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ALIGN!
Align Your Council’s Communications and Everyday Work to Your Community Vision in the Next 12 Months

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Community Vision strategic alignment program for local government

Align Your Council’s Communications and Everyday Work to Your Community Vision in the Next 12 Months

Enhance results, relationships and reputation

Enshrined in legislation, Community Visions now drive strategic direction and priorities for all Victorian councils. While Community Visions will inform the Council Plan, Long Term Financial Plan, Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan and Asset Plan, the challenge AND opportunity now is for councils to take their Community Vision beyond a simple compliance exercise; to embrace their Community Vision throughout the organisation so that everyday business activities and corporate messages align to the North Star of their community.

 

COMMUNITY VISIONS MATTER

Voice of the People

A Community Vision is more than an aspirational statement for the future. The words describe a vivid picture of the kind of life people want for themselves and their families. A Community Vision represents the beliefs and values of the people; it is an expression of optimism and hope for a brighter future; it can provide the community with an anchor when times get tough.

Clarity of Brand

A vision guides strategic direction and brand positioning, and can help organisations achieve a deeper level of connection with their audiences. When brands make clear the difference they seek to make in the world through their vision, it helps customers understand what a brand stands for and helps employees answer the question ‘why am I here?’.

Greater Employee Engagement, Productivity and Retention

A global survey of business executives conducted in 2015 by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services and EY Beacon Institute found that companies that clearly identified their purpose as ‘an aspirational reason for being which inspires and provides a call to action for an organisation and its partners and stakeholders, and provides benefit to local and global society’1 reported that their customers were more loyal and their employees more engaged. 

 

THE JOURNEY TO STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT

When it comes to being strategically aligned with their Community Vision, a council will sit somewhere on a spectrum between completely “disconnected” and fully “integrated”. The below figure shows the journey, from being in a state of disconnection to reaching a state of integration.

 

 

A council’s degree of strategic alignment, as determined by its current state and priority of focus, will impact its results, relationships and reputation. 

 

WHAT YOUR COUNCIL WILL GAIN BY PARTICIPATING IN THIS PROGRAM:

  • Council employees will be able to clearly connect their work with the Community Vision
  • Teams will have a compelling value proposition about how they close the gap from where the community is now to where the community wants to be (community vision)
  • Teams will be more cohesive and outcome-focused rather than siloed and task focused
  • Corporate messaging will be aligned with the Community Vision and principles
  • Council employees, as brand ambassadors, speak with a united voice to your community about their work and the Community Vision

 

THIS PROGRAM IS IDEAL IF YOUR COUNCIL IS EXPERIENCING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CHALLENGES IN RELATION TO ITS COMMUNITY VISION

 

Inconsistent Results

  • The Community Vision informs high level Council strategies and plans but employees don’t understand how it relates to their everyday work.
  • Council business plans don’t reflect how departments and teams will close the gap from where the community is now to where it wants to be as articulated in the Community Vision.
  • Council departments and teams work in silos, and are task focused rather than being big picture and customer-outcome focused.

 

Fragile Relationships

  • Despite an extensive community engagement process to develop the Community Vision, the vast majority of the community is not aware the Community Vision exists.
  • Some stakeholders are skeptical that their council will actually deliver on the Community Vision promise.
  • Council’s actions to bring the Community Vision to fruition are unlikely to match the community’s expectations.

 

Poor Reputation

  • Corporate messaging is not aligned with the Community Vision or its associated goals and priorities.
  • Council employees and councillors, as brand ambassadors, do not speak with a united voice. This mixed messaging causes confusion and division internally and in the community.
  • There is a lack/fear of transparency and accountability about how the Community Vision is being/will be delivered upon.

 

ROADMAP TO STRATEGIC ALIGNMENT

The opportunity exists for councils to enhance their results, relationships and reputation by aligning organisational culture (think), communications (say) and customer experience (do) to the Community Vision.

In a world of change, organisations that demonstrate consistency of thoughts, words and actions build trust with people. In other words, alignment between organisational values and beliefs (culture), corporate messages (communications) and service delivery (customer experience) fosters familiarity, predictability and reliability; three important elements of trust.

This is why aligning council messaging and service delivery with the values and beliefs of the Community Vision can improve the level of trust between the organisation and its stakeholders and community.

 

 

Culture reflects what an entity thinks expressed through its beliefs, values, sense of purpose and traditions. Community Vision fits here!

Communications reflect what an entity says expressed through the brand image and marketing messages it conveys to the outside world.

Customer experience reflects what an entity does expressed through direct delivery of its products and services, and interactions at customer touchpoints.

When culture, communications and customer experience are aligned – that is, when organisational beliefs, values and a strong sense of purpose are embedded within messages and interactions across all marketing channels and customer touchpoints, and then faithfully delivered upon through the product/service – the consistency of thoughts, words and actions builds credibility, fosters trust and drives a positive reputation. 

This alignment also creates more cohesive and engaged teams (and whole organisations) because the thinking, language and actions of employees are based on a shared understanding of vision and values, and desired strategic outcomes.

 

ALIGN! PROGRAM SNAPSHOT

The ALIGN! Program helps councils align their organisational culture (think), communications (say) and customer experience (do) to improve results, relationships and reputation.

 

The program content includes the following:

 

 

Focus area 1:   PURPOSE – Articulating an inspiring team mission that describes what the team will do exceptionally well every day in taking steps towards the achievement of the team vision and the community vision.

Focus area 2:   PRINCIPLES – Defining our core values and trademark behaviours to ensure we uphold the Council Plan principles.

Focus area 3:   PROPOSITION – Articulating our value proposition to customers in closing the gap between where the community is now and where it wants to be in the future (Community Vision).

Focus area 4:   POSITIONING – Articulating the primary narrative and key messages about our work, and selecting the right combination of promotional tools and tactics to deliver our message.

Focus area 5:   PRODUCT – The people, processes and procedures that support delivery of our services, programs, policies and projects.

Focus area 6:   PARTICIPATION – Clarity on who we need to consult with to make informed decisions and deliver on the goals and priorities of the Community Vision.

 

TESTIMONIALS

“It was once again an absolute pleasure to take part in a training with Ros. Her energy and passion for communications and engagement is infectious and she really helped us as a team articulate our purpose. The groundwork that we have done here is going to be enormously beneficial in creating a Communications Team Strategy moving forward.” Sam Shalders, City of Ballarat

“I found the overall experience really valuable. In a deadline driven, reactive team its easy to just churn and burn. To sit and think about why we do what we do and the value we bring to the organisation really adds meaning to the job. After doing the workshop I feel really proud of the work I do, but also really motivated for what’s to come.” Emily White, City of Ballarat

 

ABOUT THE TRAINER

 

Ros Weadman FPRIA is a leading authority on local government communications, engagement and reputation. A communications manager in Victorian local government for 16 years, Ros’s work in has been recognised with national and state awards from the Public Relations Institute of Australia for community communication and issues management.

Ros draws on her specialist knowledge and expertise to design and deliver local government-focused consulting services, training and mentoring programs, presenting relatable scenarios and real solutions.

 

There are three programs from which to choose – a one month, three month and 12-month program.

Enquire now via the Contact page.

Testimonial

'It was once again an absolute pleasure to take part in a training with Ros. Her energy and passion for communications and engagement is infectious and she really helped us as a team articulate our purpose. The groundwork that we have done here is going to be enormously beneficial in creating a Communications Team Strategy moving forward.'

Sam Shalders
Communications & Design Team, City of Ballarat
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