The second half of Crest Performance’s preliminary (desktop) review of Clarence Valley Council’s organisation structure made some significant observations which, under the heading ‘Putting the [Observations] into Perspective’ stated: “We believe it is important to conclude with a reality check.”
“…We recommend that the Council seriously consider commencing a formal leadership and culture journey in the organisation.
“This might be built around the twin goals of staff pursuing excellence in all they do, and staff enjoying high levels of personal job satisfaction (what’s in it for Council, and what’s in it for staff).
“This must be built around quality leadership, starting from the top.
“In this regard, we recommend that Council introduces a Leadership Development program for the Management Team as a priority.”
Below is a summary of some of the observations and resultant recommendations contained within the review.
• Tackling the silo mentality – the general view is that this has improved over the past 12 months … but there is still a way to go … we recommend the formal adoption and implementation of cross organisation coordination teams.
• Measuring Performance – there has been genuine progress in this area, but time needs to be taken to review how the new systems and processes are being implemented ‘on the ground’. We received some concern that some of these processes are heading towards becoming ‘an end in itself’, rather than adding fundamental and significant value to council … we believe further review in this area should look at better processes to determine and communicate organisation priorities…
• Promoting Effective Asset Management – whilst council has made commendable progress in this area, there is a widely held view that Council needs to make some major decisions to fund the significant infrastructure backlog that currently exists (currently costed at $50-$60 million) … we suggest Council consider inviting a Departmental representative to speak with Council and EMT [executive management team] on this particular matter.
• Creating Effective Channels of Communication – we received widespread feedback that the new communications officer has had a positive impact in this area. That said, there is consistent feedback that the external perceptions of the council organisation need to be improved … we suggest that council places a stronger focus on promoting the good things it does for its communities. We further recommend that EMT give attention to improving its internal communication, including communicating the reasons for Council or EMT decisions.
• Council and EMT interactions – …we encourage the newly elected council and the EMT to work together to build mutually respectful relationships and to keep effective communication channels open, both ways. Working together is the best way to deliver … quality services to the Clarence Valley communities.
• Observations on Other Operational Matters –Whilst they are not relevant to this report, we will provide a separate report on these to the General Manager and the Council to enable an assessment of the relevance and priority of these issues to be undertaken.
On this last item, the mayor, Jim Simmons, has advised that councillors have received a confidential report that will be the subject of discussion at workshops.
The full review is available on the council’s website in its March 21 meeting attachment list at item 13.010/17.