Planners’ Picks — February 20, 2024

Planners’ Picks  A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

Let’s check in on our productivity, our creative problem-solving, and our communication styles in this issue of PP. Oh—we’ll also have a few accidental experiments to talk about. Enjoy!


:: Image of the Week

Productivity Formula: Time + Energy + Focus

So, it's crucial to support all 3 parts of the formula:
• Time: Use time-management techniques to control it.
• Energy: Boost your energy with exercises, healthy eating, and 8-hour sleep.
• Focus: Meditate, do breathing exercises, and turn off your phone to stay focused.

It's that simple. But neglect one, and you'll find yourself burnt out or procrastinating.

Productivity Formula: Time + Energy + Focus

So, it’s crucial to support all 3 parts of the formula:
• Time: Use time-management techniques to control it.
• Energy: Boost your energy with exercises, healthy eating, and 8-hour sleep.
• Focus: Meditate, do breathing exercises, and turn off your phone to stay focused.

It’s that simple. But neglect one, and you’ll find yourself burnt out or procrastinating.


:: Communication

Get People Reading What You’re Sending

Todd Rogers is a professor of public policy at Harvard University, where he has won teaching awards for the past seven consecutive years. He is a behavioral scientist and the cofounder of the Analyst Institute and EveryDay Labs. He’s co-author with Jessica Lasky-Fink of Writing for Busy Readers: Communicate More Effectively in the Real World*.

The irony isn’t lost on me that you’re likely skimming this paragraph. That’s why on this week’s episode, Todd discussed how to write so that people actually read what you send. Listen to this Coaching for Leaders podcast for more.

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


:: CSN’s Book of the Week Recommendation

Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Read this bestseller that explores why some leaders drain capability and intelligence from their teams while others amplify it to produce better results.

We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drains intelligence, energy, and capability from the people around them and always needs to be the smartest person in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders walk into a room, light bulbs go off over people’s heads; ideas flow and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers. And the world needs more of them, especially now when leaders are expected to do more with less.

In this engaging and highly practical book, leadership expert Liz Wiseman explores these two leadership styles, persuasively showing how Multipliers can have a resoundingly positive and profitable effect on organizations—getting more done with fewer resources, developing and attracting talent, and cultivating new ideas and energy to drive organizational change and innovation.


:: Mental Health and Self-Care

America is Facing a ‘Fringe Friend’ Crisis

There are few things more important in people’s lives than their friendships. In fact, in a 2023 survey by the Pew Research Center, many Americans said that close friendships were more necessary for a complete life than other traditional forms of relationships.

“Close friendships make for a more-fulfilling life in people’s minds than necessarily being married or having children,” Juliana Horowitz, an associate director of research at Pew, told Juliana Kaplan in an interview. But even with that knowledge, Americans are struggling to keep up with these connections.

Worse, we are losing the fringe friends we experienced more before COVID, like those we chatted with at the coffee shop or waiting in lines, people at work if we’re now remote, and so on. This is why being part of a networking group is so important—experiencing different perspectives, opinions, and views of the world outside of our own helps us grow and learn more than getting the positive support of our 3 closest friends in some situations.

Read this Business Insider article on this topic of fringe friends.


:: Developing Trust

The Real Issue Here Is “Trust” And How To Grow It

Here’s a short post from Gaping Void about the reason certain jobs are hot these days. They are on to something…


:: Work Culture & Team Development

“Jammin”: Fast-Paced Idea-Generation in a Playful Space

At The office of What Matters at Work, Harry and Julie (former UW-Madison facilitators) believe in the power of working together to create amazing change in the world. Their latest blog post is on “Jammin.” This is a strategy to work with others to develop innovative ideas. What other strategies do you use to work with others to create and develop ideas with your team?

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

Why Collaboration Is Crucial

It’s no surprise that workplace collaboration is important—some even say it’s the most significant determinant of business success. In fact, the World’s Most Admired Companies believe that collaboration is the one behavior that will have the most positive impact on business outcomes—if everyone does it. Why? Collaboration fosters greater communication, creativity and productivity. It also leads to better decision-making and problem-solving.

But remote work, complex structures, and siloed teams can make it difficult to collaborate effectively. How can organizations overcome this?

View this infographic from Korn Ferry for three ways leaders are driving team collaboration, and five questions to ask yourself to ensure success.

What If Every Failure Is Just An “Accidental Experiment?”

When things go wrong, here’s a question to ask yourself:

“Did I just run an accidental experiment?”

The answer might be yes. And once you realize this, you’ll feel a lot better.

Because here’s the thing: Mistakes suck. They make us feel empty — like there’s a vacuum where there should have been a victory.

But the “accidental experiment” completely reframes the experience. It gives you something to ponder, explore, and learn from.

Read Jason Feifer’s story here:


:: Change Management

Switch Book Summary

“Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?”

For those of you who participated in our recent book club on the book Switch, this post will be unnecessary. For the rest of you interested in learning a framework to guide change in your personal or professional life, check out these summaries (one text and one video sketch note) of this innovative book.

The Switch framework has three key components:

  1. Direct the Rider – Provide crystal-clear directions so the rider doesn’t spin its wheels.
  2. Motivate the Elephant – Get the elephant onboard with the rider’s plans, so that the rider doesn’t have to tug on the reigns all day.
  3. Shape the Path – Create an environment that puts both the elephant and rider on the right path.

How do we do each of these three things? Switch provides several tools for each part of the framework.

“I’m not going to continue knocking on that old door that doesn’t open for me. I’m going to create my own door and walk through that.” – Ava DuVernay


:: Upcoming Events

Student Employment Diversity Forum

Please share the following information with your student employees and encourage them to attend!

Whether you are a current UW-Madison Student Employee or not, we all play a part in creating an inclusive Badger community for all. Join your peers in this thought-provoking forum which will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas while engaging in a variety of topics on diversity, identity and inclusion. The forum consists of a panel discussion and 2 workshop sessions on Friday, March 15th, 2024. Students can attend all or any portion provided as part of the Diversity Forum. All sessions will take place in person at the Gordon Dining and Event Center and will be an hour in length.  This event is a collaboration between the Student Employment team in the Office of Student Financial Aid, the Office of Inclusion Education, & Recreation & Wellbeing.

Date: March 15, 2024
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Gordon Dining & Event Center

Students can learn more at

LEAP Forward Summer Intern Hosts Needed

The Student Employment team in the Office of Student Financial Aid is looking for partners to collaborate and host high school student interns for the 2024 LEAP Forward Summer program.  LEAP offers students in the MMSD Personalized Pathway Initiative an opportunity to engage in health science experiences across UW-Madison’s campus.  For 6 weeks this summer, students will participate in a hands-on internship while taking a 1 credit course.  Do you have a connection to health sciences?  Would you be interested in potentially hosting a high school intern this summer?  If so, please reach out to Kasie Strahl ( by Monday, February 26 to learn more.

LEAP Website: