I Hear You

I Hear You

As a leader who follows radical transparency in my daily interactions, I have been asked “why is this different today than it was last week”. The simple answer is that the world is complex and situations change. Adding context to information is key to understanding how it evolves from one day to the next. I believe that sharing your vision of the destination is equally essential to contextualizing information. We may be here today, and we are headed in this direction. There is an element of hope for the future. Let’s head in this hopeful direction, because together we can achieve a brighter future. Further, identifying your destination and an exemplar story of why this future is essential is “full-transparency”. Focus your messaging on these areas:

  • This is where we are today.
  • This is our destination (future).
  • Here is the destination story.

Then invite participation in a future that makes sense to your organization or team. Sustainability of the work to achieve your destination happens when the future bright, and universally adopted. Ask your team for buy-in.

  • Who is on board with achieving this destination?
    • Then do it!
  • How can you and your team help us move toward this brighter future?

Believing that we can be better and more when we collaborate and achieve a future is essential. Being clear about where you are, the work that needs to be done to achieve a brighter future, and how that future can look, are the basic elements to communicating reality and hope during changing times.

I have seen and heard messages that are dreadfully negative, which is not helpful for group morale. I have seen and heard messages that are so positive that it is clear that they are not based in reality, which results in lost credibility. And, changing messages from leaders are confusing, especially when context is not a part of the message. Saying things like “we will never…” or “we will always…” results in the possible need to change in the community, demands of the public/legislature, or devastation of resources. These are areas where leaders have limited control. When a promise is made and not kept credibility and trust are lost.

Focusing on your actions is even more essential that what you say. Once you have a destination and implement strategy to achieve that future. The future does not happen organically. It happens because we support the work and individuals going toward the brighter future and we do not support actions that jeopardize the prosperous future. It takes courage to identify and strive toward a future, wandering off on a side path is distracting and results in messaging that is confusing. Your actions are a message, in fact, what you do is a better indicator of how serious you are about leading to a brighter destination. This is not easy or comfortable – it is essential.

Therefore, I propose a more complete message with facts, context, destination, and requesting support from those that share your journey. Most importantly, I propose that your actions are your strategy and your actions stifle all verbal or written messages. Own the destination and make it happen!


Great read and reference:





Higher Education Collective Impact Model

Higher Education Collective Impact Model

Tell me about the community where you live. This is a question that comes up frequently when people are trying to figure out what the “secret sauce” is in Rochester. This community is special – a bit different than any place I have visited or lived. Honestly, it is a bit challenging to describe and rarely do outsiders get the complexity of this community.

I live in Rochester Minnesota, a community that has just over 100,000 people, a large health (care, research and education) employer, six public and private higher education institutions and is five years into an intentional economic growth plan. The higher education community is made up of six public and private institutions that have very little overlap in programs and tend collaborate. Most communities have one or two higher education institutions that dominate the community and serves the workforce needs. This community is more complex and has responded to the need with multiple institutions of higher education cooperating to serve the community. Cooperative institutions responding to complex and growing industry demands. “The Collective Impact approach is premised on the belief that no single policy, government department, organization or program can tackle or solve the increasingly complex social problems we face as a society” (Collaboration for Impact). This community in on a path to figuring out that one solution rarely addresses the many employment sector needs for employees that are educated for the environment where they work.

Making sure industry workforce needs are being met takes ongoing research and engagement, adaptive leadership, genuine collaboration, systems thinking, and eventually shared evaluation. Over the past year I have had the honor of working with a focused marketing and recruitment team that have been doing outreach based on research and networking work that has been a part of my work for the past 2.5 years. The research went into high gear in the past eight months as we lead two major assessment efforts for the technology industry and business, leadership, and organization leadership needs for education preparation in the workforce. This depth of study focused on Rochester is new for the community and really provides a deeper dive into what higher education can offer, and how we can better engage.  Our dedicated faculty have a lot of power to create and deliver great programs, connect academic learning to workplace implementation, and creating an environment of ongoing industry / faculty collaboration. SO Exciting! This is research in action.

A sneak peek of the results that will be presented to the community by the researcher, Chris Hahn, on January 18th at 3 p.m. at 400 S. Broadway, Suite 300 – community members welcome!


Happy New Year! WSUR

Happy New Year!

Winona State University-Rochester had an exceptional year! And who should we thank? YOU! Your colleagues! Our partners! The community! Whoop Whoop!!!

Welcome back to spring semester 2018. A few highlights from last year…..

We celebrated 100 years in Rochester by increasing our visibility with celebrations, marketing, community, and exceptional programming. Some of my favorites:

  • https://www.themedcitybeat.com/projects Alumni Spotlight
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgE-Csu2YYg Welcome to WSU Rochester
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gve6GHJU8HY Welcome to Student Services WSU Rochester
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYDwTJSQZ58 Graduate Nursing
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq50D7Qz3kM&feature=youtu.be – fun STEM Camp Video
  • Chamber event/Ribbon Cutting
  • Week of Service (actually our students and faculty annually donate thousands of hours of service to our community!)
  • Nursing milestones! 10/20/30/40 and this year 50 of rock solid nursing education at WSU
    • 10 is how many years we have offered DNP education at WSU (2007)
    • 20 is how many years we have offered Nurse practitioner education.
    • 30 is how many years we have offered graduate education in Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nursing Education and Nursing Administration\Organizational leadership.
    • 30 is how many years we have had a Honor Society at WSU in Nursing (Sigma Theta Tau International chapter: Kappa Mu) 1988.
    • 40 is how many years we have had a RN to BS Nursing program
    • And 50 is when the first class in Nursing graduated, 1968.
  • New (fall 2017) Graduate Program – Psych Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Welcomed Sam Beyers and Sammie Eckerson – Rock Star Marketing and Recruitment Duo! Joined our exceptional team.

There have been a lot of facilities changes:

  • Education and Graduate Nursing departments moved from East Hall and settled into new spaces over the past year. Grand opening in November!
  • Administrative, HealthForce MN, and Graduate Education offices moved to Broadway location. Huge visibility adjustment with signs greeting the thousands of employees and visitors to Rochester each day!
  • Ongoing improvements at RCTC – ST 110 updates planned for coming year.

Launched the first ever capital campaign in Rochester!!!

Recruitment and Enrollment work has been number one priority with Sam, Sammie and Kelly working to improve the WSU Rochester profile – and doing great! How do I know that? Applications are coming in and we continue to collaborate with the admissions office in Winona to transition applications to admissions. Graduate enrollment is up! Transfer student enrollment is holding steady (help us keep this momentum going!!). We continue to collaborate with our Winona colleagues to identify best ways to improve student services. I love our collaborative culture.

Thank you for making every day a delight to serve you, your programs, and our amazing students.

Abundantly grateful,



Time with Chef Marthe

Time with Chef Marthe

We arrived a little after 9 a.m. at Chef Marthe’s apartment in the 15th District of Paris. Today was the day we had completed our Paris tour and were ready to experience a smaller connection to a local Chef. We signed up to go to the market with our guide and chef for the morning. Walking together for just under 4 blocks we discussed how she began hosting groups and cooking. She and her husband owned a small restaurant that focused on French cooking of locally sourced food. Her husband continues to work as an expert vintner and hosts wine tastings and classes. She hosts cooking and baking classes in the apartment. Her baking specialty is meringues and she had an afternoon class scheduled. Today we would make:

  • Starter, Asparagus with Comte, Coriander and Baies Roses
  • Main course, Chicken with two vinegars
  • Dessert, Orange Cake
  • Table red wine
  • Finished with expresso (and milk for me)

The meal was lovely, the discussion with the Chef and three other guests who lived in Paris and came from Canada. We learned so much about the neighborhoods, the open markets, the opportunities for French lessons, and the convenience of travel to Paris. The intimate gathering and opportunity to learn from locals was a highlight for me.

Small group (5) French cooking class after a trip to the market in Paris. bon appétit!

A special recipe treat!



Serves 6/8

  • 8 chicken legs without skin (farm raised chicken)
  • 100 g smoked bacon
  • 8 garlic cloves (without germs)
  • 2 tablespoons of black olives (from Nyons if possible or from Kalamata)
  • A bunch of fresh tarragon
  • 1 large tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + 1 big tablespoon unsalted butter
  • water at the level of the meat
  • Salt and pepper

1) In a caster iron pot, heat the oil with the butter. When the fats are hot but not smocking, add the chicken legs and cook on both sides until the skin turns a lite golden brown. Season with salt and pepper and add half of the tarragon with garlic and bacon.

2) When the chicken is a little bit golden, transfer it to a serving platter aside and add the honey and stir until caramel.

3) Add the red wine vinegar and the balsamic vinegar.  Put again the chicken in the caster iron pot with the rest of tarragon and  the black olives  and cook roughly 1h15  minutes. Serve with rice, wheat, potatoes or green beans.

Soup and Hot Chocolate a Paris Experience

“Don’t bother with the French onion soup unless you are cold”, exclaimed an expert interviewed on the radio. Well, I was cold, so soup and hot chocolate became my frequent “go to” options in Paris. Not disappointed by the chilly, rainy weather in Paris, I enjoyed the city of lights, umbrella in tow and trying the warm food options.

I enjoyed the soup, vegetable purée, carrot soup, pumpkin soup, and the classic French onion. Much lower in sodium than any soup I have had in the United States, the flavor was bursting from every bowl. I encourage everyone to order, appreciate the delivery and set up, then take a deep breath-in to fully appreciate the fragrance of just the right mix of vegetables, stock and herbs. Wow!

I should mention that the best parts of the onion soup were the presentation and stock. The bread, onions and cheese were- ok, the rest – superb.

Hot chocolate is an experience in Paris. Each cup was a delight. Don’t expect your hot chocolate to be sweet, it is served with sugar on the side. I rarely needed any sweetener as the creamy chocolate was perfect and topped with a sprinkle of bitter chocolate, to keep you focused on the rich flavor. I saved the highly anticipated “Angelina” for my final day, oh la la, extravagant! Don’t miss this place when you visit Paris. It is worth getting up early on a Sunday morning to stand in line prior to the doors opening!


The Louvre!

The Louvre!

The hustle of a Paris holiday week evening caught my tour group into their wave of excitement and optimism. Perfect time to make an evening visit to the Louvre. We were greeted by our guide Vincent. He bubbled with enthusiasm for art and telling stories. Vincent was intense and reminded me of my Tango loving dancing pro Joey. On point at every turn and comfortable with French closeness and animation.

I was caught up by the skill and dedication of the artists featured in the Louvre. My favorite part of the art experience was watching others experience art. People watching is part of the impact and treasured illusion for me. Community energy adds to my art scene.

Although within a group, art is deeply personal and rarely focused on a memorization of names and history. I experience the art. I appreciate the skill and beauty created by artists. I am overwhelmed by the emotion of the art world. Wow! This is an overwhelming place and experience. I loved it.

Included in this post are a few of my favorite photos from the evening. The Louvre! Worth your time and a few visits. I am grateful for great art, brave artists, and energetic tour guides.

Blessings, Jeanine

The Lights

Day One of Tour
Christmas Eve in Paris

I wish pictures could portray the lights of Champs Elysees after dark on Christmas Eve. The lights are magnificent the people are bustling and everything is alive with joy and anticipation of Christmas Day. The shoppes are full, the sidewalks overflowing as people enjoy the lights and display windows. Children jump up the steps that are directly in front of the festive Christmas displays, children are top priority for the shimmer and shine.

The lights tour was delightful, but dull in comparison to the energetic tour companions and hospitable guild. After the tour we feasted at a decadent Paris restaurant to celebrate Christmas Eve and our colleague Sharon’s birthday. How fitting to sing happy birthday!

This morning Ron and I strolled along the Seine River and wandered to Champs Elysees for a morning experience. The Sunday morning joggers were also out along the river. Those shopping were a sharp contrast on Champs Elysees as they were dressed to be seen. Two and a half hours of taking in Paris, we are blessed!

Yesterday, I was jet-lagged and forgot to mention our room, which is cozy and warm. Interestingly, the room is named Rutebuoef, befitting the two of us from humble beginnings that occupy it for the week. It is small by American standards, typical by Paris standards, clean and comfortable. One guest mentioned that they were delighted by the size of the shower. If they happened to drop their soap in the shower they could bend to pick it

up (while remaining in the shower). Ah, luxury!!!

We are looking forward to Christmas Day tomorrow in Paris.

Au revoir