Tuesday, September 30, 2003

News from the Virginia Forum for Excellence

Lots of great ideas floating around here... want to get a few blogged before I forget...

First, I encourage everyone to take advantage of their state performance excellence opportunities.

Today two excellent plenary sessions. The first with Dr. William Bosher who gave a funny, stand-up talk about the Criteria... but more importantly how the Criteria fits with life... an interesting and long-time educator from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Dr. Bosher is now the Dean of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. His key message: what happens in your personal life is most important; start with excellence with self and at home. Focus on leaving a legacy; it is long-term commitment.

And, Richter, it's all about relationships, at least from what Dr. Bosher said. He sprinkled his talk with stories about his life. They were all amusing, all personal, and all related back to some element of the Criteria. He told this great story about running a 5-mile race years ago in Richmond. His son (who's now a grown man) ran with him. After about 2 miles, Dr. Bosher didn't think he could go on; he told his son to complete the race without him. His son ran off, and Dr. Bosher continued to diesel along, slow and steady, never having run more than 2 miles before in his life. When he got to mile 4, his 12-year-old son had finished the race and returned to run with his dad. Dr. Bosher finished the 5-miles, in large measure because his son "carried" him the last mile, not with words, but with actions.

We also heard form Mary Musacchia, Counsel to the President of SAS, the software firm. Her inspiring talk showed that almost anything is possible when you nurture people to succeed. Her key point: commitment by senior leadership is paramount. Without firm commitment by senior leadership, all will ultimately fail. This commitment must be by words and actions and demonstrated to employees and customers. And, decisions by senior leaders ought to be data driven -- senior leaders should make information-based decisions.

No comments: