How Government Leaders Can Be Effective in 2020

local leaders

It should come as no surprise that the responsibilities of any local government are vast, demanding, and continually growing.

There isn’t a day that goes by where there aren’t (collectively) thousands of tasks, initiatives, services, and campaigns that require some level of focus.

Furthermore, local government leaders don’t have much room for error, as they’re operating under the watchful eye of the community. Failing to execute with efficiency, excellence, and with proficiency for managing tax dollars means the next time there’s an election, there will be a changing of the guard.

Working in local leadership comes with an array of stresses. There is a ton of work to be done and often scant resources with which to work. With that in mind, it’s understandable that many involved with these governments tend to find a comfort zone just to establish a semblance of control.

That’s not to say those highly driven individuals aren’t working themselves to the bone. However, when pushed to the brink with a never-ending to-do list, it’s only natural to stick to old standards when completing work.

After all, finding new methods just adds more work to the list. Unfortunately, despite these challenges, the only way for governments to thrive is by updating their approaches.

Let’s investigate this notion further:

It’s Time to Leverage the Technologies of Today

In today’s landscape, there are far too many tools and technologies available to which local governments can take advantage.

For these offices to succeed as an entity, they must utilize these tools to their fullest capacity. When doing so, they’ll innovate more successful methods of serving the community.

The only way this is possible is by adopting an innovative mindset. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a need to mirror the business model of a Silicon Valley startup.

Still, it does necessitate a paradigm-shift in the philosophical approach. Local governments, through the help of technological tools, must continually assess the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of every single operation they perform.

Failing to do so ensures complacency and a holding pattern. The world is moving at too quick of a pace to rest on past laurels.

Using Innovation to Strengthen the Government Workforce

Since technology is growing at such a rapid rate, the needs of communities are increasing at equally rapid rates.

Therefore, local governments must equip their workforce with the framework to meet those requirements.

One study, titled the Workforce of Tomorrow cites the following strategies as being essential to build the local government workforce of tomorrow successfully:

  • Transform human resources into a flexible entity that can pivot and roll with the punches
    • Hire talent whose skillset leans towards people management and setting workforce agenda
  • Rigorously assess all practices and decide which are outdated in meeting the needs of the continually shifting workforce and alter those methods accordingly
  • Make sure the local governing brand tells an engaging story about public service
  • Prioritize the management of talent and the development of leaders, so that when changes do happen, they won’t impact daily operations in a negative fashion

To leave on one last salient point, it’s crucial – as a local leader – to understand that just because something works today, doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow. Always operate with the future in mind.

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