Webinar Series – Get Ready for 2021 AODA Deadline

By January 1, 2021, all public sector organizations in Ontario must have 100% accessible web content, meeting the accessibility requirements of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.

In this webinar, we will guide you through what you need to know before the deadline arrives, including website necessities, ways to meet the requirements, and creating an accessibility playbook to ensure your team is compliant by 2021.

Thursday, February 20, 2020
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Click Here to Register

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Canadian Government Entities Under Scrutiny for Lax Cybersecurity

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 underreported 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. 

 

Helical’s offerings meet the “Baseline Cyber Security Controls for Small and Medium Organizations” published by the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and can be scaled up according to need.  You can learn more about how we meet these requirements here or for more information about Helical, visit our website.  

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Announcement – New Online Training Program: Lean for Municipalities White Belt

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/

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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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Case Study – 44HA Drone Topo Survey for E.R. Garden O.L.S.

Scope of work:
44 Hectares, Orthographic Image 3cm, 3m DTM, 1m Contours

Purpose:
To identify drainage and topography for a new development site in Markham.

Conditions and Requirements:

Overgrown farm lands had been neglected for several years, creating a very rugged, muddy landscape. Normal survey methods by foot or ATV would have been extremely cumbersome and slow going.
Accuracy requirements were +/-10cm on bare earth and +/-30cm in wooded and wetland areas. (excluding bodies of water)

Methodology and Timeline:

2 Aerial surveyors were deployed with an eBee+ RTK and Propeller Aero point.
Crew laid the Aero point as an independent base to ensure proper calibration between E.R. Gardens Data and Canadian UAV Solutions RTK eBee data

7 Aerial Ground Control shots were used in the model..

Processing took a GIS Photogrammetrist 3 days to build, edit and QA/QC the 3D model.

The Completed Drone Survey was delivered in approximately 4 business days.

Summary:

Canadian UAV Solutions was able to provide accurate data in a timely manner where it would have been extremely time consuming using traditional methods.
By adding a few extra aerial points within the workflow of the boundary survey, significant time was saved and resulted in considerable savings for the OLS.
The number of crew required was significantly less, and the amount of time on site was reduced from approximately a week to a single day.
QA/QC reports a RMSE on check points found on bare earth and wooded areas no greater than 3cm on the Z and 1.5cm on the XY, well within specified accuracy requirements.

Testimonial
“I had heard several horror stories regarding drones over the last few years, and up until recently had decided to stay away until the hype had died down.
I had done my research, and although we could have started our own drone program, it became increasingly obvious that it was a lot more complex the further we investigated it.
Many people were doing it, but were either struggling or getting bad results.
After several in-depth conversations with Canadian UAV Solutions, I was assured they knew my requirements and would be able to achieve them.

We developed a workflow which fit well into our operations, and has allowed us to utilize drone data in scenarios where it performs beautifully.

Their Drone survey ties right into our calibration points, and we have done our own QA/QC to confirm the legitimacy of the info.

In areas where we are looking for drainage information, we could not do it faster or for less.

The value added from the aerial photo alone speaks volumes. By adding the image to the topo, we are able to answer questions without sending anyone back to the field.

Bottomline is, we are able to take on more projects as it is increasing the efficiency of my crew. We intend to continue to work together with Canadian UAV Solutions on future projects.”

Edward R. Garden O.L.S.

E.R. Garden Limited, Ontario Land Surveyor

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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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Utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Enhance Your Online Visibility  

Utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Enhance Your Online Visibility  

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the method used to increase a website’s position on search engine results pages on sites such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Developing an SEO strategy for your municipality can help draw consumer traffic to your website and contribute to economic development and tourism. In this webinar, we show you how to take advantage of SEO to better position your website on results pages and enhance your online visibility.

Join our webinar to learn:

  • What Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can do for your organization and why it’s so important for users trying to find information
  • How to develop a simple SEO strategy that will work for your municipality

The benefits of strong SEO application when working with economic development and tourism partners and targeted audiences.

Thursday, December 12, 2019 – 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Eastern

Register here

Presented by: Oliver Ibanez, Senior Front End Developer & User Experience Specialist

As an accomplished web designer, digital marketer and certified UX specialist, Oliver has over 15 years of experience building, managing and promoting websites. With strong foundations in design, programming and internet marketing, Oliver is able to build highly intuitive, feature-rich websites with emphasis on conversion and traffic generation. As a front-end developer, Oliver strives to stay ahead of the pack by analyzing the latest cutting edge technologies and design techniques, and how they can be applied to creating effective user experiences. Oliver continuously reviews Google’s latest algorithm updates, search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, social media strategies and traffic analysis in order to provide better advice and services to project stakeholders.

We hope you learn lots and enjoy the webinar!

Thank you,

eSolutionsGroup

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The (Old) Elephant in the Room

Over the last few years I have attended several well-organized conferences and seminars in Canada and the U.S on the nature of work in the future. At each event, I listen carefully for any mention of one of the most powerful segments of the workforce who bring impressively high levels of innovation, productivity, and experience to the conversation — that being, older adults.

Sadly, I am always greeted with silence on the issue.

Diversity doesn’t seem to acknowledge age. I don’t hear mention of the possibility of hiring, retaining, or recruiting older adults as a possible solution. Repeatedly, older adults, an often underestimated and disregarded segment of society, lack recognition…..

Read my full article in The Toronto Star

By Helen Hirsh Spence, Top Sixty Over Sixty

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Moving to an E-Agenda System

Are you thinking of moving your board, committee or municipal council to an electronic agenda meeting management system?  Do all the different solutions, features and change management involved have you feeling overwhelmed?  Let’s discuss the things you need to consider before you make the change.

Join Debi Wilcox – The Meeting Guru – for this  30 minute Meeting Management Speaker Series webinar on December 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm ET.  Don’t worry if you can’t make the live webinar, it will be recorded and accessible afterwards using the event link.

In this session, Debi will cover:

  • what exactly is an e-agenda meeting management system
  • is an e-agenda system right for your organization
  • what features to consider to meet your needs
  • what you need to know before you start an e-agenda project
  • transitioning from one vendor to another – handling the change
  • how to successfully communicate and launch your e-agenda project.

It’s all about Making Meetings Simple!  Debi will provide you with some valuable tips to help you out.  If you would like any questions answered during the session, just send Debi an email prior to December 11, 2019 to [email protected]

Learn More & Register 

 

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Meeting of the Minds Workshop

The cost of Miscommunication is high!!! A recent International Data Corporation study puts the cost at $620 per employee in companies with 100,000 or more employees. It can soar to a whopping $4200 per person if an organization has 100 or less.

If you are intrigued by the idea of developing your personal and professional potential, as well as that of others, you will undoubtedly be interested in Emergenetics, a proven psychometric tool used around the world but new to the Canadian market. This program will give you a fuller understanding of your own thought and behavioural preferences, and help you to communicate more easily and effectively with others.

Using a well-developed questionnaire designed to explore your strengths, and through an intellectually engaging and socially stimulating training experience, you will discover that Emergenetics is both simple to understand and easy to use. The profile, which is based on a wide body of academic literature covering psychology and neuroscience, is introduced through experiential learning. You will be fascinated not only by the human dynamics but the resulting practical applications as well.

Through the workshop, you will:

  • Increase self-awareness
  • Discover others’ perceptions of you
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Make informed decisions
  • Value your inherent talents
  • Recognize core values

Who should attend:

• Individuals seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and others
• Managers who aspire to build cohesive teams
• Consultants/trainers looking for neuro-scientific tools that resonate with individuals and organizations
• Coaches/mentors and psychologists who are interested in gaining additional
insight into their processes
• Educators who desire to enhance their effectiveness with students and staff

Enroll soon as space will be limited.

We look forward to meeting you at this exciting event on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 in Toronto and to sharing a simpler, easier way to understand yourself and others with the neuro-science of Emergenetics!

Details:

Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
 Location: Toronto Star Building, 1 Yonge Street, 18th Floor, Toronto, ON Google Map
 Time: 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM
 Facilitator: Bridget Parise 

Cost of Workshop and Profile: $299 (Click below to enroll)

Register Here

If you’d like more information call 905.636.0797.

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