Our Mission is to challenge and motivate our clients and ourselves to seek and create solutions which are innovative, functional, efficient, and economical and that positively impact our client's ability to provide quality service to their employees and constituents.
We believe it is our responsibility to listen to our clients in order to understand their needs. In doing so, we also believe that the highest level of mutual success will be the result of the relationships we establish with one another; relationships which are based on integrity, responsiveness and commitment to goal achievement.
Understanding where it is you need to go begins with a clear understanding of where you are - what works, what doesn't, and why. In the grand scheme of things, the cost of good planning is not only inexpensive it is money well spent. Planning offers the greatest opportunity for the effective anticipation, coordination and wise use of public funds. In addition, it is an opportunity to receive and benefit from user and community input. As demand for local government services increase, planning is more important than ever.
Everyone from Confucius to this week's management guru "du jour" have been given (or taken) credit for the often heard organizational definition of insanity; i.e., "doing what you have always done, the same way you have always done it, and expecting different results". While the point is well taken, let's put it in a context familiar to (and all too often experienced by) local government managers today: "Doing more this year than you did last year, doing it with fewer resources than you had last year, and doing it better - for more people"
Public administrators today have accepted the fact that education is a life-long process and that the local government entities they manage must plan to provide training on a nearly non-stop basis throughout an employee's career. Specific skills are expected and assumed as prerequisites prior to hiring a professional manager, accountant, engineer, or paramedic for example. In other instances, employees such as equipment operators, police officers, or maintenance employees may be hired and then trained in the specific requirements of their jobs. However, once trained today, what impact will tomorrow bring? How might the impact of societal change, growth, diversity, technology, and budget constraints interfere with these individual's ability to perform as originally trained? Adults today must continue to learn, and re-learn. And, as illustrated time and again, adults learn best when they are motivated, when they are actively involved in the learning experience, and when they can immediately apply what they have learned to their own experience and responsibilities.
The age of participation and involvement in matters of local government is upon us. To get the most from those involved, be they citizen or employee, effective public managers today must know how to create buy-in, encourage active participation, and be comfortable in allowing others to take responsibility. Because managers know the objectives that must be accomplished and the parameters within which they must occur, they must also by nature focus on the content of the participatory effort being undertaken. It is the facilitator that must focus on the process. The dynamics of a diverse group of individuals, interested in an issue's outcome (even if outcome expectations differ initially) and given the opportunity to participate in the process, can create very positive and dynamic results, if the person directing the process keeps them focused, ensures equal and fair participation, and is able to do so without bias toward that outcome.
Stephen J. (Steve) Allan
During more than 18 years as a partner with national consulting, design and planning firms, Steve Allan has provided consulting services to local governments in more than 70 jurisdictions in 22 states throughout the U.S. While he has extensive experience in space planning and operations consulting, his project accomplishments have ranged from the facilitation of small community focus groups to the development and management of multi-million dollar public construction projects.
Prior to his private sector experience, he spent 10 years in various positions with local government; as a teacher, parole officer, detention facility administrator, and trainer, and as a department manager with a large metropolitan county in the southeast. During the later part of his tenure in local government, he also served as an adjunct instructor to the U.S. Department of Justice.
He has achieved A.A.S. and B.S. degrees in engineering and education respectively from the State University of New York, and an M.S. Degree from Rollins College in Winter Park Florida. His belief that one never stops learning is evidenced by his own on-going educational endeavors via course work in Public Administration and management from the University of Southern California and Michigan State University.
In his home
state of North Carolina, he actively participates with and supports the:
Steve formed Solutions for Local Government after observing, over the years, how ever increasing corporate overhead, private sector bureaucracy, and the clamor for increasing profit ratios was having a greater impact and taking more and more time and energy from individuals such as himself in their efforts to deliver reasonably priced, high quality, professional services to local government. Local governments that could not simply increase their "billing rates" each year in order to continue to provide their services to more and more people or to pay for improvements that were needed.
Just as function must drive design, so too must relationships drive service. As Steve has often stated, "the highest level of mutual success will be the result of the relationships we establish with one another; relationships which are based on integrity, responsiveness and commitment to goal achievement".
Copyright 2002 Solutions 4 Local Government
Constructed by Caulder Design Communications