An all too frequent casualty of tightening budgets are the dollars spent on training. It seems painless. There is no immediate manifestation of a service cut, or elimination of a position so it on a relative basis it seems like a good cut to make. But what is the cost of what you don’t know? What is the impact of not being aware of innovations that would provide more efficient operations and lessen the budget constraints? I would suggest that these costs far outweigh the cost of the training.
We are all being asked to do more with less, or as I have heard some folks express recently, to do something with nothing. How does anyone expect to succeed in this environment without providing themselves the opportunity to train and network with their peers? Elected and appointed officials are tasked with running very complex, multifaceted corporations. In the case of elected officials, most begin office with a love for their community but little to no training or experience about the role they are accepting. That is not a formula for efficiency and innovation, it’s a formula for disaster.
Every successful business understands the fundamental need to train their employees, but we somehow diminish that same value when it comes to our local operations. Training and networking are not perks , they are a necessary part of any successful business. Don’t short change your community by taking a short term solution to a long term problem. You have a duty to take the necessary steps to be certain you are in a position to succeed. A big part of that is sowing the seeds of innovation and efficiency with appropriate educational and networking opportunities.
Imagine if your community never learned about computers, the internet, or email. Think about the cost it would take to deliver services without the benefit of these innovations. Are you up to speed on grants? Economic development laws and practices? Service delivery models? Laws pertaining to setting rates and charges?
What’s the future cost of what you don’t know about today? It might shock you!