• Insights and Trends Past Topics

    Why Choose Public Service?

    April 7, 2017

    Public service is not necessarily the first career choice of gen-Xers or millennials. Hear from a panel of respected professionals from both generations about why they chose a career in the public sector and what keeps them engaged and enthused. Explore how to engage new professionals in the public sector and retain them as future leaders.

    Moderator: Wally Wysopal, city manager, city of Fridley, adjunct faculty, Hamline University
    Panelists: Maria Carrillo Perez, assistant to the city manager, city of Coon Rapids; Logan Martin, city manager, city of Bayport; Rebecca Olson, assistant to the city manager, city of Shoreview; Matt Stemwedel, city manager, city of Coon Rapids

    Developing Your Organization’s Culture

    February 3, 2017

    Culture—defined as a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in an organization—is a driving factor in the success (or lack thereof) of any public entity. Unmacht and Waldron will share their experiences developing organizational cultures, including creating cultural change at the county and city levels. Both will discuss how their organizations became more open and innovative, took more risks, and increased employee engagement. Participants will have the opportunity to explore, through a case study and discussion, how cultural changes were driven and implemented in Scott County and the city of Oakdale changing those organizations for the better.

    Presenters: David Unmacht, executive director, League of Minnesota Cities, and Craig Waldron, director of Public Administration programs and co-director, Center for Public Administration and Leadership

    The Challenge of Law Enforcement and Communities of Color Understand Each Other and Working Together

    October 7, 2016

    We have seen firsthand the strained relationship between law enforcement and communities of color, which has often led to distrust and violence. In chief Schnell’s twenty-plus years in law enforcement he has served in multiple roles. Schnell provides leadership in Maplewood by enhancing public safety services through innovative approaches and partnerships. Jason Sole, a former Bush fellow and author of From Prison to PhD: A Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances, will share his unique perspective from being a former drug dealer and gang member to becoming a university professor. Hear how Schnell’s and Sole’s work have been impacted by recent events. The seminar will focus on assessing where we are as a community and explore solutions to moving forward as a more successful society.

    Presenters: Paul Schnell, police chief, city of Maplewood, and Jason Sole, adjunct faculty member in criminal justice, Hamline University

    Public Participation in the Public Square

    April 8, 2016

    The problems that government officials face are daunting. Yet we haven’t tapped into the greatest element of our improved problem-solving capacity: citizens themselves. Citizens can be part of our problem-solving conversations because they bring their own insights, resources, and power. But public leaders don’t necessarily know how to involve community members. Explore how we can design the public square to be citizen centered. Learn how to strengthen the skills and structures necessary for public participation and how people can create things of public value together.

    Presenters: Jim Scheibel, former mayor, Saint Paul; professor of practice, Hamline School of Business; Mike Higgins, former city manager, Eau Claire, WI; Elizabeth Glidden, City Council, Minneapolis

    Workplace Safety

    February 5, 2016

    Learn about trends in workplace safety at city, county, and state levels. This session will focus on the various aspects of safety in the workplace, including topics such as health risks to workers; how to create a physically and emotionally safe work environment; how to measure safety; safety policies, especially in the areas of corrections, fire, police, and public works; and other “hot topics” such as worker fitness and health.

    Presenters: Michael Tupy, Hennepin County; Robert Boe, League of Minnesota Cities; Minnesota OSHA Representative

    Employee Engagement

    October 30, 2015

    Evidence shows that organizations with high employee engagement have higher rates of success in reaching their goals. Yet public employees work in an environment of increasing political pressure and citizen expectations that can lead to burn out and low morale. Learn from experts about the issues causing employee disengagement in the public sector and leave with concrete strategies to apply in your workplace.

    Presenters: Dr. Craig Waldron, former city manager, Oakdale, and lecturer, Hamline School of Business; David Unmacht, executive director, League of Minnesota Cities

    Discovering the Sustainable Systems in your Workplace

    April 16, 2015

    Have you thought about starting a sustainable initiative or ever wonder why sustainable initiatives aren’t working as well as you would like in your workplace? Perhaps it is because you haven’t thought about them as part of the core practices of your organization. In this session, we will be discussing both System Thinking and Design Thinking.  Both of these techniques offer insight into problems and gaps in sustainable initiatives. System Thinking is the technique to discover a variety of impacts and consequences of sustainable actions and their consequential reactions. Mapping the system in a holistic manner will illustrate some unknown impacts of your initiatives, chances for relative success, as well as what the major drivers in the system are. The technique of Design Thinking will allow you to create new and more successful initiatives or modify existing ones that can both influence and leverage solutions that might be more successful. Please bring examples of your new and existing, unsuccessful as well as successful sustainable initiatives to the session so they can be used for learning purposes and demonstration. Articles about System and Design Thinking will be distributed before the session.

    Presenter: Richard Strong, senior research fellow, Center for Sustainable Building Research and Lecturer at the University of Minnesota College of Design

    Our Story, Our Future: Recognizing and Valuing Diversity

    February 5, 2015

    Minnesota’s story is as long-established and as multifaceted as the communities that have called this place home. The voices and approaches that represent and shape our state will continue to diversify in the coming years as demographics shift and can provide rich assets and insights that inform how we develop and serve vibrant and inclusive communities. This interactive Story Lab aims to emphasize the importance of welcoming a multitude of perspectives and will provide an opportunity for leaders to cultivate a shared sense of identity, commonly-held values and a collective narrative through deep listening and story-telling.

    Presenter: Diane Tran, Minnesota Rising
    Speaker Handout

    Performance Metrics

    October 23, 2014

    How many excellent plans have been made and forgotten because of failure to execute?  This Insights & Trends seminar will focus on the development and use of performance metrics as a method to spotlight and prioritize strategic objectives. This workshop style session will deliver hands-on and real-world examples of leveraging performance metrics to facilitate action. We will help you to learn how to develop performance metrics that will strongly support your strategic plan, and align your organization behind your highest priorities - without overwhelming your team.

    Presenters: Nathan Burkett, MPA '09, Aitkin County Administrator
    Tim Houle, Crow Wing County Administrator
    Tony Murphy, Rice County Administrator
    Speaker Slides