Ian is versed in several topics that are of interest to local government elected officials and managers. Some of the most common topics he’s asked to speak on are:
Who's Driving the Grader
Excerpts from Ian’s first book, Who’s Driving the Grader and Other Governance Questions, are focused explored based on the desires of the audience. For example, have you ever wondered whether governments need to ‘stop doing stupid stuff’ or how you can ‘meet people where they are’? These are just two of the over 20 topics that can be explored.
Effective Elected Officials
There are specific attributes that serve elected officials well and others that don’t matter so much. Ian’s forthcoming second book is about the aptitudes of well-functioning mayors. These attributes, values, principles, and actions apply to anyone who holds elected office and equally to those who work with elected officials to serve citizens, businesses, and community organizations.
When Councils get elected, they want to do stuff. So how do they set their sights on identifying their ideal future state and then work towards achieving that? Knowing that circumstances change, Ian will explore how to create goals, set priorities, and then adapt them as the months and years go by.
These workshops can be anywhere from a one-hour presentation to a half-day.
Ethics for Elected Officials
It’s probably alright to accept tickets to a sporting event, but not tickets to a Caribbean cruise. Where is the line? Ian speaks to various types of ethical quandaries for elected officials, what they mean, and how to avoid them.
Effective Council - Management Relationships
When push comes to shove, it’s the city manager who gets shoved. Hear from Ian about how fit seems to matter more than actual skill regarding municipal government managers’ relationships with the councils that hire them. What can the manager do to ensure their house is in order - to set both council and their only employee up for success over that council’s term. The best-laid plans don’t always work out, so hear about what comes next.
Over many years of working with elected officials across Canada, Ian has gained some insight into what the principles of great governance look like in action. His book Who’s Driving the Grader and Other Governance Questions takes a conversational tone in addressing what works and sometimes what doesn’t. Throughout the author's reading, Ian will provide excerpts from his book and engage in a conversation with those in attendance.
The topics above can be adapted to any board-led group such as a professional association, charity, library, or the like.