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Presentations and Workshops
In the past few years most of my training has focused on presentations and workshops relating to the work of city councils and staff and exploring their partnership in community building. The 1.5 hour presentation is easily extended into a 3-4 hour workshop. I have conducted this popular workshop for the International City and County Management Association, municipalities, state leagues, and city management associations in over 15 states, in the United Kingdom, for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and annually for the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia.
This half day workshop focuses on the trends of modernizing the organization and community building/citizen engagement as powerful forces that are shaping public officials responsibilities, roles, and public service values. The interactive workshop describes the trends and asks participants to describes pressures they face and the value governing bodies and professional staff will add to governing processes in light of the trends.
Also, I conduct a day-long team building workshop that utilizes the Strength Deployment Inventory to help work groups better understand individual and collective approaches to problem solving and individual similarities and differences.
Where council or staff have specific problems that do not lend themselves to the workshop format, I work with the client to help define the problem(s) to be addressed and to develop an approach that usually involves some form of information gathering as part of the consultation process. In this way, the process is tailored to the client's problem. Where appropriate, I utilize the Strength Deployment Inventory, a self-assessment instrument, to help participants build a common understanding of each other.
I also do a goals setting workshop usually for city councils. In this half-day session I invite each governing body member to identify goals he/she would like to see accomplished in the next two years. This short period of time makes goal setting more realistic for governing body members. At the session, goals are grouped into categories and each council member ranks the categories. A group ranking is produced with discussion following. Once consensus has been reached, action steps are developed for the top priority categories. This process can lead to a succinct set of council goals and, subsequently, to an administrative work plan connected to them.
Each case demonstrates conflicts in values and differing perspectives of elected officials and staff.
I have developed a chart showing what I believe to be the differences in the ways that elected officials and technically trained staff think about and approach their work.
Notes for a speech I made on viewing residents as citizens versus customers
is also on-line.