What if I told you I knew the secret to becoming a high impact council?
Currently, only a small handful of councils are reaching their full potential.
After working with over 450 Clerks and Councils I have pinpointed the exact method you can implement to become a high impact council.
Some of the UK’s most efficient councils are using these simple tricks to maximise their resources and the benefit is never-ending.
This can help you secure more funding, work more efficiently and allow you to focus your time on the projects which make a difference within your community.
If you aren’t practising these methods, you don’t know your own council's potential…
The simple act of knowing this method makes it painfully obvious where you should focus your attention.
In this video I uncover the secret on how to reach Magnetic Town (believe me when I say this is where EVERYONE wishes they lived!)
Promise: The first steps to becoming a high-impact council
- Self-evaluate your council's current position
- Implement the immediate steps to get started
- Measure your success and how to keep growing
Hi it's Tim here from Scribe. A big welcome to all the Clerks and Councillors who are watching this video. It’s great to be here and I really look forward to running through some insight we have seen by working with our 450 Clerks and Councils. There are certain things that Councils do which mean they have huge impact in their community and today I just wanted to share with you some of those techniques and activities which mean they make a really big impact which for most Councillors and Clerks is the reason they joined.
So, first of all I wanted to ask you a question. What’s the hardest part for you when running your Council? Maybe as a Clerk or a Councillor what's the hardest thing you have. We have asked the same question to our customers and the big answer that comes back is: lack of time, there's so many things to do they just have no time and time is running out. Which means, they are overwhelmed, and overwhelmed means that they have so many projects to sort out, so many things to answer, so many emails to do it just feels like the world is coming down on top of them, especially for the Clerks where things change, systems change, people change and they just get a huge workload which is really hard to overcome and that leads to things like tension and conflict which then increases the problems. When you are overwhelmed and you then have tension and conflict you should know that stress levels go up and it causes more problems.
Other things we have heard are problems with budget constraints where you have great ideas for projects but it’s actually finding the budget to get this project off the ground, which then will also lead to not making the impact you want too. Many Clerks and Councillors join and work for the Council because they want to make a huge impact in the local community and they want to give their time and make this impact. So, there are some of the problems we have seen and in this video I want to address some techniques, solutions to make those problems less which means you can move on and make a local impact. We have seen it across so many different councils, the ones who have gone through it to get their processes and systems in place their problems can bloom and their town or parish can absolutely transform.
So, across the landscape of councils we can actually map out the impact they have and the number of Councillors who have that impact by doing that we can then see the attributes of the ones who have the most impact and as you expect the kind of distribution is this normal distribution where we have a small number of councils making a high impact, a small amount making not much impact, and quite a lot of councils making some impact. So, let's break these down into different segments so we can see how they work.
So this bottom segment, they are low impact and these may be the councils that are kind of stuck, things haven't changed for ages, things are always the same way and there are no new projects going on. The mindset is that things have always changed the same and there is no way of changing things. The next section up is where the bulk of Councils sit, in the mid-zone, medium impact. Just whilst I remember, this zone is called the sleepy town zone, the next section up, these councils are getting somewhere and making some impact but know things could be better. They are kind of drifting so we can call this drift town. As we go through these different segments we get to this area where things are going better, we have got quite a few councils there, lets call this one progress town. Then there are the big ones you know, maybe you are a councillor yourself and these are the ones you have read about or you know about in your local area. Their projects seem to be going faster, they are able to find a budget and you can see locally they are making an impact let's call this impact town.
You can have a think about where you think your town council and most are going to be sitting here, so let's say there is one sitting here, you have kind of scored yourself and you are just about here, maybe you are here. The good news is that it's possible for you to move up from here to here, and from here, to here into making an impact. I am going to share a few things with you in a minute about how to do that. But actually, right in the top zone, in the zone we haven’t discussed, this is where the very crème de la crème sit. This is where the local community is just powering forward and it’s called the magnetic town. So, of course no-one really wants to be here and actually there is no reason why we can’t get there and we’ve analysed the attributes of the top performing councils and we can see the things that make a difference to make this route here and it comes down to some quite simple things and most councils can implement.
Number one is their systems, having systems means the council can run more from the system then by the people Part of the system is having the process, this is the way of doing things and you improve the progress rather then trying to recreate the process all the time. Number 3 is transparency, so transparency comes from a good process and a good system which then leads to openness which then leads to trust, and with trust some of the problems we talked about right at the start disappear. So conflict is gone then we can move on to professionalism. If we wrap all of these up into one concept we can actually call this leadership. As we are going through this getting your systems right, getting your processes in place, making transparency, openness, trust leads to professionalism and we can do that through leadership and then it’s possible to move all the way up, access new budgets, make high impact projects, get rid of conflict.
However, we are facing a crisis, and it’s interesting to look at the current crisis which is COVID and how we can reframe our thinking within a crisis so we can always progress now, this is kind of based on COVID but any crisis is the same, the same pattern happens and the same route takes place so, this is where we are at the moment in this crisis at the start. We know the crisis is going to go on and on and on and on but, we also know at some point in the future the crisis will actually be over and the sun will shine again and we will feel better. We are here at the start and we know at the end it will be over but we just don’t know how long that will take. It could be 6 months, 1 year, 2 years we just don’t know. But we do know at some point in the future there will be a point where we can see the end of the crisis and we can think ‘ok, we are going to get through this and I can see how this is going to work’ and then the pressure comes off however, we are not there at this stage, we are right here, right at the start and so if we think about it this way and think actually in the end one point we will be able to see how things will work out, we know in the future things will get better. At the start we can take different trajectory, and this comes down to the inbuilt in flight or fight mode in most people. When there is a real crisis the first thing that most people do is they run away, they go into flight mode and that is absolutely normal. The problem with doing that is as time goes on there is no impact and it’s just running away which then leads to things like stress, team change and all sorts.
Another way of approaching a crisis is you say ok, I know we are in a crisis but I am going to try and fix things and then things will get stressful and run away. We fix things and they run away and we just flip flop, and that works and you do get through it however you end up at the same place you started. It’s better than being in total flight mode with no impact, you just end up where you started, but there is a third way.
This is the way of taking a step back and accepting that in the short term there will be problems but take strategic steps forward and what happens here is slowly things get better. Here we are at the same level as one of the flip flops but actually by carrying on our plan we end up at the end zone which is fantastic and is known as the impact zone. This is where by taking a step back today in a crisis we can still end up there, we can learn from it and learn the best things. This impact zone and things that help to get on that path are the same things we have talked about before. Processes, problem solving, transparency, to get all of those things in place what we need to do is be on this path, we need to say we actually need leadership, and make the decision that we are going to be on that path, just to recap that again. This crisis has different ways of reacting. We can react in flight mode, nothing happens and it all goes wrong. We can flip flop and do some things right and some things wrong and we end up in the same place. We can take a step back and think ok, we can get through this crisis and it's not going to be easy but we can put these things in place by taking a step back and have these processes and systems to get to this impact zone and grown through it.
This is an example with COVID many town and parish councils are running on old systems and old processes and through remote have been forced to change to upgrade their IT to move things to the cloud to change their systems and actually this is kind of a forcing function as much as it’s painful once that has gone through and you have got your first process in place and you have held your first remote council meeting. Once you have done it here, you can do it over here. Once you have set up a new accounting system which is painful here, it actually takes you through and opens up new budgets, new planning and so on. There is a difference and every council has a choice to make if they are going to take the red, the yellow or the green. Sometimes it’s not that easy as there are things outside of your control however, taking a step back and putting the fundamentals in place makes a huge difference.
What can we do today to take our council into magnetic town? We can upgrade our systems, we can put in IT systems which are basic and easy to use and frees up peoples times so we can improve our process and improve our transparency which means we are open and the trust is there and we are getting rid of conflict and we are professional. Now we are professional with this leadership we can work on the strategic projects to move ourselves there.
Here at Scribe we can help with that, we can help you put in your accounting system which means that anyone with our support can run your accounts which are transparent with an audit trail, you can budget properly and see what's going on and you can take away that headache and work on the strategic project in your council.
We would love to help you so please do get in touch. On the website and click the ‘request a demo’ button and one of our advisors will get on the phone and show you how Scribe works and how it can really impact you and help you get to the magnetic zone.