State of Michigan: Rhoda Henderson Fields & Fran Wresinski

Michigan C of A MI circleC_HR

The State of Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget’s (DTMB) Office of Organizational Performance Management (OPM), works to enhance performance through a range of services, including process improvement, strategic planning, metrics consulting, employee engagement and the management of State of Michigan policy.


NONPROFIT TALENT: Customer service and project management offer fresh perspectives


RhodaRhoda Henderson Fields, Encore Executive in Residence

Rhoda Henderson Fields spent decades as an award-winning information services industry account executive and sales management professional. Thanks to the Michigan Encore Executives-in-Residence program, Rhoda worked with the DTMB’s OPM on its first-ever customer-satisfaction survey project.

OPM Director Fran Wresinksi recognized the value of private-sector experience for the survey project. “Our encore executive, Rhoda Henderson Fields, offered private-sector management, customer survey expertise and thought-leadership to our team. As a result of her engagement, we approached the survey from a business perspective and leveraged her recommendations to make the survey more comprehensive. Rhoda also worked to ensure the survey was statistically valid, creating response rate goals that were used to focus our communications plans on the target response groups.”

Rhoda’s private-sector experience helped her develop effective and efficient action plans that resulted in time savings, better use of resources and improved cost management as well as continuous improvement of the customer-service experience and engaging and empowering employees. In Rhoda’s words, “Traditionally, the public sector seldom looked at its internal employees and citizens as customers. It was rare to hear the words ‘service’ and ‘sales’ when addressing improvements, but that was part of my private-sector background, and I made it a part of the process.”

Rhoda’s skills and experience helped her become an invaluable member of the survey team and an integral part of OPM. As a result of her involvement, Rhoda was able to seamlessly step in when the project lead left, to complete the project’s objectives and deliver the customer satisfaction benchmark that supported DTMB’s strategy plan.


NONPROFIT IMPACT: Long-term benefits


FranWFran Wresinski, Director, Organizational Performance and Measurement

Rhoda helped facilitate a change that allows employees to consider service and sales as positive goals for improving the customer experience for both internal customers (State of Michigan Agencies) and external customers, the State of Michigan taxpayers. DTMB benefited tremendously as a result of this collaborative relationship.

Fran described Rhoda’s contributions this way: “Ms. Henderson Fields offered breadth and depth of experience that was critical to the successful completion of our survey. Her private sector experience was invaluable to the project team as they were challenged to consider different aspects of the project with a new lens, one that is very relevant to our end customers, the citizens of Michigan. Rhoda has since become a permanent member of the OPM team and has been wholeheartedly welcomed by all staff.”