Event info

An insurance company chief executive. A college basketball coach.

These are just a few of the leaders who will share some of their best practices and thoughts at the Business Record’s 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes event on Oct. 11. 

Included on these pages is a sampling of ideas from the speakers. 

The event takes place 7 to 9 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn West Des Moines. The event is sold out, but a wait list is available. Go to https://bit.ly/2I4bw9k for more details.


Every moment matters
MARY ANDRINGA, BOARD CHAIR, VERMEER MANUFACTURING

Culture is created one moment at a time. At Vermeer, we say people are our greatest asset and have implemented programs, processes and safety procedures to put our people first. We care for our people as an organization and we encourage the team to care for each other — and they do. On July 19, when a tornado hit our facilities, our team was tested. The next day, two goals were set before our team: 1. Recover completely. 2. Bring our team members back to work as quickly as possible. The team worked harder than ever to care for each other and rebuild. Make sure you’re using every moment and every decision to build the right culture, because it will be tested — and when it is, you want your culture, and your team, to stand strong.

Be where your feet are
JENNIE BARANCZYK, HEAD WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACH, DRAKE UNIVERSITY

As a mom, wife, coach and more, I tend to want to be in more than one place at any given moment … so I need to make a conscious effort to be where my feet are. Because it is only then that true “production” can happen. There are plenty of times, especially in high-pressure situations, when our focus slides to the past or future. We need to understand that we make our best decisions when we are present and fully engaged. I have also found that I am at my best when I am able to acknowledge the emotions that I am feeling and that others around me feel. When trying to coach/manage a team of 15 18-23-year-olds, emotions are strong, powerful, intense, deeply felt and real. Therefore, we need to have an environment that allows everyone to learn to value their own emotions, be inclusive of those around them and be where our feet are.

Fight above your weight class
JAY BYERS, CEO, GREATER DES MOINES PARTNERSHIP

One way of doing this is by surrounding yourself with top talent. Hire people who are smarter than you and good at the things you are not good at. Then turn them loose. Inspire and empower them to make decisions. Create the environment and culture where people can do good work and thrive. Strive to create an environment that is the best place your team has ever worked. It is crucial that ideas are coming from all levels of the organization. We have an employee-led Culture Club that focuses on planning events and creating programs to make this a culture where people enjoy working and feel empowered to do their best work.

GuideOne Women’s Network (GOWN)
JESSICA CLARK, CEO AND PRESIDENT, GUIDEONE INSURANCE

Only 4 percent of CEOs in the insurance industry are women. On boards it’s 19 percent, and in management it’s 25 percent. Women in leadership positions in our industry are significantly underrepresented. We firmly believe in the collective power of women coming together to support one another. That is why we felt it was imperative to create the GuideOne Women’s Network. A McKinsey report confirms what we already suspected: Gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to outperform companies rated in the bottom quartile of diversity. We’re encouraging our female employees to learn and develop by providing them with their own leadership development program and giving them more exposure. We also bring in female executives from inside and outside the insurance industry to talk about their path to success. It’s very important for young women to understand that there are many different ways to get there and that support systems are available. Our program also includes men, showing them how they can be important partners to help overcome the unique challenges facing women. We also do this to ensure the men who are in leadership positions set the example and show that gender equality and equal opportunity are top business priorities.

Start something
JUDI EYLES, DIRECTOR, IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY PAPPAJOHN CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Be entrepreneurial! Think entrepreneurially! Encourage others to have an entrepreneurial mindset. Learn how to constantly be evaluating things that need to be improved, think about products or services that would solve a problem or help people, or consider how new technologies might make your business or your world more efficient. Write down your ideas and mull them over in your brain. Share your concepts with others and invite feedback. Brilliant entrepreneurial innovations result from the constant churning of ideas and considering a number of different pathways to success.

Tell your team why, not just what
MICHAEL HOUSHOLDER, SENIOR PASTOR, LUTHERAN CHURCH OF HOPE

The best leaders are thermostats, not thermometers —they set the climate for an organization rather than just report the temperature. Do more than just make announcements and send emails; interpret those announcements. Honor and respect your teammates, and give them a better opportunity to buy in, by letting them know the good reasons underneath the decisions you make. Be open to changing your mind as a leader if someone has a better idea. Organizational communication shouldn’t be about power and control, and it isn’t parenting. “Because I said so” or “because I’m the boss” is not an effective leadership strategy. 

Spice of life
JOSEPH JONES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HARKIN INSTITUTE

This is a place for patience and true investment of time. We cannot solve the diversity and inclusion equation instantaneously. But we can each do our part to positively affect our own space. For us, that space is public service in general and working in Congress specifically. The first step to joining a congressional staff is to intern on Capitol Hill — often for little or no pay. Many students cannot afford this rite of passage. We believe that congressional staff and Congress should reflect the country — including the wealthy to the less affluent. We provide scholarships to help Drake undergraduates pursue internships on Capitol Hill they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford — internships that are often a key first step to becoming a congressional staffer.

Provide resources to support innovation
RAYNARD KINGTON, PRESIDENT, GRINNELL COLLEGE

It is fine to talk about encouraging innovation, but innovation often takes resources — put your resources where your mouth is and set aside a pool of funds or other resources that can be used to help people at every level develop ideas. Time off or a release from other duties can be as important as money. If you care about it, provide meaningful support to foster innovation.

Everything and everyone deserves a second chance
JACKIE NORRIS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, GOODWILL OF CENTRAL IOWA

How many things have you thrown out at work that could have had a second life? Last year’s calendar can make great gift tags. Did you reuse single-sided copies for scratch paper? How many people have you prejudged? How many people with a blemish on their resume have you overlooked? Think twice. Everything and everyone deserves a second chance.