Teresa Roche, Ph.D is the Chief Human Resources Officer for the City of Fort Collins, Colorado. Sixty miles north of Denver, Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University, with 32,000 students, several large high tech employers, and leading businesses in the brewing industry. There are 2400 employees at the city, with 28 that are in the HR department.
There are similarities and differences in private and public sectors. One difference is found in various types of departments that this public sector has – such as a wellness team and a volunteer program manager. In the public sector, there is a requirement to serve all people’s needs. That is quite different as compared to private companies that may focus on one group – the customers. In addition, there is an emphasis on transparency in public forum. The city of Fort Collins’ finances are available online for anyone to view.
Budgeting is BFO – budgeting for outcomes. They have a triple bottom line – social, environmental and economic.
Some trends that Teresa is paying attention to are:
• Technology changes – such as smart cities and driverless cars
• Ensuring they have an inclusive group of talent, be connected to each person across the city
• The way work can be done
Fort Collins’ vision is to have a culture of innovation. However, there is a tension between the ‘fail fast, fail early’ in the public sector as compared to private.
What is required in a leadership role? The ability to have a clear vision, the ability to set goals, and attract and retain people. One needs the basics of leading others to accomplish results. In the public sector, Roche believes the question is–how do we respond to patterns and signals. “I think it takes a special person to lead in the public sector”, Roche says.
Roche’s advice for others is to realize what is possible for the city you live in and then demand more from the city.
She also mentions the 3 P’s she is looking at:
• Purpose – aligning the purpose of people and cities
• Presence – leadership who can ‘remain calm in the storm’
• Practice – no separation between work and learning
What you will learn in this episode:
• Similarities and differences between public and private sector HR
• Leading an HR department in a city
• Why Fort Collins, CO was named a great place to live
• What is BFO?
• How the public sector is looking at AI
• How to create a culture of innovation
Link from the episode:
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