Early in my career I would dive headlong into strategy execution with little to no planning and even less consensus. My “I know it all” attitude found me out on the end of the limb with no one behind me. My failures were well documented.
It didn’t take me long to learn touching a hot iron burned my fingers. I learned good plans of action required research, consensus and action coupled with accountability. One of my mentors often reminded me, “Always trust the group as its direction will guide you.”
Tuesday afternoon, city commissioners will review recommendations from its Visioning Committee. I have been serving on this committee to recommend a process for gaining community input and consensus on our future. A proposal from a Philadelphia company, Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC, has been recommended at total cost ranging from $201,250 to $403,540. The range relates to the inclusiveness of the effort. The higher the cost the more citizens reached. The committee recommended the full package.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a bit of a penny pincher. Unless presented with clear and convincing evidence of subsequent action and implementation, these exercises often waste critical resources—time, money and talent. After going through the process, I’m convinced a comprehensive assembly makes sense, will help prioritize future direction and will make our policy makers, staff, and citizenry more accountable.
When this process is approved we will have a roadmap. It will be nicely bound and available to review on the Internet. Then it gets exciting. Champions will take the map and navigate hills and valleys of our legacy. Next generation leaders will be born and our cycle completed. I accept this responsibility. Will you?