We’re proud and lucky to be involved with the Local Government Managers Association (LGMA) SA.  They run a variety of conferences, forums, challenges and programs for local Government professionals.  They are also pretty awesome and inspiring to deal with!  We’ve been sponsors, speakers and attendees at a variety of their offerings over the past few years, and the most recent LGMA SA Annual Conference was no exception. It was one of their biggest to date with over 200 filling the room, but what always manages to strike me when I’m at this event is the sheer passion, determination and willing to learn and improve that every attendee possesses.

This years conference looked at what is sure to be one of the biggest issues in local government this year. Change.  Change is definitely all around us, and it is how you respond to it that determines your result and the subsequent outcomes achieved. There’s changing technology, changing your way of working (co-working at Hub Adelaide anyone?), changing jobs (which fortunately local government offers so many different opportunities in!), changing mindsets and even changing the structure of Local Government.  By being the change you wish to see in your mindset and response will go a long way to the success achieved from the change initiatives.

The outgoing CEO of Auckland City Council, Doug McKay shared his story of embarking on a massive change journey for the City of Auckland by merging 8 Councils into one.  A daunting journey, but one that has had tremendous benefits for the community since it occurred.  What really stuck with me after Doug’s presentation (besides can Adelaide do the same? We’ll leave that for another time!) is that to make the change, sometimes you need to step out of it.  The people living with the change aren’t always the best ones to make the change – an outsiders perspective is needed as it can be harder to make the change whilst still trying to work in the day to day organisation.

What changes are you looking to make this year? How can change benefit your Council or government department? And more importantly, are you the right person to make the change, or should someone else be doing it for you?  To leave you with Doug’s very wise words – “Turkeys can’t sell Christmas”.