Like Aurora’s Strategic plan, York Region’s 40 year Strategic Plan is under way.
It’s titled “Vision 2051” and you can learn more at this site:
This new plan will supplant the current “Vision 2026” plan, which can be viewed here:
It was interesting to read in this Era Banner article that “more than” 1,600
Thats sounds impressive, that is until you do the math.
The population of York Region was estimated to be 1,062,000 at the end of 2010.
More demographics can be found through the region’s Business Gateway site here:
If we remove the 15% that are 15 and under (159,300) we are left with 902,700 residents.
1600 people represents 0.001% of the population of the region, hardly sufficient to create a 40 year vision from.
Not that it hasn’t stopped them before, or will stop them now.
We elect leaders, and pay staff through our taxbase to do their jobs, and this is what they believe is acceptable?
Like what I witnessed with the Aurora Strategic Plan there is an unacceptable level of engagement. You couldn’t ask for a more poignant example of the blind leading the not so blind.
There are several resources on the topic of engagement that could and should be applied here.
The first that is worth mentioning is from the Gallup Management Journal:
This article points out the cost of disengagement, and the correlations between customer service should be of particular interest to the town of Aurora, which I understand is cobbling together a “Customer Service Strategy.”.
Why they don’t have one currently is an indicator of how disengaged those at the town are from its customers, the residents.
The question for business leaders is simple: How do you turn disengaged employees into engaged and eager contributors?
For Clint Swindall the answer is simple “Engaged Leadership” which he outlines in his book “Engaged Leadership: Building a Culture to Overcome Employee Disengagement” is available here as an ebook:
“Since an employee is engaged or disengaged based on the culture of the organization, leaders must build a culture to overcome employee disengagement. Engaged Leadership shows readers how to build that culture by breaking down the art of effective leadership into three primary areas that all leaders must master in order to inspire and engage their employees: directional leadership, which builds a consensus for the vision; motivational leadership, which inspires people to pursue the vision; and organizational leadership, which develops the team to realize the vision.”
There is an absense of directional, motivational and organizational leadership when it comes to both the region and the town of Aurora as it pertains to strategic planning.
Another resourse that I believe would be applicable here is Paul Brown’s book:
Your Attention Please: How to Appeal to Today’s Distracted, Disinterested, Disengaged, Disenchanted, and Busy Consumer
“At this moment, a large number of the hundreds of thousands of professionals who communicate for a living are struggling with something they’re writing. No, they don’t have writer’s block and they certainly know how to construct a sentence. So what’s the problem? The audience they’re writing for is going, going, gone…Today’s consumer doesn’t want to read anymore, they’re already overwhelmed by overflowing e-mail, millions of web pages and 24/7 news proliferation. “Your Attention Please” is the new strategy guide for writing to the reluctant reader. It shows beleaguered communicators who the new audience is, how to reach them and how they must write differently, or risk losing mindshare and marketshare.”
The town of Aurora struggles in the area of communications, and this is one area where some true leadership may be able to net some more engagement.
It was interesting to read in the Era Banner article that “in addition to meetings, the region is using Twitter and Facebook to solicit feedback for the first time. The region is gratified with the quality and quantity of replies.”
Acting regional long range and strategic planning growth manager Karen Antonio-Hadcock spoke favorably about the integration of social media:
“Using social media as a pilot project has been very worthwhile,” she said, adding more than 100 people are following Vision 2051 online. “It has also given us the opportunity to network with partner organizations and supplement traditional consultation tools. As a channel of communication, it has been very successful.”
Why wasn’t social media used in Aurora’s strategic planning for soliciting feedback?
How is it the town of Aurora could overlook a valuable channel of communication in favour of using it simply to push out notifications?
I’m not suggesting that the Region’s vision is 20/20, but at least it hasn’t put the blinders on like the town of Aurora, making everything so fuzzy to the rest of us.
A “shared vision”?
I don’t think so.