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Strategic objectives need your support for real change

October 21, 2015

It’s taken months of talking and planning and gathering information. We’ve had meetings and more talking, planning and information gathering. After all that, we finally have four strategic objectives that everyone in IPF needs to get behind. These objectives are going to guide our work and give us focus for up to three years. The goal is to provide greater value to those we serve. Ready?

Enhance MSU stewardship by improving IPF efficiency and/or reducing cost. IPF is the steward (curator, keeper, guardian or custodian) of MSU buildings, land, people, grounds and other resources.  The more efficient we are when doing our jobs by taking less time, using fewer resources or providing services at a lower cost (without sacrificing quality), the better stewards we become.

Improve the customer experience by strengthening strategic IPF processes. IPF interacts with customers in dozens of ways, and that can sometimes be confusing for customers. If we can be more strategic in our relationships with customers (by coordinating who contacts them, how and when, for instance), that shows them we want to make it as easy as possible to work with us.

Strengthen IPF employee development by creating a comprehensive pipeline of T-shaped individuals. You—all of IPF’s employees—are our greatest asset. Employee training and development is one of the best investments IPF can make. We’ve got some IPF retirements on the horizon, so IPF needs innovative ways to attract and keep the next generation of IPF workers. T-shaped workers have deep knowledge of a few things and familiarity with lots of other things, making them good collaborators and team members.

Expand innovation and external collaboration by leveraging IPF experience. You have more experience working in the MSU environment than any competitor. To be competitive, we must use our experience to find new, unexpected ways of giving our customers a better value. Experience gives us the edge in partnering with others on and off campus to always provide the most effective solutions
for MSU.

Notice how each objective starts with an action word? That’s because they’re about doing. They’re not philosophies to hang on a wall and ignore. To achieve them, each and every one of us has to make a commitment to do something to make them happen. They won’t happen if we maintain the status quo. They won’t happen if we say, “That doesn’t apply to me. I’m just going to keep doing my job the way I always have.”

Business leaders are going to develop action plans that show how their departments are actively working toward supporting IPF’s four strategic objectives. Supervisors and crew chiefs will make plans to ensure their teams are working to support the action plans. Finally, it gets down to you, discussing with your supervisor how you can contribute.

You probably have questions, and I’m happy to answer them. That’s why I want you to come to one of the three town hall meetings I’m hosting November 3 and 4 (see the times and locations on the Hub). And believe me, you’re going to hear a lot about these objectives over the next few months. I’ll be writing about them in The Details, there’ll be articles and other content on the Hub and in Infrastructure Insider, and you’ll see posters and other materials.

For this to work, everyone has to get on board. Nobody can sit on the sidelines. So get excited! Get involved! And decide how you want to contribute to IPF’s success.


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