Local school and government leaders gather to discuss sharing services to improve performance

Can we work smarter together? That was the question on people’s
minds at a forum last week sponsored by Fordham, the Nord Family Foundation,
Ohio Grantmakers Forum, ESC of Central Ohio, Ohio Education Matters, and Public
Performance Partners. The
event, Working Smarter Together:
Enhancing savings and performance for local schools and governments,

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.

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,
and especially in education. Grayson stressed that local governments and school
systems must think differently when it comes to operating more efficiently. Grayson
argued that the commonly used across the-board cuts hurt both efficiency and
effectiveness, and more times than not lacks a thoughtful process as to who to
cut and why, resulting in a loss of talented people and critical organizational
knowledge. Instead, Grayson advocated for the need to focus more on process and
performance management (PPM). "You cannot improve results by
looking at results. You have to look at processes," Grayson
. "Whether you are the CEO or the custodian
who cleans the toilet, you have a process, and you can improve it."

Grayson said that everything involves a process and in order to
improve outcomes we must evaluate the entire organizational process from the
beginning to the end. He also discussed the need to reduce functional
silos and the tremendous amount of waste associated with compartmentalization. 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 rather than meeting the needs of the customer, which in
turn produce large amounts of waste.

Grayson’s presentation was followed by a panel on increasing
efficiency and cooperation across local government that included Bart Anderson
(ESC of Central Ohio), Barbara Gellman-Danley (University of Rio Grande &
Rio Grande Community College), and John Weithofer (Miami Valley Communications
Council). These panelists, moderated by Public Performance Partners founder
Hugh Quill, 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.