One of my favorite parts about being a Kruse Scholar is having the opportunity to attend events, trainings, and conferences focused on improving the well-being of our communities. In each of the past two years, I have had the fortunate opportunity to attend the PENworks conference put on by the Performance Excellence Network (PEN). This is an incredible two-day conference that helps organizations advance improvement and performance excellence through the Baldrige Framework.
This past year, all of the current Kruse Scholars were able to come together and attend the conference. We kicked it off by learning about the science of happiness, ended it by participating in an innovative mindset workshop, and in the middle learned about the best practices for achieving and sustaining organizational excellence.
In my opinion, the best part about the conference was learning from the wide-range of industries and organizations represented. This year, we were able to learn from nonprofits, businesses, healthcare organizations, educational institutions, governmental agencies, and more. There were over 30 different speakers at the conference and all of them were able to provide new and meaningful insights.
My goal moving forward will be to apply all of these new insights to my work this summer. In my position, I’ll have the opportunity to work with numerous businesses, healthcare organizations, and community members. The conference not only helped me gain a better understanding of how the Baldrige Framework can be applied to organizations outside of my area of expertise, but it also helped me identify the best practices for creating a more collaborative environment within our communities and bringing everyone along for the ride.
The unique feature about the Baldrige Framework is that it has the ability to advance improvement and performance excellence for any type of organization in the community. However, we must not stop at implementing the framework within only one organization. Our mission as Kruse Scholars is to have the framework catch on like wildfire and spread throughout the entire community. This will enable us to bring up the entire community and truly make a meaningful, sustainable difference.
* Learn more about Neil here: Neil Kolstad