Canada’s government sector is increasingly coming under scrutiny for both lagging privacy and security both in legislation and in practice.
In a sign of the times, figures released in February to the House of Commons reveal that the personal information of at least 144,000 Canadians was mishandled by Federal department and agencies, including the Security Intelligence Service and Department of National Defense. The breaches were widespread, impacting over 10 separate departments and agencies, with evidence indicating that these figures are being under–reported due to inadequate reporting requirements. The Canada Revenue Agency led the pack with 3,020 identified breaches over the last two years impacting at least 59,065 Canadians.
Leading Edge Group is excited to announce the launch of an online Lean for Municipalities White Belt training program.
This program provides a basic introduction to Lean thinking and how it can be applied across the municipality. Upon completion, participants will recognize the relevance of Lean principles and core tools and techniques as they apply in municipal environments as well as identifying specific processes in their organization where they see an opportunity for improvement.
Volume-based corporate rates are available upon request.
Get in touch to discuss any queries about the program or to enrol and arrange payment: https://courses.leadingedgegroup.com/lean-municipality-white-belt/
When do you need an SDS?
SECTION 10 – Stability and Reactivity
Why do you need help managing your Safety Data Sheets?
MySDS.ca can build and maintain your SDS library which can give you peace of mind, save you money and keep you compliant!
muniSERV’s professional members know that as part of their membership, we advertise their webinars directly to our municipal members. We know it’s hard to get past municipal gate-keepers so what better way is there to increase your visibility and credibility with municipal decision-makers, than with a webinar?
And our municipal members love webinars – particularly the free Lunch & Learn type webinars. We know this because our open and click-through rates for our newsletters are consistently higher than the industry average rates.
To be successful though your webinar must be educational and address a topic of interest to municipalities. Municipalities won’t register for your webinar if they think it’s just about “selling” your product or service.
Here’s What Our Members Say
“At Emergenetics we are always looking for strong, credible partners as we build our international brand in Canada and I have loved partnering with muniSERV and muniJOBS.
I am continuously impressed by the outreach opportunities we receive with our muniSERV membership, the response we receive to our webinars and the quality of the audience it attracts.”
Gail Green, President – Emergenetics Ontario April 2019
Ideas for Webinars
If you sell risk management software, provide some educational – or even scary statistics and inform municipalities on ways to mitigate online losses.
If you sell HR services, speak to the importance of performance reviews and what led you to develop your solution. You can even provide a sneak peek of your solution with a quick demo – but again, it must be delivered as a solution to the problem you are educating them on and not just a sales pitch for your services.
Here’s where I feel a bit hypocritical though. I know the value and the power of providing webinars (that’s why we encourage our members to do so), but I confess, that while I have co-sponsored some webinars, I have never actually set one up myself. (because shamelessly – I don’t know how to do it!)
So, in order for me to help you I had to help myself by learning how to conduct a webinar. Here are some tricks and tools I learned along the way.
Your webinar can be as basic as creating PowerPoint slides and delivering a webinar by using remote conferencing services that use cloud computing, such as Zoom or JoinMe.
I use Zoom to share my screen and provide online demos of muniJOBS. While I pay the annual fee for Zoom, you can use many of their features for free. However, their specific webinar service comes at an additional cost.
If you want folks to register for your webinar (and you will so you can gather leads), you will need a way to handle the registrations even if registration is free. There are many registration tools available, but one I’m familiar with is Eventbrite.
To create and deliver webinars you may want to consider using specific webinar software. Here’s an article by Joe Warnimont for codeinwp, that summarizes and compares the Best Webinar software of 2019.
Once you’re ready to start creating your webinar content, these Six Tips for Success are a great guideline to follow. Don’t forget to engage your audience with a poll, some direct questions or an icebreaker to make it interactive and fun. There’s nothing worse than listening to a “talking head”, with no opportunity to provide input or ask questions!
Also, be sure you turn off any chat windows and on-screen notifications that could (and will) pop up while sharing your screen.
And finally, be prepared with extra batteries for your wireless mouse and a fully charged headset – because we’re all well aware of Murphy’s Law!
Everything I’ve been reading lately tells me that people love a good story and that story-telling is a way to position yourself as an authority in your field.
Anyone who know me well, knows I’d much rather tell a story than create marketing material. Full disclosure here – marketing is not my forte and marketing to me often feels forced and unnatural. That’s just not who I am. I want to help people, not “sell” to them!
However, I do recognize that marketing is critically important to the growth of any business. After all, people need to understand what you’re selling and how it can help them, if you want your business to succeed.
So, let’s give this a try. I thought you might be interested in knowing why I created muniSERV and why I’m so passionate about helping both municipalities and my professional members alike.
In case you didn’t already know, earlier in my career, I was a municipal Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), in small and medium-sized municipalities in Ontario.
We wanted to continually improve service delivery and operate more efficiently but with shrinking funding and legislation constantly changing, we were increasingly under pressure to find new and innovative ways to collaborate and streamline operations.
It used to drive me crazy when I needed to get 3 or more quotes in compliance with my purchasing by-law, but I didn’t know where to find companies or professionals who provided the services I needed and often couldn’t find one! (I’m dating myself here, but the introduction of Pay Equity legislation comes to mind as an example).
I’d call a neighbouring municipality to see “who they used”, but every municipality’s needs are different, so a one-size consultancy doesn’t necessarily fit all. We couldn’t afford the large firms but were legislated to comply the same as larger municipalities who could afford them. There was nowhere to search for more servicing options (i.e. smaller, independent consultancies, early retirees, etc.). The result of this frustration – the development of the Find Municipal Experts & Services database.
The RFP process also frustrated me (still does actually). RFP documents were time-consuming to develop, costly to advertise and opportunities for exposure were limited, with no focus on my target (posting in newspapers comes to mind). This resulted in limited and often no responses. A big waste of time and money! The result of this frustration – municipalities can post their RFPs, Bids & Tenders for free on muniSERV and our partnership with bidsandtenders gets them broader, national exposure and tracking of plan-takers capabilities, resulting in more responses and ultimately, more competitive quotes.
Fortunately, in the municipalities in which I was CAO, we didn’t have too many job openings. In fact, I am pleased to note that some of the folks I placed in positions after restructuring almost 20 years ago, are actually still working in the same municipality! But, when we did need to post a job, the price was high, there were limited places to post it and the ROI was low, often with no one responding to the job ad. The result of this frustration? Working with municipalities to develop muniJOBS – Canada’s only online recruitment and career platform that brings municipalities and talented people together.
I’m a big believer in coaching and mentoring people to become tomorrow’s leaders. But, sending someone away to a course was out of the question by the time you considered; the cost of the course, the travel, the accommodations, meals, and time away from the office. The result of this frustration? muniLEARN – that provides digital training solutions for today’s environments.
There are numerous other resources, tools and strategic partnerships we’ve developed along the way and I don’t want to go through each one here. But by now you’ve guessed it – the common theme here is that every one of them was developed out of a frustration I felt in the CAO role – and I knew I was not alone!
CAOs are busy people. They don’t have a lot of time to research things and in smaller municipalities they often don’t have the staff resources to do this for them either.
It seemed to me to be a no-brainer that municipalities should be able to go to one platform and quickly and easily find what they need – all in one convenient location.
But that’s not the end of the story!
All of this led me to thinking though, well, then how does a new or smaller consultancy or someone with a new municipal product or innovation for municipalities, reach municipal clients?
When I first entered the consulting world, I’d often hear complaints from professionals, that they couldn’t get past the gatekeepers in municipalities and that attending municipal conferences was cost-prohibitive for them as a new consultancy or business just starting out.
Then, when CASL (Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation) became law, this further eroded their ability to reach municipalities because it eliminated their ability to send emails to them. (and honestly, with my CAO hat back on here for a minute, if I didn’t know who was emailing me, it went straight to my trash folder)
I realized there was a real disconnect here.
The result of these two merging pain points; a) municipalities not being able to find consultants and services, and, b) consultants and professionals not having one location to market effectively to municipalities, is the premise of muniSERV.ca – “Connecting Canadian Municipalities and the Businesses That Serve Them.”
So, there you have it. That’s my story.
I hope it helps you understand my passion for helping you, why I’m always working on your behalf to find new ways to do things – and why I will continue to always think outside the box!
Please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. I’d love to hear Your Story!
September 5th, 2019
muniSERV and ASI Technologies Announce Exciting New Partnership
Both companies offer well-known, powerful online platforms that focus on the municipal marketplace throughout Canada. This unique alliance will provide additional reach to hundreds more municipalities through our numerous partnerships with municipal associations and organizations across Canada.
By working together muniSERV and ASI Technologies are able to provide incredible savings to our professional members to boost their exposure with both joint advertising opportunities and joint memberships, including The Road Authority™ (TRA), which is delivered in partnership with the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA).
See the Press Release – TRA and MuniSERV announce partnership to learn more details on joint advertising and membership opportunities.
Susan Shannon, Founder & Principal, muniSERV & muniJOBS – [email protected]
Steven Desrocher, President, ASI Technologies Inc. (The Road Authority) – [email protected]
Testing out the top business apps to use as a freelancer can take a lot of time. The good news though, is that I’ve done the work for you!
After spending several years as a self-employed biz owner myself, and working with a team of 3-4 people, I’ve tested out lots of different tools and apps to help streamline our business process.
This has allowed me to be more productive, as well as earn more money in less time.
From managing financial goals, to working with clients, to balancing everything on the go, we all want to work smarter not harder.
Likewise, you have big business goals and to accomplish them you need some serious apps to be more productive. And you want tools that stop you from wasting a lot of time and money!
To that end, here are the top business apps that will make you insanely productive so you can run your biz like a boss. They can help you make your business a massive success this year!
Read the whole article here to find out these time-saving tips!
By: Carrie Smith Nicholson
In short: leaders create risk, and managers reduce it.
LEADERSHIP ANTICIPATES THE BEST OUT OF PEOPLE, AND MANAGEMENT ANTICIPATES THE WORST. While leadership invites others to follow, management ensures the followers are following.
Leadership is the act of inviting others to a new and better future. A leader inspires and creates change by casting a vision of a destination that is different, better, and achievable.
Management is the ensuring things happen by creating, communicating, and monitoring expectations. It tracks individual people to see that they perform as expected, as opposed to inspiring a number of them.
Leadership skills can be summarized as those skills relevant to interacting with large groups of people, and to inspiring and creating vision. Conversely, management skills are those which are relevant to interacting with individual people, and to specifying and monitoring performance.
Many of the skills required to lead people are also the ones used to manage people. However, the expression of these skills can be significantly different. For instance, a leader needs to effectively communicate to be compelling and inspirational, and a manager needs to effectively communicate to be precise and personal.
Because of the skillset overlaps between management and leadership, it is quite possible that a single person assumes either of these roles.
Want to learn more about leadership? Check out EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LEADERSHIP.
Many studies have shown the impact that control of our situation has on our health, happiness, and effectiveness. In one experiment a white-footed deer mouse was placed in a brightly lit cage. The mouse could press a bar to alter the light. The mouse reduced the lighting to a dim level. The next morning experimenters set the lights to dim. The mouse immediately stepped up the lighting to bright. The mouse didn’t seem to care about its level of lighting. The critical issue was having control.
Another autonomy and control experiment was in a nursing home. One floor of residents were allowed to rearrange their room layout, schedule their time, and given a plant to keep and look after. Another floor or residents were told about all the good things being done for them. The staff arranged their room, scheduled their time, and gave them a plant that the nurse looked after. Eighteen months later, the residents on the floor with more control were more active and healthier than their controlled peers. Only 15 percent on the control floor died compared to 30 percent on the other floor.
Countless organizational studies show that autonomy, participation, “having some say,” and a modicum of control in the workplace are vital to employee engagement. Here are a few ways you can engage your work teams:
- Develop a regular Listen-Feedback-Action process. This generally starts with a survey or third party interviews or focus groups. The outside company then prepares a summary report. This is reported back to everyone in the organization for feedback, clarification, priority-setting, and action planning. Broader organizational issues are identified, and actions set for implementing those changes. This is reported back to everyone and part of an ongoing process.
- Coach team members to enrich their jobs and align their personal strengths, passions, and organizational or job needs.
- Engage frontline service providers in a systematic process of identifying changing customer expectations against your team or organization’s performance. Get their help in analyzing trends and planning to meet those shifting needs.
- Hold regular breakfasts (“muffins with management”), lunches, and celebration dinners with frontline teams. Take this time to ask for feedback, concerns, and suggestions. A simple question such as: “What’s the dumbest thing we do around here?” can produce powerful insights and engage people in resolving the issues raised.
- Keep highly visible scoreboards, big thermometers (like a fundraising campaign), bulletin boards, web sites, blog/Twitter posts, newsletters, and the like to update everyone on your progress toward key goals or change and improvement targets. Make goals/targets and progress as visible as possible.
- To get partnering behavior, treat everyone like partners. Share financial and other “confidential” information openly so everyone can see how his or her efforts contribute.
- Ask frontline service providers what systems and processes would better help them serve your customers. Get their involvement in prioritizing the areas to be changed and improving them.
- Send personal thank you notes (on real notepaper, not by e-mail); make detours to offer a verbal “thanks again,” and make lots of supportive phone calls.
- Use focus groups (a cross-section of frontline staff) to test new management directions before making grand announcements to everyone. Even if you press on against the advice of the focus groups, you’ll have deeper insight on how to face the issues the new direction may raise.
- Promote those people who are exemplary leaders. Use 360 feedback and other input from a variety of people to get a profile on their leadership effectiveness. Promotions send the clearest signals about the true culture of an organization. Are you promoting your cultural standard barriers?
Resistance to change often frustrates managers. But most of us enjoy change — especially for the better. What we resist is being changed. Effective leaders “do it with” their team or organization rather than doing it to or for them.