COVID-19 TOOLS: Operational Posture

As the COVID pandemic spreads across Canada and local government becomes even more impacted, municipalities will have to continually adjust their posture to respond in the most effective way. Thinking about it before you get there is key! Over the past week or so I’ve had a number of conversations with colleagues about this and how they can respond, and here’s what we’ve developed.
The Government of New Zealand developed a 4 Level response plan based on the inherent Risk of COVID-19 and the range of measures that could be applied as it spread. I’ve posted it here with the addition of the ‘Range of Muncipal Actions’ column. Feel free to use it and adapt it to your circumstances.
The other step we’ve taken is created a ‘Service Shut Down and Reprioritization’ approach. As we get farther up the ‘Levels’ of responses, service delivery will go from ‘Normal Operations’ to ‘Restricted Operations’ to ‘Emergency Support’ (where resources are redirected to these priority services) to ‘Cease Operations’ (where non priority services are simply stopped). Available for your use is a sample Service Listing and a potential/probable progression of service changes as the response level rises. As always feel free to adapt to your particular situation.

Open Communication & Sharing

During the COVID-19 crisis, we will start regularly posting documentation that municipalities, private businesses and not-for-profits can download, use, modify and share at will.

Please email or call us directly if you would like us to publicly share a certain type of document or if you have questions about what to do next.

On the safety side:

  1. We are working directly from a home office (which is regularly sanitized).
  2. We are actively practicing social distancing.
  3. We are still actively providing practical and useful information.
  4. We can easily deliver  information to large or small groups or individuals remotely via video, email, text, and phone.

Please stay healthy and safe!

Heartbreaking but Sometimes Necessary – Layoff Notices

COVID-19 has changed our world, our businesses and our lives. In this time of extreme upheaval and personal sacrifice, we support open communication, sharing of knowledge & documentation and compassion. To that end, we have provided a layoff notice that contains the required legal information, but is more personal and compassionate than the usual run of the mill documentation. Please take this, change it at will to suit your purposes, improve it and share it. As a community, we can support one another.

TEMPORARY LAYOFF NOTICE – generic – Gabrielle Battiste LadderUp Consulting

Strategy – Saying No to get to Yes

Strategy is a common (and sometimes overused) concept in organizations. We have a Strategy for our human resources. We have a Strategy for our information technology. We have a Strategy for x, y or z. If you view the creation of a Strategy as a way to latch onto something new and figure out a way to achieve it, you may be saying “yes” to so many things that you might not get what you really want.

The key ingredients (there are others) in a really successful corporate level strategy are: i) Outcomes – the ability to clearly lay out which direction you’re going; and ii) Targets – how you’ll know you get there. With those ingredients, anyone in the organization will be able to how their work directly aligns and supports the strategy. It will also be clear what work is ongoing in the organization that is *not* aligned to your strategic direction.

Work that doesn’t align and support the Outcomes and Targets can take away resources from what you really set out to achieve. Whether those resources are staff time, or direct expenses, it all distracts from the organization’s highest and most important objectives: the Outcomes you defined in your Strategy.

When someone comes into your office with a great idea for a new initiative, do you support their work and help them advance the project? Or, do you ask how does this fit into our Strategy? What’s the metric that will tell me this is moving us towards our Outcome)? What’s the resource consumption that this will require. Is it premium (new) dollars, or a reallocation of existing resources? How does this *directly* drive us towards our Targets?

Those are key questions that every executive should ask their folks when approached with new initiatives and potential work. By asking the right questions and really understanding how an initiative will move the dial on your highest corporate objectives, you’ll be able to support and advance things that will get you there. You’ll also be able to say “no” (or “not now”) to things that would be nice, but right now would be a distraction and a redirection of scarce resources.

Saying “No” to some really good ideas will let you turn the organization’s focus to the ones that you really want to say “Yes” to.