A Better You

better youIn Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, the main character, Jean Valjean asks, “Who am I?” William Shakespeare is perhaps best known for penning of the question “To be? Or not to be? That is the question!” That indeed is the question. Here, my friends, is the answer to both of the above questions: “Yes, I am.” In other words, whoever you decide to be is exactly who you are. October’s MNODN speaker, Janae Bower, address this issue in a more applicable and practical manner. Her take simply is this: If we become the best “us” possible, we are then able to give back a better version of “us” to our spouse, friends, family, children, organization and community.

How does one “Be” all they can “Be?” One way of course is to join the Army (according to the recruiting slogan). Another way, according to Bower is use the acronym GIVING as a guide.

G stands for “Gift.” We are all gifts to each other. We all have something to give. Some personal gifts are time, friendship, enthusiasm. Give these gifts freely.

I stands for “Impression.” Strive to make a great impression. Use the statement “I am….” Whatever word comes to mind immediately is a strength of yours. Use it to make a great impression.

V stand for “Value.” Whatever you do, make sure you’re doing it to add value to yourself and to those around you.

I stands for Important. Find out what’s important to those with whom you associate. If you know another person’s passion, you know what drives them. Pursue that which helps others achieve, improve or better participate in their passion.

N stands for “Noteworthy.” Help other remember that they’re important. What they do matters. Value is created when other feel valuable.

G stands for “Give.” Take every opportunity to give back. Keep giving. Don’t give up. Give others, including God, credit for all gifts and benefits bestowed upon you.

In the end, a giving you is a better you. Find out who you are, where your strengths lie and who can benefit by your gifts. Then give. Simply put: giving really is the gifts that keeps on giving.

The Roll of Toilet Paper in presenting a strong message

U of M Seminar Developer FacilitatorWhat do a roll of toilet paper and great presenting skills have in common? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps more than you think. On Thursday, September 4th, Sam Smith, Vice President of the Prouty Project led a few dozen MNODN members in a communications seminar that challenged the audience to stretch their limits and take the next step or two toward better communication. In the end, he successfully created an environment where exploration, learning and courage were inspired and cultivated.

So what does that have to do with toilet paper? We’ll get there. Have faith.

Successfully presenting and communicating a message has everything to do with having a strong, two-pronged presentation objective. The message is defined by what the speaker wants to accomplish. The second prong of the arrow is the action the target audience should take after receiving the message. In the end, every skill, every technique, every story, should be guided by the message and the action.

A simple, but effective group lesson directed by Smith was used to illustrate his message. For the exercise, Smith asked the audience to come up with a topic, simple or silly. One group brainstormed ideas on alternate uses for toilet paper. Uncensored ideas were put on Post-it notes. The notes were grouped into three categories and the categories were named. If the Post-it messages didn’t fit a category they were tossed.

In the end, the point about toilet paper was this: The message simply was to discuss alternate ways of using toilet paper. The action was for the participants to come up with new toilet paper marketing strategies. Believe it or not toilet paper might be used as a packing material, cushion in shoes, toy for a cat or gerbil (the tube), and a safe object for throwing at friends or enemies or camouflage if printed with the right pattern.

Lessons learned: Dump it. Sort it. Name it. Put all the information out there. Put it into categories (practical uses for toilet paper, fun uses for toilet paper, physical appearance of toilet paper). If it doesn’t fit into one of three categories, discard it. If it doesn’t help support the message or the action, don’t use it.

New skills are only good if they’re transferable. Smith says skills and techniques that are effective in speaking are also useful in other areas of organizational development (OD) and organizational change (OC). Engaging the audience is useful in speaking, facilitating and coaching. Understanding the audience applies to all three areas. Using stories or humor to illustrate a point can be effective in speaking, facilitating and coaching. Challenge, encourage and listen-to the audience regardless of group size or rank of participants or purpose of presentation.

Above all be organized, prepared, practiced and ready to try new techniques. A story, joke or group project that doesn’t work in one situation might very well work in another environment. If something works, use it again. If it doesn’t work, try it one or two more times before discarding it. Finally use a clearly defined presentation objective with both a message and action to direct the presentation

Whole-Systems Approach Proves Fruitful

Sitting down and peeling an orange, one realizes that fruit grows from the inside out. A juicy orange, a golden, tart apple and a healthy organization all have this one feature in common. They grow from the inside out.

Orange sliced

On Thursday, May 8th, an expert panel of four OD women answered questions and gave motivating and encouraging insight on the current and future trends in Organizational Development and Organizational Change. In a nut shell, the discussion can be summarized in this way: The whole-system approach to organizational development and organizational change is the wave of the future. This approach is defining the healthy growth and development of companies.

May 8th’s panel included Dawne Carlson, Sr. Director of Organizational Effectiveness for Target; Lori Wall, Business HR Leader of Cargill; Tracy Platt, Sr. Director of Human Resources at Medtronic and Anne Gotte, Director of Talent and Organizational Effectiveness at General Mills.

Looking only at the titles of these four women, the casual observer learns that OD is much more than a single approach, a single model or a single formula that works for all organizations large and small.

Perhaps it’s best to summarize the whole-systems approach by highlighting the key points given by each panelist:

Tracy Platt of Medtronic suggested that Organizational Change is on-going and evolutionary. Medtronic is famous for the pace maker, but that is no longer the largest part of the company’s business. She added that no one change model is effective for all situations and for all time. As the products change the organization needs to change. Platt’s overall message was that change with a purpose is not only inevitable, but it’s necessary to maintain a healthy and vital organization.

Lori Wall says one of her main goals at Cargill is to transform individuals to help them fit the business strategy. Building formal and informal leaders is important in an organization that is undergoing change and development. While it’s impossible for one person to change each individual within an organization, it is Wall’s goal to help create a healthy culture and environment that sustain the growth and maturation of individual leaders.

The role of OD leaders was defined by Anne Gotte of General Mills. She said in her role that she is and she isn’t part of the HR Department. Perhaps the best way to define Anne’s role is that of the central nervous system. She receives the pulse of the whole organization and uses that feedback to give the organization direction. Anne might say that she’s not one entity, but part of the greater whole. Her goal is to help individuals and teams collaborate to achieve a greater good.

Dawne Carlson reminded the audience the important of practical and working solutions. Models and theories give us a foundation and structure. Organizations are made up of individuals with unique backgrounds, not methods of operation that fit molds or models. Finding effective change models is a balance between art and science. The science provides the background and basis. The art comes from experience and practical application.

In the end, organizational change and development start with the people in the organization. Change of the people, by the people and for the people will be change that is sustainable and meaningful. Healthy change, like a healthy and delicious orange, grows and develops form the inside out.

Image courtesy of graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Recap of the MNODN May 8th "Leadership Panel Facing the Opportunities & Challenges as an OD Practitioner" by Steven Shore, MNODN Programming Volunteer

May 8: Leadership Panel: Facing the Opportunities & Challenges as an OD Practitioner

Don't miss this opportunity - register now!


Please join the conversation with local leaders and experts in the field of Human Resources, Organizational Development, and Organization Effectiveness who will share learnings from work going on inside their companies, their point of view on what businesses are expecting from internal and external organization development practitioners, and discuss opportunities for OD to focus and drive value. OD practitioners are often in the thick of formidable challenges within their organizations.  It takes incredible talent, empathy, and courage to spend day after day in the trenches.  In the past, organizational work was not always considered in relation to strategic business decisions.  That is changing, and OD Leaders are driving those changes.

We are bringing together a panel of trusted HR experts to discuss the complex challenges and tougher questions facing organizations today.  Panelists will include:

  • Dawne Carlson, Sr Director Organization Effectiveness, Target

  • Lori Wall, Business HR Leaders, Cargill

  • Tracy Platt, Senior Director of Human Resources, Medtronic

  • Anne Gotte, Director Talent and Organization Effectiveness, General Mills

About our Presenters:

Dawne CarlsonDawne Carlson is Senior Director, Organizational Effectiveness for Target, responsible for the Enterprise Organizational Effectiveness teams including Human Resources OE, Target Technology Services OE, Canada OE, OE Operations, Process Improvement and 6Sigma Operations. Dawne has been with Target for 27 years, and served in roles in Stores HR and Merchandising.  She joined the OE senior leadership team in 2007 as the Director of Field OE and moved to her role leading Enterprise OE in 2012.

Lori WallLori Wall is the Business Human Resources Leader for the Corn Milling business unit.  She is accountable for leading the HR function within Corn Milling and executing the HR Business Plan, including translating business strategies to HR strategies.  Primary responsibilities include providing talent management strategy, workforce planning, employee and labor relations, compensation, building and deploying change leadership expertise to enable business level transformation, coaching and development, organizational design and effectiveness and building/sustaining culture that facilitates achievement of strategic business objectives.    Lori joined Cargill in 2011 as Corn Milling’s Change, Communication and Education Lead for the Tartan deployment and later became the Change and Communication Leader within the business unit.  Prior to joining Cargill she had over 20 years of Business and Human Resources experience including the position of Vice President of Human Resources at Taylor Corporation and previously held the position of Director of Shared Services.  Before joining Taylor Corporation she held positions at Chubb Insurance Group in the underwriting practice.  Lori has her MBA degree in Economics and Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tracy Lynn PlattTracy Lynn Platt, Senior Director of Human Resources-CVG Strategic Initiatives.  Tracy has been with Medtronic since 2009 and has served in numerous global roles across the organization with primary focus in organizational development/effectiveness, change management, organizational design, executive development and HR strategic business partnering.  Current primary focus areas include leadership in large scale change & strategy execution programs, to include M&A Integration, Business Turnarounds and Business Model startup’s within Medtronic’s Cardiac and Vascular Division. Tracy also serves as an advisor to Medtronic’s Organization Development network and local external Applied Psychologists at Work associations.  Prior to this, Tracy initiated and led the Change Management Center of Excellence for Medtronic.  Additionally, Tracy served as the program leader for Medtronic’s Executive Development flagship Global Leader program focused on Russia.  Tracy has over 15 years of experience in a range of organizational / change leadership roles within Medtronic and within other Fortune 100 companies, to include GE Healthcare, Cardinal Health and additionally in the retail industry with Lands’ End.   Tracy lives with her husband and two daughters (ages 10 & 13) in Minneapolis, MN USA. General interests include traveling, reading and spending time with family & friends.

Anne GotteAnne Gotte is a Director of Talent and Organization Effectiveness at General Mills.  In her twelve years with the company, Anne has partnered with organizations across multiple businesses and functions, providing HR business partner and talent management leadership to clients across the enterprise.  Her experiences have included organizational design and change management, the creation of leadership and early career development curriculums, succession planning, performance management system enhancements and functional career path development.  In her current role, Anne provides global leadership in setting effective strategies and practices regarding the application of assessments for selection and employee development.


Member Drive: All new or renewing members

MNODN is kicking off its 2014 Member Drive, March 6-31.  This is a great time to renew your membership and encourage others you know to join our organization. Great programming, networking, sharing of resources and access to local and national OD people, theories and practices are a part of what your membership makes possible.  
MNODN membership cool stuff

So, starting March 6, a new or renewed membership provides you with 1 free regularly scheduled event in the next six months. A code will be issued to you when you sign up or renew a membership. Even if you are not scheduled for renewal for a while, your renewal in March will extend out another year. So we encourage you to renew early and receive a free event as a thank you for your support. 

If you refer someone to become a new member, contact membership@mndon.org for a bonus!

Al watts Roland and Veronika Tami and Husband Dr J Donna

If you refer someone to become a new member, contact membership@mndon.org for a bonus!

Discovering the Immune System by Becoming certified in the Immunity to Change (ITC) process

I am writing about an eye-opening experience I had in January 2014 when Dr. Richard McGuigan and Dr. Nancy Popp from The Institute for Leading Change led a program called “Becoming an Immunity to Change Facilitator.” The workshop was designed to give participants the insights and tools to lead change work as one-on-one coaches or with teams in organizations.

The ITC process is a powerful and effective way to guide clients through making difficult changes. Overcoming one’s Immunity to Change is not only about changing problematic behaviors, it is about understanding and testing one’s own immunity by working with and not against ourselves. It is about understanding our own complexity and the stories we tell ourselves.

Through a series of exercises, experiences, and reflection time, we as participants of the workshop, were able to explore our own Immunity to Change. This experience and learning the process of ITC will help me to lead clients and teams through the process of committing to a goal and surfacing their competing commitments in order to reveal the Immunity to Change. The Immune System reveals itself and the discussion for opportunities to test it continues.

I highly recommend the program and becoming an ITC facilitator! The process is based on the “Immunity to Change” book written by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. The book is a great resource and starting point!

Tami France, PHR
Marketing & Communications


State of the Union of Change Mgt with Geek Sheik Dan Olson

Engaging speaker, practical approach, excellent insights, useful metaphors, trends, & current processes

Dan “The Disruptor” Olson of STAR Collaborative came to the MNODN on January 9th to facilitate a program on Change Management: State of the Union. I was unsure what to expect, and Dan presented information on his background to help provide context for his “Getting Stuff Done” perspective. Not only did we learn about his own path which is currently the successful startup STAR Collaborative (The Costco version of Match.com for talent) we also learned about the local change management group.  This was an evolution from a gathering of friends providing a somewhat quarterly Change Summit into the birth of a new change association - The Minnesota Change Management Network (MMCMN). I personally also re-learned new terms such as “Network Weaver” with an application to building Communities of Practice to better implement change.  

Dan let us know of his penchant for pop culture, and how he sees change management as a street level approach to change. The metaphor used was that Batman was more appropriate to enable “Change Fu” with his innovative down-in-the-trenches approach than Superman who has greater super powers (requiring less collaboration?).

Dan shared a few trends which many of us found interesting, and/or confirmatory:

  • Those hiring Free Agent Change Managers want to see certifications i.e., Prosci
  • Hiring entities are more interested in results and outcomes than Organizational Theory
  • Those being hired are asked for specific full cycle implementation examples and tools
  • Leaders may deny it, but they often want secret coaching on change
  • Dan provided benchmarking fee information on going hourly rates for Change Agents.

Another suggestion from Dan was for change Managers to use Heat Maps as one of their tools when presenting information to others (Wiki: A heat map is a graphical representation of data where the individual values contained in a matrix are represented as colors). Using Heat Maps to illustrate locations of stress and strain in an organization can be easier to communicate/ navigate than tables, charts, or graphs.

There was great group discussion including the relationship between Change Management and Organization Development. Other questions and discussion centered on issues such as:

  1. Will new findings and developments in neuroscience disrupt Change Management?
  2. How can software development’s Agile Methodology be woven into Change Management?
  3. Is gamification creeping into Change Management? If so is it accelerating impactful change?

So before you wonder if “The Disruptor” came from Tatooine or the Gotham City, Dan left us with some great key take away quotes such as “Project Management is getting things done, while Change Management is making change stick”. During the session we were also provided information on the upcoming Association of Change Management Professionals standards which are open for comment and review.  Finally, Dan also invited us to view/provide feedback on STAR Collaborative’s  values manifesto.

Paul Thoresen, M.A.
Programming Co-Chair

International Leadership Association Global Conference

Contributor:  Tami France, PHR, Marketing & Communications

Between October 28th and November 3rd, 2013, there were more than 1,000 leadership professionals from around the world gathered together in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We all gathered at the International Leadership Association Global Conference to network, hear new thinking on leadership, and share perspectives. http://www.ila-net.org/

Attending the International Leadership Association (ILA) Global Conference titled “Leadership for Local and Global Resilience - the Challenges of a Shifting Planet that took place in Montreal, Quebec was an inspiring way to connect to leadership, research, and practice around the world. It was a means for me to connect to current leadership trends and practices. During the opening keynote Eliane Ubalijoro, the ILA 2013 Chair, welcomed us to experience the conference and allow it to “nourish in each of [us] an invigorated appetite to keep exploring and taking [our] leadership research and practices to new heights of resilience.”

An added layer of engagement at the conference was my role as a presenter/facilitator at the roundtable discussion and my topic was Cross-Cultural Collaboration. The roundtable format was “an informal small group discussion on a topic of common interest” (ILA Conference Guide, p. 18). My co-facilitator and I were asked to submit a short description of the content of our roundtable discussion, which was added to the conference guide as a way to publicize our topic. We described collaboration as a process through which people, groups, and organizations work together to achieve desired results of shared vision, and positive service outcomes, through an interdependent system. We added to this by noting the role of Cross-Cultural Collaboration as being necessary at this time of global interconnectedness. We noted that individuals attending the session would have an opportunity to discuss the necessity for this capacity in leaders and gain practical applications of Cross-Cultural Collaboration. This was an engaging and relevant topic at this conference. While attending a concurrent session I found myself at a table where the other participants and I represented five different countries (Canada, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, UK, and USA) and different cultures, backgrounds, and ways of thinking about leadership.

The final moments of the conference were brought together by a beautiful closing keynote speech led by Dr. Nancy Adler. I am inspired to attend the International Leadership Association 2014 Global Conference titled “Conscious Leading for Global Change - Emergence of our Collective Realities,” taking place in San Diego, California.

Leadership and the Art of Struggle at MNODN’s monthly program

Thank you, Steven Snyder, Ph.D., for a wonderful presentation on Leadership and the Art of Struggle:  A New Conversation about Leadership at MNODN’s monthly program!

On Thursday, November 7th Steven shared from his book examples of personal "struggle" stories he uncovered through his extensive research for his book Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity.  These stories were engaging and enlightening. Through them, he illustrated leadership as “a struggle by flawed human beings to make some important human values real and effective in the world as it is.*” You challenge leaders and those they work with to reconsider the negative connotations of "struggle" and the desire to avoid or automatically speed through it without reflection.

Some insights that Steven shared with those of us in attendance:

Struggle is a learning opportunity – an art to be mastered.  We aren’t alone, no human is perfect, struggle leads to growth, we have opportunities to go beyond what and how to why we struggle, and we can shift our conversations.    

The elements of a struggle is that a change occurs.  This creates tension.  We are then out of balance. Steven provided a tool to think about these elements of struggle through the development of a tension map.  This map gives a visual representation of the current struggle (low to high).  You'll have to read the book to learn more.

If I had one take away from Steven’s presentation is that we must all reflect on our struggle and ask ourselves, where am I out of balance?  Once we can determine the nature of our disequilibrium we can then figure out what we could do to ground ourselves, to find new pathways to deal with any situation or issue and find that adaptive energy to move through the struggle.

Thank you Steve for generous gift of your book to all attendees!  What a great bonus to end an evening of rich conversation and story telling and now a new lens from which to view struggle.  For more information, go to Steven’s Website at http://www.snyderleadership.com/  or to learn more about his book Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity.

Jan Williams, PMP, PHR
Marketing and Communications Co-Chair

* Quote attributed to Joe Badaracco

National Leadership Academy for the Public's Health - applications due November 26, 2013

The National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH) began in 2011 to provide training to four-person multi-sector teams from across the country to advance their leadership skills and achieve health equity in their community. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the one-year program uses an experiential learning process that includes webinars, a multi-day retreat, coaching support, peer networking, and an applied population health project. NLAPH is currently training its second cohort of fellows. 

 Highlights include:

  • The NLAPH program runs for 1 year and requires a commitment of 100 hours during the year, including a 3 day retreat in Atlanta from 3/9-12
  • The NLAPH program is available for teams of 4, with one member from the public health department
  • It’s FREE – Selected teams receive cost of round-trip transportation and lodging at the national retreat, access to program materials and webinars and become a part of the Leadership Learning Network after completion of the program.    

Email applications to: info@healthleadership.org no later than November 26, 2013 at 5pm PST.

Click here to learn more.

Organizational Development Network Conference Recap from MNODN Chair

Dear members -

I’m back from California and am already putting next year’s Organizational Development Network (ODN) Conference* on my calendar.

This year’s conference theme was innovation. With 4 tracks and 50 concurrent sessions, the good news was there was something for everyone. The bad news was how difficult it was to choose which sessions to attend.

There were three terrific keynotes:

  • Robert Kegan’s overview on the DDO – Deliberately Developmental Organization
  • Verna Myers on Inclusion and Diversity
  • Susan Foley on Intrapreneurship

I was able to download the majority of handouts and materials before the conference and skimmed them in flight from MN to CA. While thorough, the handouts don’t do justice to the richness of content presented and the connections made. With plenty of time between sessions, attendees had the opportunity to continue conversations sparked by a session and network with peers. A mentor/mentee program initiated the first day gave us an opportunity to meet several current students or practitioners in transition throughout the conference. I made a lot of connections that I’m looking forward to maintaining for years.

Important connections for MNODN were made via the regional caucus meeting. ODN has built sharing tools open to local OD related organizations and support them with special pricing for Board chairs. The ODN will be maintaining a programming repository to share programming ideas, materials and speakers and Regional Leaders’ KnowledgeBase to share regional management practices. While ODN does not have “chapters” these tools enable the sharing of OD knowledge across the globe.  

I attended presentations on the topic of Collective Consciousness, person-to-person, Conflict management, Dialogics Leadership, Practice Transformation, Performance “planning” and client contracting. Along with great content and networking, there were new tools to see in practice.  While I was familiar with Prezi, I’ll be checking out Sketchbook and Polleverywhere. If you’re interested in any of these topics, I’d be happy to share what I learned.

Look forward to seeing you at future programs and learning, growing and developing with you!

Warm regards,

Julie Moore Rapacki
MNODN Board Chair

*50th anniversary of the Organizational Development Network Conference is the weekend of October 25, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA.  If you’re a long-term planner, the 2015 conference will be part of the World OD Summit in Portland, OR.

MNODN Programs - 1st Thursday of the Month

MN Organization Development Network Regular Programming
First Thursday of the month
September through May each year
5:30-6:00 pm networking
6:00-7:30 pm program
St. Thomas University (rooms may very)

Note:  1/2 day and full day events are scheduled based on speaker availability and vary within the programming year.

Programming details are generally posted 6-8 weeks in advance.  Information can be found at MNODN Events.

Personality and Application: Which do you use and in what context?

 Personality and Application:  September 12, 2013 MNODN Program Recap

I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to personality assessments.  I’m certified in several and for years have worked inside organizations, teams and with individuals assisting in self-discovery, leadership development and strategic team work.  I’ve seen first-hand how identity personality assessments have helped many discover their own or team’s roadmap to success. 

So in comes Scott Gregory, PhD to the September Minnesota OD Network meeting presenting the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) and a few of the first things out of his mouth are statements such as, “the you, only you know, doesn’t matter to Hogan” and “the you, only you know is hardly worth knowing.” 

I was thinking to myself, “he’s a heretic” and was about to pick up my stone. I know for a fact that the personality assessments I use do in fact help others in leadership and team development.  Others in the room felt the same way (I could see their stones).

For the record, he didn’t actually bash on identity personality assessment s (such as DiSC or MBTI) he stated several times that there is a place for them in our tool kit.  Rather, he came to state the case for the need for what he called “Reputation personality assessments.”   Reputation personality is others’ observations of what you do.  So it isn’t so much what you know about yourself but what others see you as that defines personality.  Personality in this context is defined as how others see you.  Hogan instruments study what other people say about those who answer an item a particular way.

The Hogan Personality Inventory measures normal personality along seven scales:

  1. Adjustment: confidence, self-esteem, and composure under pressure
  2. Ambition: initiative, competitiveness, and desire for leadership roles
  3. Sociability: extraversion, gregarious, and need for social interaction
  4. Interpersonal Sensitivity: tact, perceptiveness, and ability to maintain relationships
  5. Prudence: self-discipline, responsibility, and thoroughness
  6. Inquisitive: imagination, curiosity, and creative potential
  7. Learning Approach: achievement orientation, valuing education

So while I can’t do justice to personality assessments in a short blog and I know that many of you reading this know so much about personality assessments including the Hogan Personality Inventory.  We at the MNOD Network are interested in what you have to say about the differences of Identity personality assessments. Reputation personality assessments.  Which do you use and in what context? 

Stan Oawster

Nov 7: Leadership & the Art of Struggle: A New Conversation about Leadership

Leadership is often a struggle, yet cultural norms often dismiss struggle as a sign of weakness or incompetence.  Steven Snyder’s new book, Leadership and the Art of Struggle, poses the question: what if we stop thinking about struggle as a negative, and instead embrace it as a natural part of leadership, focusing on the learning opportunities that it affords?

In this workshop session, Steven will introduce a new leadership lens, the Struggle Lens, opening a new conversation about leadership.  He will share his research exploring this lens, and then, through a set of exercises, invite you to join in on the conversation. 

During this session, you will first apply the Struggle Lens to your own leadership narrative.  Then, we will expand the conversation, exploring new ways to frame an organizational dialogue. Hopefully, you will leave the session with a new set of possibilities for navigating through conflict and adversity.


Steven Snyder is founder of the Snyder Leadership Group, a consulting firm dedicated to cultivating inspired leadership. Steven was an early leader at Microsoft, where he worked closely with Bill Gates.  He was co-founder and CEO of Net Perceptions, where he won the first World Technology Award for Commerce. Steven is currently an Executive Fellow at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. His first book, Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity, was published in March 2013 by Berrett-Koehler. 

What are people saying about Steven Snyder?

"Seasoned OD professionals know that transformational change embodies struggle. Steven Synder’s book, Leadership and the art of struggle, provides language, tools and useful perspective how leaders can learn from their own career struggles as they attempt to be a force for organizational change.  If you believe effective change requires leaders to have personal insight how they attend to their own struggles, then this MNODN session is for you!"
~Marc Sokol
Sage Consulting Resources, LLC
(Current member of the MNODN)

"Steven is probably one of the smartest people I know.  I have known Steven for more than 20 years.  He came to PDI to lead the development of some revolutionary software tools, did a great job, and moved on.  I kept in touch with Steven over the years, and spoke with him a number of times while he was writing this book.  He is a very thoughtful, insightful guy with a powerful message about the realities of leadership, learning from struggle.  I endorse him wholeheartedly."
 ~Lou Quast
Associate Chair, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development
College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota
(Presented 'Leadership Patterns and Career Derailment' at MNODN May 11, 2012)
"I worked with Steven many years ago when he was at PDI. He was one of the first people I knew who was trying to unite technology and psychology. It got me thinking about that intersection and had a lasting influence on my career. Looking forward to his talk."
~Bruce Sevy
Director, Leadership Assessment
PDI Ninth House, a Korn/Ferry company
"As a CEO of a public company, Steven Snyder has been there himself. But he hasn’t stopped there. He’s captured the wisdom of well-known leaders from some of the world’s most successful companies in his book “Leadership and the Art of Struggle” (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Richard Schulze, to name a few). We’re delighted and honored to have Steven join MNODN on 11/7/2013 to discuss his book and share what he’s learned, and what we can learn, through the art of struggle. You won’t want to miss it!"
~Julie (Moore) Rapacki
Management Consultant, Senior
State of Minnesota
(Chair @ Minnesota Organization Development Network)   

5:30 pm networking; program starts at 6:00 pm

To register, click here.

2014 Bush Fellowships - Application deadline 10/14/13


The Bush Fellowship was founded nearly 50 years ago by founder (and 3M executive) Archibald Bush. The 1964 Bush Foundation annual report shares that the program was designed to seek out and develop broad-gauge candidates who could be effective leaders. It sought candidates “of force, inquiring minds, integrity and vision to be groomed for leadership in government, industry and professions, or with unions.”

What does a Bush Fellowship provide?

  • Financial support between $50,000 and $100,000 over two years (which may be used to attain formal education (including graduate degrees) and/or to implement a self-designed leadership development proposal)
  • Lifelong access to the Bush Fellows alumni network of 2,200+ individuals
  • Participation in an annual Fellows retreat and optional learning opportunities with other Fellows

Note: successful finalists are not required to take a leave of absence from their employer

Click here, to learn more about the 2014 Bush Fellowship program.

Who should apply or be nominated?

  • Individuals with passion, optimism and ambition to develop their leadership and vision for contributing to the common good within Bush Foundation region
  • Have a distinguished track record of leadership accomplishment
  • Have demonstrated resiliency, creativity, curiosity, integrity, and civic-mindedness
  • Leaders from all sectors

Click here, to review eligibility and selection criteria

You can nominate a 2014 Bush Fellow(s) here:

Who has received a Bush Fellowship? (sample of alumni):

“Famous” Dave Anderson ‘ 85
Founder, Famous Dave’s of America

Margaret Anderson Kelliher ‘03
President, MN High Tech Association (MHTA)

Terri Barreiro ‘79
Director, McNeeley Center for Entrepreneurship serving St. John’s University and College of Saint Benedict

Arne H. Carlson ’71
Former Governor, State of Minnesota

Mark Dienhart ‘89
President/CEO, Schulze Family Foundation

Esperanza Guerrero-Anderson ‘88
Founder and President, Guerrero-Anderson, Inc.

Dr. Jon Hallberg, M.D. ‘06
Medical Commentator, Minnesota Public Radio

Peter Heegaard ‘77
Founder, Lowry Hill and Founder, Urban Adventures

Kevin Kling ’88 and ‘03
Author, playwright, storyteller and commentator with National Public Radio

Richard J. Leider ‘73
Founder and Chairman, The Inventure Group

Mark Mishek ‘85
President and CEO, Hazelden Foundation

Joe Selvaggio ‘80
Founder, The 1% Club & MicroGrants

Kari Niedfeldt-Thomas ‘07
Foundation Manager, The Mosaic Co.

Sandy Vargas ‘95
President and CEO, The Minneapolis Foundation

Stephen B. Wellington, Jr. ‘83
President, Wellington Management

Tene Wells ‘12
Principal, Tene Wells Consulting and Former President, WomenVenture

Recruiting and Selection Timeline:

Applications open                                           September 5, 2013
Applications close                                           12:00 PM CDT, October 14, 2013
Initial review                                                     October 16 – November 15, 2013
Applicants notified; finalists selected     December 16,  2013
Final selection committee interviews     February 6 – 15, 2014
All finalists notified by                                 February 21
Announce 2014 Bush Fellows                     March  2014

News Release: Hogan Assessments Executive to Explore Business Impact of Personality Assessments at MNODN Event

SOURCE: Hogan Assessment Systems

Hogan Assessment Systems

September 04, 2013 15:41 ET

Hogan Assessments Executive to Explore Business Impact of Personality Assessments at MNODN Event

Scott Gregory, Hogan's General Manager of the Twin Cities Region, to Share Thought Leadership With Area's Organization Development Professionals

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - Sep 4, 2013) - Hogan Assessment Systems, Inc., a global leader in personality assessment, research and leadership development, today announced that Scott Gregory, the company's general manager for the Twin Cities region, will lead a session titled "Personality Assessment and Applications" on Thursday, September 12, 2013. The event, hosted by the Minnesota Organization Development Network (MNODN), will take place at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis at 5:30 p.m.

The MNODN is a professional community committed to excellence in learning, growth and innovation in the field of organization development. To meet this goal, the organization hosts programs, workshops and special events throughout the year. MNODN will kick off its 2013-2014 series of events with Gregory's session on personality assessments.

During this session, Gregory will highlight how personality can be conceptualized as one's reputation and how defining personality in this way makes it applicable to the workplace at the individual, team and organization-wide levels. In addition, Gregory will explore the bright side and dark side of personality developed from this modern perspective and share insight in a variety of business and leadership applications.

"MNODN put together a great series of sessions designed to give its members and the greater community a forum for connecting with their peers and learning the best practices and strategies that enhance the OD field," said Gregory. "It is a great honor to share my thoughts on the current state of personality assessments with my fellow organizational development professionals in the Twin Cities."

"Scott is a world-class expert when it comes to the role of personality and work values in individual, team and organizational success," said Gordon Curphy, Ph.D., renowned leadership authority and author of The Rocket Model. "I highly encourage people to attend his session."

The "Personality Assessment and Applications" session will take place on Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. Additional information, including registration details, can be found at: https://www.mnodn.org/event-registration/?ee=44

About Hogan Assessment Systems
With more than 25 years of experience, Hogan is the global leader in providing comprehensive, research-based personality assessment and consulting. Grounded in decades of science, Hogan helps businesses dramatically reduce turnover and increase productivity by hiring the right people, developing key talent and evaluating leadership potential.

OD in Crisis: A Special Forum on Haunting Questions About OD

Thursday October 3, 2013 - Thursday October 3, 2013

1000 LaSalle Ave.

View MapMap and Directions | Register


We often read in online discussions and articles that most organizational change efforts fail.  Is that a crisis in the field of OD?  Would it be a crisis if that situation were in other fields and professions?  What should those of us in the field of OD do about this?               

Over the years, Carter McNamara of Authenticity Consulting, has informally been monitoring discussions and articles about “Why do most organizational change efforts fail?”  He’s boiled down the “research” to the questions:  Is the question itself flawed and unfair?  What research concluded the rate of failure?   Are the failures caused primarily by external forces?   Is it primarily the client?  Is it primarily the OD practitioner?  All of these?

As professionals, we owe it to our field to do something.  What do you personally want to do?  Nothing?  Validate the research?  Facilitate dialogues about the issue?  Do some public relations about OD?  Drive certification of practitioners?  Get OD into MBA programs?   Get more “business skills” in OD?

In this session, Carter will brief us on his research.  We’ll use Open Space to organize participants to discuss their preferred questions and come to action plans.  We’ll condense their conclusions and actions into a report that we’ll share with other OD chapters.

5:30 pm Networking; 6-7:30 pm Program

Carter McNamara, MBA, PhDCarter McNamara, MBA, PhD, is co-founder of Minneapolis-based, Authenticity Consulting, specializing in organizational and leadership development.  He is one of the country’s top experts in customizing Action Learning programs for a variety of applications.  He is also founder of the Consultants Development Institute.  He is author of several books, including “Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development” and “Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision” and has authored numerous articles.  Carter, a former MNODN board member, has received MNODN’s “Organization Development Practitioner of the Year” and the University of St. Thomas “Business Excellence Award”.  


Sept 12: Personality Assessment and Applications

Historically, personality has been conceptualized in several key ways, each with implications for measurement and application.  This presentation will include a brief overview of traditional approaches and applications, and will highlight personality conceptualized as one’s reputation.   Defining personality in this way makes it easily applicable to the workplace at the level of the individual, team, and organization as a whole.  We will explore measures of the bright side, the dark side, and the inside developed from this modern perspective on personality and review a variety of business and leadership applications that practitioners should find thought provoking and accessible.

Scott Gregory is General Manager for Hogan Assessment Systems in the Twin Cities of  Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, and a member of Hogan’s Corporate Solutions team.  He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Tulsa.  His career has included extensive global consulting experience and he spent over 12 years as Vice President of Talent Management and OD for Pentair, an $8B global manufacturing business headquartered in Switzerland, where he was responsible for global management and executive recruiting, development, and succession planning as well as culture and change initiatives.


Scott Gregory, Ph.D., is General Manager for Hogan Assessment Systems in the Twin Cities of  Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, and a member of Hogan’s Corporate Solutions team.  He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Tulsa.  His career has included extensive global consulting experience and he spent over 12 years as Vice President of Talent Management and OD for Pentair, an $8B global manufacturing business headquartered in Switzerland, where he was responsible for global management and executive recruiting, development, and succession planning as well as culture and change initiatives.

Scott’s expertise includes talent management, psychological assessment, coaching and development for leaders, succession planning, and management and executive selection processes.  He has worked extensively in North and South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe.  He also has been active in developing other professionals as Assistant Professor of Psychology at St. Olaf College (13 years), as Visiting Instructor in Psychology at Macalester College (5 years), as guest lecturer on talent management, succession planning, and executive selection issues at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and as a presenter at numerous national and international conferences.

2013-14 MNODN Welcome

MNODN has been in existence for more than a quarter of a century, and we have always focused on one thing - helping those who help organizations grow, develop, and change, in developing their own capabilities. We’re excited to enter the 2013-2014 membership year with you!

I’m pleased to announce several recent developments:

New Board Members:

The following candidates were interviewed, offered, and accepted their new roles on the Board over the past few months. Please join me in thanking them for their commitment to serve our community:

  • Stan Owaster, Communications/Marketing Board Member
  • Tami France, Communications/Marketing Board Member
  • Paul Thoresen, Programming Board Member
  • Karalyn Smith, Programming Board Member


2013-2014 Programming Kick-off:

The first program of the year will be on Thursday, September 12. Our speaker will be Scott Gregory, Ph.D. and he will speak on the general topic of personality.                                                                                                  

Additional opportunities to serve - current board openings:

  • Membership committee (2)
  • Chair-elect position
  • Co-treasurer position

We also appreciate your participation in committee and volunteer opportunities, recommending speakers, events and opportunities of interest to our members, contributing to our online community, forming or supporting a Community of Practice in your area of interest, reaching out to other members to share expertise, insights and collaborate, sharing your accomplishments and work (published book, written article, new survey instrument developed, & amazing client story, etc.), supporting students and new practitioners in OD and encouraging others to join and increase the richness of our network.

Thank you for your support of MNODN. We’re excited to be growing, developing and changing with you!

Julie Moore Rapacki, Board Chair                                                                             

May 2: Leading Sustainable Change

MDA Leadership Consulting will present on their Leading Sustainable Change program that includes a simulation that enables leaders and managers to work with a robust model for planning and implementing effective actions that lead to sustainable change within their organizations.  Participants apply lessons from a fast-paced, thought provoking business simulation to designing and implementing a change initiative for their own organizations. In the simulation, participants play the role of change consultants challenged to help a fictitious company successfully implement a new strategy.  MDA will lead a discussion about what makes for effective change, what components are needed from a change leader perspective, and have the participants experience aspects of the change simulation.

For more information about program and to register, click here.