Meeting management is one of the most important aspects of local government operations, as it involves the various strategies, processes and working parts that contribute to successful decisions that benefit the public and answer the needs of the community. Municipal meetings serve the critical purpose of providing a public forum for elected officials, government staff and citizens to join together and discuss key issues to help develop a strong and prosperous community. In order to accomplish this effectively, council members must be able to take the perspectives of their fellow council members, citizens’ groups, advisory committees, local chambers of commerce and other organizations into consideration. The council is enlisted to weigh all of the ideas brought forth and then approve, modify, delay or reject them. Analyzing the community’s needs is a core step in the process in order to identify available resources and consider viable alternatives that may exist.
Quality decision-making is key, and proper meeting management helps to facilitate this. Effective, productive meetings don’t just happen of their own accord – they require hard work and strong collaboration between all of the key groups that help to run a local government organization. The right processes and strategies must be in place, as well as the appropriate tools that assist in streamlining pertinent yet often tedious tasks. Implementing the best practices for meeting management allow local government workers to spend more time on meeting the needs of citizens and less time on inefficiencies that cause low productivity and ineffective outcomes.
The various council processes that local government workers must perform all tie back into meeting management. Welcoming and transitioning in new council members, posting meeting activities in a public space, preparing the agenda, document filing and storage and more are all council processes that are impacted by meeting management practices. To an outsider, these tasks might not seem to hold much weight in the grand scheme of local government operations. However, in reality they form the foundation from which a community is able to thrive and prosper.
Without the successful completion of regular council processes, a local government organization could very easily lose its footing and fail to provide needed services to the public. When meeting management is approached appropriately, streamlining council processes is a piece of cake. Maintaining order, leveraging committees and work groups properly, preparing well in advance and utilizing the right digital tools are all smart strategies for managing municipal meetings as effectively as possible. By applying these practices, they will naturally carry over into other areas of council work and ultimately boost the productivity of the municipality as whole.
Ideally, a city council will represent a range of diverse perspectives and will operate well enough to ensure that important decisions are made in the best interests of the community. This is where the practice of board development comes in. It is unrealistic to assume that a council will instantly mesh and won’t have any improvements to make. For as much as local government professionals take on, they are still only human and have flaws just like the rest of us.
Council development is how council members learn from their mistakes, observe and brainstorm better ways to approach their work, and develop improved methods for reaching their goals. Meeting management plays a key role in council development, as it sets the stage for how council members interact and how the council operates as a whole. Strong meeting management enables council members to appropriately address any barriers in the operations of the municipality, pinpoint areas of improvement and develop new and better strategies for getting things done.
Boardroom technology and digital tools play an important role in driving successful meeting management. One of the most difficult aspects of local government work is finding ways to cut back on inefficiencies and better utilize resources and funds. With boardroom technology for meeting management, local governments can automate the process of creating, collating and distributing council packets. Boardroom technology can also enable municipalities to post their meeting agendas online in advance of the meeting, allow for any real-time updates or changes to council packets, and put council members in a prepared and confident place before the meeting even begins. Without the proper digital tools, local government workers can very easily drown in paperwork, lose valuable meeting time to mistakes in council packets or an ill-constructed agenda, and ultimately fail to make any real decisions that answer the needs of the community. Effective meeting management begins with the right boardroom technology to help turn goals into accomplishments.