culture and the needs of an organization.”

In her business architect role for an insurance company, she has established training for the teams that utilize architecture tools and for those that need to learn what business architecture is and how it relates to their day-to-day responsibilities for several years.

Maureen is excited to share her experience: what works and what does not as well as learn from the experiences of other business architects

WATCH THE FIRST WEBINAR IN THIS SERIES HERE

Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 1: Your Value Proposition

Resources for Employee Engagement Article


Resources for Employee Engagement

 

Employee Engagement: It’s Time to Go ‘All In.’  Dale Carnegie.

 

Employee Experience vs. Employee Engagement: What’s the Difference?  Gallup.  Pendell.

 

Engaging in Healthy Debate Over Employee Engagement.  Association for Talent Development.  Leeds and Nierle.

 

Kahn’s 3 Dimensions of Employee Engagement: Still Good to Go in 2021? Talkfreely. Sinclair.

 

Sustaining Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction.  SHRM. Paul.

 

The Right Culture: Not Just About Employee Satisfaction.  Gallup.  Harter and Mann.

 

The Six Forces Driving Engagement. Quantum Workplace.

 

The ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of Employee Engagement.  SHRM.  Hastings.

 

Employee Engagement Defined


This month, we continue our exploration of employee engagement – especially in the shadow of The Great Resignation- by defining what employee engagement is and what it is not.

Join the Community of Practice for MN Government Business Architecture.


Join the Community of Practice for MN Government Business Architecture.

This free community of practice meets once a month.  The community consists of those who are in the role of business architect or are using business architect techniques in their work AND work for a Minnesota city, county, or state agency.

The community provides an informal opportunity to seek solutions to questions and support others as they apply the craft of business architecture.   The community acknowledges that while most of business architecture concepts apply to government work, finding the way through sometimes requires some extra finagling.

Email IPD if interested, and they will connect you with the group.

Twelve Questions to Define Your Career Wants and Needs


Click Here to Print the Twelve Questions to Define Your Career Wants and Needs:

Before making any decisions about leaving, you should make sure you understand what you are seeking that you are not finding in your current work situation. Answer these 12 questions to determine the “why” behind your desire to depart.

Make Your Move


by Beth Schaefer

IPD Director

 

“Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

If I go, there will be trouble….

And If I stay it will be double…”

by, ironically enough, The Clash

If you have been reading The Great Resignation/Transformation series, you have already done the following to assess your current career situation:

And based off that analysis, you have determined that your career is best served by making a move to a new organization.

In addition to the assessments listed above, take these additional actions to ensure a smooth career move:

  1. Research compensation for the role you want in the area/region you wish to work.
  2. Define your “workplace self.”

Take 15 minutes every Friday to write down what parts of your job that week were the most satisfying.

  • Watch for patterns so you can look for more of that type of work in your new role.
  • Use this information to craft questions you can ask when an employer says, “What do you need to know about us?”
  • And, if asked, “What do you like about your current role?” you will be ready for that too.

Do the list of 3’s.  For each of the following questions, write down your top 3:

  • What 3 things about the work you do now generate passion and excitement?
  • What are your top 3 technical skills?
  • What 3 adjectives would your co-workers use to describe you?
  • What are your top 3 workplace skills or fields of expertise?
  • What are your 3 biggest workplace contributions in the past year?

3. Craft your story even though your resume is a necessary tool; it is not your whole story.

Look at the parts that make-up your whole:

  • You are not just your job title.
  • Look at your history of projects; see how they add to your story.
  • Look at who is in your network; see how they connect to tell your story.
  • Create a list of work anecdotes that demonstrate your desirable co-worker traits that will to transfer to any situation or role.

4. Build your brand about your “workplace self” using your story pieces.

Sum up your story:

  • Write your 1-paragraph career story.
  • Write your 1-sentence brand or elevator speech.
  • Make sure all your social media platforms use those pieces to align with the professional image you want to project.

5. Stay visible.

As much as you can, make sure the work you do at your current role reflects your brand.

  • That will ensure that those you work with can verify your self-assessment and provide positive recommendations.
  • While searching for your new role, keep your list of successes updated and ensure that your profile in your cover letters and resume match.

6. Make friends.

Make sure you are liked by bosses, coworkers, clients and customers.

  • They will be contacted for references.
  • Help people.
  • Worry about results, not credit.
  • Be nimble and efficient.
  • Be positive about your work and the organization.

7. Reintroduce yourself.

Broaden your circle outside your department, division, and organization.

  • This next ring of influential spheres may have shrunk during the pandemic- much more than you realize – while you were hanging out at home in your elastic pants…

Find an authentic reason to reach out to those you have lost touch with  – both in and out of the organization:

  • “I saw this conference/webinar/new restaurant, and I thought you might like it”
  • “Someone shared this article/template/software with me, and I thought you might find it valuable”
  • “I am back in the office; are you? Let’s grab some lunch/coffee/HH”
  • “ I see your job changed during the pandemic; I would love to connect and hear about your new role.”
  • “Congratulations on your new promotion…”

Tap your people to influence decision-makers for the roles you hope to get.

8. Expand your network.

Block time each week to send invites to your network of people for longer conversations.

  • Write an email.
  • Send a text.
  • Make a phone call.
  • Message through LinkedIn.

Make a goal of conducting a networking conversation each week.

  • To prepare for these conversations, prepare a list of questions to ask the other person about themselves; you do not need to talk about yourself.
  • They will remember the feeling of your conversation, not what you said.
  • Run out of people? Make a grid.  Across the top, list all the categories of people you have: kid’s sports teams/activities, volunteer work, neighbors, relatives, friends, retired coworkers, college buddies, etc.  List 10 people under each category.  Repeat when you run out of people.

9. Maintain your emotional well-being

And, if you are leaving BEFORE you have your next role, consider doing these actions too:

10. Be productive with your time out of work: take a part-time job, travel, execute a DIY project, or take a class. These types of actions will help you:

    • Keep a schedule so that returning to work will be a smooth transition.
    • Practice desired work skills, such as project management.
    • Demonstrate dedication to a schedule or self-improvement.
    • Say fun and interesting things in an interview.
    • Provide additional references for your potential new employer.

11. Plan your finances so that you have some money to live on during your transformation.

    • If you leave without a new role lined up, plan on 5 months to get a new job, but have 6 – 12 months of expenses saved.
    • If you are attempting to try out new roles, have some funds to pay into health insurance if not covered by your temporary agency.
    • Even if you are moving from one role directly to another, you may have some transitional expenses such as health insurance payments to bridge between the roles.

Good luck!

For additional information, check out the references used for this article.

You’ve Got Leverage


While a record number of people are leaving their jobs (see the series introductory article: Is The Great Resignation Time for Your Career Transformation?), you may not have to leave to get a better deal.

Because so many people are leaving, this may be a good time to negotiate a new situation at your current organization.

Here are 10 steps to improve your current work situation:

Step 1:  Know what you want

Visit the article Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Great Resignation Transformation to answer 12 questions to figure out what you want from your career and the organization you work for.

Step 2: Know what you are worth

Make sure you are armed with information about the market for your occupation.  When people are in a role for a long time at the same organization, they can lose touch with the “market” for that role.  Occupations are influenced by the laws of supply and demand.  Understand the supply for your occupation for your region (or broader if you can work virtually).  Do the math to fully understand how many openings or the percentage of vacancies for your role.  Also, research the going pay rate for your role.  Be aware of what others at your organization are paid for similar work.  Be aware of the rate you would be paid for starting that role at another organization.  Remember to calculate benefits into the equation.

Step 3:  Prepare your campaign 

While you are not running for office, you do need to build your platform.  Do not assume that your hard work, dedication, or achievements have been noted or recorded.  Again, do your homework.  Compile a list of your projects, achievements, impact.  Did you carry the workload of others who were missing due to family or health reasons?  Get that on the list.  Did you implement a process to save the company money?  Add it to the list.  Did you win an award for customer service?  Put it on the list.  Go back through evaluations, coworker emails, and customer feedback and compile all the positive comments.  Have “data” to support the good work you do.

Step 4: Start your campaign

Research continues to show that engaged employees are much more productive than other employees.  When you are in meetings, on phone calls, interacting with customers, be positive about your role and your organization.  Make sure that others know how much you like your job and indicate your interest in continuing to work for your current organization.  Have a conversation with your boss and your boss’s boss (informal or formal) and make sure they know that you are interested in a clear plan to keep moving your career forward in their organization.  If you can, ditch tasks that do not contribute to your plan and take on tasks and projects that demonstrate your interests and abilities for your defined career path.

Step 5: Step up

Even though there is a worker supply deficit, be ready to take on more responsibility to get more salary and benefits.   With several openings, this is a good time to look at the next org. chart layer and find a role that you want.   Suggest the change as a win/win to your leadership.  Provide the career path you mapped out within your organization or work with your leadership to build a path to that role if you need some more experience or skills to take that step.   Most likely, they will want to work with you and develop you to keep you – a known reliable quantity — rather than take their chances on an unknown hire.  The important element is to make sure they know that you want to stay, achieve, and succeed.

Step 6: Seek and take professional development

Whether it is free through your company, or free through others, like the IPD Expert Insights webinars, putting these on your calendar will show others that you are interested in learning and moving forward.  In addition, good training will also infuse your creativity and self-reflection while increasing your skills and abilities.

Step 7: Create the win/win vision

While you do want to make sure that changes to your role are in your best interest, they must be framed in a win for the organization as well.   Do not come across threatening, “Meet my demands or I am outa here!”  You want to use your stakeholder management skills to collaboratively craft changes that are mutually beneficial. Even if you are ready to leave if the organization falls short of your ask, you do not want your attitude to burn reference bridges or tarnish your reputation after all your hard work for the organization.

Step 8:  Be ready to ask for exactly what you want 

Especially here in the Midwest, we are not inclined to use direct language—either when touting our worth or when asking for what we feel is fair compensation.  Do not hint; be prepared to state out right what you need.   Also, be ready to negotiate your initial ask.  If you want more than a higher salary or if you know that more money will be tough to get, be ready to ask for better benefits or for working conditions that will suit your work/life balance better.  Take the Evaluate Your Employee Benefits Assessment to build the package that you want.   Prioritize what you want.  And know your “deal-breaking points” and what you are willing to let go of to stay.

Step 9: Create joy and happiness at work

Experts tell you that true joy is generated through fulfilling a purpose.  If you want to stay with your organization, find ways to connect your work to your personal purpose, personal values and personal mission statement.  Purpose and joy are not dependent on the everyday flow of good and bad moments, but transcends them.  However, happiness is OK too.  Find ways to have fun each day.  Take your breaks so that you stay energized and productive.  Be a co-worker that others want to work with.

Step 10: Find Balance

A natural instinct can be to work long hours and take on extra work to prove your worth to your organization.  While most people have moments where their job requires that extra effort, consistently working longer hours does not usually lead to recognition or reward by the organization.  Some roles, like sales, may be structured that way, but for most of us, working unreasonable hours only leads to burn out – which is not beneficial to you or the organization.  Find outside interests for your time that will provide additional recognition and reward.

In Summary

Managing your own career maturity is not that different from managing your work projects and operations.  Take stock, figure out the gaps, and put a plan in place to close the gaps that move the needle on maturing your career.

For additional information, check out the references used for this article.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Great Resignation Transformation


The Great Resignation Is On!

This series of blogs studies the impact through the personal lens of your career ladder.

Series Introduction 

Part 1: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
(Coming in April) Part 2: You’ve Got Leverage
(Coming in May) Part 3: Make your Move

Before making any big decisions about your career, take a beat to assess your current working situation.   Some of you may be saying, “I just spent the whole pandemic doing that!”   Perhaps.

Evaluation is an important step because if you do not understand your current situation or what you want, you may go through a lot of change to end up in the exact same situation.  Or… you could land in a situation where you are worse off.

Current research indicates that 40% of people who leave an organization boomerang back around and rejoin it.   Therefore, before putting yourself through the emotions of change that go along with endings and beginnings, it is good to give the decision some thorough consideration.

Just as we teach in our business architecture courses, you need to understand the customer (you) and define the current state before you can assess gaps and make future plans.

Before making a move, evaluate:

  1. Your reasons for leaving
  2. Your current organization’s culture
  3. The total benefits and upsides of your current situation

 

Why Do You Want To Leave?

Before making any decisions about leaving, you should make sure you understand what you are seeking that you are not finding in your current work situation.   Answer these 12 questions to determine the “why” behind your desire to depart.

  1. Am I seeking a new boss? If so, what traits am I looking for in a boss or organizational leadership?
  2. Am I seeking better benefits? Is so, specifically what benefits do I want?
  3. Am I leaving because I am burned out? How would a new organization rejuvenate me and prevent me from burning out again?
  4. Am I leaving because I feel my role is being eliminated? How do I ensure my next role would not disappear?
  5. Do I want a different work location? Do I want to go into the office instead for working from home?  Do I want to work from home?  Do I want a shorter commute?  Do I need a job closer to my daycare?
  6. Do I want an organization that values me more in terms of appreciating and recognizing the work I do?
  7. Do I need a role with a clear career ladder and professional development to help me keep moving forward?
  8. Would I like more mentoring and coaching?
  9. Would I like to make more money? What is my range?
  10. Do I want a role that increases my responsibility or decreases my level of responsibility?
  11. Do I want to be a supervisor or manager, or would I prefer an informal leadership role?
  12. Have I learned something about work/life balance during the pandemic? Do I need to adjust to my work life to strike that balance permanently?

After answering the questions, consider how far away you are from the ideal role you seek. If there are just a few items that miss the mark, can you have a conversation with your current employer to get those items aligned to your needs so that you do not need to leave?

 

Is It My Organizational Culture?

Do not underestimate the role that culture plays in your job satisfaction.  In recent Great Resignation surveys, toxic culture was listed 10 times more than compensation as a reason to leave.

Your workplace culture is the shared values, beliefs, and attitudes of the people who work there.  The workplace culture is heavily influenced by leadership’s actions, the organization’s stated mission and values, and most importantly, if those 2 things are consistent.  Is the organization and its leaders doing what they say they are going to do?  Are they putting resources towards the values they promise to deliver?  Once there is disconnect between “the talk” and “the walk,” it opens the culture door for lack of trust and disrespect that can permeate the entire organization.  This can make for a miserable work situation.

Take this True/False quiz to help you assess your current workplace.

It is really difficult to fix an organizational culture situation, but The Great Resignation may provide you the opportunity to seek work elsewhere and leave it behind rather than staying trapped.

 

What Are My Benefits?

If you have worked in a sector or with one organization for a long time, it is easy to think that all organizations offer the same perks and benefits as your current one.  That is not the case – especially if you are switching across government, corporate, and nonprofit organizations.  For example, I have worked in education for my entire career; I am still surprised when my corporate-employed friends talk about how they will spend year-end bonuses that equal 1 – 3 months’ salary for me (or more).  Oh, that’s right, some corporate jobs get bonuses; very few government jobs offer any bonuses.

Without careful examination, you may discover that you have taken a perk for granted, and the ones that you used and valued the most are not present in the new job.  And, in the worst case scenario – your salary increase disappears to pay for benefits that you no longer receive!

Use this form to tally your current benefits and make sure you understand your financial perks.

Now that you have your current situation defined and you know what you seek, the next 2 articles will give some tips for closing that gap by staying or by leaving.

For more information on this topic, see the list of articles used in the research.

 

 

 

Do I Work In a Toxic Culture? Quiz


Click Here to Print the Toxic Culture Quiz:

Do not underestimate the role that culture plays in your job satisfaction.  In recent Great Resignation surveys, toxic culture was listed 10 times more than compensation as a reason to leave.  How do you rate the culture of your own organization?

 

To learn what other aspects you should look at to evaluate your current work situation, read the blog: Should I Stay or Should I Go? 

Research Resources for: The Great Resignation


Research Resources for:

The Great Resignation: Time for Your Career Transformation

 

Comparably: Good Reasons to Hang Onto Your Job During the Great Resignation

 

Computer World: No ed in sight for the Great Resignation; workers keep quitting for better pay, benefits

 

Resources The “Great Resignation’ could be a good time for a career change.  Here’s what experts say to do

 

CNBC: How to Leverage the Great Resignation if you actually like your job and want to stay

 

Fast Company: Before you join the Great Resignation, consider making these resolutions

 

Forbes: Need A Career Change?  How To Make The Great Resignation Work For You

 

Getting People Right: LESSONS WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE GREAT RESIGNATION

 

GMA: How to make a career move amid record number of people quitting their jobs

 

Grow: The No. 1 reason people quit jobs during the Great Resignation, according to MIT research – and it’s not pay

 

Harvard Business Review: Who Is Driving the Great Resignation?

 

REsources 5 steps to snaring new opportunities at work without having to join the Great Resignation

 

Resources The ‘best in American’ pays $145,000 and has 14,000 job openings-and offers a generous work-life balance

 

MarketWatch: Opinion: Mid-career?  Your job is at risk- here is what to do now

 

NJ.Com True Jersey: Simple career steps to take before becoming the next member of ‘The Great Resignation’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is The Great Resignation Time for Your Career Transformation?


To coincide with the IPD Expert Insights free webinar series on transforming the workplace using the Modernization Playbook, I thought I should take a look at workplace transformation on a personal level.   For the first time in quite a while, workers are in demand so it stands to reason that they in a position to force their employers to “do better,” not only on compensation, but on benefits, working conditions, and even employee engagement.

America is in the midst of The Great Resignation: I found plenty of statistics that confirmed this, but this set paints the picture quickly and clearly:

  • 24 million Americans quit their jobs between April and September 2021
  • 4 million Americans quit their jobs in September
  • 5 million Americans quit their jobs in November
  • Vacant jobs are still setting records with December 2021 showing 10.9 million openings in the U.S.

Since many of these departures were related to the pandemic and people not wanting to be in roles required to interact in-person, it is not surprising that as the economy recovers, current demand has risen for Industries related to travel, hospitality, and recreation.

However, the shift in how America works has also created vacancies in software and IT services, corporate services, and finance.

A MarketWatch article cited statistics from Glassdoor after it released its annual 50 Best Jobs in America for 2022.  The IT field was on top – actually taking all top 10 spots.  Enterprise Architect was in the #1 spot.  You can make $144,997 annually and with 14,021 job openings, you can probably find something to meet your work/life balance needs. Think of the value-add you bring to an IT role if you added some business architecture to your resume!

Not wanting to do IT?  Some non-tech jobs in the top 50 included:  HR Manager (#13), Corporate Recruiter (#17) and HR Business Partner (#39).  Also all roles that would benefit from business architecture training.

When I started on the topic of career transformation, I was going to write one article; however, I found so much information that I decided to write a series instead.  The Career Transformation Series will help you assess your own career situation and provide some possible actions steps for you to take so that you capitalize on The Great Resignation.

Beth Schaefer, Director

IPD at Metro State

February

Part 1: Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

Evaluating Your Current Organization and Situation

This article will include information about evaluating your current work culture, the signs for departing, and a workplace asset assessment.

 

March

Part 2:  You’ve Got Leverage: 

Using The Great Resignation to Transform Your Current Situation

If you decide to stay, this article will focus on the steps you should take to move your career forward, including tips for negotiating better compensation, steering for a promotion, and building your personal career brand.

 

April

Part 3: Make Your Move:

Leveraging The Great Resignation to Make a Career Change

If you decide to go, this article will provide resources for casting a wide net, preparing for a career transition, and ensuring you negotiate compensation in line with your worth.

If you are interested in researching on your own, check out this list of resources to get started.

Register For The Marvel of the Playbook

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 Noon – 1pm

The Beatles & Your New Year’s Resolution


Are you in need of a New Year’s Resolution, or a Performance Goal?

If you are as old (mature) as I am, you will remember the craze around a little book by Robert Fulghum entitled All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.

 

Now, we have the 2021 version of that book: The Beatles: Get Back documentary. The documentary itself does not call out or highlight lessons, but you can find tons of social media lists that discuss how this documentary is a playbook for production and creativity.

Turns out, the The Beatles not only Get Back; but they also got your back, too.

Here is a Baker’s dozen on lessons for productivity/creativity/problem solving that you can use for self-reflection.

Take a look at the list, pick one lesson you can improve on, and make it your 2022 Resolution!

1.Wait To Speak.


When brainstorming, one person speaks at a time; listening is more important than speaking.

 

2. Be Silly.


If you do not speak up with an idea because you are scared of looking stupid or silly, your best ideas will never get put into action.

 

3. Be Silly (Yes, Again).


Have fun with the people you are collaborating with.  Humor only helps productivity – moments of levity can spark creativity.

 

4. Always Say, “Yes.”     Or, Maybe “Yes, And…”


Do not dismiss the ideas of others – especially, if you do not have an alternative idea to suggest.  “That is a good idea, and we could also…”

 

5. Let It  Be  Go 


If you keep bringing up an idea that no one else can embrace, let it go and move onto the next idea. (See me demonstrating silliness here with my word play on a Beatles song?).

6. Do not seek perfection.


Rather than revising and revising and revising until you have the perfect product, just get something going.  Build the skateboard, then the bike, then the motorcycle, and then the car.

 

7. Embrace accidents


(Like Covid?) and build on the directions they take you.

 

8. Eat and drink.


The science is right.  If you do not take time to stay hydrated and fuel your body, your problem solving will suffer.

 

9. Give credit.


If someone else has the winning idea, give that person their kudos for it.

 

10. Switch gears.


If something is not coming together, move onto another idea or project and circle back with fresh eyes and thoughts.

 

11. Try it out.


Even if something does not seem quite right, try it for awhile to confirm it’s not right, or to see how you can improve it.

 

12. Respect others.


Even if someone in the group is less experienced or seldom speaks up, their perspective is valuable (or even more valuable) for its lens and freshness.

While these lists are over the internet, here are a few sites I referenced:
Nick Jakusz from 95.8 The River, The Morning Crew at 98.7 KLUV, and Brittany Wi at The Huffington Post

Taters, Turkey, and TP Anyone?


Taters, Turkey, and TP Anyone? Worried about shortages in holiday gathering supplies? Now, more than ever, business architecture has a role to play.

Back to Business (RTO) Through a Business Architecture Lens – Past Webinar


Past Expert Insights Webinar

A look at COVID pandemic impact on corporations and the digital economy through the lens of business architecture

Watch Past Webinar Here

Apply business architecture concepts and tools to RTO.

Returning to the office?

This question is so prevalent, it has its own acronym – RTO.

What PPE do you need?  Considering vaccination?  What are the requirements from your company to manage this?  What are your requirements?

Join us for a webinar to see what challenges corporations have in providing safe workspace for its employees.

What will interaction (team meetings, seating, etc) between employees be like?  How will companies manage PPE needs?   How will vaccination/testing requirements be managed?

Share in the dialogue as we look at how companies continue adapting infrastructure capabilities as they manage both customer and employee experience in digital economy in hyperdrive due to the pandemic.

Learn More About:

  • RTO readiness and capability maturity
  • Employee and Customer Experience
  • Architecture and design in Pandemic environment
  • Impact to Digital economy

PRESENTER:

Bao Do

By day Bao Do is a business architect for Wells Fargo leading their RTO efforts.  In his spare time, he teaches in the Metro State Business Architecture Program.

Bao (003) (002)

The Top Four Obstacles to Problem Solving


 

This month we are featuring a free webinar on how to solve problems so that you do not need to solve them again.

 

So, I took a quick look out on the world wide web, to see what obstacles people are facing to getting problems solved – especially as many of us are in transition from remote working to being back in the office.

 

Turns out that, at least at a high-level, it does not matter if you are remote or in the office or somewhere in between.   The obstacles seem to be the same.

 

  1. Lack of communication and sharing of information
  2. Lack of long-term thinking
  3. Silos, and along with that, not having everyone moving towards the same goal or in the same direction
  4. People who seem uninterested in engaging in problem-solving

 

Depending on the survey or article, these will change in order, but they remain quite consistent.

 

Consider this – do you have a process to solve problems?   Defining a problem-solving process and reflecting on how to make it better each time you finish solving a problem will help you address these four obstacles.

 

We are interested in hearing from you.  Take a minute to answer our survey question.   We will share the results in our webinar on August 25th.

Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 3 – Your Governance (Free Webinar)


September Expert Insights Webinar

Monday, September 20th 2021

Noon-1pm Central

This is a continuation of Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice: Part 1: Your Value Proposition that can be viewed HERE 

Part 2:  Your Practice Charter that can be viewed HERE

This third and final session in Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice poses questions that should be considered when it comes to the governance of an enterprise-level business architecture practice.

Participants will learn about considerations for:

Engagement – How do others access your services?

Deliverables – What products and services are you providing?

Interactions – What are the roles and responsibilities of the people involved?

How do you stand up a business architecture practice within an organization?

This 3-part Expert Insights Webinar Series will provide strategies used by Maureen Mathias  to stand up a practice in her organization.

* Please Note 

This Expert Insights focuses on Business Architecture and is intended for an audience with a background or understanding of Business Architecture.

REGISTER FOR WEBINAR

*By registering for this webinar, I am agreeing to being added to the IPD monthly e-newsletter list.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Maureen Mathias


Maureen Mathias earned her Master of Arts from Rutgers University, later adding a Certified Business Architect from the Business Architecture Guild and a Business Architecture Certificate from Metro State University in St. Paul Minnesota.

Maureen started a journey in 2008 that led to a career as a business architect. “Through the journey, it seems I have hit every situation you would want to avoid. One thing that stands out, is that a business architecture practice anywhere must fit the culture and the needs of an organization.”

In her business architect role for an insurance company, she has established training for the teams that utilize architecture tools and for those that need to learn what business architecture is and how it relates to their day-to-day responsibilities for several years.

Maureen is excited to share her experience: what works and what does not as well as learn from the experiences of other business architects.

WATCH THE FIRST WEBINAR IN THIS SERIES HERE

Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 1: Your Value Proposition

Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 2: Your Business Architecture Practice Charter

Return-to-Work Phobia


What can leaders can do to ease the fear of returning to work after Covid?

Many people are dreading the return to work: the commute, unnecessary in-person meetings, sitting a cubicle, eating lunch at their desk…

 

For over a year, public health messaging has been that the safest place to be is your home, so it is hard to turn off that messaging just because your cubicle wants you back. Only 44% of workers are comfortable going to a workplace outside their homes.  2/3 thirds have anxiety over returning to work.

Some of the reasons for this anxiety are:

  • Fear of infection
    • Many households have someone who is vulnerable to Covid due to underlying health issues
  • In the midst of grieving
    • 600,000+ people died of Covid, which means many more of us are still adjusting to life without a family member compared to a non-pandemic time
  • Distrust of medical institution recommendations
    • Changing science recommendations as we learned more about the virus, plus a history of inadequate care for Black and Brown people, lead some to distrust any recommendations, including the Covid vaccine
  • Daycare shortage
    • Many in-home daycares went out of business, and large centers are having trouble hiring staff
  • Isolation = depression
    • The isolation needed for the pandemic could have led to undiagnosed or unidentified depression, so for some, anxiety about returning to work may be a symptom of something larger
  • Resistance to change
    • Always a certain percentage of people who just do not want change or are not sure what they want their post-pandemic normal to be – Read more about this in the article Yes, We are There! Or Are We There Yet?

 

Many people are voting with their feet by leaving jobs that are requiring them to transition back to the cube lifestyle and choosing jobs that offer a more flexible hybrid model or to not work at all.

 

While many decisions about the transition back to the office are made by the organization, many of those decisions focus on the physical environment: protective plexiglass, higher cube walls, new barriers, mask rules, installation of numerous sanitizer dispensers, reduced room occupancy rate, temperature screenings, etc.

 

This means that supervisors and managers need to focus on the emotional needs and recognize the true trauma that many faced and are still facing because of the pandemic.  While many leaders may feel that handling staff emotions falls outside their roles, research will tell you that that employees who feel their concerns and well-being are being addressed by employers are far, far less likely to seek new employment.  And, having flexible policies to accommodate the transition will help you hire all those people leaving their inflexible roles.

 

Five Actions for Leaders to Manage Return-to-Work Phobia After Covid

 

  1. Proactively address concerns with your individual team members:
    1. When you sense or hear statements that relate to Return-to-Work anxiety, have a conversation with the person and ask that person to bring the root cause and suggestions for addressing it to you.
    2. If someone proactively brings up concerns, be honest and sincere about finding solutions within the organization’s policies.
    3. Remind employees about Employee Assistance Programs.
    4. Encourage employees to know and pay attention to their own stress warnings: clenched jaw, quick breathing, fidgeting, neck or shoulder pain, etc.

 

  1. Rethink your communication plan:
    1. Clearly communicate the organization’s return-to-work expectations to your staff. Even if the organization sends a mass message, reiterate what that means for your team.
    2. If the organization’s expectations are not clear to you, request more communication from your own leadership.
    3. Update frequently. We are still in a time of new information and new guidelines; keep updating as necessary.
    4. If you have some people still working from home, make sure you include them in all communications. One of the biggest complaints from remote workers is lack of information from their leaders.
    5. Consider daily check-ins with staff, not on work getting done, but on how they are feeling. Keep your finger on the pulse of their health, families’ health needs, caregiving to extended family, changes in daycare and school situations.  Let people know that it is OK to not feel OK.

 

  1. Experiment on working models, if you can:
    1. If you do not need to nail down a new working model, take time now to try out different modes, schedules, and combinations to find the one that works best for your team.
    2. Offer the option of an iterative change back to the office.
    3. Invite your staff to provide suggestions and feedback on a creating a safe workspace to add a sense of control.
    4. Be prepared for special accommodations, flexible work time, modified work schedule. If in a union environment, also pay attention to contract constraints, and know that accommodations for one person without official paperwork, may need to extend to all.
    5. Be flexible and realistic with expectations. Even though people are returning to the familiar, it is still a change, and normal change curve phases (Denial, Resistance, Acceptance, Commitment) will apply.

 

  1. Be optimistic:
    1. Optimism, joy, gratitude, and humor can spread the same way that fear and anxiety is spread.
    2. Reinstate the fun aspects of being in the office together. Celebrations, ordering lunch in, wearing jerseys for game days, etc.
    3. Consider how to virtually loop in those who work from home to have fun too.
    4. Give your team time to interact without you. Colleagues are more excited about seeing each other than they are for more face-time with their boss.

 

  1. Focus on wellness for yourself (and encourage your staff to do the same):
    1. As always, practice a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, and get some exercise.
    2. Fear can weaken your immune system. Eliminate or limit activities that increase anxiety, such as:
      1. Watching a news show (look for 5- minute news summary option)
      2. Having conversations that only focus on negativity and fear

 

Using these 5 strategies can help you reduce your concern and the concerns of your staff as you transition back to the workplace.

 

 

Beth Schaefer,

IPD Director

 

Sources
  • After a Year of Remote Life, New Anxiety Emerges; Returning to Work by Paul Caine from PBS in Chicago
  • Back to the Office Anxiety? How to Keep Your Fears in Check by Dr. Margie Warrell from Forbes
  • Child Care Crisis will Linger After Pandemic by Pat Baustian and Heidi Omerza from Star Tribune
  • Do You Have a Fear of Returning to the Office? By Emma Beddington from The Guardian
  • Why fear is the greatest obstacle to Returning to Work? by Allison Velex from SHRM
  • Years of Medical Abuse Make Black Americans Less Likely to Trust Covid Vaccine by Dan Royles from the Washington Post

Why It Makes Dollars and Sense to Improve Workplace Mental Health


May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Things You Can Do Now To Improve Your Organization’s Mental Health – Even While Working From Home

In the past, I would have dismissed this topic as something that is so distant to me, I would not even need to glance in its direction.

I would much rather focus on other topics that can claim May as their month:

American Cheese – and not just the slices in cellophane wrappers, but the artisan chesses.  The American Cheese Society encourages you to visit a local cheese producer.

Asparagus- hard to grow, but easy to cook.

Barbecue – obviously, go out to eat

Bikes – featuring National Bike to School Day on May 5th

Even, Correct Your Posture Month sounds more appealing than a discussion about mental health, and oh, so easy, to celebrate.  This website says to stand up from your desk every 30 minutes.

 

Mental Health – no so fun and not so easy to focus on.

While, in theory I know the stigma attached to mental health and seeking help needs to be removed; when it comes to myself it is easy to think, “I am just fine – thank you very much.”

In actuality, being just fine would put me in the minority. 

Forbes reported that 75% of U.S. Workers have struggled at work this past year due to anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and other recent current events.

While many companies are mentioning their support systems more frequently to help their employees with mental health – like the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that Metro State employees can tap into, I feel it quite unlikely that I would make that call because I feel “stressed.”  Perhaps, you are like me.  Even though you are struggling with stress, you are not ready to make an official call for help.

So, what can you and I do to contribute to positive mental health of our workplace – especially when working from home?

#1. Take Care of Me

Yes, you first.  

You cannot help others if you are unhealthy.

  1. Keep a regular schedule each day that includes specific times to:
    1. Stop and start work
    2. Connect with family and friends, and
    3. Provide self -care (time to eat, exercise, and sleep).
  2. Use relaxation techniques, such as the 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique
  3. Distract and redirect energy into activities that bring joy – for me – gardening
  4. Schedule time away from screens and get fresh air
  5. Set up an ergonomically correct work station

 

#2. Take Care of Your Coworkers

Now that you cannot gather around the water cooler each day, this is even more important.

  1. Show empathy when others share their anxiety
  2. Schedule time to routinely check in with coworkers to ward off isolation
  3. Encourage them to use the EAP if you hear something troubling
  4. Encourage them to be assertive, yet courteous, and say “no” to work or deadlines that go beyond understood boundaries
  5. Encourage them to do the five items above in “Taking Care of Me”

 

#3. Take Care of Your Staff

Leaders have extra responsibility in maintaining a health workplace culture.

  1. Make sure your staff is aware of EAP resources
  2. Routinely schedule 1:1 time with team members:
    1. Provide space for them to “not be OK”
    2. Help them feel connected to the vision and mission of the organization
    3. Clarify their role and responsibilities
  3. Encourage staff to set and keep regular work hours. Make sure they know that working from home does not equate to being available 24/7
  4. As guidelines change, create coworking spaces where your team can meet in person now and then
  5. If the position allows, provide flexibility for staff to control their own schedules

 

If your organization needs some nudging to help you create a healthy work- from-home structure, remind them that

healthy people are more productive:  they…

  • Call in sick less
  • Reduce the organization’s turnover rate
  • Have more brain capacity available to be problem-solvers
  • Reduce healthcare costs

One final note, *I am not a mental health professional.*

This blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment or therapy.

Now, quit reading this screen and go for a walk.

 

Resources
5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique for Anxiety from Behavioral Health Partners Blog from the University of Rochester Medical Center
Coping with Stress on Healthline
How to Keep Your Mental Health in Check When You Work From Home from We Work Remotely
How Working from Home is Impacting our Mental Health by Bethany Garner from Business Because
The Impact of Mental Health on Employees’ Productivity by Dennis Relojo-Howell on Psychreg
Mental Health and Remote Work: Survey Reveals 80% Would Quit their Jobs for This by Chris Westfall on Forbes
What Employers Need to Know About Mental Health in the Workplace published on McLean: Harvard Medical School Affiliate
Working Remotely During Covid-19  Center for Workplace Mental Health sponsored by the American Psychiatric Association Foundation

Are You Fixing or Solving?


Past Expert Insights Webinar From August 2021

All organizations have problems— it’s how we handle them that matters!

If it feels like your teams go in circles looking for answers to fix a problem only to have to fix it again the next month or next quarter, this webinar is for you!

Learn the difference between fixing and solving problems so that you can help your teams make real progress towards solutions so that problems are solved the first time.

You’ll leave knowing what it means to truly solve a problem and the fixing pitfalls to avoid.

WATCH THIS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED WEBINAR HERE

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Christine Moore


Christine Moore is a Project (PMP®) and Process Expert along with being certified as a professional facilitator by the International Association of Facilitators.  She continues to hone the best way to fix a problem just once.  She will draw on her experiences from working with both corporate and public sector (without naming names) to teach you what she has learned about solving problems – one time. Read more about Christine on our instructor page.

Using Conflict to Build Inclusiveness – Past Webinar March 2021


Previously Hosted Webinar: March, 2021

Click Play To Watch Video

Title: Using Conflict to Build Inclusiveness

Does An Ideal Workplace = A Conflict Free Workplace?

The goal is to be both diverse and inclusive, not to just avoid conflict.  During this short webinar, our instructor will get you started on the journey to incorporate conflict in your workplace  and how this can can lead to better innovation and problem solving.

This webinar will teach you:

  • The challenges of competing perspectives

  • How to move from “positions” to “interests”

James Dean

“I cannot change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Jeanette Grace

  • Title/Position
    Instructor, Metropolitan State University
  • Expert Areas: 
    • Communication
    • Customer Service
    • Employee Engagement
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Teambuilding

action-and-learning


The Institute for Professional Development (IPD) mourns the tragic death of Daunte Wright.  We mourn his loss with his family, his community, our state, and all who work to address the systems that oppress and diminish life.
Many of the organizations that use training from IPD are Minnesota cities and counties.   When tragedies like this occur…

Business Architecture at the Speed of Business – Past Webinar


Business Architecture At the Speed of Business

Previously Recorded Webinar

May 25, 2021

Watch the Video Here

2020 demonstrated the criticality of a business’ ability to pivot and respond to a rapidly changing environment.  Business strategies are now fluid, and business architects need to adapt.  The session will focus on practical tips and methods for how business architects can take the tools in their toolbox and hit the turbo button to keep up with the world around them.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructor Bio:

Dean Heltemes is the Senior Director of Business Architecture in Advisor Technology Solutions for Ameriprise Financial.   He is well-known in the Twin Cities for his business architecture expertise from his role as a Business Architect instructor at Metropolitan State University and from serving on the board of the Twin Cities Business Architecture forum.   You can read more about Dean’s background and expertise in Biz Arch and IT on his Metro State instructor page.

Pandemic Changes That Will Stick


“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”
John Drucker

For this article, I am taking a quick glance at how our workplace environments are likely to change in the long-term as a result of the pandemic.  It is a non-scientific shallow dive that will most likely align with what many of you have already deciphered through your own observations. For me, I find this topic intriguing because:

  1. My own personal work space will be quite different (see article on IPD move)
  2. The modes of delivering IPD instruction will continue to flex
  3. The way I interact with clients and coworkers will be quite different
  4. And (most importantly) IPD needs to prepare people for their future roles so they flex and adapt with post-pandemic work situations.

I am interested in knowing what training you and your team will need from IPD to be productive in the post-pandemic world. As we move through this transformational journey, let me know what you need.   Email me (beth.schaefer@metrostate.edu) with your thoughts, and IPD will use those as a starting point for a survey to direct the development of new training courses – whether for you as a leader or the people you lead.

You can slice and dice the effects of the pandemic on business in many different ways:

  1. Industries that will flourish or perish
  2. Products that will remain in high-demand while others drop down
  3. Habits of consumers driving new services while discarding others
  4. Gender workload differences and pay
  5. Awareness of systemic inequalities in workplace opportunities
  6. Urban real estate declining and small town living increasing in demand

For the purposes of serving you better, I am looking at the main business change in your work environment- The Remote Office along with the strategies to ensure we are at least as productive as we were pre-pandemic.

For me, the biggest jolt has been the shift from working in the communal office setting to working solo and remotely.  Almost every other change (such as increased automation, a new focus on AI, moving out of the urban setting, and the uptick with DIY and crafting) can be connected to this one change.  And, it generates a long list of new skills you may need or are still figuring out how to do better:

  • How to avoid “Zoom fatigue”

  • How to function in “hoteling space”

  • How to best communicate – especially the smaller pieces you use to say over the cubical wall or by popping your head into an office

  • How to call upon others to help you quick problem-solve or brainstorm without making it a formal virtual meeting

  • How to communicate project progress

  • How to redo all processes to fit a virtual world

  • How to structure your day

  • How to draw lines between work and home or blur the lines between work and home

  • How to prioritize your work

  • How to find, read, and draw your own insights on data

The good news is that you are getting some help from your organizations.   According to my sources, most of you are seeing that:

  1. Your company is losing its fear of being an early-adapter of technology
  2. Your work processes are becoming more automated
  3. Your options for hybrid (some remote, some in office) work are opening up

However, some changes are bit more challenging.  The same sources said that your managers still struggle with:

  1. How to rate and monitor your production instead of your time
  2. How to support your mental health
  3. How to manage teams with the lack of workplace structure
  4. How to make adjustments now that the systemic inequalities are coming to light

While public and private roles share many commonalities in the post-Covid workplace, public sector managers will have additional challenges when marrying disruption with a system based on stability.  In particular, they will face unsustainable labor agreements with a shrinking tax base and less aid.  When they can hire again, their system touts longevity as a hiring benefit to younger generations who do not care about working for the same organization for 20 years but prefer flexible employment options.   To get the change they need, professional public sector leaders will need to get their councils, boards, and legislators to vote in drastic and dramatic changes.

Again, please take a minute and let me know areas or topics where you need some support or more information.   Email me with your thoughts, and IPD will use those as a starting point for a survey to direct the development of new training courses – whether for you as a leader or the people you lead.

I will let you know how I do on my own transition from private office at work to my den at home, and back to my new shared collaborative work space once it is built.

Beth Schaefer

IPD Director

Sources

ABC News

BizJournal

Careers in Government

Forbes

Government Executives

Harvard Business Week

McKinsey & Company

Vault

Navigating Change in Changing Times – Past Webinar 2/23/2021


Previously Hosted Webinar: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Click Play To Watch Video

Title: Navigating Change in Changing Times

During this webinar you will:

  • Take a quick assessment to gain insight on how you navigate change

  • Learn about the “change curve” and how it can help you ride the waves of change

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

If Mr. Churchill is correct; based on the last nine months, we should all be perfect by now!

If that statement does not ring true for you, this free webinar from the Institute for Professional Development will help.

Learn more about change and the effect it has on you, and others.

Begin tapping into the cycles of change and use them to be productive instead of feeling like you are being tossed about at sea.

James Dean

“I cannot change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Jeanette Grace

  • Title/Position
    Instructor, Metropolitan State University
  • Expert Areas: 
    • Communication
    • Customer Service
    • Employee Engagement
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Teambuilding

*Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 1: Your Value Proposition – Past Webinar


Past Expert Insights Webinar

How do you stand up a business architecture practice within an organization?

This 3-part Expert Insights Webinar Series will provide strategies used by Maureen Mathias  to stand up a practice in her organization.

This first session in the series covers the basics that must be established before even starting to think about a formal business architecture practice.

Discover how to use business architecture technique to define questions with a value proposition that will define the value that your practice will bring your organization.

Other takeaways for attendees:

-Essential infrastructure and requirements for standing up a practice

-How to develop your internal presentation to get buy-in

WATCH THIS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED WEBINAR HERE

Standing Up a Business Architecture Practice Part 1: Your Value Proposition

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Maureen Mathias


Maureen Mathias earned her Master of Arts from Rutgers University, later adding a Certified Business Architect from the Business Architecture Guild and a Business Architecture Certificate from Metro State University in St. Paul Minnesota.

Maureen started a journey in 2008 that led to a career as a business architect. “Through the journey, it seems I have hit every situation you would want to avoid. One thing that stands out, is that a business architecture practice anywhere must fit the culture and the needs of an organization.”

In her business architect role for an insurance company, she has established training for the teams that utilize architecture tools and for those that need to learn what business architecture is and how it relates to their day-to-day responsibilities for several years.

Maureen is excited to share her experience: what works and what does not as well as learn from the experiences of other business architects

Using Conflict to Build Inclusiveness – Free Webinar


Register Now For Our Upcoming FREE Expert Insights Webinar

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

12pm Noon-1pm CENTRAL TIME

Using Conflict to Build Inclusiveness

Does An Ideal Workplace = A Conflict Free Workplace?

The goal is to be both diverse and inclusive, not to just avoid conflict.  During this short webinar, our instructor will get you started on the journey to incorporate conflict in your workplace  and how this can can lead to better innovation and problem solving.

This webinar will teach you:

  • The challenges of competing perspectives

  • How to move from “positions” to “interests”

Registration Cut-off: March 22 at 11:59 pm

REGISTRATION CLOSED

Why can’t we all just get along?

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Jeanette Grace

  • Title/Position
    Instructor, Metropolitan State University
  • Expert Areas: 
    • Communication
    • Customer Service
    • Employee Engagement
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Teambuilding

Build Bridges Within Your Village


Build Bridges Within Your Village

By: Beth Schaefer    Director, Institute for Professional Development

I believe mentoring can help Minnesota build a competent workforce for all generations of workers

by satisfying the workplace needs and personality traits that every generation has.

As an example, I am a Gen Xer.  According to experts, that makes me independent, innovative, and a strong communicator.   While at work, I am likely to seek problem-solving opportunities and enjoy working with competent colleagues; because of this, mentoring provides a clear outlet for me to meet my Gen Xer needs.

The Y’s (aka Millennials) are tech savvy, collaborative and focused on the greater good; they want meaningful work.  Mentoring fits their traits and provides the meaningful work they seek.

Baby Boomers, along with being optimistic and hard-working, enjoy mentoring. The opportunity to mentor others is often listed in their workplace needs, so a connection to mentoring is obvious for them.

So, all the generations agree (on this one thing, anyway), we should find more ways to mentor in the workplace.

Being a part of the Village is more than just giving, it is receiving.  A new generation of workers is entering the workplace, and as much as we can teach them – there is a lot we have to learn.

Gen-Zers have plenty of skills to contribute.  Just some of their noticeable workplace traits are:

  • digitally fluent (and who could not use that during a pandemic)
  • practical (and who could not use that during a pandemic), and
  • flourish in diverse workplace settings (and who could not use that – always).

They will be seeking employers who are culturally competent.  Is your workplace culturally ready to recruit and onboard this next generation of valuable workers?

Consider mentoring as a rewarding step to build the cultural competency of all the valuable generations in your workplace.

Generation traits and needs from Hobsons Associates.

Look Beyond For Joy


Look Beyond For Joy

By: Beth Schaefer    Director, Institute for Professional Development

Normally, this is the time of year that I write about the “New Year, New You” and how training classes at IPD can help with that.

However, 2020 was not a year of normal, and the first few weeks of 2021 have not started as normal either (I hope).

While training brings joy to me – it is my passion and how I like to help others – taking a training course will most likely not fulfill your need for joy.  What does joy even mean in these extraordinary times?

The most common definition of joy has not changed; Joy is a sense of well-being connected to living our convictions.

In contrast, the common definition of happiness is; the result of an event or circumstance.

While these times do not afford as many occasions for happiness, they do offer opportunity for joy; for what better time than now to reaffirm, recommit and live your beliefs?

To help, here are some action steps I learned while studying the practice of joy.  I hope they will help you better live out your convictions during these turbulent times.

    1. Express gratitude each day.

      What is something you can be thankful for today?

    2. Connect with others.

      Who in your life needs you to reach out to them with a word or note of encouragement?

    3. Look for a silver lining. Adversity brings opportunity.

      What opportunity do you have now due the current circumstances?  What action can you take to bring that opportunity to fruition?

I wish you peace and joy in 2021.

Please join  our LinkedIn or Facebook pages for more information on upcoming events.

Navigating Change in Changing Times – Past Webinar 2/23/2021


Previously Hosted Webinar: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Title: Navigating Change in Changing Times

During this webinar you will:

  • Take a quick assessment to gain insight on how you navigate change

  • Learn about the “change curve” and how it can help you ride the waves of change

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

If Mr. Churchill is correct; based on the last nine months, we should all be perfect by now!

If that statement does not ring true for you, this free webinar from the Institute for Professional Development will help.

Learn more about change and the effect it has on you, and others.

Begin tapping into the cycles of change and use them to be productive instead of feeling like you are being tossed about at sea.

James Dean

“I cannot change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Jeanette Grace

  • Title/Position
    Instructor, Metropolitan State University
  • Expert Areas: 
    • Communication
    • Customer Service
    • Employee Engagement
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Teambuilding

BUSINESS ARCHITECTURE FOR THE SOCIAL SECTOR – FREE WEBINAR


Register Now For Our Upcoming FREE Expert Insights Webinar

Title: Beyond Business – Business Architecture for the Social Sector

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

12pm-1pm CENTRAL TIME

Join IPD Instructor Bao Do as he discusses the response of various countries around the world to COVID-19 and how pandemic management capabilities highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each country’s reaction.

  • Use business capability mapping to provide a means of early detection.

  • Consider how the maturity of business capabilities can lead to a more rapid response.

REGISTER NOW

Registration Must Be Completed By June 2, 2020

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Bao Do

Expert Areas:

  • Business Architecture
  • Business Analysis
  • Program/Project Management
  • User-Centered Design
  • Coaching/Mentoring/Development

Education/Professional Certificates:

  • Business Architecture Certificate from Metropolitan State University – St. Paul, MN
  • Certificate of Human-Centered Design from LUMA Institute
  • Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from University of Michigan

Business Architecture In Uncertain Times – Past Webinar (May 2020)


“Business Architecture In Uncertain Times”

An Expert Insights Webinar From the Metro State Institute for Professional Development

Originally Aired: May, 2020

This presentation covers:


How Business Architects Can Help Their Companies Navigate Through Uncertainty

  • Learn tools that guide tactical and strategic decision making in a dynamic environment

  • Prepare for future business architecture changes

Click Here To Watch:

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Dean Heltemes

Expert Areas:

  • Business Architecture | Enterprise Architecture | Business Process Management
  • IT and Business Strategy Development | Strategy to Execution Planning | Collaboration with C-Level Executives
  • Global Team Building and Leadership | Large-Scale Budget Creation and Management
  • IT Infrastructure and Operations Leadership | ERP Modernization | IT Contract Negotiation
  • Program and Project Management | Sales Enablement
  • Industry Experience in Financial Services, Agribusiness, Commodity Trading, Energy, & Food Processing

Education/Professional Certificates:

  • Business Architecture Certificate from Metropolitan State University -St. Paul, MN
  • MBA from Carlson School of Management at University of MN
  • Bachelor of Science – Computer Science from St. Cloud State University

Bao Do


Instructor, Institute for Professional Development

Is Pocket Agile a Thing, or Did I Just Invent It?


Is Pocket Agile a Thing, or Did I Just Invent It?

Or – Is it OK to be Agile Lite?

By: Beth Schaefer    Director, Institute for Professional Development

I hesitate to say that I am practicing Agile because I have not been formally trained in Agile. And, I work in higher education – an industry not known for being quick to change.

So instead, I say that I am making iterative changes – much less official – no standardized rules or manifestos to follow if one is just growing and improving in an iterative fashion.

However, when I look at my project list, I have lots of opportunities to be Agile:

  • Changing a classroom experience in business architecture into a virtual experience
  • Working with IT professionals to determine my university’s role in recruiting and retaining a talented pool of IT workers for Minnesota
  • Partnering with clients to design effective training experiences

Of course, like the rest of you, Agile is on my radar these days – and as it moves out of IT and software development to infiltrate other parts of organizations*, my interest grows.

So, what are my next actions steps to become officially Agile?

Step 1: Get over the idea that Agile is only for software development.

Over the next few months, I will focus my blogs on how Agile is being used in:

    • HR
    • Marketing
    • Designing Office Space
    • Business Office Efficiencies

Step 2: See how the Agile Manifesto can apply to education and training.

Applying the Manifesto outside software development may label me Agile Lite, but I will do it anyway. I will post it once I have it completed.

Step 3: Take a class to learn more about Agile and its methodologies.

My department has 5 project instructors with expertise in Agile and Scrum and all with their own opinions. They will provide information for me to choose the path that works best for my department and eventually (hopefully) my organization.

Step 4: Innovate and improve – iteratively.

For now, I need to move iteratively. I have recently moved to being OK with iterative change rather than “flip the switch” change, so we will start pockets of Agile and continue to research if “Pocket Agile” can work in a non-Agile organization.  Yes – more future blogs

* Here are some articles on using Agile across organizations – both pros and cons.

An Operating Model for Company-wide Agile Development from McKinsey&Company by Santiago Comella-Dorda, Swati Lohiya, and Gerard Speksnijder

While this blog is to sell their product, it does provide some good talking points that may be useful for describing the Agile maturity of your own organization. In addition, there is a handy chart that illustrates differences in structures, interactions, roles, and budgeting between traditional organizations and agile ones.

Can Big Organizations Be Agile?   From Forbes by Steve Denning

Steve says “yes.” And, not only Agile but entrepreneurial.  He shares examples of where it is happening, including Ericsson, Spotify, Barclays, and Microsoft – including lessons learned by our own CH Robinson’s Agile transformation.

Bring Agile to the Whole Organization. From Harvard Business Review by Jeff Gothelf

Jeff starts by stating that we are all in the software business now. He provides some examples of HR and finance can change their structure to support Agile entrepreneurial employees.

Embracing Agile from Harvard Business Review by Darrell K. Rigby, Jeff Sutherland, and Hirotaka Takeuchi

This team of writers makes an argument for training executives to understand Agile to move agile out of pockets and spread across organizations.

Agile training for executives from Institute of Development at Metro State

 

 

Value the Voice of Customer


Value the Voice of Customer

By: Beth Schaefer    Director, Institute for Professional Development

It happened again last week.  I was at a meeting where a policy revision was announced.  As the policy changes were being laid out, several people in the room had questions that did not have answers.  It became clear to me that the customer had not been included with the policy redesign.

And, it eventually became clear to the person presenting the new policy.  As the questions were being asked, I could see the “ah ha moment” occur.  The lightbulb went on that the policy had addressed a symptom of the problem and not the actual root cause of the problem.   So much so that the person actually said, “the real problem here is….”  The policy went back to the drawing board.

I get it…  

  • You may not think you have customers for internal process.
  • You already have a pretty clear idea of what will work and getting customers involved takes time – You can roll things out faster if you just do it.
  • Your department owns the process. You really know best.
  • Your department has the power to set your own policies.
  • Not every little change needs to be a big deal.

I, too, am tempted to just get things done. I love crossing tasks off my checklist.  I want to skip the meetings, the feedback, the extra time and extra steps – besides, it is not like I can every make everybody happy.

I do not think making everyone happy can be a goal, but even spending a little bit of time on customer viewpoint will reap benefits.

The Voice of Customer (VOC) Benefits:

  • The customer voice focuses on the root cause of the problem/opportunity.

As you talk with your customers about the problem you are solving, they can help you with their struggles.  The nuances that they bring to the problem will ensure that you are solving the root cause of the problem rather than addressing a symptom.  For instance, maybe you will discover that the process is sufficient, but nobody is aware of it.  Better communication, not a new process, would solve the problem.

  • The VOC can make solutions better.

The variety of viewpoints that customers bring to the problem can be an opportunity to be creative with your solution.  When you use something every day multiple times a day, you may get tunnel vision.  Opening your perspective can help you use a new lens to view a routine situation.

  • You avoid rework.

Solving the wrong problem.  Designing a process that is too cumbersome. Coming up with a partial solution.  These are all mistakes that can be avoided if you take the time to seek feedback from the people who will use the policy or process.

  • Customer voice determines the communication plan.

The best solution can be lost with bad communication.  Understanding who your customer is and how they use the policy or process should help you tailor the communication on the change.  It should tell you the best method of communication.  It should tell you where to store the information for reference.  It should tell you the level of detail and the vocabulary you need for people to understand the change.

  • Identifying your customers helps you implement the policy or process.

Audience is important for buy-in.  You can make any changes you want, but if people do not buy into the change, you have more work on your hands.  Yes, you can order people to do things, but, people have tactics to resist – especially here in the passive/aggressive Midwest.  Do these sound familiar?

  • I did not know we had started that yet.
  • I could not find the new policy/form/process.
  • I was on vacation, so I did not know.
  • I tried, but my computer would not open the (document, form, link).
  • I was using the new process, but (insert name here) did not know about it, so I quit doing it
  • The old way is easier and faster; I do not have time for the new way
  • I am waiting for the official training before I start
  • My supervisor has not told me to start that yet…

I could go on and so could you.

Even the smallest changes can benefit from some feedback.  Think of your VOC as an accordion.   If the change is small, spend a little bit of time on VOC.  If the change is large, spend a lot of time on VOC.  And, the larger the impact, the more time I would spend on determining your value proposition – matching your solution to get gains for your customer pains.

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PMP®/CAPM® Test Prep Course


A 5 day workshop style course to get you ready to pass the PMP® or CAPM® course and become certified! Call us today for more information 612-659-7230 or register today.

PMP®/CAPM® Virtual Test Prep Course


This 5-day virtual course gets you ready to successfully pass the PMP®/CAPM® exam.

Our experienced PMP® instructors immerse you in project management situations that teach concepts, tools, and techniques to help get you ready for the new situational exam, while also improving the performance of your future on -the-job projects. You will participate in engaging group discussions and practice practical exercises about case study situations like those found on the exam.  During each session, you will also encounter specific sections of the PMBOK® that include activities, reviews, and quizzes.

Practice questions, flashcards, quizzes and additional study aids are included to help accelerate your learning.

Virtual session (5 days) will be on:

  • Monday, May 7, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 8, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 9, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 18, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

This course is also offered in a classroom setting.  Click here for more information.

Price: $2,195.00 Early Bird Pricing$1,975.50 until March 26, 2018

No other discounts may be applied to this course.

PMP®/CAPM® Test Prep course includes the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) version 6.0 and a substantial study guide.  The PMBOK® and study guide will be shipped via ground transportation two weeks prior to the first day of class.

Interested in learning more?

 Questions? Call Us Today.

612-659-7230

COURSE DETAILS

Audience

Anyone who desires to pass the PMP® or CAPM® course and become certified.  Note: This course provides an understanding of Project Management Theory and practical applications to put the theory into practice; however, it also spends class time on information specific to taking the PMI® exams.

Note:

  1. Students are required to use their computer camera to participate in the course
  2. Metropolitan State University does not provide a guaranteed passing score on the exam
  3. For best results, participants should take the PMI® exam with 1 month of completing the course
  4. Registration for the exam and payment for the exam are separate transactions with the Project Management Institute®

Pricing & Cancellation Policy

Price: $2,195.00 Early Bird Pricing: $1,975.50 until March 26, 2018

No other discounts may be applied to this course.

PMP®/CAPM® Test Prep course includes the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) version 6.0 and a substantial study guide.  The PMBOK® and study guide will be shipped via ground transportation two weeks prior to the first day of class.

  • Those registering within three weeks of class starting may not receive materials prior to the first day of class
  • Extra costs will apply to shipping outside the continuous 48 United States.  Please contact IPD with your address to get an estimate
  • PMBOK®, study guide, and shipping costs will not be refunded once items have shipped-even if the student withdraws from the course

Cancellation Policy:

Class cancellations must be done fourteen full business days before the class start date.  No refunds for cancellations of less than fourteen full business days.  No Shows/Missed Classes – Refunds will not be issued for any missed class.  Late Arrivals/Early Departures – Metropolitan State University reserves the right to decrease continuing education units issued for late arrivals and early departures.  Written confirmation will be sent to you a week before class.  If a class is canceled, you will be contacted by phone, mail, or email.  Metropolitan State University reserves the right to cancel courses due to insufficient enrollment or unforeseen circumstances, such as weather (a full refund will be granted).

Prerequisites

Participants must have a camera on their computer and be willing to use it to participate in class.

To best utilize the class, have your PMI® exam application already started on the first day of class.

 

Useful websites: Project Management Institute Certification

Do You Cultivate Trust?


As a leader, do you create the space for High Impact Trust Advisors’s to flourish? For more information on how to do this – contact the IPD today! 612-659-7230

Always Be Networking


Why you should always be networking. Call IPD today for more information on how to grow your career. 612-659-7230

Business Architecture: Are You Applying it Without Labeling it? FREE Seminar January 23, 2018


Business Architecture: Are You Applying it Without Labeling it?

Join us for a FREE  Expert Insights Seminar
2:30p.m., January 23, 2018

[su_dropcap]A[/su_dropcap]ssess where your organization is on the business architecture spectrum.  Assess your core skills to see how well you align to business architecture principles.

Could you be applying business architecture principles without knowing it?   Business Architecture has been practiced by individuals across organizations before it became a recognized discipline.  This seminar will:

  1. articulate the core principles of business architecture
  2. help you assess where your organization is on the business architecture spectrum
  3. provide a brief personal skills assessment to see how well you align to business architecture

The seminar is free, but save your seat due to limited seating.

The seminar will be in the Student Center on the Metropolitan State University Campus  http://www.metrostate.edu/locations/saint-paul-campus-(stpl)

Parking is available in the ramp for a daily fee of $5.

This event has taken place click here if you would like more information on our Business Architecture course

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Stacey Smith

Sr. Business Architect/Program Manager/ Vice President at US Bank will be presenting the core tenets of business architecture.

Projects: How to Make Matters Worse | FREE Webinar Oct 4


Projects: How to Make Matters Worse

Join us for a FREE  Expert Insights Webinar
3 – 4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct 4, 2017

[su_dropcap]R[/su_dropcap]egaining control when a project goes on the skids can be difficult.  Are you contributing to the wreck?

This webinar will look at the top five reasons projects fail and see how acts of project management often contribute.  We’ll also discuss why once a project goes into a skid, regaining control can be difficult.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Christine Moore

Title/Position
Instructor, Metropolitan State University

Expert Areas: 

  • Project Program & Portfolio Management
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Immersive Simulation

Education/Professional Certificates:  

  • Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Augsburg College in Minneapolis
  • Pursuing a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development and Organizational Change Leadership.
  • Certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).
  • Certified as a professional facilitator by the International Association of Facilitators.

Relevant experience to topic areas:  

  • For more than 20 years, Christine has led, trained, and coached teams charged with making change.
  • Among the organizations Christine has worked with are:
    • American Express
    • Canadian Pacific
    • Novartis
    • Scott County
    • Motorola
    • Santa Clara County
    • Ecolab
    • HB Fuller
    • Valspar
    • NACR
    • Owens Illinois
  •  In addition to working directly with organizations and their teams, Christine creates and leads educational workshops that incorporate immersive simulation learning to ensure skill based development and real-life application.

Projects: How to Make Matters Worse


Projects: How to Make Matters Worse

Join us for a FREE  Expert Insights Webinar
3 – 4 p.m., Wednesday, October 4, 2017

[su_dropcap]H[/su_dropcap]ow does project management contribute to failure?

During this webinar, we’ll look at the top five reasons projects fail and see how acts of project management often contribute to these wrecks.  We’ll also discuss why once a project goes into a skid, regaining control can be difficult.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER

Christine Moore

Expert Areas: 

  • Project Program & Portfolio Management
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Immersive Simulation

Education/Professional Certificates:  

  • Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from Augsburg College in Minneapolis
  • Pursuing a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development and Organizational Change Leadership.
  • Certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) by the Project Management Institute (PMI®).
  • Certified as a professional facilitator by the International Association of Facilitators.

Relevant experience to topic areas:  

  • For more than 20 years, Christine has led, trained, and coached teams charged with making change.
  • Among the organizations Christine has worked with are:
    • American Express
    • Canadian Pacific
    • Novartis
    • Scott County
    • Motorola
    • Santa Clara County
    • Ecolab
    • HB Fuller
    • Valspar
    • NACR
    • Owens Illinois
  •  In addition to working directly with organizations and their teams, Christine creates and leads educational workshops that incorporate immersive simulation learning to ensure skill based development and real-life application.

Leatha Lamers


Project Coordinator, Institute for Professional Development

Mandy Spiess


Instructor, Institute for Professional Development

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I need your help, Luke. She needs your help. I’m getting too old for this sort of thing. She must have hidden the plans in the escape pod. Send a detachment down to retrieve them, and see to it personally, Commander.

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That mortal man should feed upon the creature that feeds his lamp, and, like Stubb, eat him by his own light, as you may say; this seems so outlandish a thing that one must needs go a little into the history and philosophy of it.

It is upon record, that three centuries ago the tongue of the Right Whale was esteemed a great delicacy in France, and commanded large prices there. Also, that in Henry VIIIth’s time, a certain cook of the court obtained a handsome reward for inventing an admirable sauce to be eaten with barbacued porpoises, which, you remember, are a species of whale. Porpoises, indeed, are to this day considered fine eating. The meat is made into balls about the size of billiard balls, and being well seasoned and spiced might be taken for turtle-balls or veal balls. The old monks of Dunfermline were very fond of them. They had a great porpoise grant from the crown.

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