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Board-CEO Involvement in Innovation/Change Management

Taking Re-Branding Up a Big Notch: Karen Philbrick on the MTI Experience

March 20, 2018 0 Comments

     Karen Philbrick

I wasn’t initially blown away by enthusiasm when Karen Philbrick, Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute, suggested that we record a podcast for this blog focusing on MIT’s re-branding initiative.  What came immediately to mind were the many re-branding efforts I’d observed over the years that involved essentially cosmetic touch-ups.  I was reminded of the most recent egregious example:  a local economic and community development corporation whose light – the board and chief executive had concluded – was well hidden by the proverbial bushel:  its role unclear and its achievements unrecognized.  Unfortunately, they chose a cheap and … Read the rest

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APTA’s Dynamic Leadership Duo Takes on the Mobility Management Issue

March 14, 2018 0 Comments

Drawing on my quarter-century in the public/nonprofit leadership field, I could share many true stories of successful board chair-CEO collaboration that make the case for what really board-savvy CEOs well know: investing in the development of a rock-solid board chair-CEO working relationship can yield powerful organizational dividends.   In fact, I would suggest that one of the preeminent priorities of a truly board-savvy CEO … Read the rest

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Dramatic Innovation on the Health and Wellness Front at IndyGo on CEO Michael Terry’s Watch

March 3, 2018 0 Comments

       Michael Terry

The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (known as “IndyGo”) has been blazing trails on the health and wellness front for the past decade under the leadership of its President and CEO, Michael Terry.  In the podcast he recently recorded for this blog, Mike describes a number of significant innovation initiatives in the health and wellness area that IndyGo has successfully implemented on his watch, including a comprehensive employee wellness program and an on-site primary care clinic.

As our readers well know, significant organizational change tends not to happen, and CEOs who would spearhead change face a daunting challenge. Perhaps … Read the rest

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Blazing Trails on the Diversity and Inclusion Front at RTS

February 16, 2018 0 Comments

Bill Carpenter, RTS

In Changing By Design (Jossey-Bass, 1997), I recount a real-life example of the difference between what Chris Argyris calls “espoused theory” and “theory in practice.”  Early in my career I worked closely with a young, ambitious, fast-track college chief executive who was an avid consumer of the latest management thinking and could go on at length about one innovative technique or another.  A favorite hobbyhorse of his was participatory management and team building.  Waxing eloquent on the subject of teamwork as a key to organizational innovation, his eyes would tear up on occasion – he was that … Read the rest

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Making Sure Your Retreat Generates Powerful Outcomes

December 14, 2017 0 Comments

Over my thirty years of work with public transit CEOs and their boards, I’ve seen a number of transit authorities bring off board-CEO-executive team retreats that have made a real difference in their authorities’ affairs: developing board governing capacity; strengthening the board-CEO working relationship; updating values, vision, and strategic goals; energizing board and staff members; etc. By the way, a real retreat (as opposed to just a long meeting) lasts at least a full day and often 1 ½ days.

Experience has taught me that the key to a productive and energizing retreat is a systematic retreat design process that … Read the rest

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Cleveland’s Joe Calabrese: Innovator Par Excellence

November 30, 2017 0 Comments

      Joe Calabrese

Over the past quarter-century I’ve learned that the public transportation authorities that are really good at getting significant, out of the box change accomplished are invariably led by a CEO/GM who is passionately committed to playing – and well prepared to play – what I call the Innovator-in-Chief role.  The CEO/GM is the only person in your authority who can wear the Innovator-in-Chief hat for the simple reason that no one else brings to the change game the formal authority, influence, access to resources, and time required to spearhead an out-of-the-box change effort and to overcome the inevitable … Read the rest

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Beware of Passionate Ownership of Mismanaged Change

November 13, 2017 0 Comments

         Doug Eadie

“You’re pretty obviously over your head and can’t really understand what we’re doing.  Instead of getting people riled up, why don’t you get yourself up to speed and join the team?”  This is what I was told in so many words several years ago – early in my public management career – when I had questioned the progress that a consulting team reported it was making in upgrading the financial management system of a large public transportation agency.  Reflecting on that experience years later, I think what was at work was a modern version of     that classic cautionary … Read the rest

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Vision: Your Board’s Driver of Innovation and Change

March 25, 2017 0 Comments

This article originally appeared at our Extraordinary CEO blog.  It is just as pertinent to public transit leaders.

A few months ago I sat in on a meeting of the board planning committee of a nonprofit economic development corporation.  We were running through an outline of the agenda for the corporation’s upcoming board-CEO-executive team daylong “strategic work session,” which would kick-off the corporation’s annual planning cycle.  Things were going really smoothly until we got to the description of the breakout group that was to fashion an updated vision statement for the corporation.  Three of the seven committee members immediately went … Read the rest

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Extraordinary CEOs Who Wear the Demystifier-in-Chief Hat

July 21, 2016 0 Comments
 Doug Eadie

Doug Eadie

This article was originally published at www.extraordinaryceo.com.

Little did I realize what I was getting into when I was offered my first managerial job after three years in the Peace Corps and graduate school – chief operating officer of a large but quite troubled local nonprofit providing a wide range of educational and job training services.  Talk about a challenging situation, especially for a guy not yet 30 years old!  This relatively new nonprofit was on the verge of closing down because of a threatened removal of Federal funding due to a history of mismanagement.  My COO position … Read the rest

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CEO Bill Carpenter On RTS’s Award Winning New Transit Center

June 7, 2016 0 Comments

The Regional Transit Service’s award-winning Transit Center, which was named 2016 Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association, is not only a triumph of customer-focused, aesthetically pleasing design and meticulous construction management.  This strikingly handsome, state of the art facility in downtown Rochester, New York is also the product of RTS Chief Executive Officer Bill Carpenter’s close partnership … Read the rest

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