Friday, January 29, 2016 The CSAC Bulletin
CSAC Institute Offering February Courses Around the State
February marks the kick-off of the new series of technology management classes with “Performance Metrics and Customer Value Management.” Classes in media relations in crises, leadership in ambiguity, customer service and understanding pensions are all offered next month. And for those of you who make presentations, brush up on your skills in the popular “Polish Your Presentation” class. Read on for more!

Download the Course Schedule for more details on all the classes offered by the CSAC Institute and Register Now. Classes are an affordable $129 each and include class materials and lunch. Discounts for multiple registrations.

Create better value for - and relationships with - IT customers
IT Performance Metrics and Customer Value Management
Thursday, February 4 - 10:00 to 3:30 - Sacramento

NEW! Country governments create value for citizens through the services they deliver. Doing so effectively and efficiently not only requires a keen understanding of how government service quality is impacted by the internal systems and processes which enable them, but also requires establishing metrics around these systems and processes in order to measure performance - after all if it isn't measured, it isn't managed. This facilitative course is designed to help county IT professionals understand the metrics that matter. By taking a customer-centric approach, participants will understand how to establish metrics across IT services, applications, and infrastructure, optimize performance over time, and communicate the benefits realized to the rest of the organization through a series of interactive discussions, group activities, and individual exercises.

Prepare for responding to organizational crises
When Bad Things Happen: Managing the Media in Crises and Emergencies
Friday, February 12 - 10:00 to 3:30 - San Diego

Counties are prepared for natural disasters ... but what about federal investigations, embezzlement of funds, arrest or death of an official, program failure, scandals uncovered and other unexpected situations. Are you prepared? This course focuses on the communications principles required to properly anticipate and respond to organizational crises. A specific set of steps are examined to prepare a communications response, including role assignments, strategies and tactics which target affected audiences, key messages which tell the county's story, and delivering the response via the media and other communications vehicles. Techniques are shared for response options, sample messages, understanding media perspective and how to avoid common pitfalls and missteps.

Instructors: Sheri Benninghoven, APR, President of SAE Communications; and Scott Summerfield, an expert in public agency strategic communications.

Tools for tackling unprecedented challenges
Coping with Ambiguity: Leadership for Challenging Times
Thursday, February 18 - 10:00 to 3:30 - Contra Costa County

375 Counties operate in complex and changing environments. Within these unpredictable economic contexts and unprecedented challenges, county leaders find themselves trying to make past practices and models fit current realities. But that may be a mistake in coping with ambiguity. This class provides a new way to think about applying leadership practices - at both elected and executive levels - to help your county organization and community find new realities and ways of effectively working in uncertain times.

Instructor: Dr. Laree Kiely, president of the Kiely Group, and professor at the USC Marshall School of Business.

Create customer satisfaction in a county setting
Leveraging Customer Relationships: Balancing Satisfaction with Priorities
Friday, February 19 - 10:00 to 3:30 - Merced County

This course will help county managers and elected officials explore ways to create and enhance a customer service culture in their organization. Participants will explore how to balance customer service with regulations and requirements. The conversation will focus on what defines good customer service and a service culture. Lively discussions will provide tools to assess where you are, what the gaps are to be more service oriented, and how to get there. Participants discuss the elements of structure and process which support and recognize effective customer service, even in difficult regulatory situations. You will be able to network and brainstorm with your peers as well as learn practical strategies. Barriers to good customer service are examined along with service and performance measurements.

 Dr. Marilyn Manning, CEO, The Consulting Team, LLC; and Liz Kniss, Palo Alto City Council Member and former Santa Clara County Supervisor.

For experienced presenters wanting to "up" their presentations
Polish Your Presentation: Advanced Practices in Communication
Friday, February 19 - 10:00 to 3:30 - Sacramento County

This intensive course helps senior managers and elected officials better present their ideas with convection, control, and poise - and without fear. The course covers specific skills and advanced techniques for delivering professional presentations that get results. Participants examine their presentation style, learn to use tools to organize their presentation and communicate their thoughts, and handle difficult situations. A straightforward presentation model helps participants build their self-confidence and overcome the common mistakes which turn off audiences. Use of graphics and presentation tools are also examined. Through a lab, participants work on improving one of their own presentations.

Instructor: Bill Chiat, Dean of the CSAC Institute and an accomplished presenter with city, county and state governments.

Better understand a major component of the county budget
Unraveling Public Employment Pensions and Retirement Benefits
Friday, February 26 - 10:00 to 3:30 - Sacramento County

This course provides a policy overview of county retirement systems and examines other post employment benefits (OPEB) and their collective impact on county finances. It covers both PERS and 1937 Act programs, how they originated, the benefits, and how they are funded. Reporting requirements and county liabilities are part of the conversation. It unveils the mysteries of understanding costs and projections and explores options and case examples for funding, reforming and managing costs (including rate stabilization funds) of pension and OPEB systems. other post-employment benefits and their impact on county finances. An emphasis is placed on recent reforms to state law and county retirement systems and how is affecting county policies and operations.

Instructor: John Bartel, president of Bartel Associates, LLC and brings over 35 years experience in pension and retiree healthcare consulting.