- How do you come up with innovative solutions or approaches?
- What’s your process for generating ideas?
What was the event about?
The recent GM network workshop explored these concepts more closely.
Facilitated by Dr Lisa Daniel from the University of Adelaide Business School, the GMs were taken through a robust process to spark creativity and generate discussion.
What were the key points? What did attendees learn that they can use in their roles?The process included creative ways of considering all aspects of a project, including the 5 ‘D’s’:
Define – what are we seeking to understand? Who is involved and how?
Discover – what’s good about this for us? What do we have that works well; what are we good at and how can we use these strengths?
Dream – what would work well, now and into the future
Design – what do we need to do/put in place/address to make this real?
Destiny – How could it come together most successfully?
A real case study was used to add value to the process – a proposed Performing Arts and Cultural Centre at Victor Harbor.
Attendees spent time discussing, testing and gathering innovative ideas that were collated and summarised at the end of the exercise. At the end of the session there were certainly lots of useable, valuable new ideas to put into practice!
What was the feedback from attendees?
The GM’s commented on the value they derived from his project and workshop session, and said the concepts they learned would be very useful for each of their teams back in the office.
Further, they really saw the value in running a real world exercise with their peers – to network, to learn and to share ideas – especially with those who had been through a similar development or process.
Kate Jessep, Director, Corporate and Community Services at Victor Harbor, said she valued the opportunity to now have access to a highly qualified and experienced academic who could potentially assist with strategic planning at Council – as well as an improved understanding on thought processes to be used when solving ‘wicked problems’.
“I also really appreciated the input of the other GMs“ she added. “The network exposes GMs to different ways of thinking and new knowledge from a variety of academics and consultants to add to their network; provides take-away ‘tool kit’ processes to use in your workplace; and, most importantly to me, provides a forum to meet other GMs/Directors with whom to share experiences and knowledge.”
Session Chair, Bruce Williams said the workshop was yet another excellent event – held in a superb learning environment.
“Innovation is an important part of the national agenda to help drive economic growth and living standards. Innovation is also a common strategy for driving initiatives in the local government sector, particularly focussed on enhancing customer service delivery outcomes, but also underpinning the philosophy of continuous improvement. I think all GMs and Directors in local government are accountable for fostering a culture that supports innovation, so the session was important for me to attend – and it certainly delivered. The session provided valuable tools and tips for helping to assist in fostering this process.”
The positive outcomes from the session were not limited to just the GMs learning and networking. Presenter Dr Lisa Daniels makes a final comment:
“From a presenter’s perspective I really enjoy working with such a motivated and capable bunch of professionals. It was wonderful to hear them sparking off each other, exploring different ideas and perspectives, and building on their diverse experiences and knowledge.”
Would the attending GM’s recommend attending these sessions? Why? (Here are just a few of the many comments received)
“I would definitely recommend the network and our events to other GM’s and Directors. The theme of this year’s networking forums is that of ‘Innovation and Creativity’. From a leadership perspective these are important strategies that we as GM’s need to be driving in our respective Councils. These forums provide an opportunity for us to discuss ideas and concepts and how they can be applied in the workplace. I think the ability to network and share experiences is also really valuable in terms of our own professional and personal growth and development.”
Bruce Williams – GM, City Services, City of Charles Sturt
“I would encourage other GM’s to attend. These sessions/events provide a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge - refresh techniques you may not have used for some time. Ability to discuss issues / day to day operations with like-minded peers and make connections which may well assist you in your role - now, or in the future.”
Victoria MacKirdy, GM Organisation and Culture, Alexandrina Council
“I would definitely recommend that other GM’s attend upcoming sessions. The setting was relaxed and friendly and there was a genuine focus on high level personal and professional learning, which was both challenging and stimulating.”
Carlos Buzzetti, GM Urban Planning and Environment, City of Norwood Payneham and St Peters
So make sure you book in for the next GM session – it’s a great use of your time to focus on development for yourself, network with others and learn how you can apply your new skills in your respective job roles.