The Open Meetings Act: Molasses in Winter

So I’ve been involved in municipal government for a few months now, and my biggest takeaway is, “Damn, things move slow.” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked with (and at) some execution-challenged organizations in the private sector, but they look positively agile compared to my experience with municipal government.

Now, I don’t mean this to be some kind of anti-government rant—I really don’t. But in retooling this blog to chronicle my foray into state and local government, I wanted to remain true to my outsider status and call it like I see it, for what it’s worth.

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My Civic Duty – Forays into Government 2.0

I live in the village of Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago that borders the city directly to the west. I was appointed recently to the Civic Information Systems Committee (CISC), a body charged with advising the village board on village’s use of technology and information systems, both internally and with the outside community of residents, vendors, partners, and the wider world in general.

Although I’ve been following developments in Gov2.0 closely over the last two years or so, this is my first direct involvement with it. And in the interest of jumping in with both feet, I figured it would be a good idea to use this blog to document my experiences on the CISC and with Gov2.0 more generally.

In the coming weeks and months, then, I plan to cover a full range of Gov2.0 topics, from the airy heights of theory to the nitty-gritty, down-in-the-weeds view of trying to actually get stuff done on the committee. And I look forward to making this a place for you all to share your thoughts and experiences with Gov2.0, not only to keep me honest with good old-fashioned heckling, but also to widen the conversation beyond my point of view to include yours.

My first post will be after the winter recess, but in the meantime, jump in and make suggestions for topics I should address, and I’ll get them on the docket for 2012.

I hope you all have safe and enjoyable holidays with family and friends and look forward to seeing you back here in January!

Review of Open Leadership, by Charlene Li

Just finished Open Leadership, by Charlene Li, which is a follow-up to her best-selling Groundswell. And whereas that book focused on the social media technologies that are transforming how companies do business, Open Leadership looks at how leaders need to transform themselves to allow their organizations to use social media effectively.

There’s a real glut of books out there on social media, and I find many of them lack real substance or staying power, whether because the social media domain is evolving so quickly or the books have been rushed to market (or both). Li’s book, in contrast, has a good bit of depth and will have quite a bit of staying power despite its timeliness. Continue reading