Goal 4: Operational Excellence

The DNR demonstrates operational excellence and continuous improvement in service to Minnesotans.

Accomplishing our natural resource goals requires operational excellence. The DNR must continually seek to improve efficiency and effectiveness to make the best use of Minnesotans' dollars. Increasing efficiency alone cannot address today's conservation challenges that operate at a larger and more complex scale than in the past. Investing in professional development for our employees is crucial to maintain our ability to support core operations, be nimble in the face of new challenges, and recruit and retain tomorrow's workers. To succeed in a changing world, DNR staff must bring diverse perspectives, skills, and focus to their work.



Four key trends informing Goal 4 strategies:

  1. Solving challenging community and natural resource issues is increasingly a collaborative endeavor.
  2. Minnesota's demographics are changing, providing both an opportunity for an expanded workforce and broader services, and engagement opportunities.
  3. Funding conservation requires more creativity and flexibility than it has in the past as traditional revenue sources, such as users-based funding, decline or are dedicated to specific uses.
  4. Demands and costs of doing business are rising, and the ways we deliver services are changing.


The following strategies serve to guide targeted actions related to Goal 4:

  • Commit to workforce development. Develop a workforce that is representative of all Minnesotans by enhancing a safe, respectful, and dynamic work environment to retain high-quality performers and continue to attract top talent from across the country.
  • Employ adaptive management practices. Practice adaptive management, learning as we go, to respond to rapid and long-term changes, new insights, and unanticipated events, while delivering safe, effective, and efficient work processes.
  • Make smart investments to manage future operational costs. Invest in DNR's facilities and fleet to ensure safe and effective delivery of public services and efficient internal operations for the long term.
  • Reduce energy use and invest in renewable energy. Improve the efficiency of DNR facilities, vehicles, and equipment and increase our use of renewable energy in order to reduce our department's greenhouse gas emissions and contribution to climate change.
  • Enhance transparency. Provide easy and transparent access to information so the public can understand and participate in the DNR's work and the DNR can better learn from members of the public.