Videos Now Available Online
Your requests have been heard and it is exciting to announce George’s first online video series called “Good Governance by George”. This series consists of 8 videos each approximately 45 minutes in length. Order now and bring George into your office or Council Chambers for all or individual sessions of your choice.
"Watching these videos is like having a private conversation with George, always insightful and thought provoking. George has a way of drawing you back to the fundamentals of governance and will centre you to move forward on what needs to be done.”
- Ruth Malli - Former City Manager, Ladysmith BC
“Good Governance By George"
Session One: What is Governance: Part One (55 min)
This segment launches the video series of eight sessions with a broad look at Governance, what it is and some of the problems associated with Councils and Boards who misunderstand the basic functions. There is a lot of public discourse regarding governance these days so it is evident that Councils and regional Boards need to understand what it is & what it is not if you are going to be successful. Governance affects all of us from birth till death; from hospital bed as we enter the world to funeral home and church as we depart. George defines what “governance” is and outlines the key principles that determine whether or not your Council/Board is following what might be defined as “good governance”.
Session Two: What is Governance: Part Two (45 min)
George follows session One with a further definition of key principles of good governance (8-14). Each Council will run into situations which cause them to reflect on these principles: were we open; were we respectful of our colleagues; do we trust the word of the CAO; do we believe that the key information has been made available; do we have the right to act on this matter or is it one for another level of Government; is our vision for the future clear; and does it drive our policy agenda? Good governance is an ongoing process.
Session Three: Governance Failures (48 min)
Regardless of best intentions, those governing councils and boards still fail. George uses this session to outline the most frequent sources of failure; how these can be recognized sometimes before they do considerable damage; and what might be done to address these failures. Session Three speaks to why and where Councils/Boards struggle.
Session Four: What is Meant by “Good Governance?” (41 min)
In Session Four, George highlights from his extensive experience he need for focus on decision-making roles; understanding decision-making processes; utilizing your committee system as a place for reflection; ensuring that Councils/Boards recognize the need for a thoughtful consideration of options.
Session Five: The Roles of a Council (41 min)
George begins this segment by stating that so much of role confusion lies in not understanding what it is that a governing body is expected to do. Every Council has a number of roles which it inherits by the process called an election. Some of these roles are legislated: that is, they are a requirement according to the legislation under which the council functions. Other roles of a Council are more of what is described as “generally accepted practice”; these are equally important. While each of the roles George describes may not be on display in all instances, Council members will still need to remember that they are expectations of the general public.
Session Six: Governance Mechanisms (41 min)
In this segment George sheds some light on how a Council/Board governs and which mechanisms it utilizes to lead. The session also addresses how governance could be performed better in terms of what a Council/Board does and what in reality it is expected to do. This session speaks to “how” a Council/Board functions (i.e. meetings, proper use of agendas, committee meetings, roles of agencies, boards and committees, etc) and some thoughts around how that could be improved.
Session Seven: Council-Management Relations (47 min)
Relationships between Council/Board and its senior managers are critical to the success of any municipality/region. This relationship is either healthy or it ought to be corrected; you cannot afford to let it hinder the effectiveness of your municipality. There is only one key relationship in the organization for the Council; that is that of Council/Board & its CAO. Where the Council-CAO relationship founders so too does the organization. This is what is referred to as “tone at the top”: is there trust and respect or disbelief and no confidence? George discusses this key issue in his usual “no nonsense” style.
Session Eight: Governing for Results (50 min)
In this session, George outlines what an effective Council expects. At the end of the day, there needs to be an accounting for what has transpired. What results were produced on my watch? If you were the captain of the Titanic, everyone knew! The results outlived anyone’s imagination and the man at the centre of the disaster Captain John Smith knew that he had little choice but to go down with the ship. Most organizations have neither that public an accounting or that disastrous; there have been “disasters” at the municipal level in terms of funds being stolen; buildings built at far too high a cost. What results should your Council expect? Other than replace the previous bottom in the Council seat, what did you accomplish??
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