The Certificate in Rural Municipal Leadership consists of seven, one-day modules:

  • [ New in May 2019 ] Priority Based Budgeting:
    Community, Council, and Administration are critical stakeholders that influence and impact the future successes of municipalities. Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) is the budgeting methodology that embraces this responsibility and demonstrates alignment for all of these stakeholders. In this course you will learn how to use the tools within PBB to illustrate strong time, effort, and resource alignment with your strategic plan and the community programs that best achieve success in the results and outcomes of that plan. You will learn how to create a “mine from within” mentality that asks community, Council, and Administration to demonstrate a solid validation of existing budgets prior to asking for an increase to them.

  • Roles & Responsibilities:
    After reviewing the roles and responsibilities of council, the CAO, the administration and the public, we study how each of the four groups interact with each other, when they should not interact with each other, and how those relationships should be managed, especially when they go wrong. Particular attention is paid to identifying symptoms of an unhealthy balance in each relationship, and how to correct it.
  • Strategic Leadership:
    Explore different types of political leadership, how to identify them through characteristic analysis, and when and where they are most effectively, or ineffectively, employed. We will explore and better understand our own leadership styles, as well as discuss the challenges of leading in the modern world. We also evaluate and discuss the role of democracy in municipal politics and the challenges it can present in complex decision making.
  • Communication & 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 communication methods that help prepare the public for change. Studying cognitive biases and analyzing resistors will form part of the core of this module.
  • Planning & 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 rather one that is action oriented and focussed on results.
  • Municipal Collaboration:
    There is growing pressure to improve municipal collaboration, both within municipalities, and 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 on inter- and intra-municipal cooperation, and the opportunities that lie ahead for communities that work collaboratively.
  • Change Management:
    Change Management is one of the most under taught programs in municipal politics. Our communities will face more challenges in the next 15 years than they have in the last 50. Yet most communities are planning and operating under the pretense that the world will remain very much the same over the next generation. Our entire concept of what makes communities and municipalities viable and strong, and what the coming generations have in store, has to change and evolve if we are going to survive and thrive.