Just before you hit Read More, a big thanks to Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) our principal sponsor, and the New Zealand Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) for helping us make the Challenge a reality!
The Challenge itself, was all about bringing teams together, and getting to know people in other teams from the same council. However Margaret found the unexpected advantage was the opportunity to network with professionals from other councils and share the energy, ideas and innovations the competition sparked.
‘We had half an hour to set up our council in our room with all the equipment we’d need for the day, and then each team had to complete seven tasks.’ These included presenting to senior management, a debate, managing a disgruntled employee and helping them find resolution, helping a dissatisfied customer, and building a process plan. ‘There was so much to do in very tight timeframes, so we really had to work together using strategy and a skills matrix.’ As influencing – and humour – is part of the new wave of governance, ‘We also brought a proper coffee machine – whenever the judges came into our room, I handled hospitality and made the coffee.’
‘Really, hats off to the organisers. They created a sense of urgency, and had us all striving to produce high-quality outputs and represent our team. It was very inspiring to see what we could achieve. And I also enjoyed seeing the different ways the other teams handled the same challenges. We all got such a lot out of the challenge – we are still buzzing!’