Denver’s Mayor Shows How To Strategically Manage A City

Michael Hancock was elected Mayor of Denver Colorado in 2011. Hancock has established a vision of creating a world-class city where everyone matters by focusing on three priorities for his administration: kids, jobs and a safety net for the less fortunate. To achieve success Mayor Hancock has developed a Peak Performance initiative.

The goal of the Peak Performance initiative is through Strategic planning link each city agency to the Mayor’s Vision. Frequent Peak Performance reviews with senior management ensure agency managers are meeting their missions. The Mayor wants every employee to understand how their efforts lead to the City’s success. Denver has created a template to assist city departments in creating a strategic plan.

The departmental goals stated in each strategic plan are monitored and reviewed on a regular basis for performance and accountability. Through regular performance reviews city departments are achieving goals and continuously improving their operations. Denver has created a Peak Academy where city employees are trained in Lean principles and continuous process improvement.

Denver also distributes an informative newsletter focusing on the goals and accomplishments of the Peak Performance initiative.

As reported in a Governing Magazine article the Peak Performance initiative:

“Instead of outside experts telling city workers how to do their jobs better, it invests in employees by giving them the tools to solve city problems themselves.

Current plans call for between half and three-quarters of the city’s some 10,300 employees to participate in “green belt” training over the next five years. The four-hour session turns the normal government practice of adding programs to address problems on its head, focusing instead on peeling back unnecessary layers that have developed over time and providing the skills to address pressing needs in the context of the city’s three main priorities.”

Mayor Hancock is undertaking some great work in Denver that should serve as a model for other local governments to emulate. What do you think about Denver’s Peak Performance initiative?

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