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A newsletter header image with an image of Dan Bollman behind the title 'The Details with Dan Bollman'

It’s all about teamwork.

April 22, 2015

On April 30, all of IPF’s supervisors will get together to listen and talk for the afternoon. We’re calling it an SOS meeting—Supervisors Opportunity and Strategy meeting—and it’s about as close to being mandatory as it can be without me coming right out and saying, “It’s mandatory!” Why is it so important? Because IPF is a team, and with all of our different jobs and different locations and different shifts, we don’t talk to each other enough.

I guess talking about teamwork might sound corny these days, when even 10-year-olds can sound cynical! But I don’t know any other way to do all of the things IPF is responsible for if we don’t do it as a team. As a team, we’re going to talk about things like customer service. What does it look like? How can we get everyone in IPF to contribute even more to great customer service?

We’ll also talk about the strategic framework we’re trying to build for IPF. What should this framework include? Why do we need it? What’s in it for all of you? And then, we’re going to talk metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) as we’re calling them now. As a team, with team members who already use KPI’s leading the discussion, we’re going to demystify KPIs. What are they and why is everyone talking about them? How can IPF employees who are on the front lines help decide which KPIs to measure and how to use the information they provide?

It’s just a four-hour meeting, so I don’t expect this group of supervisors to end the day knowing all there is to know about strategy development, customer service and KPIs. I do expect them to walk out of there with a better understanding of these topics and some tools to help share their understanding with the people they supervise. We’ll have more SOS meetings this year so the conversation can continue. I’m also planning some “open-house” meetings for anyone in IPF to learn more and to talk about these and other topics.

What this all means is that we need to pull together as an organization, even more tightly than we already have. Silos and walls between IPF departments need to come down so that we all work together—as a team—to find solutions and work smarter. Let’s talk to each other and listen! As always, I want you to “talk” to me by sending your ideas, questions and concerns to TheDetails@ipf.msu.edu.

Until next time,

Dan