Newsletter – October, 2021

On My Mind
My paper on Visions & Visioning is now available on the RESEARCH page of this website. Here is an excerpt from the Abstract: “An effective organizational vision can direct, guide, and inspire the members of the organization as they attempt to improve organizational performance from a strategic perspective. A vision is defined here as a conception of the desired distant future state of the organization. In effect, the organizational members are saying, “We want our organization to be different than it is now.” A vision can also be created for other entities such as a business unit, division, department, team, geographic region, performance category, product, service, or project. An organizational vision statement—consisting of text—is one example of a vision, but a vision can also be in the form of an image, a video, or a sound. A vision is neither necessary nor sufficient for organizational success. However, many organizations have found it useful to have some form of a vision. Visioning is defined here as the carrying out of intentional organizational activities for creating and communicating an organizational vision.” Visit the RESEARCH page to see more.

Interesting Stories
The writing process has varied significantly for me from paper-to-paper. One thing is for certain—I never know how a paper will turn out in the end and there are always periods of time during the writing process when the creative ideas are not flowing. My last paper—Visions & Visioning—was especially interesting because of my visit to Mato Paha (Bear Butte) for a vision quest. It added a personal dimension to my research. I’m reminded of a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche from his book “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”: “I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.” For those who are inexperienced at writing, you should know that you might feel some chaos during the writing process. However, it just might lead to the birth of a dancing star. Best wishes in your writing endeavors.

Company News
September was a busy month. I was one of the exhibitors at the annual PENworks event sponsored by the Performance Excellence Network (PEN) on September 24. It was a virtual event during which I facilitated three sessions. I also published my research report on Visions & Visioning and conducted my annual conference – the 13th Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference. There were ten great presentations this year. Here were the other presenters in addition to me: Veronica Jaralambides from the MN Department of Natural Resources; Dr. Any Van de Ven from the Carlson School of Management; Peggy Boyd & Marcus Maier from MacDon; Lance Haugen from MNIT; Charlie Lawler from MN DHS Direct Care & Treatment; Kirk Burcar from New Flyer; Jeff Ziegler from Mayo Clinic; Colleen Krohn from MN DEED; and Vern Campbell from Process Management & University of Manitoba. There are a number of SIS events on the horizon: the Strategic Improvement Yellow Belt course which starts October 7, 2021; the Introduction to Statistical Control webinar on October 29, 2021; the Visions & Visioning short course on November 16, 2021; and the Strategic Improvement Green Belt course which starts December 13, 2021. The brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website.

Intriguing Reads
The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Change & Innovation (2nd Edition) was recently published by the Oxford University Press. The editors are Dr. Marshall Scott Poole and Dr. Andrew H. Van de Ven. This is a must have reference book on organizational change and innovation. The book has numerous great chapters. One of the most interesting was Chapter 8: Eastern Yin-Yang Model of Change by Runtian Jing. Best wishes in your change and innovation efforts.