So, we thought we’d start off 2020 with some predictions/observations for local government junkies!
Here are some of the issues that we see putting local government to the test over this next year and likely into this decade.
1). (CSI) Cyber Security Invasion is here NOW!
Welcome to the inevitable and the obvious challenge for 2020 and this next decade. If you haven’t started thinking about your IT security requirements it may be too late! This unfortunate type of invasion will become so pervasive in government circles that we will start to become oblivious to the problem. Unfortunately, the costs to battle the problem will require some additional support (maybe from senior levels of government). Unfortunately try as we may, the challenge of cyber security will continue to be of significant importance.
2). The WAR for talent is about to get hotter at least by a few degrees.
Have you looked at the slate of vacant leadership roles across the municipal sector lately? The exodus of the baby boomers is without question reaching a groundswell. The grey tsunami is past the highwater level and threatening many organizations. With that war for talent we will also see some pressure on salaries and benefits across the municipal sector. Municipal council’s will be faced with the increased challenges of holding the purse strings tight while still trying to get the best and brightest into their communities. And neighbouring municipalities will continue to pilfer and attract top talent from each other with the lure of higher salaries and perks.
3). Speaking of tsunami’s, the stress related to weather uncertainty (aka. climate change – note the dance around so as not to lose the naysayers) will present some serious challenges to an already stressed municipal infrastructure.
The need to address global climate change is real, whether you are dealing with temperature swings that wreak havoc on road surfaces or buried pipes through the freeze thaw cycles. In addition, we also seem to be seeing with greater regularity the unpredictable devastation of flash flooding or periods of sustained rainfalls as some parts of the Country face flooding and other parts face droughts and the threats of devastating fires. I just can’t even imagine the pressures on local government resources Southeast Australia is experiencing in light of the devastating fires.
4). Stakeholder Engagement will continue to present challenges given the busy lives our residents and business owners lead.
Reaching people with the right message through the right medium and at the right time is akin to picking all 7 numbers in the Lottery. You will continue to think that the best chance you have is to nibble off at the edges by matching a couple of numbers here and there from time-to-time. Funny that we still struggle getting people to come out to vote yet we flaunt the fact that we are the government that is closest to the people. If someone one comes up with the right soap box to reach the masses in a way that presents information in an unbiased and accurate way that helps educate and strengthen the relationship between local government and its’ residents, ratepayers, businesses, and visitors etc. You will hit the jackpot!
5). Training will continue to be a key investment for the future of your employees and the culture of your organization.
Training in my view is tied in large part with the culture of the organization. Those organizations that invest not only in systems and technology but also in their people will have a much better probability of becoming innovators and leaders within the municipal sector. Speaking of culture, I recall the public discussion at the budget table many, many years ago.
The Councillors debated keeping a few thousand dollars in the budget to invest in staff training. As one councillor said – “our problem is we invest in our people and then the next thing you know they leave.” Out of frustration he also uttered; “All we seem to be doing is training people to pursue better paying jobs.” Just before the vote on the amendment to delete the training budget was called, another Councillor chimed in and asked a rhetorical question, “so does that mean if we don’t train our staff then they will stay with us… without the required skills to be effective in doing their jobs?” The vote was called, resulting in the training dollars staying in the budget.
Training continues to evolve in so many ways from the standard classroom setting, to the lunch and learn webinar formats, to the online training program. Investing in your employees and technology will pay huge dividends and certainly does impact the culture of your organization.
This blog was created by OMLI, proud partner of AccessE11.
Using improvement methods of LEAN Six Sigma and AccessE11 technology we will make your organization; simpler, faster, better and less costly. We help you cut the red tape, remove the non-value-added activities and defects in your processes, improve customer service, help you to achieve measurable results and achieve a costs savings.