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Blogs / ICMA | blog / Tell It Like It Is. Clearly. Distinctly.

Tell It Like It Is. Clearly. Distinctly.


“Achieving organizational excellence is a journey. It requires commitment and effort, but has major benefits.” With these two distinct sentences, authors Jeffrey Parks and Cheryl Hilvert of the April PM article “In Search of Organizational Excellence?” give readers a straightforward framework for organizational excellence. Eight key strategies later, boom!, readers also know that excellence requires delighting customers, defining and implementing a compelling vision, and maximizing employee engagement and competence.

A second feature in April, “Maximizing Manager Success,” by authors Kevin Duggan, Frank Benest, Jan Perkins, and Kevin O’Rourke identifies work-related challenges faced by managers and provides ways they can be more successful in their management roles, including with elected officials. Recommended actions from a survey of 500 managers in the state of California: Develop model protocols for effective council-manager relations, plus an online repository of resources that can also assist first-time managers.

The decision to increase the minimum wage is a hot policy issue that local governments may face in the coming months. Managers can use Mountain View, California’s eight tactics explained in “Raising the Minimum Wage,” by Kimbra McCarthy to help write a minimum wage ordinance. Two include doing your research and reaching out to stakeholder groups.

ICMA members Jason Slowinski and James Jayne provide telling answers to the On Point department question: What Is the Most Rewarding Aspect of Your Role as a Manager? Serving people is their reward.

One of my favorite quotations this month is found in the online article “Good Leaders Ask Dumb Questions.” Author Walt Grassl writes that people may be afraid to ask dumb questions because of peer pressure, or they may lack self-confidence. Whatever the reason, not asking dumb questions can diminish a person’s value to his or her employer. For leaders, one way to be confident that things are being done right is to ask questions.

The quote I like, which was provided through storytelling involving a mentor, reads: “If you ask a question, you may look stupid for five minutes. But, if you don't ask, you stay stupid forever.” A teaching moment that tells it like it is!

I really like a straight approach to writing and generally, most PM articles have it. As always, there are more excellent articles in the April issue not mentioned here, but I encourage you to seek them out, including another PM+ article that can be found only at PM’s website.

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