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IU Student Engagement – BCLN Application for Support in 2022

By December 28, 2021No Comments

IU Student Engagement – BCLN Application for Support in 2022
Submitted Dec 28, 2021

The core team of the Brown County Leader Network (BCLN) submitted an application (copy below) to request support from the IU IU Student Agile Response Team (START).  Applications can be submitted starting November 1 through December 31 for Spring 2022. Projects are estimated to begin in February.

IU Community Partner Project Support Form

1. 0. First name: Tim

2.0 Last name: Clark

3.0 Email:

4.0 Phone:  

5.0 Contact Type: Community member, organization volunteer,  BCLN core team member

6.0 Organization related to request: Brown County Leader Network (BCLN)

7.0 Website for Organization (if exists). Brown County Leader Network (BCLN)

8.0 Please describe your organization so we can better understand your mission, goals, vision, etc.

    • The Brown County Leader Network (BCLN) was developed through a State program called the Hometown Collaborative Initiative (HCI). The State provided a grant of $5,000. A matching grant of $5,000 was provided by the county. The program was supported with training and facilitation provided by Ball State and Purdue University.
    • Core Team Members (steering committee) include Brandon Harris, Sandy Higgins, Darren Byrd, and Tim Clark.
    • Our HCI Capstone Project was the development of a Brown County Leadership Network that includes a supporting website and a proof of concept.
    • Application, strategic plan, and background on the project

Disclaimer:  Links refer to posts published at Independent Voters of Brown County IN. I used this site to keep a record of our journey and to support transparency. The goal is to transition the HCI/BCLN information to the BCLN website.  Indep Voters is my personal site and reflects my opinions and perspectives and not necessarily that of the County or BCLN and its volunteers.

9.0 Are you filling this form as one of the following: – “non-profit”

10.0 Location of Organization  (City, State, County). Nashville, Brown County, IN

11.0 Please describe the issue you are experiencing. 

Brown County was the only group in the history of the HCI program that chose “Leadership” for the capstone project.  The other categories for projects were Economy and Placemaking.  This resulted in a little longer time to work through the creative process, refine our scope and strategy, and work through the learning curve.   

We developed a website including support materials and a proof of concept (cycle 1.0) in support of the Jackson Township Trustees Office.

The time constraints of team members and Covid slowed our momentum for further applications.

12.0 Please describe the solution you have in mind or deliverable that is needed. If you do not have an idea for this at this time phase, please indicate that below:  see one page

This project can be considered as “Phase I.” The deliverables include feedback and applications that validate our proof of concept, increase our capabilities in providing support to the community, and help identify opportunities for further improvement.

Our team will be re-engaging starting in January 2022.  We are requesting support for the development of a Marketing/Social Media Strategy supported with materials provided by the students. Materials can include short videos, training modules, presentations,  improvement to the website, formal feedback on the quality of the program, and reports on individual or group applications in support of county projects to help reinforce proof-of-concept.  Students can provide us with a fresh and objective perspective on our program and support strategies.

The foundation for the BCLN is built on supporting the application of proven Quality Management (QM) principles, better practices, methods, and tools. QM offers a new approach or paradigm for decision-making and problem resolution. These methods have been successfully applied at the K-12 level as well as in industry and major corporations throughout the world.   

Anyone that has made and sustained a successful change has applied the concepts using different terms and methods.  A more conscious awareness and understanding of variation, including common and special causes, along with a more common language and shared methods, can leverage individual stories to support improvements in any area of life.

Supporting organizations for QM include The American Society for Quality (ASQ) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ASQ – What is the law of variation?  

The application of QM practices at the community level is not new and not widespread.  However, our approach is innovative in that it is focused at the individual and grassroots level with a focus on demonstrating relevance through a wide range of applications.  It is also more scalable.

A community support model built on the framework from the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is referred to as Communities of Excellence 2026.

In America, by law, We the People are top management with the responsibility to support  action that leads to “a more perfect Union.” The quality within our government and community can be continually improved through the application of a shared improvement language and method. The expected result of applications are outcomes where everyone benefits, or at least, are not any worse off in the long term. A successful initiative at the county level could be leveraged within the State and nation.

Link to the overall BCLN Concept (see slide 3 on “network.”  Presentation – Overview of the Concept.  

13.0 What is the deliverable for this project? What format will it be in? How will everyone know it is complete?

As mentioned, “Deliverables” could include Written reports or stories, a SWOT Analysis, training modules, video presentations, articles submitted to the local paper, training modules, and input into a Marketing/Social Media strategy. Written reports or presentations can also include feedback and recommendations for how the program can be improved.

Deliverables should also reflect an improved knowledge and understanding of the variation principle demonstrated through the application of basic QM methods (PDSA) and tools. This will be accomplished through application via a personal application or an application about a government or non-profit group in Brown County. Application stories can also help reinforce proof of concept.

The student applications and experiences should lead to a deeper understanding of the program, which can help in the development of a Marketing/Social Media Strategy.  Application experiences will also identify the need for improvement in current program strategies, support materials, training, and governance.

As more knowledge and experience is gained through application, students may be interested in continuing their learning by applying their expertise within their areas of study. The new knowledge can be applied to help understand or resolve more complex political, philosophical, social, and cultural issues at the local, regional, national, or global levels.  An immediate option is for a team of students to take on a case study of a county or regional issue to compare and contrast traditional vs. QM-based approaches.

For instance, the Bloomington Farmers’ Market controversy provides a wealth of information about the strengths and weaknesses of traditional approaches to conflict resolution and the critical importance of community leadership. I maintained a post that included the background and timeline on the issues. A QM-based approach may likely have reduced the adverse effects associated with the controversies. A Better Way – Farmers Market Controversy

14.0 As this project is moving towards completion, what are the milestones that indicate progress?  Please list at least 4.   

PDSA – Everyday Examples

Students’ projects will be guided by the application of the Four (4) Phase improvement cycle referred to as the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA cycle. This includes a plan of action with milestones (POAM) covering each phase.  A PDSA will also be applied to the overall support plan. 

Example: BCLN – PDSA for the BCLN Partnership with the Students (see also BCLN Strategic Plan for another example.)

PLAN:  Submit an application for student support, identify needs and expectations,  discuss ideas for projects. A deliverable is an agreement between IU, students, and the BCLN.

DO – Support student (s) in selecting applications and applying the PDSA to their individual or group project. This will include supporting the development of their project POAM.  Program deliverables include status on all individual and group projects.

STUDY – Assess feedback provided by students on projects and assess results; What is working, What is not, What additional support is needed? Deliverable: Updated status of project plans and needed support.

ACT – Publish results. Collectively, this can include a summary of written reports, personal stories, documented assessments,  presentations, and videos. Outcomes would include recommendations by students for improvements in the program.  Information about the overall project would be shared on the BCLN website. Stories can also be published in the local paper – Brown County Democrat.

Phase (Cycle) II.  The experience and results from Phase (Cyle) I will allow the IU Community Partnership and BCLN to assess the overall value of the support provided and discuss strategies for ongoing support.

15.0 When do you need this project completed? (mm/dd/yy).  We’re flexible and can accommodate student schedules and requirements.

16.0 Please provide any additional details regarding the due date that may be helpful to our team during the review process.   We can accommodate the schedules of the university and students.

17.0 Have you worked with an Indiana University Bloomington group before on a project? 

Yes. On two projects – results of which were covered in the BC Democrat. I am also supporting ongoing efforts on a third project with the help of a student who worked on the second project and wants to continue to support the concept. IU Student Support Financial Decision Support Model

18. Please provide any additional detail that would be helpful in understanding your project.

I’ve been personally supporting the application of the QM methods since the late 1980s. Applications have ranged from improving basketball free-throw shooting, middle school math instruction, county government, regional quality initiatives, assessing pro-life/pro-choice policies to supporting improvements in federal policies and national defense strategies.  During the Bloomington Farmers Market controversy, I worked to document and share information to try and help mitigate the adverse effects. Another objective was to help provide a baseline for a future case study.

My website includes a download of my book and links to my articles and research papers. My book was written for a general audient and those new to QM.  The main page of my website is intended to provide a quick overview of the concepts.   Disclaimer:  This is a personal site that reflects my opinions and perspectives and not necessarily that of the County or BCLN and its volunteers.

I would also recommend the book: The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education by W. Edwards Deming.




Tim Clark

Author Tim Clark

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