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Posts tagged ‘Best practice’

Learning from your neighbors

At the recent NASPE Conf in Nashville, I witnessed the kind of best practice sharing that can only really happen in the Public Sector.  Private Sector companies are so fiercely competitive that they miss out on learning from each other.   But in Public Sector, in this case State Government, they just have to turn to their neighboring state and say “here’s how we do it”.   NASPE (National Association of State Personnel Executives) is an organization dedicated to State Government Human Resource leaders who come together so they don’t have to go at new initiatives alone.  They acquire knowledge from each other, because who really wants to reinvent the wheel?  I’ll share some examples:

  • Succession Planning – Trish Holliday, Chief Learning Officer and Assistant Commissioner, State of Tennessee, walked the NASPE audience through the strategy Tennessee is implementing to make it through the “silver tsunami”.  Read her article, Success(ion) Planning: The Learning Community Circle of Life in HR Professionals Magazine.
  • Onboarding – Jim Honchar, Deputy Secretary of Human Resources and Management, Governors Office of Administration, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, recently shared the states’ move to creating a more simplified process for new hires.  Read Governing Magazine’s article, How Pennsylvania Is Helping New Hires Get to Work Faster for the a detailed description.

All you have do is look at the agenda to know this is the kind of meeting that makes you want to go back to the office and implement change.  Oh, and did I mention it’s a small, intimate group so everyone has an opportunity to get to know each other.  It’s inspiring to hear how Human Resources sees their department as leaders in transformation.  They know the impact they have on the employees in turn has a direct impact on citizens within their state.   More importantly, though, they learn from their neighbors’ triumphs and mistakes.

Best Practice Sharing Isn’t Just For Leaders

We all know the expression, “Let’s not re-create the wheel”.  Still, employees and employers alike find themselves doing that every day.  Why is it that leaders are encouraged to share best practices with other organizations, but employees and managers within departments often sit in silos not knowing what the other department, agency, group, etc… are doing?  Best practice sharing isn’t just for leaders, it’s for everyone.

Karin Hunt, blogger and creator of Let Leaders Grow, talks in a recent blog about how important it is for leaders to listen to their own employees.  She goes on to talk about the powerful advantages to “story-telling” and how to learn through collaboration.  I know in my personal experiences when I sit down with my counterparts I’m often amazed at some of the things they are working on and how easily I could apply them to my own goals and objectives.  And all it takes is one-hour a month out of our busy schedules to have this informal group “chat”.

Even when it doesn’t seem to make sense that one group could possibly learn from another, it doesn’t hurt to try.  Leaders need to cultivate an environment that encourages sharing.  What if the Parks & Rec Dept created a process for scheduling seasonal workers that the Transportation Dept could adopt during the snow season?  What if the IT Dept had a solution to resolve incoming requests quickly that the Clerk’s Office could benefit from?  This makes me think of  that other expression we hear so often, “You never know unless you try”.

To read more about what Karin Hunt has to say about story-telling, visit her blog posted Oct 4th titled, Simplest Ways to Hear the Best Stories.