Leaders & Decision Makers – MosaicLab Deliberation Ready Training


We might have allowed for more people to be involved and not limited ourselves in some other ways that we did not having known that that depth of feeling and enthusiasm for this type of process existed in our community. I think the amount of work involved was a lot more than we anticipated for our staff and, knowing that ,I think we would have resourced up a lot more than we did at the beginning The engagement of the newDemocracy Foundation as the overseers of the process and the managers of the process was absolutely critical. It demonstrated in independence at every turn We really did show great respect to the fact that it was their advice, that we were handing over in a quite a bit of power and influence here, and where we didn’t take the advice we had to show due respect to that by explaining why not. And that was very important, and you can see the jurors really appreciated the elevation that we gave to their work. I think the key thing that we did that I would definitely do again next time is time the process so that it is an input to our council plan process, the introduction of the new Council and their strategic objective setting process … my aspiration would be that we get the balance right between Allowing the jury sufficient time to be properly informed, but also moving through the process in a timely way. And I’d want to perhaps next time factor in an opportunity to allow the new Council, (assuming that was change at the elected level), to I guess come up to speed and understand and embrace that process as their predecessors had done. I think what I learned was that considered, calm factual information prevails in juries. Not loud, table thumping advocacy – which is the traditional method of sort of politics … Well, I think we were very proud that we had been trailblazers in this area of community engagement and that we were brave enough and bold enough to hand over something as big as your 10 year financial plan to a jury – and then to take that risk – ‘what if they tell us to do things we don’t like?’ – and then to have it come back partly as validation of some of the existing trajectories and positions, but also pushing us in a number of directions which were pretty bold and which we subsequently agreed to I think certainly anyone who was tentative at the beginning of the process about the value of This type of engagement, they would have changed their mind by the end of the process and I really think understood that it’s not scary to engage with our community, that we don’t lose control we actually gain control because has got more information at our fingertips. We know what the community wants after they’ve had the information that we have to help make decisions. Now, if that results in us all understanding each other Then that’s that’s a greater level of control for an organisation to have and I think it’s particularly important for public sector agencies who don’t work in a competitive – traditional competitive – commercial marketplace. It has opened peoples’ eyes to new ways of doing things we talk a lot about the customer being at the center of everything that we do but it’s hard for people to visualise what that might mean in terms of changing the way we operate, changing the way we make our decisions, changing the way we develop and deliver services. So I think it’s really broadened thinking and broadened horizons for our staff and for our councillors as well. To get regular people giving non-conflicted advice after having a deep dive was so refreshing that I’m actually now a complete convert to this model and even think we need to go so far to have a permanent, standing citizens assembly sitting above to the upper house in every Australian state and territory and in the federal parliament. A group of representative people of any community can be entrusted to make sound decisions and sound judgments when properly informed. I think sooner or later we’ll be required by force of community expectation to to do these types of processes anyway, so start thinking about it now, start doing it now I think that process of delivery of engagement with the community is a very powerful tool I think it’s most powerful when you’ve got a real dilemma that you genuinely need a lot of input from the community to help guide the ultimate decision-making of the board. Just take the leap of faith – test these deliberative types of processes in tandem with the other things that you’re already doing and that gives you a solid foundation upon which to build a process like this So I just encourage all leaders and decision makers to be brave. It’s a modern way of making decisions, but history is on its side with the Greeks, and it’s got enormous momentum internationally and I think that leaders just need to get with the program, and start commissioning citizen juries to help them with their difficult decisions.

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