New Council Orientation

A 2 Day Workshop Offered by Doug Griffiths & the 13 Ways Team

Whether you’re a new or returning municipal councillor, you’ll find value in this two day course offered by Doug Griffiths and the 13 Ways team. We’ll facilitate an on-site, in-person workshop with your new Council (and members of senior administration) and walk you through everything you need to know in order to competently and effectively represent your electors — and to collaborate with your new cohort around the council table.

  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Laws & Legislation
  • Protocols & Procedures
  • Corporate & Governance Practice
  • Relationship Management
  • Conflict Resolution


In addition to teaching basic governmental and organizational principles, we’ll also offer practical and theoretical advice on:

  • How to effectively engage stakeholders;
  • How to make tough, sometimes unpopular decisions; and
  • How to develop and foster positive, productive relationships between (and among) council, administration and the general public.


Designed and presented by Doug Griffiths and supported by the 13 Ways team, the course will be facilitated in a workshop-style format allowing for the flow of information and exchange of ideas in an engaging and interactive manner.


Price: $10,000 + GST for (up to) 15 participants


Other Council Education Programs

The following are one day courses available for council and administration. Each of these courses is built upon over 20 years of municipal and community building experience, and designed to provide practical, implementable techniques for the real world. The program is designed to be delivered over the course of 6 months to a year.

Strategic Leadership
Different types of political leadership are explored, how to identify them through characteristic analysis, and when and where they are most effectively, or ineffectively, employed. We also evaluate and discuss the role of democracy in municipal politics and the challenges it can present in complex decision making. We study how to support effective leadership through modern challenges.

Communication and Engagement
There are many textbook strategies for communicating and engaging the public. In a world where it is now acceptable to simply decry information as ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ when you disagree with them, the textbook strategies no longer work. We explore the differences between communication, consultation, and engagement, and when each is most effective and appropriate to use. We also explore a new method of communication that helps condition the public and prepare them for change. Studying cognitive biases and analyzing resistors will form part of the core of this module.

Planning and Action
Strategic Planning is often presented as a science, but this module demonstrates it is actually an art. We compare good and bad vision statements, and how they lead to good and bad strategic plans. We work through the real questions that need to be asked to produce a good strategic plan that will not simply fulfill the desire to have a planning document that sits on a shelf, but one that is action oriented.

Municipal Collaboration
There is growing pressure across Canada and the United States to improve municipal collaboration, both within municipalities, but also between them. In this module, we will focus on the issues that keep municipalities apart and where the challenges lie, with particular focus on the issues associated with governance, taxation, services, and identity. We will also focus internally on how all types of organizations are responsible for building stronger communities, not just the municipality, and effective strategies for cooperation across within a community.

Change Management
Change Management is one of the most undertaught programs in municipal politics. The world is changing dramatically, yet most communities are planning and operating under the pretense that the world will remain very much the same. Communities will change more in the next 10 years than they have in the last 100. From how we build infrastructure, to what makes up the core of a community, will all change. Our entire concept of what makes communities and municipalities viable and strong will change as well.

Indigenous Relations & Understanding
Developing meaningful context and understanding around Indigenous peoples and their history. We will examine the respective roles of inclusion, reconciliation and cultural awareness in building stronger, more prosperous communities rich in diversity, equality and opportunity.

Other Modules Also Available

Risk Management – specifically focused on service delivery and infrastructure, as a key part of the planning and financial management.

Marketing Your Community – learning how to build and incorporate website and social media strategies for successful marketing inside and outside the community.

Community Economic Development – strategies and techniques for growing a whole community from Mainstreet to the neighbourhood.

Negotiating for Success – making deals happen and partnerships work requires negotiating with skill and finesse, and understanding how to use the strategies of negotiating successful.