John Hope Bryant: Opening Session Video

October 9, 2009

Miss the opening session of the ICMA Annual Conference? John Hope Bryant has posted video from his presentation on his Web site. Check it out here!


Update: Virtual Conference Archive Accessibility

September 18, 2009

As most of you know, ICMA ventured into the world of virtual conferences this year by live-streaming selected onsite conference content from Monday and Tuesday to a virtual audience.  The best part about this new offering? The content is being archived and will be available to both virtual and onsite attendees in a few short days! When released, you will have access to two keynote addresses for a week, 20 educational sessions for 30 days, and all of the solutions tracks for a year.

We expect the content to be available early next week.  Here’s how it will work for the following groups of members:

  • Virtual attendees will use their username and password to access the e-conference gateway page, where the content is hosted.
  • Onsite registrants will receive login and Web site information from Granicus (ICMA’s partner in this endeavor) via email as soon as the materials are ready. Non-attendee Managers in Transition will receive complimentary access at this same time.

Please note: you can only receive this information if you have an email address on file with ICMA. Visit and make sure your record is current.

Thanks for your patience in understanding the slight delay in providing access to the archived content—we promise it will be available shortly! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact

Miss the closing session keynote?

September 16, 2009

Dr. Linda Duxbury showed data from Canada revealing that 20 years of talking about life-balance has led to … LESS balance. More work, more stress, less satisfaction, less productivity. At the same time, more technology means work is everywhere, all the time. For instance, some people waited to have children later – and now balance child care AND elder care. Add in economic stress and city managers are doing more, sleeping less, and lacking time to manage. How do we fix this daily nightmare? What do we need to know? Here are some of her thoughts:

1. Adjust expectations. It is unreasonable to expect all email to be read overnight.

2. Model better balance. As leaders, our staff watches us to learn what is expected.

3. Don’t do two things at once. Turn off your cell, bb or pda when in a meeting.

4. Don’t expect immediate responses, or people to be always available.

5. Managing your in box is not the same as managing your life.

6. Work-life conflict, especially over loading, is major predictor of absenteeism and illness. So we must pay attention to this.

7. If these issues are not addressed during time of boomer retirements, we will lose in the efforts to recruit new talent.  For the next 20 years, there will be only one next gen person available to replace two boomer.

8. Boomers are boiled frogs. Slowly, over time, water heated up around these ever more stressed hard workers. Work dominates their lives. The next gen says no, I will not live that way.

9. Boomers say “where is the work ethic of the next gen?” Their models were their WWII parents, and stay-at-home moms. The next gen had an entirely different experience : many of them saw their parents give their all to their work – and fail at family life. Often they say “Work broke my mom’s heart.”

10. Focus more on HR and managing human capital. Do more coaching, training. Move beyond just talking about balance. Suppprt employees. Change your org culture – overwork is the modern madness.

11. Say no – we cannot do everything. Set priorities and stick to them.

Did you hear John Hope Bryant?

September 13, 2009

If you missed out on this year’s Opening General Session Speaker, John Hope Bryant…here’s some of the take-a-ways I jotted down from this phenomenal speaker.

1) Make big bets and keep small promises;

2) What you didn’t know you didn’t know is what will kill you – i.e. knowledge is power;

3) Success is not a popularity contest;

4) Live your life in the 8-10 range…i.e. the excellence category range on the life scale of 1-10;

5) Finally, be an EAGLE and not a Turkey!

Can’t wait for tomorrow….

Keynoter Linda Duxbury Answers Your Questions!

September 11, 2009

1) How will the decline in retirement accounts impact the forecasted upcoming workforce shortage?

There are a number of plausible scenarios. First, people (especially talent who have higher incomes) will leave anyway. Second, people will stay but they will “retire on the job”. In fact, I think that people “having” to stay with their employer because they need their paycheck when their heart wants to leave will be a worse case scenario here – reduced engagement, poorer customer service etc.
Third, older workers who have experienced decades of doing more with less will experience significant health problems which will cost the employer in terms of increased absenteeism, lower productivity etc.  This is not a good news story!

2) How will having employees in the workplace who had planned to retire (but can’t) impact organizational morale?

See above… they will retire on the job and their focus on the negative will contribute to lower morale for all and a decreased ability to recruit and retain younger workers.

3) What is the most high-profile or urgent professional issue you’re facing right now?

High profile?  Speaking with Donald Trump Sept. 24th.  Urgent – getting ready for two new class preparations next Monday!!!

4) Which of your professional accomplishments are you most proud of and why? Which has had the greatest impact on your target audience?

Proudest of? That is a hard one. It sounds trite but I guess I am proud of the fact that I try and walk the talk re:  my research on work-life balance.  I touch base with my 90-year-old dad and 86-year-old mom a couple of times a week, am still happily married and have a great daughter who has recently decided that I am not so stupid after all.  Plus, and most importantly, I have resisted the lure of the Blackberry/iPhone and only two people (husband, daughter) have my cell phone number.  I make sure that I do not work all the time and Friday night, Saturday and Sunday until 8 PM are always time for family and me. Hard but think it is important. Why is this important for my target audience?  Many of you need to make you a priority. Work can and does take over. We need to make sure that this does happen all the time.

5) What are the keys steps necessary to change a work culture effectively?

This one is huge… not something that I am prepared to blog about.  My fingers will cramp if I tell you all I know here.  There is NO one answer and No Magic bullet. This one is tough.

6) What are two to three of the most important things a manager can do to encourage appropriate work-home life balance?

Have some balance themselves, focus on what they do, not what they say, and look at deliverables not face time.

7) Do you see any significant difference between the state of the US and Canadian workforces in terms of the challenges they’re facing or the way they’re dealing with them?

Absolutely.  The recession has not been as deep in Canada as the US and many firms recognize the importance of talent. The downsizing does not appear to be as extreme here.  Plus, we have a much more effective social safety net (despite the debate on Health Care in the U.S. I would rather live here and have access to free health care than the US where you tend to get the care that you can afford.  I also think that we have a much better and competitive approach to maternity leave, etc.

8) Congratulations on being named a Woman of Influence by Deloitte! What have you learned from being part of such a distinguished crowd?

I was honored to get this award.  Very humbling.  Learnt that hard work and a positive view of the world does make a difference.