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Collaboration is just people helping people!

In today’s connected world of networking tools, it’s easy to forget that collaboration is simply about people helping people.

LGMA drives collaboration with leadership, culture and trust.

In today’s connected world of networking tools, it’s easy to forget that collaboration is simply about people helping people. This week we were struck by an incredibly trusting, connected community of professionals when we attended the annual meeting of the Local Government Management Association of BC (LGMA).

At Jostle we love helping organizations calm their “who-is-doing-what” chaos. Since cities are the most complicated organizations anywhere, we attended the LGMA’s annual meeting in Penticton, BC last week. Heading to the show we were nervous. Would we be able to connect to the delegates? Would our message resonate? Would we be welcomed as newcomers?

Wow. We had meaningful conversations with over half of the delegates. Our values rang true and, most importantly, we felt part of a community with a contribution to make. All thanks to how potent the LGMA is as a professional association.

Our careers have spanned many industries. We’ve pitched our wares at many a tradeshow, and involved ourselves with lots of different professional organizations. We can honestly say that the LGMA is the most effective professional community we have seen ever. Anywhere.

Interestingly, this is a community that relies on personal contact via phone, e-mail and in-person meetings! Although they are just starting to use collaboration and networking tools, the LGMA sustains a high degree of professional connection. Our guess is that the key factors in this success are:

1. Strong, active leadership: LGMA Executive Director Tom MacDonald takes time to personally meet each and every of the 180+ member governments, despite their huge geographic dispersion. Tom knows each person and connects people issue by issue. Impressive.

2. Caring people: City Administrators have crazy tough jobs. They have to navigate a complex workforce under the often disjointed direction of a Town Council that is a cast of characters. Excelling here means you have a coaching personality and work well in ambiguous teams.

3. Strong sense of community: The LGMA has been good people under good leadership for a long time. This has created a strong sense of community. The level of trust and inclusion at the LGMA, and the way it reached out to include newcomers like us was, well, astonishing.

The LGMA provides a fine example of how with the right leadership, culture and trust, collaboration can flourish. Modern tools enhance this, but at its heart collaboration is just people helping people!

Don Wadsworth and Brad Palmer


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