WSU ACE partners with Sandy Anderson, MS Organizational Consultant & Coach, to deliver customized, strength-based, solution-focused strategies for businesses of all sectors.

In this month’s ACE in the Community, learn how leaders can leverage the middle mess to create greater relevancy and resiliency on the other side of the pandemic.

What we do in the middle matters. Regardless if we are facing an unexpected health diagnosis, a conflict in the work team or a worldwide pandemic, the middle offers opportunities often disguised as inconveniences, frustrations, grief or even a crisis.

What we do in the middle; how we treat people and what decisions we make, will determine directly and indirectly how the other side of the challenge looks, feels and functions for our organizations, communities and our teams.

Sandy Anderson

MS Organizational Consultant & Coach

Before. Middle. Other side.

It’s hard to dispute that workplace wellbeing is directly linked to  the leadership style and philosophy of an organization.

The ability for employees to leverage their natural strengths and engage in the mission of their organization is influenced by how their leaders show up and model the desired work culture through everyday conversations and decisions.

True human leadership that builds trust and inspires others is delivered through authenticity – and even a moderate level vulnerability. Authentic leadership not only impacts how the middle feels, but is a powerful influencer on the other side.

Designing space for conversations that allow your team to look beyond your current challenges to what is desired on the other side produces a cohesive vision that offers stability and hope as we are pushed to pivot like never before while in the middle.

To do this type of adaptive work, it is essential to create an environment where trust and transparency are not only valued, but demonstrated by leadership.

Diminish problems, not people. 

Sandy Anderson

MS Organizational Consultant & Coach

Here are some questions to frame up and dig down with your teams to create some concrete responses that may offer a bit more stability and specific direction in the middle, during the transition and when we lead on the other side of this pandemic. 


  • What processes, policies, programs, team positions from before are serving us well in the middle, and, therefore, we want to bring with us to the other side?
  • What processes, policies, programs, team positions from before are we discovering had a place before but are no longer relevant and we need to respectively release or do significant renovation to justify the necessary resources to continue?

In the Middle

  • What do we want the organization/teams to look, feel and function like on the other side?
  • What unexpected discoveries are surfacing that may serve us well on the other side?  From client’s perspectives?  From team member’s perspectives?
  • Where are we seeing processes, policies, programs and people shining in the middle?  How can we build on those and carry to the other side?
  • What vulnerabilities or gaps have been surfaced in the middle that need to be tended to in order to strengthen the organization and teams now and on the other side?
  • How are we allowing team members to leverage strengths so we get the collective lens, the big picture that will surface sustainable solutions and avoid unintended consequences?
  • What can we control?
  • What can we not control?
  • What can we influence and how will we take action to impact those things in ways that lead us towards the desired look, feel and function on the other side?

The Other Side

  • Are their new clients/customers we want to position ourselves to serve?
  • What could the service(s) look, feel and function like so they are relevant to the client and aligns with our mission?
  • Could we survey/connect with to include those we desire to serve in the actual development process?

Contact Julie Kiehne today to lay the foundation for connection and creativity within your team that will position you and your organization to move beyond surviving to thriving, even in the middle.

Adult & Continuing Education (ACE) at Winona State University offers a wide range of non-credit and for-credit offerings to enhance professional development. Whether through online learning, immersive classroom experiences, or hands-on training, Winona State strives to meet student needs so that they can reach their goals. 

Sandy has over thirty years of experience working with organizations and individuals who are seeking to foster resiliency in what they do and how they accomplish it. Her depth of experience in developing and delivering strength-based, solution-focused strategies to her clients, engaging them in driving the process, has enabled them to create environments that grow resiliency and relevancy in how individuals and teams do work.

Visit her website to learn more.