The articles range in length and theme. Some were published originally in magazines and newspapers, some in academic publications. Feel free to read and print out what you find here for your personal use. All articles and presentations here are copyrighted by Civic Strategies. Reproduction, reprinting, or reposting in other Internet sites is not permitted without permission from Civic Strategies, Inc.
From Vision to Reality: How City Administrations Succeed in the Long Haul How do new city administrations create and implement visionary programs? At a mayor's request, in 2002 Civic Strategies looked at the records of three visionary mayors of the 1970s and 1980s—Neil Goldschmidt in Portland, Oregon, William Hudnut in Indianapolis, and Bill Frederick in Orlando, Florida—and found the elements of success.
Introducing the Left Hand to the Right Hand: The Benefits of Annual Leadership Summits Want to create more planning and collaboration in your city or region? One way: Begin an annual leadership summit meeting and invite all your region's leaders. Cities of all sizes have begun hosting summits, often with striking results. Civic Strategies can help your region get an annual summit off the ground.
From Pluribus to Unum: How Task Forces Come Together When your city or region is facing a major problem, it may turn to task forces or committees to make recommendations. Problem is, members of these groups may be strangers to one another. How do you bring strangers together, turn many (the Latin word is "pluribus") into one ("unum"), create consensus, make good recommendations and build public support? In this paper, we explain how we turn pluribus into unum for our clients through research, process, and connection.
There are, by the way, special problems with statewide task forces. We've managed a few and tell you how to handle task forces when the members are spread far and wide in The Big Leap: Why State Task Forces Are So Difficult to Manage Well.
A Clearer Form of Visioning Everyone likes visioning as a basis for setting a community's direction, but many are disillusioned by the results. There is a better way, though, of managing a visioning initiative. Civic Strategies can help your city, county or region find a clearer vision—one that actually gets implemented.
A Good, Simple Theory for Change In this brief article, Civic Strategies President Otis White explains the elements of successful community change—and how the elements interact with one another. The process can be stated as a formula, Otis says: Change = D x M x P.
How Leadership in Cities Is Changing, And Where It's Headed This article, from a University of Georgia leadership publication, analyzes how civic leadership has changed in recent years, particularly in business communities—and what those changes means for cities today.
How Delray Beach Saved Itself and Found Great Leadership Along the Way This is an article written in the late 1990s about the turnaround of a small city in South Florida. You'll find an analysis of how the city changed course: the growing discontent with the way things were; small, disconnected efforts to change things; the coming together of the new leadership and a decision to change; and the discovery of a new way of tackling tough problems.
The Future of HOST Sometimes we're asked by civic groups to answer some basic questions about communities, such as, "Are we headed in the right direction?" In May 2004, a civic organization in DeKalb County, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, asked us to look at a decision made in the late 1990s to roll back property taxes and replace them with a sales tax. What we found was a cautionary tale for governments, that changes like this may bring serious unintended consequences. This paper will give you an idea of the in-depth research, looking at issues from all sides, that is a major factor in Civic Strategies' work.