2023-2024 Course Descriptions

March 2024

Ways to Solve the Communication Puzzle: Ask and Learn with a Local Government CommunicatorNew

March 1, 2024; 9-11:30 a.m.

Presented by Allison Albrecht, M.S., Director of Communications & Outreach, Village of Schaumburg and Kate Schultz, M.S., Senior Communications Specialist, City of Naperville

Location: NIU Naperville, 1120 E. Diehl Rd. Naperville, IL 60563

Description: Are you new to the world of local government communications and don’t know how to get started? Or maybe you’re a few years into your career and are tasked with projects such as how to handle social media, develop your village’s brand, or how to best manage demands from across the organization. Schaumburg’s Director of Communications & Outreach is available to share ideas that have worked in Schaumburg and offer advice on questions you may have as a local government communicator. Spend time with a seasoned communicator where topics for this session will be based on participants’ wants and needs and can include information on a variety of topics such as branding, social media, dealing with the media, communications best practices, outreach and more. Come to this class prepared with questions/topics you would like to cover that are related to communications.

Objectives:

  • Learn about communication practices that have been successful – whether you are a one-person shop or part of a larger communications team.
  • Have the opportunity to have your communications questions answered.
  • View examples of communications materials that have been developed.
  • Have the chance to network/connect with peers in the field who may also have great ideas you can build from.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation 
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Register Online Now

The Power of Surveys: Insider Tips and Tools for Taking the Pulse of Your Community

March 7, 2024, 9 a.m.-noon

Presented by Mindy Schneiderman, Ph.D., Assistant Director, and Julie Gommel Bailey, MPH, Research Specialist, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University

Location: Online Webinar

Description: Surveys are everywhere. Local governments and nonprofits need to gather accurate, timely feedback and public opinions. With so many choices and so much at stake, what approach is best? Do all survey techniques fit all circumstances? Are the results of informal polling, surveys or drop-off cards reliable or legitimate inputs for decision-making? In this workshop, you’ll learn how to capture public input for key policy decisions and questions. We’ll address community surveying, including vital insights into the methods, techniques and credibility of scientifically designed survey methods compared to do-it-yourself survey methods. NIU’s Survey Research team undertakes about 30 surveys a year for client groups ranging from federal and state government agencies to local governments. This workshop will introduce participants to the concepts and tools essential to capturing accurate feedback.

Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the variety of methods available for conducting community surveys.
  • Build individual skills and knowledge about what techniques can be used and at what costs.
  • Build knowledge and decision-making awareness about the difference between statistically significant/accurate surveys and informal survey techniques.
  • Learn how to design a questionnaire that will be easy for participants to complete and will collect accurate, unbiased information.
  • Link participants with resources for community polling and engagement.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
12. Financial Management and Budgeting
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Register Online Now

Effective Presentations and Public Speaking

March 20, 2024, 9 a.m.-noon

Presented by Professor Judy Santacaterina, M.A., Director, Bachelor of General Studies Baccalaureate Degree Program and Director of Individual Events, NIU Forensics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Northern Illinois University

Location: NIU Naperville, 1120 E. Diehl Rd. Naperville, IL 60563

Description: Effective presentation and communication skills are core skills for staff members at all levels. Senior staff members are often called upon to present findings and recommendations in large meetings or public settings. This three-hour interactive workshop will address some of the new challenges we face in a virtual setting as well as cover the essentials for presenting in an in-person setting. Learn how to utilize and enhance your basic communication skills to be a successful communicator in a variety of settings. Gain practice with focused preparation, including various rehearsal and relaxation techniques. Session attendees will also have the opportunity to do some self-assessment, to learn and apply some of the approaches covered during the session.

Objectives:

  • Take a self-assessment of your communication skills.
  • Discuss the challenges and differences between live face-to-face presentations and virtual communication.
  • Learn about the differences between oral and written communication.
  • Be exposed to verbal and nonverbal tools you can employ to be a stronger communicator.
  • Learn about rehearsal and relaxation techniques.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
4. Staff Effectiveness
5. Personal Resiliency and Development
6. Strategic Leadership
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
10. Service Delivery
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Register Online Now

April 2024

Get Ahead of It: Crisis Communications Planning for Local Government New

April 11, 2024, 9 a.m.-noon

Presented by Melanie Santostefano, B.A., Founder and President of Vicarious Multimedia

Location: Hybrid (In-person at NIU Naperville or Online)

Description: Crisis can happen at a moment’s notice without warning – is your organization ready? It is crucial to not only be prepared ahead of time, but also to communicate messages that are timely, accurate and succinct in the days and weeks following a crisis to establish and maintain control of the narrative. This session will provide guidance on immediate steps to be taken when a crisis happens, how to craft messaging and when/where those messages can and should be shared. Additionally, instruction will be provided on how to deal with the news media when they inevitably come calling. Session attendees will learn these strategies through interactive participation in a mock crisis, including a press conference and the subsequent communications that must follow to keep your public informed, while maintaining order and process through the chaos that crisis can create. Through these proven strategies, your organization can come out “on top” during and after even the most serious and challenging situations.

Objectives:

  • Develop and implement a crisis communications plan, process and strategy.
  • Understand what communication channels to utilize during crisis.
  • Utilize your team to develop messaging and maintain order and process in crisis.
  • Learn best practices for information flow during and following a crisis.
  • Understand how to successfully work, and partner with the news media.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
3. Equity and Inclusion
4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery 12. Financial Management and Budgeting
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Register Online Now

New Civics: The Dynamics of Today’s Civics and Globalization

April 26, 2024, 9 a.m.-noon.

Presented by Greg Kuhn, Ph.D., Director, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University

Location: Online Webinar

Description: This workshop explores the ingredients and impact of globalization in our communities and region. Participants will be able to explore the demographic, development and economic factors that will determine the competitive advantage of local places in an increasingly global world. We’ll review the vertical and horizontal global networks and current trends affecting our region, including the region’s role in the global economy. We’ll discuss strategies for coping with the challenges and maximizing the opportunities of increased competition and interconnectivity in the global economy that impact communities, local government, the region and the state.

This is one of two core workshops required to earn a CLA ‘Certificate of Achievement’

Objectives:

  • Understand the reach and impact of globalization: what it is and how it affects local communities, policy choices and dynamics.
  • Examine specific demographic, economic and development trends in northern Illinois and beyond that are associated with globalization.
  • Learn strategies civic leaders use to respond to globalization.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
3. Equity and Inclusion
4. Staff Effectiveness
5. Personal Resiliency and Development
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning 
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
10. Service Delivery
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Register Online Now

Addressing What People Want Now: Updates on Planning for Housing, Economic Development, Quality of Life and Other IssuesNew

April 30, 2024, 9-11 a.m.

Presented by Mim Evans, M.S., Senior Research Associate, and Paula Freeze, MUPP, Research Specialist, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University

Location: Online Webinar

Description: The pandemic, an aging population, unmet housing demand, new opportunities for economic growth and other events have brought new challenges to communities. Understanding what residents and businesses are thinking, how these thoughts relate to your community and how they may have changed or remained the same is critical to planning. Session participants will gain insight from the findings of over a dozen surveys of Illinois communities conducted during the past five years, capturing pre- and post-COVID opinions on topics such as housing, economic growth and quality of life. Other research on the needs of community residents and businesses will also be discussed. Ideas for making your community’s plans responsive to what your community desires now will be presented including implementation strategies and challenges. Different plans such as comprehensive plans, economic development strategies, housing plans, age-friendly plans and arts plans will be discussed.

This workshop is partnered with APA-IL. Registrants that are current APA-IL members at the time of this workshop qualify for a discounted rate. For planners maintaining their AICP credentials, this course provides (CM | 2.0.)

Objectives:

  • Understand the current thoughts of residents and businesses regarding your community.
  • Address how these thoughts may have changed during the past several years.
  • Relate current resident and business thinking to different types of community planning efforts.
  • Discuss implementation strategies and obstacles that may be encountered when addressing current resident and business needs as your community contemplates new or updated plans.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
3. Equity and Inclusion
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning 
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service

Register Online Now

May 2024

Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies

May 15, 2024, 9 a.m.-noon

Presented by James Ford, Protective Security Advisor, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security; and Robert Williams, Jr., MBA, Police Officer, Sycamore Police Department

Location: Online Webinar

Description: Workplace and public venue violence incidents have been notable in recent years. Whether an Independence Day Parade in Highland Park, Illinois, or a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, or school shootings in almost every corner of the United States, organizations seek appropriate responses to the threats of active shooter incidents through changes in physical environment, emergency planning and education. This session focuses on what local governments can do to be prepared for active shooter threats in their organizations’ offices or program delivery sites. Experts will provide training on crisis response, threat awareness, risk management and individual response during an active shooter scenario.

Objectives:

  • Learn preventative measures to help deter an active shooter threat.
  • Understand how to prepare yourself and your staff for an active shooter threat.
  • Learn how to manage an active shooter situation.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas
2. Community Engagement
5. Personal Resiliency and Development
6. Strategic Leadership
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Register Online Now

Current Trends and Interesting Topics in Employment Law and Collective Bargaining for Illinois Government Leaders

May 22, 2024, 9 a.m.-noon

Presented by Paul A. Denham, J.D., Partner at Clark Baird Smith LLP, Chicago

Location: NIU Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563

Description: Learn the fundamentals of collective bargaining negotiations and wage payment requirements for public sector employers with one of Illinois’ leading labor law attorneys. Managing a public sector workforce in the State of Illinois presents unique challenges that are not commonly found in the private sector. Among those challenges is the fact that the public sector workforce is highly unionized. In the first part of this session, you’ll learn negotiation fundamentals as the workshop leader describes and analyzes the statutory framework for public sector collective bargaining, unfair labor practices and procedures, and grievance arbitration. The presenter will discuss the issues frequently arising in public sector collective bargaining and review real-life examples of the difficult issues and decisions that require skillful negotiation by public officials to reach a win-win outcome. There will also be discussion on the impact that the global pandemic may have on collective bargaining negotiations and the public sector workforce.

This second part of the workshop will examine common mistakes and misconceptions with state and federal wage payment laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Illinois Minimum Wage Law, and Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. The presentation will focus on areas where mistakes are commonly made, including wage-hour issues that are unique to the public sector such as firefighter Kelly Days, 7(k) work periods, and compensatory time off. In addition, the workshop will highlight recent labor and employment legislation impacting the public sector and strategies for managing the workplace in light of those changes.

Objectives:

  • Gain a high-level understanding of recent labor and employment legislation impacting the public sector.
  • Gain an understanding of the impact of a pandemic on collective bargaining negotiations.
  • Gain a better understanding of the current status of state and federal wage payment laws.
  • Understand the fundamental dynamics of negotiating public sector collective bargaining agreements.
  • Gain insights into union positions and perspectives.
  • Learn various collective bargaining strategies.
  • Become aware of common mistakes made with FLSA, Illinois Minimum Wage Law, and Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act and what can happen as a result of those mistakes.
  • Provide strategies and techniques for improved administrative systems.
  • Identify areas for management staff and supervisory training.
  • Provide options for resources and expert reviews.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
10. Service Delivery
12. Financial Management and Budgeting
13. Human Resources Management and Workforce Engagement

Register Online Now

Planning for an Age-Friendly Community

May 30, 2024, 9-11 a.m.

Presented by Mim Evans, M.S., Senior Research Associate, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University

Location: Online Webinar

Description: There is dramatic evidence that the population is aging nationwide. There will soon be more older Americans than children for the first time in U.S. history. Illinois’ population is no exception to this trend, with residents aged 60 and older growing at a much faster rate than other age groups. As the population ages, communities that recognize and respond to the changing needs and desires of older residents will be stronger and more resilient.

This session will provide participants with an overview of our aging population and the implications for community planning and the local economy. Both opportunities and challenges will be examined. The steps to prepare a plan for an age-friendly future will be described, beginning with generating support for the concept, who needs to be involved, developing goals and strategies, and implementation.

Examples of successful efforts and innovative projects will be presented.

Objectives:

  • Understand the impact an aging population may have on your community.
  • Become familiar with what’s included in an age-friendly plan and how age-friendly concepts can be integrated into other aspects of community planning.
  • Anticipate the process from the municipal perspective, including generating support, funding and implementation.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas
2. Community Engagement
3. Personal Resiliency and Development
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning 
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service

Register Online Now

June 2024

Sustaining Illinois Through Collaborative GovernanceNew

June 13, 2024, 9-11:30 a.m.

Presented by Tom Skuzinski, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director, Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy, Northern Illinois University

Location: Online Webinar

Description: With more local governments than any state, Illinois local leaders must often rely on collaboration to tackle complex, large-scale sustainability challenges – from managing water in the face of increased flooding and contamination to planning for smarter growth and decline amidst population changes. Collaboration is not only about formal intergovernmental agreements. It is also about intentional, performance-driven management of relationships among departments and with other local governments (e.g., municipalities, counties, townships, special districts), with regional intergovernmental organizations and with state agencies. The course will review what it means to be sustainable, explore survey data about sustainability policymaking in Illinois municipalities, and provide a blueprint aimed especially at under-resourced communities to help them intelligently explore collaborative sustainability. Participants will engage in a variety of supportive exercises, including a collaboration audit and sustainability audit.

Objectives:

  • Explain the concept of sustainability and link it back to local management practices.
  • Assess existing and potential opportunities for collaboration, both internal and external to your government.
  • Outline a strategic plan for collaborative sustainability.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Register Online Now

Leadership Lessons: Trying Times Demand Sound Leadership

June 21, 2024, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Presented by Greg Kuhn, Ph.D., Director, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University

Location: NIU Naperville, 1120 E Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563

Description: This workshop is an active exploration of the art and science of leadership. We’ll study various leadership styles, as well as the broad spectrum of tools, techniques and theories available for leading an organization. The workshop is interactive and uses videos, written case studies, simulations and discussion to explore current developments in leadership theory and practice. Participants will leave the session energized and with new insights on how they act and serve as leaders. Administrative leaders, elected officials, volunteer board members and supervisors will all benefit from this course.

This is one of two core workshops required to earn a CLA ‘Certificate of Achievement’

Objectives:

  • Learn the differences and relationships between leadership and management.
  • Develop an understanding of the wide variety of leadership approaches in use today.
  • Explore historical examples and stories of leaders in action.
  • Gain insight into your own leadership style.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

1. Personal and Professional Integrity
2. Community Engagement
3. Equity and Inclusion
4. Staff Effectiveness
5. Personal Resiliency and Development
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
10. Service Delivery

Register Online Now

Previous Courses

October 2023

Learning to Listen in an Age of Distraction

Oct. 12, 2023, 9 a.m.–noon

Presented by Professor Judy Santacaterina, M.A., Director, Bachelor of General Studies Baccalaureate Degree Program and Director of Individual Events, NIU Forensics, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Northern Illinois University

Location: NIU Naperville, 1120 E. Diehl Rd. Naperville, IL 60563

Description: Perhaps one of the most important communication skills is listening. Unfortunately, it is also the least taught. This workshop will concentrate on the lost skill of listening. Participants will learn the misconceptions surrounding listening, conduct a self-assessment of their listening skills and be provided with some specific strategies to improve their listening.

Objectives:

  • Explore the often overlooked art of listening as part of effective communications.
  • Learn the importance of listening.
  • Complete a personal listening inventory.
  • Learn techniques to overcome poor listening habits.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
3. Equity and Inclusion
4. Staff Effectiveness
5. Personal Resiliency and Development
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
14. Communication and Information Sharing

From City Hall to the Heart of the Community: The Art of Stellar Government CommunicationsNew

Oct. 26, 2023, 9 a.m.–noon

Presented by Melanie Santostefano, B.A., Founder and President of Vicarious Multimedia

Location: Hybrid (In-person at NIU Naperville or Online)

Description: Municipalities everywhere are charged with a core duty and responsibility to communicate with the residents, businesses, and other stakeholders they serve – and there is an art to this endeavor. In addition to the many communication channels that can be utilized to establish and/or strengthen the organization’s relationship with its public, messages must be tailored to the many platforms on which they are published. This session will provide guidance on content strategies and packaging for your messages, explore how to tell the “story” of local government, and provide a thorough overview of the different communication channels that can help your community members understand the role you play in their daily lives. The overall goal is to provide you with the tools, tips, and tactics to move your communications from standard – to stellar!

Objectives:

  • Develop a communications plan and strategic messaging priorities.
  • Build or strengthen the organization’s relationship with the public.
  • Understand different communication channels and tailor messages to fit them.
  • Learn to tell the “story” of local government, and how it impacts daily life.
  • Ensure your community’s communications are strong, succinct, and valuable.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
14. Communication and Information Sharing

November 2023

Sustainability at NIU: The Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and EnergyNew

Nov. 3, 2023, Noon-1 p.m.

Facilitated by Tom Skuzinski, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director, Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy, Northern Illinois University

Location: Free Online Webinar

Description: The Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy (ESE) houses both the Environmental Studies major and a growing portfolio of use-inspired, interdisciplinary and externally funded research projects. It is a unit associated with the School of Public and Global Affairs that recognizes the potential in collaborations connecting faculty, students, and state-local government leaders. The brown bag will explore these opportunities.

This brown bag session is free. Registration is required.

Recruitment and Retention StrategiesNew

Nov. 9, 2023, 9 a.m.–noon

Presented by Janelle Crowley, Ph.D., Chief of Staff, Governors State University

Location: NIU Naperville, 1120 E. Diehl Rd. Naperville, IL 60563

Description: Today, more than ever, businesses and organizations are in competition for the best and brightest. Businesses and organizations need to think differently about recruitment. Creativity is the key! During this program, we will learn to think out of the box and work together to outline some strategies for recruiting, which leads to improved retention. Inclusivity is more than a word; it will be the foundation of this program.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the current workforce and understand employee demographics.
  • Evaluate the true cost of turnover and how experiential vulnerability puts your organization at risk.
  • Learn the importance of recruiting and retaining qualified employees.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

1. Personal and Professional Integrity
3. Equity and Inclusion
4. Staff Effectiveness
5. Personal Resiliency and Development
6. Strategic Leadership
10. Service Delivery
13. Human Resources and Workforce Engagement
14. Communication and Information Sharing

C3 De-escalation® EssentialsNew

Nov. 17, 2023, 9 a.m.–noon

Presented by Patti Treibel-Leeds, LBSW, MS, C3 De-Escalation Master Trainer

Location: NIU Naperville, 1120 E. Diehl Rd. Naperville, IL 60563

C3 De-escalation® Essentials is an effective, fast-acting technique to calm angry or upset members of the public. C3 will show you how to:

    • Get a member of the public to calm down and stop shouting.
    • Stabilize someone who’s distraught or overwhelmed.
    • Prepare your office so that upset people respond as fellow members of a community and not like angry opponents.

C3 was developed by Andra Medea, author of Conflict Unraveled, and based on the brain research of Dr. Amy Arnsten of Yale. C3 is taught in down-to-earth language, using examples from a wide range of people who work with the public. Many students report taking C3 and using it the next day.

A lab fee of $15 will be assessed at time of registration for the workbook. The workbook will be provided at the workshop.

Objectives:

  • Learn how to get an angry member of the public to calm down and adjust their behavior.
  • Develop skills for working with people who are worried, upset, or at the end of their patience.
  • Learn how to maintain your dignity under stress, while allowing the other person to retain their dignity as well.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

1. Personal and Professional Integrity
3. Equity and Inclusion
4. Staff Effectiveness
5. Personal Resiliency and Development
6. Strategic Leadership
10. Service Delivery
13. Human Resources and Workforce Engagement
14. Communication and Information Sharing

January 2024

Strategic Thinking and Planning Basics – Creating a Road Map for the FutureUpdated

Jan. 17, 2024, 9-11 a.m.

Presented by Melissa Henriksen, MPP, Assistant Director, Strategic Management, Policy and Community Development and Alli Hoebing, MPA, Research Specialist, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University

Location: Online Webinar

Description: We’ve updated our course “Strategic Planning – Part 1: The Basics” to add fresh content and examples that are relevant to today’s leaders. This workshop will serve as a “guided tour” of the practical techniques and fundamental components of strategic planning processes. The session will focus on introducing participants to the various elements that comprise a successful and holistic strategic planning process. Whether you’re in government or any kind of public service organization, strategic plans are one of the central techniques for progressive leadership and management. Topics will include stakeholder input, environmental scanning, SWOT analysis, prioritization, communication and implementation. The workshop leaders will focus on building skills and awareness for participants that have never done or want to improve strategic planning in their organization.

Objectives:

  • Explore the basic elements of the most common strategic planning approaches.
  • Understand the core components of strategic planning processes, including advantages and disadvantages.
  • Learn how strategic planning fits into other organizational functions, such as budgeting and accountability.
  • Recognize the importance of implementation and the action planning phase of a thorough strategic planning process.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
12. Financial Management and Budgeting
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Better Zoning to Create Better CommunitiesNew

Jan. 31, 2024, 9-11 a.m.

Presented by Jacob Seid, AICP, Founding Principal, Sightline Planning and Zoning

Location: Online Webinar

Description: When you hear the term “zoning,” your thoughts might turn to arcane regulations, inscrutable maps and byzantine processes. But it doesn't have to be this way. Your community’s zoning ordinance is one of its most powerful tools to implement planning goals, achieve housing objectives and foster economic development. Learn how communities throughout the region, and around the country, are improving their zoning codes today to build a better tomorrow.

This workshop is partnered with APA-IL. Registrants that are current APA-IL members at the time of this workshop qualify for a discounted rate. For planners maintaining their AICP credentials, this course provides (CM | 2.0.)

Objectives:

  • Understand what zoning is and how it shapes our communities.
  • Learn how to utilize your zoning ordinance to implement planning goals, achieve housing objectives and foster economic development.
  • Identify common problems with zoning codes and how to address the low hanging fruit.
  • Identify more significant problems with zoning codes and when you might need to make major adjustments.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

3. Equity and Inclusion
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning 
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
14. Community and Information Sharing

February 2024

The Performance Measure Puzzle – Part 1: Performance Measurement versus Performance Management

Feb. 2, 2024, 9-11:30 a.m.

Presented by Greg Kuhn, Ph.D., Director, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University

Location: Online Webinar

Description: What’s the difference between performance measurement and performance management? Why are these terms often confused for one another, and how are they related? We’ll review the key elements of effective performance measurement and performance management systems in a public organization and discuss how to make measurements more meaningful and useful.

Although performance feedback and measurement may seem intimidating, it can provide valuable information about program effectiveness, outcomes and resource needs. Establishing a system of performance measures for people and programs will help build communication, accountability and decision-making in your organization. However, there are some necessary basics to learn. This session will introduce fundamental approaches and examples of both performance measurement and management.

Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the differences and similarities between these often interchanged terms.
  • Be able to define and deploy performance measurement and performance management systems.
  • Build individual skills and knowledge in performance measurement and performance management approaches and techniques.
  • Link participants with resources for performance measurement and performance management.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

1. Personal and Professional Integrity
2. Community Engagement
4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
12. Financial Management and Budgeting
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Strategic Planning and Implementation – Advanced Techniques and ToolsUpdated

Feb. 21, 2024, 9-11 a.m.

Presented by Melissa Henriksen, MPP, Assistant Director, Strategic Management, Policy and Community Development and Alli Hoebing, MPA, Research Specialist, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University

Location: Online Webinar

Description: We’ve updated our “Strategic Planning – Part 2” course to add fresh content and examples that are relevant to today’s leaders. In this workshop we’ll explore advanced tools and techniques for strategic planning processes. What are the options to consider in designing your process? What are the advantages and pitfalls of different elements? What are the roles participants play, including the facilitator, the project leader, organization members, governing boards and stakeholders? Where do teams come in? And how can you keep the plan fresh and update a recent process? You’ll also learn how to create accountability, and track and communicate your plan and accomplishments along the way. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from our team of experienced process designers and facilitators. Participants will also have the chance to practice some of the techniques through interactive exercises and small group work.

Objectives:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the variations in strategic planning process designs.
  • Explore the importance of and tools for strategic plan implementation, action planning and follow-through.
  • Consider the importance of strategic planning processes and the involvement of stakeholders in and outside of the organization.
  • Identify options and the pros and cons of different input, discussion and action planning components and approaches.
  • Add to your leadership toolkit by expanding your knowledge of the dynamics, benefits and variations of strategic planning and doing.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
12. Financial Management and Budgeting
14. Communication and Information Sharing

The Performance Measure Puzzle – Part 2: How to Appropriately Construct and Use Performance Measures

Feb. 27, 2024, 9-11:30 a.m.

Presented by Greg Kuhn, Ph.D., Director, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University

Location: Online Webinar

Description: Organizations are asked to provide evidence that their programs are delivering the intended results. External stakeholders look for demonstrated results or evidence of activities, effectiveness and responsiveness to their demands. Internal managers seek insight into the efficiency of their employees and programs. All of these demands assume the presence and utilization of good data and performance measures. This workshop will provide the basic steps necessary to construct useful performance measures. Participants will practice constructing measures related to program inputs, outputs, efficiency, effectiveness and results.

Objectives:

  • Learn about the development of performance measures for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Learn to develop a program logic model to provide a foundation for the measurement of program or service performance.
  • Explore the differences between output and outcome measures.
  • Develop measures of efficiency, effectiveness and equity for your own program or service.
  • Reflect on how performance measures are related to organizational change and effectiveness.

Addresses ICMA Practice Areas

2. Community Engagement
4. Staff Effectiveness
6. Strategic Leadership
7. Strategic Planning
8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation
9. Community and Resident Service
10. Service Delivery
12. Financial Management and Budgeting
14. Communication and Information Sharing

Contact Us

Civic Leadership Academy
Northern Illinois University
Monat Building
148 N. Third St.
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: 815-753-1907
Email: CivicLeadershipAcademy@niu.edu

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