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A Road Less Taken

About a year ago, after a meeting of mine had ended, someone approached me to casually discuss a project idea he had. I asked him, "Why haven't I heard about this before? This is a great idea. Were you aware that you could come to the MRO with ideas?" I remember his response surprised me. He said, "no." He had never perceived the MRO as being an available resource to employees. I asked him, "Do other employees feel the same way?" and he replied "yes." It really sunk in with me at that moment that employees perceived the MRO as an untouchable office located on the 15th floor of City Hall.

I brought my concerns to staff meeting the next week and we began discussing what a shift in perception would require: one where employees felt empowered and safe enough to approach the MRO with their ideas. It was clear we had failed to communicate this message. How could we expect the organization to experience a culture shift toward efficiency if the rest of the City employees didn't feel included in our initiative?

Now let's fast forward to today. Admittedly, it's taken longer to get here than I would have liked. But I'm proud to say, we have a communications strategy and a well thought-out plan for making ourselves more accessible to you. In essence, we are taking a detour and travelling on the road less travelled for the betterment of our organization. We hope you'll join us on this journey.

As a part of this new path that we're on, we are now the Maximizing and Advancing Performance Office, also known as MAAP. Additionally, we are now driving a clearer mission and strategy for employee engagement. So here's a brief description of what you can expect from us in the coming months and years to follow:

  • A "meet and greet" from us to you at your job site.
  • Focus groups to discuss Citywide issues that relate to you.
  • A book club to discuss business, leadership, and organizational topics.
  • A web form where you can submit your innovative, efficiency-related project ideas to us directly. We're calling it the Idea Basecamp.
  • Weekly columns written by MAAP staff and our Lean Fellows highlighting employee successes, information on projects we're working on, and insights related to leadership, change management, business, etc.
  • Information presented to new employees during orientation.
  • A published annual success report from our office.
  • A Facebook page where we can communicate a calendar of events with employees.
  • Lean MAAP Fellowship Program for Process Improvement (formerly the HPG Champion program). Fellows will soon have the opportunity to:
  • Attend monthly brown bag strategy sessions to brainstorm new projects and potential improvements within the City.
  • Attend Alliance for Innovation webinars and rapid-fire sessions.
  • Assist with training new Lean MAAP Fellowship student classes.
  • Assist in MAAP project screenings and implementations.
  • Facilitate Lean mapping sessions.
  • Participate in a mentorship program.
  • Serve on the Lean MAAP Fellowship selection steering committee.
  • Serve on the Idea Basecamp steering committee.
  • Attend training opportunities on change management, leadership, conflict resolution, management, and more.

As you can see we have a lot planned to better communicate and engage with employees more regularly. Our goal is to make ourselves accessible to you for when you identify an area for improvement and would like some assistance in implementing it.

Allow us to be a resource for you and remember to keep calm, and take the road less traveled. We will help you by navigating the way. See you soon!