Transformational highlights from the 12/2 Transformational Leaders Circle (TLC)

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

by Patricia Neal

Innovation and Transformation to be on the Right Side of History: Purpose, Profit, Planet

Session Archives

Did you miss the TLC in December? Here are some highlights:

Minnesota’s largest energy co-op, Great River Energy, brought a story of courage and transformation to the December TLC. The story involved a rough patch in 2013 regarding the movement from dependence on coal to a more renewable energy approach in electricity. GRE executives took a potentially huge risk to include their stakeholders - customers and regulators - by reaching out and asking for their engagement and advice on the next steps to come out stronger and more successful in the future.

Hearing all the voices* to gather a variety of perspectives allowed Great River Energy (GRE) to take initiative in crafting a strategy to grow their leadership and their business.

Conversation Starters Kandace Olsen - Vice President and Chief Culture Officer of GRE, Michael Noble - Executive Director of Fresh Energy, and Mike Thorson - Board Chairman of GRE Energy brought and modeled vulnerability, wisdom, courage and excitement for a positive future to benefit all GRE stakeholders.

The Big Q*:  We were impressed with the quality and depth of the questions asked by each participant. Conversation Cafe Thought Leaders and Reports from the Field from area leaders added further perspective to the morning. Some of our highlighted questions included:


“How do you encourage and embrace differences – of opinion, practice, foundation?”

“How do we build trust in relationships? …When we feel like it has broken down?”

“How can we leverage our leaders to be at the cusp of change so we shape it to serve many, rather than a few?”

Closing remarks:

Kandace: this is not my story; it’s our story. No individual hero; many people who created this transformation. Press the SEND button.

Michael: I learned from Kandace to use vulnerability as power. It is more important to have vulnerability than to have power.

Mike: Remembering that basically we all have much more in common than we realize, is important. The power of bringing people together and doing something simple like sharing a meal, helps me remember that.

 * a strategy core to all Heartland programs

A special thank you to all of our speakers and those who have spoken with us in the past. Thank you as well to all who were in attendance and who have graced us with their presence at our past TLC’s. It has been a joy to convene with you all. Though we may no longer be hosting TLC’s we are always a phone call away at 612.920.3029 to schedule your next consultation. Follow our LinkedIn page for updates and tips on the Art of Convening.