Around the World in 30 Days

OCTOBER 01, 2010 12:10 AM| no comments

It’s the lull before the storm this week at WebsEdge. We’re dusting down equipment, checking our visas and packing our suitcases ready for our big October roadshow. It’s eight events across three continents ranging from Nursing Management in Dallas, Social Services in Manchester to Sustainability in Hong Kong.

Two projects I’m particularly looking forward to are the International City Managers Association and the International Association of Police Chiefs. And it’s not just the chance to go to San Jose and Orlando. Great as that will be! No, it’s the chance to catch up with old friends and see how their year has been.

I’m particularly keen to find out how they’ve faced up to the challenge of delivering excellent public services in such trying economic times. These community leaders find themselves caught between two increasing pressures – the need to cut costs and the ever-greater demands of the communities they serve.

Ahead of this years events we’ve filmed in literally scores of towns and cities throughout the United States. And despite the challenges we’ve found a spirit of optimism that at first is quite surprising.  What we’ve also found is real innovation. People have understood that cutting budgets alone just won’t do it. You’ve actually got to re-think the whole way you pay for and deliver public services.

And away from the newspaper columns and television cameras you’ll find something else emerging. A new sense of leadership. Men and women who’s only interest is the community they serve. And maybe in the aftermath of these recessions their time has come.

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