The Transforming Local Government Conference is always a great forum for learning about innovative approaches to managing cities and counties, and this year in Denver was the biggest one ever. Management Partners is a corporate partner of the Alliance for Innovation, and I had the opportunity to attend this year to learn from colleagues and visit with friends from all over.

One presentation that really resonated with me was by the City of Denver Peak Academy that detailed their efforts to deploy innovation throughout the City, using process improvement tools that are proving to be effective at helping local government meet service demand with limited resources. Because of my own experiences with Lean Six Sigma and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, I’m always interested in how different agencies integrate continuous improvement into their own management systems. The Denver program is a good one, and they shared both success stories and failed ideas, which were valuable in understanding what could go wrong.

Many of our friends and clients gave presentations on interesting projects that they have implemented, including North Port, Florida’s online “living room,” yournorthport.com; San Mateo County, California’s call center customer service improvement project; Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s community engagement efforts; Sacramento, California’s digital communications policies and procedures; Montgomery, Blue Ash, and Sycamore Schools, Ohio three-way partnership on mycommunitree.com, a regional community communications effort; and Olathe, Kansas’ Balanced Leadership Program.

The conference offers an opportunity to keep up with the latest best practices and to hear directly from frontline staff how they successfully implemented these innovative ideas in their organizations. I know I’m looking forward to the next conference in Phoenix in 2015!

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