Members Top Professional Development Picks

Here ICMA members and ICMA Credentialed Managers share their most valuable professional development experiences, which include conferences, seminars, executive programs, online training, professional reading, and other activities. If you'd like to add an entry, send an e-mail to credentialing@icma.org and share a sentence or two about what you learned and why the activity was valuable. 

Remote Learning Opportunities

NOTE: Due to the cancellation of many events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to make you aware of professional development opportunities that can be completed remotely.

 

Opportunities by ICMA Practice Area

1. Personal and Professional Integrity

  • ICMA Ethics Workshops are onsite sessions that you can bring to your staff, leadership, elected officials, and boards and commissions.
  • Playing With Fire is a fictional account of a city manager who is struggling to do the best thing for his city and keep his job and family.

2. Community Engagement

  • Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community explain why Americans want to live in a more civil, caring, and trustworthy community.
  • For the Love of Cities provides examples of what communities are doing to ensure they are growing and thriving. The residents themselves play one of the biggest roles for retaining talent and supporting growth. This book describes specific examples of things residents have done to improve the atmosphere of their city to the point that they develop a heartfelt emotion for their town/city. Some believe their city is the best place to live in. This feeling is based on culture, safety, services, arts, and more intangible things, like a neighborly atmosphere. 
  • Who's Your City by Richard Florida defines the characteristics of cities and what attracts people to cities. It explains as to what residents expect from the city, community, and region to maintain its attractiveness.
  • Democracy at the Doorstep: True Stories from the Green Berets of Public AdministratorsFormer city manager Mike Conduff shared anecdotal stories from his decades-long career in local government management and tied each story to a practical skill as well as tied the stories as a whole to ICMA’s code of ethics. 

3. Equity & Inclusion

4. Staff Effectiveness

5. Personal Resiliency and Development

  • Berkeley Executive Seminar is an interactive, one-week training program designed for local government administrators and high-level state officials who would like to develop innovative skills in management and share their insight with similarly experienced peers.
  • ICMA Gettysburg Leadership Institute is the opportunity of a lifetime and so pertinent to this profession.
  • ICMA Leadership Academy is an intensive 5-day program designed to cultivate key competencies needed for successful leadership at all levels in local government management. 
  • two-week SEI (Senior Executive Institute) is also available from the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia in July.
  • Jack: Straight from the Gut is the story of Jack Welch’s career and how he helped to make General Electric one of the most successful companies of the 20th century.
  • Habits: How They Form and How to Break Them helps us understand how we develop habits in our everyday personal and business lives. It forced me (and others in our management team whom I challenged) to challenge the reasons why I have performed some repetitive tasks and daily business habits--to challenge my assumptions about the benefits I derive from these habits. 
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a comprehensive program based on developing an awareness of how perceptions and assumptions hinder success--in business as well as personal relationships.
  • Switch - Illustrates change in the context of the rational mind and the emotional mind and successful patterns for driving change.
  • 175 Ways to Get More Done in Less Time is a quick read. Full of great suggestions for saving time by modifying your behavior.
  • Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement is a phenomenal look into an officer’s daily routine and how that routine affects his or her personal life.

6. Strategic Leadership

7. Strategic Planning

8. Policy Facilitation and Implementation

9. Community and Resident Service

10. Service Delivery

  • Getting Started: A Performance Measurement Handbook introduces the topic of performance measurement for local governments that have not yet started measuring their performance, or that have taken the first steps, but found that reaping meaningful results can be a challenge.
  • Managing the Unexpected: Assuring High Performance in an Age of Complexity explains that leaders need to create a collective state of mindfulness that produces a better ability to detect and correct errors before they escalate into a crisis. One of the simple solutions is creating an organization that respects the input and observations of all employees and stakeholders and to create cross-functional teams to enable it to happen.
  • Managing Local Government Services is an indispensable resource and continues to be popular.

11. Technological Literacy

12. Financial Management and Budgeting

13. Human Resources Management and Workforce Engagement 

  • Get Rid of the Performance Review by Samuel A. Culbert, Business Plus Books, NY, 2010. This book provides a detailed criticism of the traditional performance review process and shows how destructive it is of organizational productivity and morale. It proposes an alternative system of "performance previews" which are much less threatening and more supportive.

14. Communication and Information Sharing

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