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Connect 2021 Event Highlights

Watch the Inspiring Virtual Event on Leading and Learning Through Crisis

Hope. Resilience. The power of community.

All were prominent at last week’s Connect 2021: Thriving Together event, hosted by Navigate Forward.

Our inaugural virtual gathering brought together nearly 300 leaders from around the country. Highlights included an inspiring keynote by Dr. Anne Harbison, multiple donations to deserving non-profit organizations and plenty of opportunity to rekindle relationships and network with peers.

We thank everyone who participated for making Connect 2021 a success. We also extend our appreciation to Doran Leadership for sponsoring free copies Dr. Harbison’s book to the first 200 registrants, and to CRAVE restaurants for creating a special salmon sushi roll appetizer in our honor.

Watch Connect 2021 Video

New Perspectives to Navigate Crisis

Dr. Anne Harbison shared an overview of the wisdom and research featured in her new book, Never Waste a Crisis. Her insights provided attendees with new perspectives to navigate profoundly difficult situations.

“In a crisis, going back to what was isn’t a possibility,” she noted. “You first have to restore, rebuild; you’re not just resetting.”

Often, Harbison explained, we gravitate to stereotypical behaviors and conventional viewpoints that can hold us back. For example, instead of viewing crisis as a game that must be won, she encouraged us to experience it as a surfer riding a series of waves. Using this approach helps us find clarity and stability rather than constantly searching for certainty or an ending.

“Shifting the way we think about the nature of crisis helps us change the story we’re telling and the role that we play in the middle of one,” she said.

Harbison also highlighted the importance of authenticity and connection with others.

“Shifting the way we think about the nature of crisis helps us change the story we’re telling.”

“You don’t want to be a hero during crisis, you want to be a human—authentic and connected,” she said. “We need to be connected to our own emotions, the people around us and our immediate environment.”

Some of the most powerful moments came as Harbison drew on her own experience of profound loss. She challenged attendees to learn and grow from crisis, even when the situation can seem hopeless.

“Both joy and sorrow can live together; we don’t have to resolve our sorrow to feel joy,” she said.

Donations Made to 10 Non-Profits

Throughout the event, we continued our longstanding tradition of giving back to the community. Through a series of random drawings, we awarded $12,500 to 10 non-profit organizations. Each Connect 2021 attendee had the opportunity to nominate a charity of their choice.

Winners of Connect 2021 charitable grants included:

  • A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation, nominated by Wendy Hayes
  • Arts-Us, nominated by Anika Ward
  • Breast Cancer Research, nominated by Leah Larson
  • CaringBridge, nominated by Jodi Hubler
  • Children’s Hospital NICU, nominated by David Wheeler
  • Groves Academy, nominated by Deborah Sundal
  • Habitat for Humanity, nominated by Rick Nelson
  • Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance, nominated by Kristen Witt
  • Mount Olivet Rolling Acres Homes, nominated by Micheal Lane
  • Second Harvest Heartland, nominated by Jodie Palmer

Growth at Navigate Forward

Anne Sample, Navigate Forward CEO, closed the event with brief news updates. While 2020 was a challenging year for all, she focused on several positives:

  • Offering completely virtual services
  • Moving to new office space at International Market Square
  • Expanding with four new consultants
  • Creating dedicated practice leads for Board Readiness, LinkedIn and Image and Style

View the full Connect 2021 event now.

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