After Dan went through his strategy deck, I asked him “Who made this deck?”,
He said, “I did”.
This was a deck that spoke of organizational transformation, digital enablement, customer-centric design thinking, active innovation, iterative MVPs etc. A normal story told by valley innovators, not normally a vision from what appeared to be a Treasurer with a finance background. But Dan is not what he appears to be.
I asked, “How did you come up with this vision?”
Dan said “I listened, I listened to the people in my org, they told me what their barriers were, what was hard about their work, the issues with the org, etc. I then went out to companies where they have solved these kinds of problems, these were not in my vertical. These were best of
breed. These people told me how they worked, what was important. The synthesis of these two stories is here in my deck”.
Peel away all of the strategies from high-end consultancies, business books, writings, pundits, and best practices and probably the best strategy is listening, and then acting upon what you have learned. That is one of Dan's superpowers.
From the outside, Dan appears to be like Spock, analytical, logical, rational, left-brained. But I have seen him make himself vulnerable, and address teams and individuals with emotion and empathy during times of ‘transformation’. These times are difficult because peoples worlds are being changed, and clarity around how that change will affect their lives is ambiguous. Dan provides clarity, transparency, and does this with empathy (yet doesn’t stray away from the difficult conversations and decisions).
Dan has earned this coin, for being a leader that raises the level of those around him, while driving change, and leaving the campsite better for all.
Saint Paul, MN 55102