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Elected Board Retreats

Consulting Services

As elected and appointed leaders in your community, it is your job to:

  • set vision and direction for your community;
  • convene others that can influence the future;
  • model strategic leadership so other organizations’ can line up behind your vision

Often this work begins with a 1 to 2 day retreat to begin identifying priorities and setting direction. The School of Government helps the leaders of cities, counties, and other local or regional government units to conduct board retreats and can help you design, plan and conduct retreats to get your planning effort underway.

Contact the School of Government to discuss your needs or seek an experienced and knowledgeable facilitator. The exploratory meeting is often free-of-charge but regular consulting rates will apply for more intensive work.

Examples of Retreat Topics We Can Facilitate:

  • Positive Problem Solving  Learn the underlying principles and benefits of using an assets-based approach to problem solving.  The emphasis is on practical application of this approach to specific work-related issues facing your leadership or management team.
  • Board Processes — Local governments often first hold a board retreat to prepare to plan for their community’s future. We can discuss your needs and aid in designing an agenda, facilitating effective and meaningful discussions on-site, or helping you seek a facilitator.
  • Citizen engagement — Determine the degree of citizen and employee participation desired and how to design it into your planning process.
  • Data Analysis — Identify specific key indicators about what your community currently looks like and begin to consider how you would like it to look in the future.
  • Organizational Assets — Identify and build upon your organization’s existing successes -- characteristics, talents, or processes – to create your desired future.
  • Goal-setting — Identify new strategic goals around areas of concern such as relationships, partnerships, leadership, infrastructure, staffing, services, products, policies, or processes.
  • Strategic Budgeting — Help officials focus budget decision making to support priorities the board has already established.
  • Staff communication — Clarify staff roles and expectations, develop plans to strengthen inter-departmental working relationships, and apply those relationships to the implementation of the strategic plan.
  • Train-the-trainer sessions — Build in-house skills to aid organizations in their own strategic plan development, implementation, and management.

Taking your plans to the next level

Strategic plans remain dreams if not transformed into specific actions and operations. A key focus for any successful local government is to ensure that core activities and functions work in congruence with organizational or community strategies. If daily operations do not reflect the organization’s strategies, then the benefit of thoughtful guidance is lost. Furthermore, projects which do not align with the organization’s vision and goals potentially waste public resources.

Ultimately, the quality of public goods and services rest on the:

  • linkage between well-developed and achievable policy goals,
  • strategies selected to achieve these goals,
  • action plans that use logic to develop and help realize goals, and
  • specific initiatives and projects designed to implement the strategy.

Governing boards are designed to optimize strategic leadership. One of the central responsibilities of the governing board is to set direction for the future of the community and organization. Boards also have a responsibility to assure strategic goals are accomplished.

The School of Government offers strategic public leadership consulting services, resources, and courses to help board and leaders stay focused on setting priorities and getting results.

How is this initiative different than traditional strategic planning?

This initiative is best billed as planning with greater impact.

  • It emphasizes connections between your plan and other parts of the organization by adding project implementation, accountability, and follow-up to the planning.
  • This enhanced public strategic leadership service will help local governments translate “big ideas” into measurable goals and action plans with tracking systems to ensure staff and decision makers are accountable.

Contact us so that we can learn more about your specific needs and match you with the faculty or staff with the relevant expertise.

Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles