10/13/05 — City staff completes course in teamwork

View Archive

City staff completes course in teamwork

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 13, 2005 1:47 PM

City department heads and leaders completed a course in teamwork Sept. 21 and are hoping the result will be a more efficient city government, officials said Monday.

Relying heavily on Peter Senge's business bestseller "The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of Learning Organization," the city manager and all 15 department heads underwent training that teaches cooperation, systems thinking and respect.

For Goldsboro City Manager Joe Huffman, this was not the first time he has participated in the training.

"This program has changed the way I think about management," Huffman said. "I've found ways to lead that are much more effective."

He said he believes Goldsboro can benefit from the program.

"Goldsboro needs to be the No. 1 municipality in the world," Huffman said. "I don't know why anybody would want to be second best."

Huffman first spoke to City Council members about the Learning Organization program at the group's retreat last year.

Huffman said he feels the session was a success and added that soon, he hopes to expand the training across all city staff and not just the department heads.

"My expectation is that they (department heads) will pass along this knowledge to their departments," he said.

A learning organization stresses the group over individuals and focuses on ideas of teamwork, group thinking and collaboration.

Huffman said he is pleased with the results of the session, adding that he has already seen examples of cooperation and teamwork in the past few months.

He recalled a planning session for the first neighborhood meeting on Kornegay Street.

"It was good to see a group of people openly working for the common good," Huffman said. "What we're doing here is pretty phenomenal."