considering the other view
It is always helpful when when we consider the perspectives of others. It enhances our ability to consider a variety of viewpoints and get to better decisions. The "logic of politics / logic of administration" graphic below provides a handy visual for learners seeking to become familiar with the perspectives of elected boards and paid staff. In addition to depicting points of view, the diagram literally shows "the gray area" and who is in a situation to be in-between. From 1994, this is an oldie but a goodie.
The Rail-Volution Conference held in Pittsburgh Oct 21-24, 2018. Rail-Volution is a conference about "building livable communities with transit." A highlight was Jarrett Walker presenting at the Plenary session on Tuesday. Those (like this author) never having heard of him now have the good fortune to become familiar with his work thanks to conference. Take the opportunity to visit his blog, "Human Transit" and get introduced to his book. Particularly interesting on the blog is the debate presented at the Cato Institute. Walker's blog presents hours of new thinking and learning for the newly initiated.
It is a good reminder that being introduced to new ideas isn't just good for us for the benefit of the information received, but for the experience of gaining new perspective as well. Constantly seek out new ideas--not just information to do what you already do, better. The experience of opening the mind has a multiplier effect. Ask artful question about the benefits of training and conferences, so to encourage education as well as expansive thinking. Wise leaders apply thoughtfulness before characterizing trainings as junkets. How do you validate training and development expenses?
a little inspiration
October 11 is Eleanor Roosevelt's birthday. Circle back to her quotes whenever you need a little inspiration.
the budget as a book
The budget is a book. Don't you believe it!
One of the most common traps of local government budget preparation is addressing the task of budgeting as a task of publishing. Collecting and compiling information, validating assumptions, winnowing that to a viable proposal, editing and publishing the document...and oh yea, don't forget balancing the budget can feel like a feat of publishing accomplishment. And it is.
Indeed, the important and rigorous Government Finance Officers Association standards fully conceive of the budget as a document and the standards of excellence reinforce the publishing paradigm. But budgeting isn't just the world's greatest term paper for local government finance nerds (a group with which the author proudly identifies). Budgeting is an exercise in values. How can organizations facilitate decision-making in a manner consistent with the duty needed when making value judgments?
One way is to focus on the principles of emergence. Committing to civic engagement, sustainable development, efficient & effective services, and positive human interactions create an expansive space for local decision-making. Making value judgments isn't easy, but committing to emergence can help communities do the job to the best of their abilities.
Susan Hockenberry's blog of suggestions for info and updates.