Friday, May 22, 2009


Another academic year is behind us…can you believe it? Last Saturday, we celebrated Commencement with the Class of 2009. It was truly a wonderful day and I thank everyone who came out and spent the day ensuring our graduates and their loved ones had an experience to remember. Special thanks to everyone in Facility Services, University Police Department, and the Commencement volunteers from the various departments in FAS. One day, we will have Commencement ceremonies on our beautiful campus as facilities are built to accommodate these types of events.

May’s Guiding Principle is Innovation: I find and implement easier, more efficient ways for helping the team get the job done. I come up with new solutions for getting better end results.

Below are examples to share of some innovative ways that our departments incorporate the division’s monthly guiding principles into their workplace:

· Procurement and Support Services has a Bulletin Board on the 4th floor of Craven Hall and at USB where staff can post ideas in support of the month’s guiding principle. Each board has a box where staff can recognize co-workers for “living the principle”; at the end of each month, they do a drawing for a Starbucks gift card which is a way to try and increase participation. Theresa Ruffolo then sends out an e-mail of all the comments to the entire department. Attached are some pictures of the bulletin boards they have created for the various principles. Way to go, Bella Newberg and team!

· The University Budget Office includes the month’s guiding principle, its definition and synonyms for the word on their weekly staff meeting agendas. The first staff meeting of every month begins with a discussion on that month’s guiding principle. So for those of you who thought all Mary Hinchman, Liz Rojas and Brenda Martin did all day was tinker around with spreadsheets, guess again!

· Student Financial Services begins their first staff meeting of every month with a discussion on that month’s guiding principle. Our very own Nancy Suarez, Director of Student Financial Services, was nominated several times for the Outstanding Leadership Award at Spring Fling. She must be doing something right down there in Cougar Central.
Check out some pictures of the innovative boards by clicking here.

Among those companies in the top ten for being the most innovative in the world include Apple, Toyota, General Electric, and Starbucks. For Apple, the iPod has been more profitable than its line of computers. When U.S. automotive manufacturers are facing bankruptcy, Toyota has worked with its suppliers to find new ways to cut the cost of parts and assembly. General Electric’s 5,000 top managers are rated on innovation-related themes such as “imagination and courage”. Of course, there is Starbucks where some baristas go to trendy European coffee houses where, like anthropologists, they observe trends that they can put into practice at home in the United States.

Do you have the imagination and courage to be innovative? If so, I would love to hear from you.

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