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Posts for Management

Retaining Institutional Knowledge in the Wake of the Silver Tsunami

Retaining Institutional Knowledge in the Wake of the Silver Tsunami

June 18, 2018 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Management

This blog focuses on the potential loss of institutional knowledge that the silver tsunami may leave in its wake, and some ways your organization may be able to capture and retain this valuable knowledge.

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3 Steps to a More Meaningful Mission Statement

3 Steps to a More Meaningful Mission Statement

June 12, 2018 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Management

In this post, MRSC's Executive Director Tracy Burrows looks at the role of an organization's mission statement and an easy, 3-step process to creating mission statements that will engage employees long after the process is over.

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Easy Problem Solving Using the 4-step Method

Easy Problem Solving Using the 4-step Method

June 7, 2017 by Jennifer Haury
Category: Management

Is your worksite suffering from 'change fatigue' and your staff, leery of any new improvements? Guest author Jennifer Haury offers a 4-step problem solving method to help you avoid making new changes that ultimately fail to address old, underlying issues. 

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Succession Planning: Navigating the Incoming Wave

Succession Planning: Navigating the Incoming Wave

April 3, 2017 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

The accelerating retirement of public sector workers born between 1946-64 is predicted to hit like a wave. This post looks as what some local governments in Washington are doing to plan for the expected leadership turnover. 

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Better, Faster, Cheaper: Sometimes Front Line Workers Are the Best Problem Solvers

Better, Faster, Cheaper: Sometimes Front Line Workers Are the Best Problem Solvers

May 4, 2016 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

Problems that seem intractable at the management level, can often be fixed by those employees that understand the processes the best.

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Top Picks: Making Density Work, Using Tech to Engage with Citizens, Obliterating Worst Practices

Top Picks: Making Density Work, Using Tech to Engage with Citizens, Obliterating Worst Practices

April 13, 2016 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Public Participation , Management , Comprehensive Planning-Growth Management

Policy consultant Byron Katsuyama identifies some of the emerging issues and innovations that local government leaders should be aware of.

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A Basic Approach to Succession Planning

A Basic Approach to Succession Planning

February 16, 2016 by Marci Wright
Category: Management

For those just starting to develop a succession plan, here's some tips and strategies from HR Advisor Marci Wright.

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Municipal Management Model: Leading an Action Agenda

Municipal Management Model: Leading an Action Agenda

November 24, 2015 by Bob Jean
Category: Management , Council-Commission Advisor

Are you frustrated by the seemingly endless studies and discussion, yet no action? Have you ever heard, “How can government run like a business and get things done?” Well government is different and while it should run in a businesslike manner, we are not in business to make a profit. Cities don’t build things; we build community. So, how can we better put our plans into an Ac...

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Getting to Know Rebecca Ryan: Featured Speaker at MRSC

Getting to Know Rebecca Ryan: Featured Speaker at MRSC's Future of Government Forum

September 22, 2015 by Josh Mahar
Category: Management

An interview with futurist, economist, and author Rebecca Ryan.

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Charting Your Future Part 2: Conducting a Strategic Planning Retreat

Charting Your Future Part 2: Conducting a Strategic Planning Retreat

May 12, 2015 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Management , Council-Commission Advisor

Stan Finkelstein continues his series on strategic planning by describing the role of retreats along with key strategies for conducting them effectively.

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Communication, Communication, Communication

Communication, Communication, Communication

April 2, 2015 by Bob Jean
Category: Management , Council-Commission Advisor

In real estate or economic development discussions we hear it’s all about location, location, location. When it comes to good governance, whether in Council-Manager or Mayor-Council-Administrator forms of local government, it’s all about communication, communication, communication.

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Public Management Lessons From A Bond Issue Obstacle Course

Public Management Lessons From A Bond Issue Obstacle Course

March 30, 2015 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

During my time as a city administrator for Enumclaw, one of the projects I worked on was the development of a new library in the heart of town. With land secured, significant community support, and a bond issue ready for voters, I thought the project would be a cakewalk. However, I soon learned that things aren’t always as easy as they appear; getting the project done required maneuvering through an obstacle course of issues. The experience was challenging, but also taught me a number of important lessons about public management.

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2015 Predictions and Prognostications

2015 Predictions and Prognostications

February 19, 2015 by Byron Katsuyama
Category: Management

This is the time of year when various articles aimed at making predictions and prognostications about the issues to watch in the coming year usually start to appear. I look for them because they are a often a good way to find out what local government experts and observers in various fields think will be the most significant state and local government issues over the next 12 months and beyond. ...

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Easy and Effective Common Sense Risk Management

Easy and Effective Common Sense Risk Management

December 2, 2014 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

Managing risk for your agency doesn’t always require sophisticated or expensive systems or extra staff resources. Sometimes a few simple, low cost, common sense procedures can be implemented that protect your organization from liability.
 

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Charting a Future Course for Your County or City

November 12, 2014 by Stan Finkelstein
Category: Management , Council-Commission Advisor

The reality is that in this day and age the citizenry, for the most part, desires dynamic local governments. They abhor lethargy and they want to see positive change. They want their elected officials to position their jurisdictions to anticipate future needs. For the past 6 years most Washington counties and cities have been “treading water” ...

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Clark County Joint Lobby Cuts Through Bureaucracy to Better Meet the Needs of Citizens

Clark County Joint Lobby Cuts Through Bureaucracy to Better Meet the Needs of Citizens

July 8, 2014 by Josh Mahar
Category: Management

Walking into the office of the Assessor, Treasurer, and Auditor in Clark County can be a bit odd: you aren’t entirely sure where one office ends and another begins. That’s because through a...

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The Year the Public Servant Became the Bureaucrat

The Year the Public Servant Became the Bureaucrat

January 21, 2014 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Management

Cultural shifts are reflected in the language that we use. We can see this over the past 50 years of city planning as we have shifted from "urban renewal," which quickly took on the connotation of a flawed solution...

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The Paralysis of Analysis

The Paralysis of Analysis

November 21, 2013 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

“A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week." - George S. Patton
Clearly the General was talking about a battle plan, but I've heard this point paraphrased in regard to just about any activity. What makes this so?

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Why Retreats Don't Work and What to do About it

April 1, 2013 by Eric Svaren
Category: Management , HR Advisor

At a non-profit start-up, the entire staff meet to review their progress and address strategic and tactical challenges. Deep conversations emerge about the value the non-profit creates, people's personal commitment to the mission, and how to continue to grow sustainably, without burning out staff or burning up working capital. After two days, participants leave new clarity and understanding about...

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Be Sure You

Be Sure You're Right, Then Go Ahead (Management lessons from Davy Crockett)

October 15, 2012 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

“Be sure you’re right, then go ahead”
This quote was attributed to Davy Crockett in the 1950s Disney television series. It was a simple moral lesson for the young viewers in the audience absorbed in watching once a week the adventures of Fess Parker in his coonskin cap portray the legendary 19th century...

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A Bright Light for Those of Us Who Want to Improve Public Service

September 1, 2012 by Mike Bailey
Category: Management , Finance Advisor

That is how I think of the State Auditor Office's newest offering - the Local Government Performance Center (LGPC). Described as "a resource center for local governments that need to solve problems, reduce costs, and improve the value of their services to citizens," the LGPC will offer a variety of resources and...

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The Three Envelopes

The Three Envelopes

August 23, 2012 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

Early in my career, I heard the only actual city manager joke I can recall.

It tells the story of a young assistant about to accept his first position as a city manager. He...

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How Stories Keep Us in Conflict

August 1, 2012 by Eric Svaren
Category: Management , HR Advisor

One thing I've learned from working in conflict resolution and team building is: People work hard to stay in conflict. The players in any given situation expend extraordinary energy to prevent themselves from approaching someone, broaching a topic, truly listening and understanding—and, ultimately, from finding a resolution.

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Close Enough for Government Work

July 20, 2012 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

There are always words or catch phrases that capture people’s imaginations and seem to be just the right shorthand to express a thought or make a point.  After a while though, they simply lose their impact through overuse and are no longer clever...

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Getting What You Want Through Foresight and Creativity

Getting What You Want Through Foresight and Creativity

June 25, 2012 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

Sometimes foresight and creativity are needed to set up an opportunity; other times they are needed to use an opportunity that is presented to you.  Either way, be the facilitator. Great satisfaction in public service comes from seeing what foresight and creativity can do for your community.

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Big Results with a Small Gesture

June 20, 2012 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

Sometimes only a small gesture of appreciation can generate lasting benefits.
The study session with the city council seemed to last forever.  I had prepared a report on a policy issue involving one of the utilities owned and operated by the city, and the city council had a lot of questions for me after I’d delivered my presentation.  They weren’t particularly hostile - just detailed and...

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Some Tips on Time Commitment and Management for Busy Financial Professionals

May 1, 2012 by Tracey Dunlap
Category: Management , Finance Advisor

I was recently asked to provide some tips on time commitment and management based on my experience as a consultant, and I thought some of the information would be useful for busy finance professionals in these busy economic times. So this is the first tip - use information in multiple forums!

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A Conversation with Fred Jarrett Part 2: Lean Principles

A Conversation with Fred Jarrett Part 2: Lean Principles

April 27, 2012 by Lynn Nordby
Category: Management

Dow Constantine came into office as the King County Executive in 2010 with an ambitious reform agenda that was quickly set in motion through the county’s new strategic plan and some key...

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King County

King County's New Management: Failing Forward and Other Good Ideas

April 26, 2012 by Tracy Burrows
Category: Management

A Conversation with Fred Jarrett, Part 1
In 2010, newly-elected King County Executive Dow Constantine tapped Fred Jarrett to be his deputy to help carry forward an ambitious reform agenda.  Recently, Lynn Nordby, MRSC management consultant, and I sat down with Fred to capture his ideas on organizational...

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