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Key Observations from Internal Engagement

City employees are key contributors to many aspects of the business planning and budgeting discussion at the City. There was a desire at the program level of Action Plan 2015-2018 to explore ideas around collaboration for efficiency across the corporation. The Action Plan engagement leveraged the complementary and ongoing work of Cultural Transformation to most effectively target this stream of engagement with City staff.

Note: this internal engagement was not intended to replace or replicate the extensive internal engagement individual Business Units have conducted with their staff directly into Departmental Business Plans.

Through their survey submissions City employees recognized that generally citizens do not differentiate business units, all City Staff work for “The City.” While this does not reflect the internal experience of working within business units, it can provide a basis for collaborative effort through the acknowledgement that employees are all on the “same team, no matter the job we do.” Shared outcomes can help to align efforts in a more collaborative way, and employees suggested that defining and communicating on performance measures based on citizen and community success was another way to begin to build a collaborative framework for efficiency at The City. Priorities to improve increased connection across business units and more horizontal integration of business units included:

  • more networking with others in the corporation doing similar work and sharing of learning
  • better communication within business units, across the corporation and with our external stakeholders
  • shared understanding of root issues/needs from citizens and from each other (City employees)

For a detailed review of engagement specific to City employees, please see Civic Partners ideation & internal engagement.

Another group considered in the Internal Engagement stream was The City’s Civic Partners. The City invests significant resources in its Civic Partners’ organizations, including operational and capital funding, land, buildings, artefacts and liaison support. In turn, the Civic Partners manage these resources and provide Calgarians with a wide range of opportunities and services. This unique group of stakeholders have both internal and external perspectives on business planning and budgeting endeavours at the City. A specific ideation session was conducted with over fifty representatives of the Civic Partner organizations.

Civic Partners discussed a desire for more opportunities to collaborate with The City. Participants cautioned, however, that the perception that collaboration leads to efficiencies isn’t always true, commenting that “efficiency is not the same as effectiveness” Within the Civic Partner community there was a sentiment that collaboration and efficiencies could be found in shared support services and HR, or shared activities such as marketing and promotion.

For a detailed review of engagement specific to Civic Partners, please see Civic Partners ideation & internal engagement.