Digital Solutions for Canadian Municipalities

The past few months have been challenging for everyone as we change the way we live, play and work. Many industries have been forced to pivot and find digital solutions to continue serving their customers in the “new normal”. Canadian municipalities are no different. With many municipal offices closed to the public or working at a reduced capacity, there has never been a better time to start introducing digital solutions to work safer and work smarter. Here are some great digital solutions from Canadian muniSERV members to get you started.

 

Citizen Engagement/Customer Service

 

 AccessE11 is a Municipal 311, Citizen Issue and Relationship Management platform designed to provide small to mid-sized municipalities with a simple, cost-effective means to manage citizen issues. The platform drives simplicity, reduced administration, stronger decision making and better compliance across specific areas of focus within local government operations. Citizens can report issues and monitor the status of their issue digitally, improving customer service and operational transparency.

 

Smart City/IoT

 

 Trilliant has revolutionized how municipalities, cities, energy providers and utilities manage their mission-critical operations. Trilliant connects the world of things (IoT) and incorporates Smart City functionality to new or existing networks. Municipalities can improve the efficiency of their offerings through the implementation of things like advanced metering infrastructure for water, electricity and gas, smart street lighting, smart network sensors and so much more.

 

Treasury

 

 Clik2Pay  is a customer billing payments solution that allows citizens to receive and pay their tax bills or other municipal invoices directly from their smartphone. Municipalities benefit from quicker payments and simplifed bill collection, all for less than it costs to pay by debit or credit card.

 

Payroll Efficiency

 

 Mother Clock  Inc. is a fully integrated time tracking payroll platform that is modernizing payroll technology. This tablet-based time tracking service is the solution for businesses that want to abandon paper-based processes.  Mobile employees can use their smartphones to clock-in/out with GPS time tracking, increasing accountability.

 

Cyber Security & Training

 

 RiskAware provides municipalities with an Information and Cyber Security advantage through governance, training, education and risk management. They can help you assess your digital risks before getting started.

 

Digital Transformation Consulting

 

 ArchITectAbility provides IT Advisory, Assurance, Architecture and Governance expert services as well as Business Process Re-engineering offerings. If you’re not sure where to start your digital transformation, here you go!

 

These are just a few of the great Canadian companies that are helping municipalities go digital. 

 

Search our  Find a  Consultant database by service, business name, province or city, for even more of our members’ innovative digital solutions, to help municipalities simplify processes and find efficiencies! 

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Organizational Resiliency – What else is it good for?

What else does organizational resiliency do for the organization aside from being able to carry on during and after a disruptive event?

  • Reduces stress – it reduces stress in those managing and working prior to, during and after an event
  • Increase in trust and confidence – employees believe in the leadership, each other, and the plan to move through an event
  • Reduces absenteeism – people are comfortable and confident in the decision making of their peers and the responsibilities they have
  • Improvement in physical health and wellbeing – with strong mental health comes stronger and maintained physical health
  • Productivity increases – a happy workforce wants to produce
  • An alert workforce – reduction in accident and workplace injuries
  • Learning power – with overall personal health and wellbeing comes the drive, adaptability to learn and the willingness to be flexible in the event of change

There are other benefits to making your organization resilient that are not just about the bottom line.

We can help your organization in building your risk and security management program resiliency.

It starts with a conversation.

We can Help.

Plan the Work. Work the Plan.

Should your Municipality need assistance, contact Michael White Group today, and we will be happy to answer your questions or provide quotations.

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Fun (and Safe) Ways to Enjoy Your Summer

The past few months have been challenging for us all, personally and professionally. Summer is here and, as restrictions are being lifted, it is the perfect time to get outside, shake off the cobwebs and have some summer fun! Here’s a look at some fun, socially distanced activities to kick back and relax this season.

 

Visit a Provincial Park

With most provincial parks reopen, this is a great way to get active and get outside. Discover new hiking trails, find hidden beaches or a great new fishing spot all while getting fresh air. While not all amenities are currently available, park staff are actively working as quickly as they can to open as many facilities and services as possible for the season.

Pack a Picnic

Many municipalities’ public parks are now open to explore and have a family picnic on the green spaces (as many roofed shelters may still remain closed). Packing a special meal from home or getting takeout from a local restaurant is a great way to enjoy family and friends while social distancing. Don’t forget to bring a blanket to sit on!

 

Hike a New Trail

Many of the local trails are open for walking, hiking, and even biking as well. This is a great opportunity to find a new local/regional trail that you haven’t explored before!

 

Fruit and Vegetable Picking

Another summer staple is picking your own seasonal fruits and vegetables. This is a great way to get the entire family outside and have fun. Many of these farms offering these services have put measures into place to ensure the safety of their staff and visitors. Some farms now require an online booking beforehand and are monitoring entry and exits to keep numbers within the provincial limits. PickYourOwn.org has compiled a list of places in Ontario that are offering different fruit and vegetable picking this season (https://www.pickyourown.org/CNON.htm ). It is always a good idea to contact the farm before you head out to avoid disappointment.

Backyard Campout

 

If you are not ready to camp at a provincial park, why not set up the ultimate backyard campout? Pitch a tent, start a campfire, (check on any local fire bans first), then make some s’mores, play games, project a movie … all while have a night outdoors under the stars. The best part of camping in the backyard is that everything you need is still right inside. No need to worry about closed amenities!

 

Watch as more restrictions are lifted for even more fun and safe ways to enjoy your summer!

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3 Communications Tips for Managing Anywhere, Anytime (plus a Free Gift!)

We’re in approximately week 5 of working remotely for many and it is likely working better for some than for others. As the leader, you may be wondering how you can better manage your relationships with the people on your team while working remotely.

 

There are two critical considerations that contribute significantly to improving relationships and engagement. The first, is that we don’t all have the same communication style; and, the second is that we aren’t all driven/motivated by the same things.

In this article, we’ll start by sharing three tips to help you improve your communication with the people on your team when working remotely.

It’s not a one-size fits all!

We tend to all have our own communication preferences and style. Some of us have a higher energy level and some don’t. Some of us tend to gain our energy from social interactions while others may find that draining.

The key point to remember is that people like people like themselves. Ever hear of birds of a feather? And no, opposites don’t naturally attract.

First you have to understand your own communication style. Are you forceful, decisive, strong-willed or do you tend to be low-key, mild and a collaborator? Are you a person who is magnetic, enthusiastic, demonstrative or are you more restrained, controlled, non-animated and more reserved? Perhaps you are the person that tends to be more patient, steady and relaxed or are you more active, flexible, and fat-moving? Lastly, maybe you tend to be more dependent, neat, careful and always have lots of research on a topic or maybe you’re more uninhibited and unconventional. You may say that you have a variety of these traits and that may be so, but each of us has a primary communication style that most people see most of the time. 

So what happens when you are communicating with someone that is the opposite of your style? Might the other person sometimes tune out? Do you sometimes tune out when someone is speaking that is quite different from you? If you’re more of that direct communicator and I’m the opposite, do I drive you nuts when I come in with pages of data and absolutely need you to understand every single point I’ve uncovered? Likely. After all, didn’t you ask me to give you the key highlights? How’s that communication working out?

Remember, people buy from people they like and people like people like themselves.

Learn to People Read

People reading isn’t as difficult as it may sound. With a bit of background knowledge you can start people reading anywhere anytime. One of the keys to people reading is not talking but rather observing. When we’re talking, we’re not listening. At the end of this article, you will have a chance to receive a free personalized Working From Home report and in that report that are some clues to identifying others’ preferred communication styles.

What verbal and non-verbal cues is the person giving you? Perhaps you’ve just finished yet another team zoom meeting. Granted it’s more challenging to pick up on non-verbal cues on virtual calls but you know your team so you should be able to pick up on clues. Do they appear drained after calls or are they leaving wanting more? It’s often more important to observe body language and what is not being said than to what is being said.

Learn to Flex…your style that is!

When I talk about flexing your style in communication workshops, people sometimes ask me if that isn’t manipulation. It’s only manipulation if the intent is not honourable. The #1 thing you can do to improve communication with anyone is to meet them where they are.

Flexing your style is the art of adapting your style to match the style of the person you are communicating with. It helps create that symbiotic cadence. If the other person is more reflective, has a lower tone of voice and a slower pace in speaking than is normal for you, try flexing your style to mirror those behaviours. It will take a lot of conscious effort and practice to get good at it but you will start to see the benefits before too long.

It’s as easy as 1…2…3

Your people aren’t all one size thus your approach can’t be a one-size fits all either. Take the time to connect with each member of your team one-on-one for the purpose of listening. Start with an observation using self-responsible language or with an open-ended question…and then listen and observe.

As you become better at the super skill of people reading, you and your team will reap the rewards of improved communication, relationships and engagement.

Our gift to you and your organization – The Working From Home Report

During this unprecedented time, our partner TTI SI has created a special Working From Home report. The questionnaire is the same highly-validated research-based questionnaire used for all our behaviours reports but this report has been designed to be easy to digest without the need for individual or group debriefs. No strings attached. You won’t be solicited if you take us up on our offer. TTI SI’s goal is to give away 10,000 of these reports each day in North America.

TTI SI has been on the cutting edge of the assessment solutions industry for over 30 years. They have administered over 30 million assessments worldwide in 115 countries in 47 different languages. Data norming and rigorous data analysis conducted by both internal research teams and independent statisticians help ensure our assessments are the most reliable and accurate tools in the market.

Ready? Click here. This link will take you to a page on our website where you can view a sample of the report, view answers to FAQs and a link to respond to the questionnaire to get your own personalized report. It only takes 10 minutes to complete. After you’re done, you will receive your report immediately in your inbox and will be taken to a page to download a PDF of our Action Plan worksheet for your personal use.

I hope you accept our gift and that you and your team use your personalized reports to improve working relationships. A fun follow-up activity is to have your team share their primary style from page 2 of the report so that you can all begin to see your behavioural similarities and differences and learn to appreciate what each person brings to the team.

Feel free to share this WFH report link with colleagues, friends and family.

Sophie Mathewson, PCC

Strategic Coach & Advisor

Prism Group Int’l

prismgroup.ca

Specializing in working with leaders that want to create more cohesive senior teams to achieve their purpose and vision

 

Sophie can be reached at [email protected] 

 

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Three steps from Surviving to Thriving!

Three steps from surviving to thriving!

Do you enjoy change? Does the unknown of tomorrow thrill you with anticipation and excitement for the surprises that await you? Are you eager and prepared for whatever the day throws at you?

I’m not.  There, I’ve said it.  Sometimes I’d rather just close my eyes and wake up in the morning and take whatever life tosses my way, one thing at a time.

As an entrepreneur, I don’t have that luxury.  Just as I’m sure you have days where you’d just rather…not. But you have to, because of responsibilities.

We do the best we can, we try to plan ahead, accounting for every eventuality and contingency, and hope that things go according to plan.  But they don’t always, do they? When things go awry as they have with the Coronavirus outbreak, we all are facing changes unlike any we’ve experienced before, and we have decisions to make.

For some people though, change is particularly hard. Making a decision with so little clear direction or reliable information can be daunting, even if you’re pretty comfortable with change. For others, it’s almost impossible to make a decision. Fear can lock them into a cycle of analysis-paralysis which is great for procrastinating, but unhelpful for decision making.

This simple 3-step process can be applied to almost any situation where change is evident or required. It can be applied organizationally, individually, whether you’re a leader or a follower. This universal approach is the first step in improving your ability to deal with change: Identify, Pivot, Adapt.

Identify

The first step is to identify the problem, and the source of the problem as best we can. In my business, classroom-based training and consulting services, the problem is obvious. Nobody wants to sit in a classroom (neither do I), and employers are actively laying off consultants first.

Identifying the source of the problem is also important because that’s how you can determine what your level of influence is. What part of the issue are you able to control? I know for example that the outbreak is like to come in waves over the next 1-2 years until a vaccine becomes available to the public at large. I know that it’s got a widespread infection rate which has resulted in businesses shutting down, mass layoffs, and an upsurge in people working remotely and self-distancing. I don’t need to know every detail, but this information alone helped me pivot.

Pivot

Pivoting is an intermediary action. When a basketball player is blocked, they pivot on one foot to shift their body in a different direction. We have 360 degrees of pivoting available to us, so choosing the direction you want to aim for really depends on the information you have available.

To help me make a direction-based decision, I use the hand method. I lay my hand flat on a surface and spread my fingers. My middle finger is the undesired direction I’m currently heading in, and that I know needs to change.  Each of the other four fingers represent four different options for changing direction.

I don’t worry that I don’t have all the information to make an informed decision…pivoting is about making a quick decision to evade trouble by retargeting myself to aim for a different outcome. Keep it high-level, broad strokes. The details come later. Can you think of four ways you can respond to the problem you’re facing?

Will one of those four “finger options” represent a higher chance of success for a better outcome? If none of the options is particularly better, then choose one randomly and prepare to pivot again. This may go on until more informed decisions can be made, or one direction becomes clearer than the others.

Adapt

Once you set a direction, make a list of all the things you need to adjust to make that direction work. 

Maybe you’re suddenly working from home 100% of the time. If you have a spouse, can you work together in the same house? What about the same room? Are you competing for resources? Do you have a quiet area for phone calls? How will you adapt your schedule? Do you have a support system in place?

For Get Up and Learn, I’ve adapted by delivering training virtually instead of in classrooms. Also, because it’s online, I’m delivering all training in 1-hour segments, which can be linked together to fill a morning or a day, delivered as lunch & learn virtual group sessions, or provided on a pre-scheduled basis for example.

Three steps from Surviving to Thriving

By following the Identify, Pivot, Adapt approach, I was able to determine the problem I was facing including a general idea of the scope, duration, and probable impact.

By pivoting I was rapidly able to determine the most at-risk direction (which was to stay the course and do nothing) as well as four other reasonable options. The best of those was to move everything online and virtual.

A lot of work went into adapting and will continue over time. The training material & resources, delivery methods, website content – all of it needed adapting as a result of the Coronavirus.

The best part is my business is well-positioned for the future and I can see many opportunities to grow that weren’t available to me under the old model. Following this three-step process not only helped me navigate the emerging crisis, but it also strengthened the business potential for the future.

Identify, Pivot, Adapt helped me determine what was right for my business, and it can help you make choices too!

Necessary Sales Pitch Section

Jim Longman, through Get Up and Learn provides consulting, contract, and training services for employers in all industries. Our soft skills training helps people develop new thinking and skills when it comes to handling change, making better decisions, and much more. For more information, click here.

 

 

 

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Enterprise Security Risk Management

Perhaps you’re aware of the recent culmination of a managerial approach in the security industry. As an aside the Michael White Group has been promoting the very fundamentals of this approach for years. However, this approach changes how security has been managed for many years.

Enterprise Security Risk Management (ESRM) is a business decision making tool. So, let’s clear up some of the confusion. This is not Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). Although utilizing the exact same risk principles as ERM, ESRM is an additional tool for ERM.

Unfortunately, more than ever, your municipality’s reputation and brand are at risk. Incorporating ESRM into your organization strengthens your municipality’s security program and puts you and the other leaders within your organization as leaders in your vertical.

Organizational Resilience Management

ESRM drives your security program in developing a stronger relationship to your municipality’s Assets and overall risk and security mitigation strategies. It allows you as the security leader to see the bigger picture.

ESRM is not something that happens overnight. It takes careful thought, planning, decision making and involves change. A cultural change. Long gone will be the days that one or two people are essentially responsible for the security needs of the municipality. It will be everyone’s task to be involved. All employees will be associated with the ESRM program and you as the ESRM leader will keep them on track to identify, reduce and mitigate risks.

ESRM creates a stronger brand for your municipality, a stronger brand attracts new business, new residence.

Ready for an enterprising change?

Should your Municipality be open to exploring the need, the application and benefits of a Enterprise Security Risk Management (ESRM) contact Michael White Group today, and we will be happy to answer your questions or provide quotations.

 

 

 

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10 Golden Rules for First-Time Managers

One of the biggest challenges we see new first-time managers come up against is changing their mindset when they first take on their new role. As an individual contributor, they were mostly concerned about their own performance and success. As a Manager, they now need to shift their thinking to help other people succeed. And not just their direct reports, but also those who contribute to their team’s success, such as internal and external suppliers to their team.

It’s not an easy shift, because we become habituated in our thinking. So, it’s really about changing our focus and habits.

How do we do that?

By consciously selecting what we want to focus upon, and what new habits we want to develop.

It takes effort, but it’s worth it. We decided to put together a list of things to do, ten in total, to help you achieve that mindset change. Here they are:

  1. Avoid the Expert Syndrome – Your role as a manager is to help other people succeed. When they succeed, you succeed. Many first-time managers make the mistake of thinking that they are the manager because they are the most accomplished person on the team – they are the expert. This is the biggest mistake I see new managers make. Action: You need to give away your expertise.
  2. It’s Not About You, It’s About Them – Your first duty as a manager is to better understand your team members – their goals, career aspirations, strengths, and weaknesses. Even their fears. This also applies to a better understanding of your own manager.
    Actions: 1) Help your team succeed by focusing on their professional and personal development. 2) Seek to understand your manager. 
  3.  Don’t Try This Alone – Gone are the days when managers worked out what needed to be done, by whom and by when, and then gave out the orders. Times have changed and people expect to be included in the planning of their work. They also have higher expectations when it comes to greater freedom in how they do their work. You need to be able to balance the need to get work done safely, on time and on budget with these new expectations.
    Action: Develop collaborative based planning, problem-solving and decision-making processes.
  4. Delegate to Coach – When you engage in collaborative planning, you will discover many opportunities to delegate tasks to your team members which will stretch them. They need your support in developing the competencies to perform these tasks. That’s where your role as a coach plays a big part in their success and also yours.
    Action: Learn the skills of coaching.
  5. Build Up Your EQ Muscles – Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is just as vital as General Intelligence (IQ). It’s now a well-established fact that how you manage your emotions plays a vital role in how you build strong relationships. EQ is not about becoming “softer” in how you handle interactions with others, especially in emotionally intense situations. It’s about stopping your emotions from taking control of your behaviors. Actions: 1) Learn more about E.Q. 2) When faced with intense emotions, say “I can’t help feeling the way I feel right now, but I can choose how I will respond.” 
  6.  Live Your Beliefs and Values – Organizations have core beliefs and values, so do you. As a manager, there will come a time when you will need to defend your team. This is when your core beliefs and values will be put to the test. If you back away from such confrontations, you will lose the respect of your team and also your fellow managers, and probably even your own manager. This does not mean defending the indefensible. When a team member commits an offense, you have to be the first person to call it and deal with it.
    Action: Do the internal work to discover your core beliefs and values, especially as they apply to your role as a manager in helping other people be successful. 
  7. Find Good Role Models – Research has shown that we learn most from watching others perform. The same is true of learning to manage and lead. The three core processes of daily management are planning, directing/delegating and coaching. Other managers have taken the same learning journey as you, and many of them can be good role models for you to learn from.
    Action: Find good role models to learn from for planning, directing/delegating and coaching. 
  8. Find a Mentor – A mentor is uniquely positioned to help you progress in your career as a manager. Their role is to provide you with emotional and psychological support on your journey. In addition, a mentor will help you see the bigger picture and not get trapped in the minutiae of day to day organizational drama.
    Action: Find a mentor who is willing and able to support you. 
  9. Seek Out Mastery Experiences – Every managerial position has limitations in terms of time and resources. While you will need to develop many competencies, you will not always have the opportunity to practice them “on-the-job”. That’s where, working with your manager and mentor, you can identify opportunities where you can step away from your day to day duties and perform roles that will broaden and deepen your skills. These could be special assignments, volunteer opportunities and even shadowing a more experienced manager.
    Action: Talk with your manager about your development and craft a personal learning plan with the support of your manager. 
  10. Solicit and Act Upon Feedback – Without feedback, you won’t know if you are improving. Leadership 360 feedback systems have matured to such an extent that now they are an indispensable tool in your management toolbox. Keep in mind that your manager, staff, and others want to help you improve, so take advantage of that willingness by providing them with the opportunity to support you on your journey. Action: Seek 360 feedback

You don’t need to go it alone. You have assets and resources available to you if you just ask. So many first-time managers simply don’t get the training they need to succeed, and as a consequence, the majority fail at reaching their true potential as a manager and leader. Don’t make that mistake.

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A Sobering Thought – Is Your Succession Planning Underway?

How’s this for a sobering thought?

According to Statistics Canada’s – Canadian Demographics At a Glance – by the year 2030, deaths are expected to outnumber births in Canada. In addition, Statistics Canada projects that by 2021, one in four members of the labour force could be aged 55 or older.

This means there won’t be as many young workers entering the workforce – plus the current workforce is going grey as we speak.  The result of these two merging factors is labour shortages in many professions Canada-wide.  

Municipalities are no different.  In fact it may be even more difficult for municipalities to attract youth to these roles because youth do not really understand what municipalities do or what it means to work in a municipality. It’s therefore imperative for municipalities to find ways to reach secondary and post-secondary students to educate them on the merits of a municipal career in order to attract them to becoming tomorrow’s leaders. 

What is Succession Planning?

 

Simply put, succession planning is getting the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time.

In the words of one of our professional members, “Succession planning and development should be like a well- run relay race. The transitions should be smooth.” (Prism Group International, Sophie Mathewson, President & Coaching Practice Leader)

Many municipalities are proactive and have succession plans in place, but there are still many others that do not give it much thought or consideration until key personnel leave and there’s a scramble to replace them. Sadly, the exodus of one key person often sets off a domino effect that just results in another municipality needing to hunt for a replacement.  Again, there’s a real need to bring youth and new candidates into the municipal stream.

For those who have not given it much thought yet, here are few things to think about as you start to develop your succession plan.  

In broad terms, succession planning starts with a sound assessment process;  

  1. Identify key areas and key positions you will be losing (number of pending retirements, which year, etc.) so you can identify future needs. Create an inventory of sorts.
  2. Take a look at the key competencies the incumbent has now and determine whether or not these are the same competencies you need in that position in the future.  
  3. Create programs for pre-retirees and if they don’t already track their processes, have them start doing so.
  4. Assess the skills you have in-house and compare them to the skills you need in the future
  5. Determine if there are any interested employees in-house and assess their ability to fill any of the upcoming vacancies. Your performance management program will help with identifying if there are qualified in-house staff to fill positions.
  6. Match the skills and capabilities of your current employees to their career ambitions
  7. Identify any training needs and create customized development plans to develop talent.
  8. Evaluate whether or not you will need to move to an external hire and if so, set the wheels in motion to ensure that you can have the position filled by the expected vacancy date.
  9. Monitor and measure success. 

Don’t forget that using early retirees from the municipal world and municipal consultants can also form part of your succession plan.  These experienced veterans can often get you past the hump until you can find permanent employees. They can also be utilized to mentor your new hires and they can pass the relay race baton of knowledge and experience on to tomorrow’s leaders. 

The competition to replace retirees and fill vacant positions will no doubt be challenging over the next decade but by initiating a sound assessment process today you will be well on your way to having the right talent in the right positions by 2021!

 

Susan Shannon is the Founder & Principal of muniSERV.ca and muniJOBS.ca

[email protected]

 

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How Do I Set up a Webinar? Productivity Tools to Help

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.

 

Webinar Tools

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!

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The Biggest Mistake I See New Managers Make

When I became a manager, I made the same mistake myself. It’s the most common mistake that I see many first-time managers make. It’s a mistake that causes so much anxiety and stress in their lives, and it can be avoided. It’s a mistake that’s easy to make, but not so easy to fix.

I call it “The Expert Syndrome”. Let me explain…

In my case, my expertise got me noticed and got me promoted to a management position. I was on cloud nine. I was feeling euphoric. That’s when it hit me. My staff were not as “expert” as me. As a result, I unwittingly communicated to them that I was smarter, more experienced and certainly more effective at their work than they were.

This attitude of mine caused a very interesting dynamic to occur. They would bring me their work, and their problems to solve. I later discovered there was a name for this…upwards delegation! I found my in-tray and inbox overflowing with work that was certainly not managerial. The biggest issue I faced was that I loved the challenge, I loved being the expert!

I had to find a way to let go of the need to solve all their problems. That’s when my mentor showed up. He was an experienced manager, and quite successful too. He asked me to describe my role as a manager. As I reached for the job description that HR had given me, he stopped me in my tracks. “You don’t need that” he proclaimed. “Just tell me in your own words what your role as a manager is, and make it brief!”

I was stuck. You see, I thought that the role of a manager was complex and multi-layered. Too difficult to explain in just a few words. He left me to ponder on it for a few days. When we met again, I was still struggling to come up with a clear definition of the role of a manager. My mentor was not about to let me off the hook. He knew I was struggling, but he felt the struggle was natural and would pay off in the end. He left behind a little booklet titled “Servant Leadership” and suggested I read it.

That little booklet set me off on a journey that continues to this day. At times, it’s been a somewhat crazy yet exhilarating journey. I’ve now reached a point on that journey where I can explain the role of a manager in a few words, here they are:

Your Role As A Manager Is To Help Other People Succeed

Now I know, with all the articles, books, courses, online content on management and leadership out there, that this definition may seem to be overly simplistic to many of you reading this. I understand. It’s my definition, unique to me. It works extremely well for me. It may or may not work for you. I get that.

I learned along the way that all the management and leadership competencies (and there are many!) I needed to master could be summed up in what I call The Management Trilogy:

  • Daily Management – Leading with Values
  • Crisis Management – Leading with Valor
  • Strategic Management – Leading with Vision

You need to help others succeed in these three areas. When they succeed, you succeed.

To learn more about The Management Trilogy, subscribe to our free four-part online course at Management4m.com

 

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