119 – Long read: Three recent local government leadership pieces from ACELG, MCC and IBAC.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                         1450 words

ACELG values based leadership ethos

From time to time something worthwhile will be written about leadership in local government. Mostly, what is written is highly aspirational and touching, but not useful. Three recent reports do provide a useful insight into local government leadership.

The first is a report ‘Council approaches to leadership – Research into good practice’, published in April 2015 by the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) and the University of Sydney – Centre for Local Government.  It reports on a research project conducted with 8 councils to look at approaches to leadership development identified as ‘good practice’. The aims are to:

  • Present examples of councils with good practice approaches to in-house leadership development initiatives.
  • Outline the themes and program structures within the council examples that work well to build the leadership capacity of local government managers.
  • Provide some practical guidance for local governments in developing their own leadership programs.
  • Explore some different examples of leadership capability frameworks in use by the sector.

The second report is the ‘Organisational Capability Review’ completed in May 2015 for Melbourne City Council (MCC) by Jude Munro, Dr Bronte Adams and Steve Parker.

The review is an independent assessment of how the organisation is performing. It examined how the City of Melbourne sets its direction, plans and prioritises, collaborates, manages organisational performance and develops and motivates its people.Jude Munro AO   Dr Bronte Adams Steve Parker

The third report is the ‘Local Government: Review of council works depots’ report completed by the Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) in May 2015. The review was conducted to identify common vulnerabilities and opportunities to strengthen processes in local government works depots. It looked at four areas of depot management – procurement; management of bulk consumables; management of small plant and equipment; and leadership and culture.

What do they tell us that is useful?

108 – Melbourne City Council: Organisational Capability Review, May 2015.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                         1300 words

Melbourne capability review model

The public release of this critical report has been something of a surprise. Commissioned in March 2015 and released in May, the report prepared by Jude Munro, Dr Bronte Adams and Steve Parker has looked at three key capabilities; leadership, strategy and delivery. Each has been rated on a four point scale for several elements. Out of the ten attributes rated, six were seen as a ’development area’ and one as a ‘serious concern’. The remaining three were seen as ‘well placed’ and none were seen as ‘strong’ (p.14). So what does this mean?

melbourne assessment criteria ratingsThe report states that this is the first time that this review model has been applied to local government in Australia. Its intention is to provide a forward looking, whole of organisation review that assesses an organisation’s ability to meet future objectives and challenges.


“This review provides the opportunity and impetus to take a very good organisation and make it even better.” Ben Rimmer, CEO

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