Skip to main content
Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
A newsletter header image with an image of Dan Bollman behind the title 'The Details with Dan Bollman'

Strategy meetings move IPF forward

October 2, 2015

During the past few weeks, you might have been looking high and low for your supervisor. Between, the SOS (Supervisors Opportunity and Strategy) meeting on the 17th and the strategy retreat on the 24th and 25th, some supervisors have been in short supply! I wanted to fill you in on what happened at these meetings so that you don’t get the impression that your boss was just eating good food (yep, pretty tasty) and goofing off!

At the SOS meeting, about 75 IPF supervisors and managers met at 7:30 a.m. in the MSU Union Ballroom to hear some organizational updates, get introduced to the new HR Performance Excellence Program for employee evaluation, and get some hands-on learning about creating and using key performance indicators (KPIs). Supervisors have some homework—going back and talking to YOU about what he or she learned and how it applies to you. The SOS meeting also gave those who attended the chance to work together and make connections. Those opportunities are AT LEAST as important as the content of the meeting.

The group at the strategy retreat was a bit smaller, including members of the three leadership groups and a few other key people—about 40 altogether. The retreat was at the Henry Center for Executive Development, and between breakfast, two lunches and continuous snacks, we were definitely well fed. We kicked off the meeting with a live band—including IPF’s own Clarence Dottery (Building Services) and Greg Branklyn (Building Services)—doing a special cover of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.” It was fun, high-energy and unexpected, and it really kicked the meeting off to a great start. In small groups that rotated to different facilitated tables, the group took a huge amount of information that the Strategy Team had been gathering for months, brainstormed like crazy and then whittled everything down to about 10 strategic ideas. The process was thought-provoking, demanding, frustrating at times and exhausting. But it was also illuminating, exciting and totally rewarding to finally see these results coming from a months-long strategic process.

So what’s next? The Strategy Team is already considering those 10 strategic ideas, looking for overlap and connections, trying to combine and refine them into about three to five strategic initiatives that will drive everything we do at IPF for the next three years or longer. The Advisory Team will tweak, refine and approve the initiatives. Business Leaders will then develop action plans for their teams so that everyone at IPF is working together to achieve IPF’s strategic initiatives.

That last part gives me chills. Can you imagine how powerful we’ll be when we’re all pulling in the same direction? When we all have our eyes on the same goals? Honestly, when that happens I think we’ll be an unbeatable team in every way. I can’t wait.

Until next time,


P.S. Have something you want to share, suggest or complain about? Send it to