Whether we are ready or not, strong mayor powers now exist in the province of Ontario. Whether they are used is an open question. What they mean, and their potential consequences, is much clearer.
On August 2022, the Ontario government introduced legislation to give “strong mayor” powers to the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa. This Municipal World feature explores the implications of this legislation. It asks where it came from, why it was created, its implications and whether it is needed. Awarded the best feature article of Municipal World magazine for 2022.
How do you make sense of a high stakes situation where your credibility and confidence are being challenged? What is the appropriate response when you are in front of a hostile executive, with no option to phone a friend? The right answer always depends, and what it depends on is your ability to take a read of the influences at play and what they might mean. That is where models come in. With the right model, you can gain insight on what is happening and make a meaningful determination of your next move. Here’s how to do it.
We know people are messy and awkward. We recognize that decisions aren’t as rational as they should be. We know things are not always as they seem. It begs the question: just how are we supposed to make it through all of this, get things done, and stay sane in the process? The good news is that there are things to which out for, and processes to follow, all of which add up to somewhat of a recipe for navigating the complex world of organizational politics.
We like to think of deciding as an act of deliberate intent. In actual fact, decisions often simply happen. They emerge and evolve, or arrive at a point where they are simply accepted. All appearances to the contrary, it can be difficult to point to when a decision was actually made, how it was arrived at and by whom. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are ways to improve not just the quality of decisions, but also clarity in the decision making process.
I have been a consultant working inside organizations for three decades and more. In that time, I have been involved in the creation of numerous methodologies and practices, and the implementation of many organizational change efforts. I have described myself as an organizational consultant of some variety or other. So you might reasonably assume that I consider my clients to be the organizations that I serve. You couldn’t be further from the truth.