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A Keynote for the Texas Municipal League, a Century in the Making

I’m honoured that next month, I’ll be the opening keynote speaking for the 100th Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Texas Municipal League, which represents the interests of civic officials throughout the great state of Texas.

Jim Carroll opens their 100th annual conference on November 14, 2012, in Grapevine, Texas!

The Texas Government Insider publication ran a small note about the conference and my keynote:

Texas Municipal League 100th Annual Conference, Exhibition set

A century in the making, the Texas Municipal League will hold its 100th Annual Conference and Exhibition on Nov. 13-16 in Grapevine. Hear from the experts, such as the Opening General Session keynote speaker Jim Carroll, a futurist who will discuss trends affecting public service and how to turn challenge into opportunity. Dive into concurrent sessions on leadership, smartphone apps, health care, youth, retail development, parliamentary procedure, legislation, water management and community meetings…just to name a few. And not to be missed is a walk through the exhibit hall, where delegates will find more than 300 vendors equipped with services and products to help public servants serve better. With an agenda so full, we also carved some time to celebrate 100 years of municipal excellence – join us on Nov. 14 for the TML Centennial Gala. A conference like this only comes around once every 100 years. So what are you waiting for? Register now at www.tmlconference.org.

What will I focus on? The fact is, citizens expectations and needs are changing rapidly, and they are are more demanding. This is happening in a time of an increasing challenge in terms of skills resourcing (matching less relevant skills to new emerging knowledge requirements), ever increasing funding issues (related to the economic correction), and some pretty stark trends that further increase those challenges (i.e the baby boomer pension funding issue!). All this is happening at the same time that the rate of change continues to speed up, particularly due to technology, and as political volatility continues to rage….

It’s a great time to work for a municipality, right? Of course it is — that’s why the opportunity for innovation is so critical.

I often explain that when we rethink the concept of innovation, we should keep it simple: It’s about “running the business better, growing the business, and transforming the business.” Of course, that’s for business organizations.

From a government perspective, the concept can be reframed – innovation is about continually transforming service delivery (grow the business), citizen engagement (transform the business), and internal effectiveness (common business processes / infrastructure) (build the business). These are a few of their key issues, and my keynote will spend some time exploring these concepts. The fact is, the future of municipalities in Texas will come from their ability to to respond to rapidly changing circumstances, a faster page of the ingestion of new infrastructure, managing more complex skills issues, and relentless seeking and adopting best-practices in government.

From that perspective, innovation moves from more than just “products” to process, methodology, structure, capabilities, scalability, collaborative ability and productivity.

It should be a fun time!

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