Dear Colleague -
Welcome to our web site dedicated to excellence in local government.
If this is your 1st introduction to our Institute, the following is a brief history of our organization.
For the past 30-plus years, I've had a passion for studying high-performance organizations. I read whatever I could put my hands on. I attended seminars. And, whenever possible, I visited those organizations and interviewed their leaders. All of this was aimed at discovering what had made them so successful. Up until 1994, that research was devoted to growing a thriving consulting practice in the land-use planning and economic development fields. Then, at the age of 50, I began a 2nd career. Working with a group of like-minded individuals, the Cordillera Institute was founded.
If you remember, the early 1990s were tough years for local governments. The economy was climbing out of recession. Our senior governments had run themselves even deeper into debt. As a result, local governments were expected to take on more responsibilities and to do it all with less revenue. Something had to change. And, it did. Local governments everywhere began to innovate to find ways to do more with less. But, most were operating at a disadvantage. While there was abundant information available on improving the performance of businesses, relatively little was available on improving the performance of local governments. Our Institute was founded to fill that information gap.
We did that by establishing our
to scour the local-government world for success stories. Whenever we found them, we shared the findings with our Members through the
Information Exchange Program
and by publishing them in our
As a growing number of our Members began to search for benchmarks, we established the
Performance Improvement Program.
This program enables local-government agencies to compare their performance with their peers and to share the best practices uncovered during the comparisons. For more on each of these programs, see the sidebar to the right.
Until 2005, all of our efforts were geared to serving our Members. Then, in late February 2006, we launched a new publication, designed to serve the full local-government community. In each issue,
VFC (View from the Cordillera)
covers some aspect of excellence in local government.
Since our founding in 1994, we have studied many high-performance organizations to learn what makes them successful. From this research, we have distilled a set of principles, paradigms, policies, programs, and practices which are the key elements of their success. And, the search continues. We are always interested in finding another success story in local government. Will it be yours? While much has been written about the achievements of larger cities, very little is available on small and medium-sized municipalities. Yet, many of the real gems of local-government performance are found among these less-publicized organizations. These innovators have not received the recognition they deserve. Moreover, other local-government agencies, which want to improve their own performance but are unaware of what has been accomplished already, are left to choose between re-inventing the wheel or living with the status quo. We want to change all that. And, your organization can participate. Information Exchange Program
Here is where our Members turn to meet their specific information needs. Whether you have a quick question or a complex research assignment, this program can provide the answers. It draws on a network of some 6,000 innovators in the field of performance improvement for local government. The Information Exchange Program is built around the Information Network and consists of the following services:
The Performance Improvement Program offers 2 key initiatives proven to improve the performance of local-government organizations, from the largest city to the tiniest village or rural municipality. You can read more about these initiatives by clicking on the following links.
You may become a subscriber to VFC (View from the Cordillera). Just send us an email with the word 'Subscribe' in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, title, and organization. When we receive your order, we will email you a confirmation of your subscription and an invoice for your records. A basic subscription (50 issues) is just $50 per person. That's only $1 per issue. If your elected officials or management team would like to subscribe as a group, enquire about our special group subscription rates. To Receive a Free Copy
You may receive a free copy of a recent issue of VFC (View from the Cordillera). Just send us an email with the word 'Free' in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, title, and organization. To Register for the Free Summaries
You may receive the free summaries of VFC (View from the Cordillera). Just send us an email with the word 'Register' in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, title, and organization. To Order Any Issue
You may order the full text of any issue of VFC (View from the Cordillera). Just send us an email with the word 'Order' in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, title, and organization as well as the volume and issue number or the title of the issue(s) you want. Each copy is only $5. If you are ordering multiple issues, enquire about our discounts. To Access Our On-line Publications Catalog
To access the on-line catalog of publications available from our archives, just click here. To Inform Your Colleagues and Associates
If you would like to share VFC (View from the Cordillera) with your colleagues and associates, we will be pleased to send them a complimentary copy, together with a note acknowledging your referral. Just send us an email with the word 'Refer' in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, title, and organization as well as the names, titles, organizations, and email addresses of those to receive the package and we will do the rest.