Innovation Connection: April 4, 2019

20th Anniversary

This year, NCCI will reflect on where the Network has been, where it is now, and where it is going. A logo was created to commemorate 20 years of transforming higher education. So in honor of our 20th anniversary, each newsletter in 2019 will include a top 20 list for your enjoyment.

Last month’s newsletter included a survey for “20 Thought Leaders in Change and Innovation.” Here’s what our members had to say:

    1. Brené Brown, Research Professor, University of Houston
    2. John Kotter, Harvard Professor and founder of Kotter Inc.
    3. Mary Opperman, VP and CHRO, Cornell University
    4. Lance Collins, Dean of Engineering, Cornell University
    5. Tim Creasey, Chief Innovation Officer, Prosci
    6. Kwame Christian, Director, American Negotiation Institute
    7. William K. Balzer, VP for Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, Bowling Green State University
    8. Scott McCallister, CEO, Prosci
    9. Brent Ruben, NCCI Co-Founder, Executive Director at Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership and Distinguished Professor of Communication
    10. Maury Cotter, NCCI Co-Founder, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    11. Ron Coley, NCCI Co-Founder, University of California Riverside
    12. Michelle Yanahan, Principal, ChangeFit 360
    13. Ruth Archer, Director of Continuous Improvement, Michigan Technological University
    14. Jaime Casap, Chief Education Evangelist, Google
    15. Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
    16. Doug Letterman, Co-Editor and Co-Founder, Inside Higher Ed
    17. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
    18. William Bridges, Speaker and Author, “Managing Transitions”
    19. Shola Richards, Speaker and Author, “Go Together”
    20. Peter Drucker, Educator, Author, Business Visionary, “Inventor of Modern Management”

Next month, we will feature “20 Reasons to Attend the NCCI Annual Conference.” To do this, we need your help! Tell us here.

Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Power60 Webinars
Making Lean Learning Flow
Thursday, April 18 (1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern)
Presented by Ruth Archer, Michigan Technological University

Engaging Groups through Liberating Structures
Thursday, May 16 (1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern)
Presented by Marie Logan, University of California Santa Cruz; and Melani Roberson, University of California San Diego

Higher Education Workforce of the Future
Thursday, June 20 (2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern)
Presented by Sonia Alvarez-Robinson, Georgia Institute of Technology

Register Now

Peer Learning Lab
The Professional Development Committee is excited to announce a new learning opportunity for NCCI members: the Peer Learning Lab. The Peer Learning Lab is a monthly networking opportunity to share ideas, tools, and best practices based on an assigned resource relating to the topic of change, innovation, strategy, and/or continuous improvement. A Peer Leader will provide a structured discussion or activity to enable dialogue and learning. This is a great opportunity for NCCI members to strengthen relationships with peers, grow their knowledge, and become better equipped to transform higher education institutions as change leaders.

Upcoming Schedule:
Wednesday, May 1, 4:00-4:45 p.m. Eastern
Topic: Growth Mindset
Peer Leader: Tammy Freeman, University of Notre Dame
Resource: TED Talk – The Power of Belief – Mindset and Success (Eduardo Briceno)

Members can register here.

Networking Opportunities

2019 Annual Conference
The 20th NCCI Annual Conference will be in Denver on July 10-12. Register by May 1 to receive the early registration rate.

Please visit the conference website for more information on registration rates, hotel reservations, and the schedule.

Communities of Practice
NCCI welcomes members to join our Change Management, Lean, and Leadership Communities of Practice. For more information or to join a community, please visit

The Lean Community of Practice is seeking ideas to help us develop Lean programming for the remainder of 2019, and we want your input! If you are hoping to learn about Lean practices this year, or if you have stories or challenges to share, we’d love to hear from you. Please let us know through this engagement survey!

NCCI News and Updates

Welcome New NCCI Member Institution
University of Wisconsin System Administration
If you are interested in joining NCCI, please contact

Member Spotlight
Darin Harris
Organizational Development Consultant, Office of Strategic Consulting, University of Wisconsin-Madison
NCCI Member for 14 years

What have you gained as a result of being a member of NCCI? What has your institution gained?
NCCI has brought me shoulder to shoulder with some the most distinguished consultants and leaders in higher education. When you think about the people who have shaped higher education over the past 30 years and will influence the next 30, they are here at NCCI. NCCI is an organization which is not just a professional association, it is a place to demonstrate leadership values: what integrity, commitment, passion, and positivity look like on a daily basis. I have witnessed this deep foundation which drives the inside of leaders and know that it has helped develop me into the person I am today.
At an organizational scale, NCCI has enabled UW-Madison to benchmark itself against the greatest successes and even some difficult failures in recent years. This learning across the national and international level brings many benefits. Some are very mundane like what to name your office and some profound such as how to best position the institution to face huge organizational change.

Most memorable aspect of your NCCI connection?
The personal relationships are the most memorable; that may sound too simple. However, when I look over the last 15 years, the memories of the extraordinary people who I have had the privilege to meet, work with, and overcome difficult challenges on a regular basis are those that stand out. NCCI attracts wonderful people who make a difference.

How would you encourage new members to NCCI to get involved?
Take the time to not just attend the conference or even join a committee but get to know these very special folks…ask them to lunch, call them on the phone, fly or drive to their institutions for a hosted visit. You will be glad you did.

View the full interview here.