Ohioans come together to discuss increasing efficiency and cost-savings for local schools and governments

Earlier this week The Thomas B. Fordham Institute along with the Nord Family Foundation, Ohio Grantmakers Forum, the ESC of Central Ohio, Ohio Education Matters, and Public Performance Partners presented Working Smarter Together: Enhancing savings and performance for local schools and governments. The event featured several keynote speakers (including Auditor of State, Dave Yost) and a panel discussion about real-world examples of efficiency and cooperation in local government.

C. Jack Grayson, founder and chairman of the American Productivity and Quality Center, kicked off the event with a discussion about the need to increase efficiency and productivity in the public sector. Grayson stressed that local governments must think differently when it comes to cutting costs. The commonly used across the-board cuts hurt both efficiency and effectiveness, and more times than not lack a process of who to cut and why, resulting in a loss of talented people and knowledge. Instead, Grayson advocated for the need to focus more on process and performance management (PPM). Everything involves a process and in order to improve the outcomes we must evaluate the entire process from the beginning to the end.? Grayson also discussed the need to reduce functional silos and the tremendous amount of waste associated with them.? He noted that most educational organizations are organized functionally with different silos focusing solely on individual task such as HR, instruction, and IT. Downsides of functional silos include redundancy, focusing more on improving the function instead of the customer or outcome, which in turn produce large amounts of waste.

Another dynamic conversation about increasing efficiency and cooperation in local government occurred between Bart Anderson (ESC of Central Ohio), Barbara Gellman-Danley (University of Rio Grande), and John Weithofer (Miami Valley Communications Council). These panelists represented the K-12 education community, higher ed, and local government. They discussed the need to share services more now than ever before, and the challenges that sometimes lie in the way of doing so- such as political tension and legal barriers. Each panelist brought a unique and different perspective to the table.

To find out more about this important and timely issue and view footage from the event click?here.

-Bianca Speranza

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