With more than 12 RED talks in the books, the St. Paul District is adjusting its sites on the knowledge sharing program in the coming weeks.

Maj. Dwight Howell, the leader behind the brown-bag style talks focused on research, engineering and design, said he's planning to launch a new initiative during National Engineers Week, February 19-25.
Howell said he's in the final phase of creating REDchampions. He said he hopes this feature will complement the RED program by recording various influential leaders in an interview-style format. The interviews will focus on unique individuals within the district and highlight their accomplishments and the path they took to achieve them.

"We are adding to our RED program and providing knowledge worth sharing with REDchampions," said Howell. "REDchampions is about transferring knowledge of formal and informal leaders that have unique careers and achievements. We don't want to capture this knowledge when they are leaving, but leverage it while they are still gainfully employed, and I am excited about the knowledge the district employees will gain from this initiative."

Vanessa Hamer, planning, said she's intrigued by the new initiative. "It would be a great opportunity to learn about our leaders, including those who are influential to our district," she said. "We have so much knowledge and experience within our organization and this is a way for us to capture it and learn from our people."

The interviews will be recorded and then uploaded to the knowledge now website. They will support the current RED talks and help the district continue its path of improving how it shares knowledge within the ranks.

The RED talks currently available on the knowledge now website have focused more on personal development and soft skills. Terry Zien, project management, said he's enjoyed the different discussions so far, but he really enjoyed the discussion Larry Blackwell, equal employment opportunity chief, gave recently. "The RED talk on 'Getting to Yes' gives me more tools to use at the public meetings I attend," said Zien. "The information is helping me to better diffuse tension and make more progress toward finding solutions."