We all know change can be difficult. It’s scary to a lot of people set in their ways. During my time at IIMC, I attended the Dealing with Change session dedicated to just that subject.
It’s no secret these days with shrinking budgets, staff cuts, and a constituency ever more aware of inefficient government, as clerks you’re expected to do more with less. Sometimes these changes are difficult, but with change there is also opportunity. Streamlining your process, finding new ways to be efficient and implementing technology to help automate outdated manual processes are just a few of the ways Clerks can make the best of change.
The mere mention of eliminating paper agenda packets elicited a cheer from the crowd of Clerks at this year’s IIMC conference in Portland. As a Clerk, going paperless would change your life. No more prepping, printing and delivering an enormous packet? Who wouldn’t want that?!? And most importantly, it’s good for the environment. An estimated 18,667 trees are cut down per year for the agenda packets of just the primary meeting body for all local government agencies across the country. That’s the equivalent of over 53 acres. And those reams of paper cost taxpayers over $12 million dollars a year.
In the Dealing with Change session, Janice Corbin talked about why we’re set in our ways. For example, your agency knows the paper process and how to fix it when it goes wrong. There are questions about going digital such as: Will it work? What happens when it fails? How will I get trained on it and provide training to everyone else?
Very valid concerns indeed! But Corbin gave some great tips about what we can do to implement change smoothly:
- Clear Communication – Explain the reason for and benefits of the change to generate buy-in.
- Roadmap – Tasks and dates for how the change will be implemented.
- Transition – Keep a parallel implementation of both the old and the new way for a period of time to give people a chance to try it out and get familiar before the cutover date.
- Training – Acknowledge the need for and provide employees access to the training required to be successful.
At Granicus, we know change can be difficult, but we’re here to help you every step of the way. Whether you’ve been a client for years or are just exploring legislative and agenda automation, paperless agendas on the iPad, and video streaming, we are committed to making your new technology implementation as smooth as possible. Not only can you help provide a sustainable future by going paperless, but you can lead your agency to greater efficiency. Let us help you change your government.
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This article is part of our IIMC 2012 series, which can be found here.