Nichol Beckstrand
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Working Together 2019 & Beyond

Multi Housing Advocate, July 2019

April 16th kicked off our two day Working Together Conference.  This year the closing keynote speaker was a gentleman by the name of Chad Weinstein from Ethical Leaders in Action.

After two days of shaking hands, greeting attendees and attending educational sessions I decided to sit in on Chad’s closing keynote session.  Chad’s presentation was entitled The Pursuit of Greatness!  Sitting there I was happy it wasn’t The Pursuit of Perfection.  I am not sure about you but these days I find myself telling myself (and my kids), that’s okay it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Now, greatness is something I can strive for.  It leaves enough nebulous in the judgement that one could construe they attained it while another may believe they fell just short.  Chad indicated in his view there are four steps to attaining greatness.  One might argue there are three and the fourth is an outcome of this greatness.  PURPOSE, without purpose you are devoid of attaining greatness.  This seems logical enough.  We all know that those who find purpose in their work feel much more fulfilled in life.  Many people search all their lives to find purpose in not just their work but their true existence.  That got me to thinking about the purpose of MHA.  After all, we have been doing all this branding work, so the sense of purpose is top of mind. I must not reveal too much here but historically our purpose or reason we exist has been as service to our members in the areas of Advocacy, Information and Education.  I am happy to say this resulting new brand (to be revealed to you in our Manifesto Statement in June) maintains these three and adds Innovation as a key pillar. 

Once you’ve defined your purpose, Chad goes on to talk about CONNECTION.  Connecting the Purpose of what you do with your work, or if creating your own unique individual purpose this may mean connecting this with your actions.  Many people have used in a Ted Talk or two the story of JFK and the NASA janitor.  When JFK asked the janitor while visiting the NASA space station what he was doing the reply was “I am putting someone on the moon”.  Ultimately someone had done a good job of connecting his role as a janitor to the greater purpose of the organization.   As you will see in the Manifesto to be revealed (I know you can’t wait) this is articulated as our Strategies.  Beneath these Strategies comes your Board Directives (i.e. formerly goals) and ultimately our work plans.  We can methodically tie the workplans of our work back to strategies and purpose in a nice pleasing layout, however it is our daily interactions with our members that really tie our work back to the purpose.  These meetings, phone calls, site visits, events are the reminders to us of how important our work as an intermediary organization is to Advocacy, Information, Education and now Innovation.

And third, Chad defined the pursuit of greatness as the decision to IMPROVE. Therefore, greatness is never thus attained but always in constant reach.  Continuous Improvement is a form of innovation.  The idea of making something better, faster, cheaper and smarter is the ultimate in innovation. Lean Methodology teaching has owned the definition of CIP (Continuous Improvement Process), making incremental improvement overtime as opposed to breakthrough improvement all at one.  Here at MHA we are learning every day how we can work more efficiently, so we can do more for our members.

Finally, CELEBRATION!  If you are on a pursuit of greatness you must stop, pause and celebrate the good that is happening around you.  Greatness is built over time and we need to stop and honor the process of greatness with a celebration.  MHA is on a path to greatness and I am happy to say the staff is game for celebrating the little improvements that we’ve managed to accomplish.  I look forward to creating “Greatness” with all of you and of course “Celebrating” what is to become of the new MHA!

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