After the “Building a Colorful Future” presentation at the 2014 Fall Extension Conference, Margaret Bethel, Patrick Cudney and I decided to create three action teams that would convene in 2015. During the postpresentation discussion at the conference and in the months since, Michigan State University Extension staff have made some great suggestions about where the organization could grow. With your help, we’re well on our way toward implementing many of those suggestions. Members of the action teams have been named, and all three teams will have their first meetings in the next few months.
- Strategic Connections & Communications Team – Patrick Cudney is chairing this team, which will meet February 6. They will determine the best practices for strategic communications for MSU Extension employees, update existing communications tools and develop new ones to help us all build and maintain our strategic connections.
- Issues Identification Team – Chair Maggie Bethel will convene this team on February 23. They will work to frame the issue identification process that we will use with the district councils in the future. The process will help us pinpoint the issues that are important to the communities we serve and identify how MSU Extension can be involved in addressing them.
- Team Member Accountability and Performance Feedback Team – Julie Chapin is chairing this team, which will meet in April. They will work to improve our performance review structure and will discuss the role peer feedback should play in those reviews.
We will keep you up to date on the teams’ progress over time. Thank you again to everyone who has provided feedback and support with this process!
Back at the 2014 Fall Extension Conference, Margaret Bethel, Patrick Cudney and I laid out plans to improve our organizational culture in Michigan State University Extension. We received the results of the Denison Model, saw where there were weaknesses and asked you all where you thought improvements could be made. Using all of that information, the entire administrative team determined our recommendations for what we should do in the next year to try to reach those goals and add more color to our wheel.
We have already started many of the initiatives we set out to, and some are still in the planning phases. In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and creating smart goals, I thought it would be wise for us to revisit the goals we set at Fall Extension Conference, and see how far we’ve come. I will continue to update this page as we move forward with these initiatives, to help us all keep track of our progress.
- An action team is forming to address the issue identification process.
- We won’t scrap the reporting system but will continue to work on simplifying and improving it.
- Specialists with significant assignments with Extension will be expected to be involved on a team.
- Administration and IDs will continue to visit with faculty and department chairs on engagement opportunities.
- We will be adding District 14, and counties that are impacted by the change have received communications about the district realignment.
- District coordinator position for District 14 – The position has been posted and closes Jan. 11.
- Internship program for district coordinators – The application information was sent out on Jan. 6; applications are due Jan. 19.
- An action team has been formed to develop MSU Extension strategic connections and communications plans. We received a strong response following fall conference, and the committee convenes for their first working meeting on Feb. 6. Learn about some of the resources we already have to support your strategic communications.
- An action team is being formed to look at issues of accountability and effective strategies for providing team feedback on individual performance reviews.
The action teams listed above had a huge turnout rate, and the chairs of those teams are already starting to get their teams together to come up with solutions to these important issues. We will continue to update you all on the progress we are making during the next year, and hope that you will continue to be involved in building a more colorful future. Happy New Year!
I just wanted to remind you all that the Michigan State University Extension Fall Extension Conference is coming up next week, Nov. 5-6 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan. We have now rolled into late/onsite registration (which started on Oct. 25) that will cost $200 for both days or $100 for a single day if you have not registered already. You can find more information on the Fall Extension Conference website. If you need to make any changes after registration, email Mary Slevin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the great opportunities for professional development we have lined up, FEC is a great time for us all to come together and celebrate what makes us an amazing organization and brainstorm how we can continue to build upon our success. We will be discussing the results of the listening sessions that we have conducted across the state over the past few months, and exploring ways in which we can implement some of the great ideas that came from it. It’s an exciting time to be a part of MSU Extension, and I look forward to seeing you all at Fall Extension Conference this year!
I just wanted to remind you all that the Michigan State Unviersity Extension Fall Extension Conference is coming up Nov. 5-6 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Registration is $100 for the entire conference or $50 for a single day, including the MSU Extension and Key Partner Awards Dinner Banquet. (Late/onsite registration after Oct. 24 will be $200 for both days or $100 for a single day.) Registration is now open. You can find more information on the Fall Extension Conference website. If you need to make any changes after registration, email Mary Slevin at email@example.com.
The theme for this year’s event is “The Extension Organization in the 21st Century and Beyond ‒ Systems, Structures and Working Relationships.” I’m very excited about our speakers who will be adding to this theme: Dr. Keith Smith of the Ohio State University will present “Extension Now and Into the Future,” and Dr. Mary Emory of South Dakota State University will present “Extension Work in Communities From a 21st Century Perspective.”
Also, keep in mind that Nov. 4 is Election Day, so if you will be out of town for the conference, you can request an absentee ballot online.
I look forward to seeing you all at Fall Extension Conference this year!