Monthly Archives: March 2010

62nd Kansas City County Management Conference coming up

Governance, Collaboration, and Leadership: Working Together in a New Decade

The 2010 KCCM Conference will be presented on April 22-23 at the Kansas Memorial Union in Lawrence.This year’s program highlights projects that reach across cities, counties, and agencies to effectively and creatively meet the needs of constituents.

David Warm, Executive Director of the Mid-America Regional Council ( will offer the keynote address on “Collaborative Governance in a New Decade.” The conference also features a panel discussion on collaborating in Kansas, featuring Dennis Hays, County Administrator from the Unified Government of Wyandotte County; Howard Partington, City Administrator in Great Bend; and Randy Riggs, City Manager in Newton.

Concurrent sessions will include presentations by a number of Kansas county managers and address issues related to leadership in collaboration for economic development, working with nonprofits, tackling poverty in the community, engaging minority communities, and collaboration in emergency management. We’ve also scheduled an “Economic Update” panel to check in on the state of the Kansas economy in the year ahead. Additional information about the conference and registration can be found at

Want to improve your public speaking? Check out Nick Morgan’s blog

I recently stumbled on a terrific resource for those interested in improving their abilities in public speaking and presentations–hopefully, that includes most everyone who ever speaks or presents! Nick Morgan has coached many public figures to improve their speaking skills and has published several books, including Give Your Speech, Change the World: How to Move Your Audience to Action.

He also has a terrific blog offering thoughtful tips, reviews of well-known speakers and general encouragement. As the intro to his blog indicates: “His passion is to connect the latest brain research with timeless insights into persuasive speaking and writing in order to further our understanding of how people connect with one another.” Review the list of his many posts here.

What are the characteristics of really great speakers you’ve heard?

ICMA Award Nominations

Each year, ICMA recognizes outstanding contributions to the local government management profession through the Annual Awards Program. This is a great opportunity for both local government professionals and local governments to receive recognition. Awards are conferred to individuals for career excellence, development of new talent, excellence in leadership as an assistant (regardless of title), and academic contributions to the profession. ICMA’s Annual Awards Program also recognizes outstanding local government programs in the areas of community health and safety, community partnerships, community sustainability, and strategic leadership and governance.

Nominations for this year Annual Awards will be accepted through March 12, 2010. Click here for more information about ICMA awards and nominations.

Unsung Heroes in Public Service

This story on National Public Radio caught my attention this morning.This week, 1,100 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) will receive the Congressional Gold Medal, sixty-five years after they served in World War II by testing and delivering planes to free male pilots for combat.

It’s a very dramatic example of the important–often unrecognized–work that happens in the public sector. What stories of unsung heroes can you share from your departments and agencies?

The next Emerging Leaders Academy starts in May

The KU Public Management Center’s Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) offers a professional development opportunity for promising non-managerial staff to put them on the fast-track for successful public sector careers.

As one ELA participant noted about her experience, “I feel I use the skills/knowledge gained from ELA frequently in my current position. The portfolio forced me to define goals for the next 5 years, this has helped give me some direction in my current position and define what experiences I still need to seek out in order to succeed.”

Click here to learn more.

“It’ll be a ‘perfect storm’ for talent when the economy improves”

“According to a worldwide survey of senior managers, sponsored by StepStone Solutions, two years of cut-backs have undermined workplace trust. Combined with increasing demand for executive talent and a sharp drop in graduate recruitment, the survey has found that companies without the right talent strategies risk developing a major skills shortage just when they need employees’ energy and commitment the most.” Read more.

While the survey focuses on the private sector, we have every reason to believe this will affect the public sector, too. What is your agency doing to hold on to the people who’ll lead in the years ahead? What suggestions can you offer to others?