How Can Local Government Organizations Practice Modern Governance?

Lena Eisenstein
5 min read

Many modern changes are happening within the local government landscape. The surrounding community and its people have grown accustomed to getting information in the blink of an eye. The potential for cyberattacks may be out of sight, but with governments at all levels having to address them, cyber risks are never out of mind. Social media speaks the voice of real people and whether it's your friend or your foe, depends on the day.

Governance practices are becoming antiquated in our modern world and they're exposing local governments to unprecedented risks and unfamiliar crises. Cyberattacks, data breaches, fraud, irresponsible social media posts, and more are the new risks that are keeping city managers up at night. The same issues are causing citizens to wonder what the council's response to them will be.

Good governance gives local governments a competitive advantage and the opportunity for high performance. The lack of movement towards modern governance has to do with local governments not acknowledging the governance deficit.

What Is the Governance Deficit?

Advances in technology have brought local governments out of the dark ages by giving them new tools to make their work productive and efficient. Yet, at the rapid rate that they're being implemented, local governments are being exposed to critical new concerns.

Governance deficits are characterized by a lack of visibility, security, and speed. They occur when government leaders lack the right information to incite the right questions. The lack of information makes it impossible to predict the government's current and future needs. Documents and communication systems are behind the times making it difficult for staff to work efficiently. What's worse is that outdated processes and systems expose local governments to cyber risks.

By addressing these governance deficits, local governments make better decisions, offer greater transparency, and gain insight to grow and thrive.

What Is Modern Governance?

Modern governance is an approach to governing that endows local government leaders with the technology, tools, processes, and vision to keep pace with today's digital age. Community by Diligent is a board governance solution that provides city managers, city clerks, and other staff members with the necessary tools and information to help them identify red flags and incite thought-provoking questions.

Modern governance provides efficiency in the workplace and helps to protect important local government documents. It allows local government staff to offer greater transparency and accountability than by continuing to use antiquated, paper-laden processes. Modern governance supports the notion of local governments partnering with their citizens by encouraging citizens to become outspoken, engaged, and involved.

All communities face increased risks and disruption. Modern governance tools and practices give local government advantages to mitigate risk and ward off crises.

What Are the Icons of Modern Governance?

Good governance is essential because it affects everyone. Whether local government officials and staff are invested in their communities or not, they and their citizens are affected by good or bad governing.

Effective governance takes advantage of tools that connect council members to each other and to their communities, creating a sense of empowerment and an openness to collaborate. From the standpoint of transparency, modern governance tools provide citizens with clarity of government spending, staffing, budgeting, and planning. Modern governance also embraces the importance of security while allowing accessibility.

Modern Governance for Local Governments Is Dynamic Yet Rooted in Principles

Every local community has a different population and demographic of people. Different nuances call for different needs. What never changes is an adherence to the principles of ethics, honesty, and integrity.

Local government structures are rooted in regulations, history, and long-standing traditions. As new council members join the ranks, they offer new perspectives and ideas. Strong council members are persuasive and can even change the council's plans and priorities. Newer generations of officials are typically looking to make their mark on their community. They're looking for ways to do things better and more effectively. Modern governance tools will help them accomplish their goals and dreams for their community.

Many of the same principles that hold true in corporate governance are equally as important in local governments. Diversity and a variety of skills and abilities are major assets for well-composed councils. Discussions and collaborations that follow modern governance principles will help councils to focus on gaps and learn more about the needs of the community and deal with negative issues like conflicts of interest.

Putting Modern Governance into Practice

Good governance leads to visibility. Where there are key opportunities, there are also key risks and modern governing bodies need the proper tools to help them identify and monitor risks sooner. With the new Community by Diligent dashboard, councils will have the ability to offer better information gathering and reporting. Community's platform helps councils to track their progress and achieve their goals while staying in compliance with open meeting laws and other regulations.

Local government staff and public officials are just as guilty as privately employed individuals of giving in to the temptation of using their personal emails and mobile devices to share information and other materials. This poses a huge risk in local governments which could cause sensitive information to be leaked and become public. Community by Diligent's design makes it possible for government staff to communicate, collaborate and share files within the safety and security of a state-of-the-art secure platform which is further enhanced by granular-based authorizations.

Community by Diligent streamlines modern governance activities and tailors them to the unique needs of local government bodies. It's common for local governments to have to work within the constraints of tight budgets, which limits their ability to invest in the type of security structure and cybersecurity expertise that's necessary to protect their constituents in today's world. Community by Diligent builds that security right into the platform which directly leads to cost-savings. An investment in Community by Diligent can save local governments from the financial and reputational loss due to a cyberattack.

Community by Diligent takes advantage of mobile-first technology so that council members and citizens can access documents and other local government materials at any time using their mobile devices.

Overall, Community uses the best feature of market-leading systems to enable the best functionality for the needs of local governments. It's a tool that greatly improves the user experience with its speed, stability, and reliability'all things that constituents look for within their local governments.