NCLGBA members Evans Ballard and Dr. William Rivenbark wrote the cover article for the August 2010 edition of Public Management, the magazine of ICMA, on the critical issue of improving customer service within local government. Their article looked at how the City of Salisbury, led by its City Manager David Treme, responded to performance surveying results that indicated citizen disappointment and apathy toward the public attitude of City staff.
The key to Treme’s response is his application of customer service excellence as the City’s “hedgehog concept”, an idea he gained by reading Jim Collins‘ management text, Good to Great. Focusing on customer service excellence, Treme and Ballard utilized citizen surveying and a facilitator-led “intervention” strategy to transform the City’s staff culture in order to achieve their goal.
ICMA has posted the article online, along with this video interview with Treme and Ballard.
Here are some additional resources related to the article and Salisbury’s success:
Salisbury’s Community Performance Reports
Salisbury Mission, Vision & Core Values
Salisbury Budget & Performance Office
Videos on Collins’ “Hedgehog Concept”
Case Study on Customer Service Intervention
The Customer Service Intervention (book)
Good to Great and the Social Sectors (monograph)
I recently found this interview with Frans Johansson, author of “The Medici Effect“, at the relatively-new ICMA TV website. The site contains dozens of short pieces and interviews with local government officials, politicians, academics, and others who are involved in developing solutions and providing services to help achieve excellence and solve problems at the municipal/county leve.
Some of you may remember that “The Medici Effect” was discussed at our Winter 2008 Conference. You can order Johansson’s book here. Other great topics will be featured at our upcoming Summer Conference July 14th-16th. Visit our Conference page for more information.