“The Question of Collaboration” …. This topic comes up over and over again in my conversations, not only within councils but across all my clients. As such, it became the focus of my second Council Connections event.
As pressure starts to increase on our councils through rate capping, increased demand, growing populations and rising expectations of the public, it is essential that organisations have the ability to evolve. The challenge is identifying how to achieve this evolution, and putting it into practice.
With 14 metropolitan councils represented at the session, I was elated by the involvement and enthusiasm of attendees. Both speakers and guests used the opportunity productively, to discuss the challenges and benefits of working collaboratively and how this could move forward in the future.
As with the first Council Connections session held in March, I was pleased to have engaged three excellent speakers for the panel:
- Daniela Mazzone, IT Capability and Partnerships from City of Melbourne
- Martijn Schroder, Partner at Promaxia
- Shan Sharma, Strategy and Innovation Director from Oorja Creative
The vast experience of our speakers and their opinions on collaborative practices certainly helped to keep the conversation rolling throughout the presentations, with quite a few chuckles thrown in as well.
Daniela identified and discussed the core issues which make collaboration so challenging and pinpointed where the change really needs to come from – particularly when local government is the shopfront and the face of government to the public.
Martijn followed, outlining an approach to shared services that overcomes traditional barriers and discussing how current systems and process are holding councils back from progressing towards greater efficiency.
To conclude the event, Shan discussed collaboration on a global level, incorporating case studies from around the world, including Barcelona, New Orleans and Dubai.
From my discussions with members of local government, I know that many are passionate about this topic. I firmly believe that now is the time to facilitate these discussions and collectively strategise for a more productive future.
I was keen to ensure the presentations flowed freely and organically. Conversations between panel members and attendees kicked off throughout, making it an interesting and worthwhile event for all. Working together and focusing on providing wider services to meet the changing expectations of the people is going to be more and more essential moving forward. I hope that initiatives such as Council Connections will continue to provide a platform for these types of collaborations to flourish.
As Account Manager for M&T’s local government clients in VIC, I am eager to be part of this process and would welcome anyone to reach out to discuss this topic further. I would also be happy to connect you with one of the amazing speakers from the session – Daniela, Martijn and Shan – each of whom are thought leaders in this space.
On a final note, when thinking about collaboration, the below statement sums it up:
Things to consider when transforming – think people, start small and share the story.