Some of you already know me, but please allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is Patrice Hawkins, and I just returned to the Peak Academy as the newest Process Improvement Specialist. I’ve been away for a few years, but I’m thrilled to be back with the City of Denver among family, friends, and colleagues.
You might be thinking, who’s that girl, lalala lalalalala? I’m someone who clearly can’t get enough of Lean and process improvement! When asked to describe myself, I say social justice warrior, advocate, music enthusiast, baker of tasty treats, friend, sister, dog lover (except when my friends Chihuahua bites me) antique collector, and coffee snob. I’m also an Iowan, Hawkeye to be exact, but I’m proud to be a Denverite.
I started my career with Denver Human Services shortly after my terms of service with AmeriCorps, and it was the best decision I have ever made. DHS inspired me to pursue my master’s a few years ago, but while I was there I met some of the hardest working people I have ever known, learned about Peak Performance and outcomes for the first time, and it was my first exposure to innovation at work. #FlowCells #TeamWorkMakesTheDreamWork
It was only fitting that I joined the Peak Team next, where I was lucky to work with Denver Parks and Rec, The Office of Economic Development, Denver Public Library, and a few others along the way. What I love most about working for the city is that people say hi, they embrace laughter, and they just make it happen.
So where was I the last few years? In the city of New York! Concrete jungle where dreams are made of… There’s nothing you can’t do… I was working on my masters in Social Work at New York University, where I specialized in macro social work practice in areas of juvenile justice, youth development, and the many issues people face when impacted by poverty or other traumatic events in life. I had a chance to work at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, spent a year with The New York Community Trust as a Philanthropy Fellow, and finished my time in N.Y. with Good Shepherd Services as a Program Analyst for youth justice programs. I mention all these things, because in my short stay in N.Y., I carried the principles of Peak and Lean with me every step of the way. I created production boards for my research projects and used them to manage how I reviewed grants.I process mapped my grad school papers, and used plus/deltas to get through some difficult project management work. Most importantly, I carried with me the saying from this team that it is possible to go forth and do good, but do it with love and kindness and not fear.
*If you were wondering about the weird phrases in italics, I tried to write the entire blog with song lyrics, but it was harder than I thought, so this is all I’ve got!
Paragraph 1: Jay-Z “Public Service Announcement”
Paragraph 2: Eve “Who’s that Girl?”
Paragraph 5: Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”