Your Partner for Organizational Transformation
The Hometown Connections consulting team helps public utilities address today’s business management challenges and provides a flexible yet detailed framework for making decisions that will secure the long-term success of the organization to the benefit of the local community.
Hometown’s consulting services are scalable based on the size and objectives of the joint action agency, state association, or public utility. We offer our services through on-site facilitation or in virtual meeting environment, depending on the requirements of the organization.
With more than 20 years of experience working with hundreds of public utilities, Hometown Connections management consultants know how to focus quickly on the challenges you are facing and provide the information, training, policies, and procedures you need to chart your organization’s course to a long and sustainable future.
Hometown Connections guides community-owned utilities through the change process, focusing on strategic planning, managing risk, excellence in customer service, and leadership development.
Hometown’s consultants help community-owned utilities address today’s business management challenges and advance towards a successful future.
The Hometown Connections proven strategic planning process applies to utilities of all sizes and services.
- Develops a practical, step-by-step blueprint for adapting to specific market conditions, regulatory changes, and the evolving expectations of customers
- May update existing strategic plans
- Benefits from an efficient and time-saving process that places a premium on simplicity, flexibility and logic
- Avoids the complexity and rigidity of other approaches that can grind a strategic planning effort to a halt
Hometown Connections reviews industry changes and public power utilities response to the challenges presented. All levels of leaderships, to include governing boards, gain a strong appreciation for the critical role of effective governance in the face of these changes.
- Legislative and legal
- Customer changes
- Workforce changes
- How public power utilities are responding to these changes
- The role of governing boards
- The need for community engagement
- The importance of Strategic Planning
Hometown Connections reviews metrics and qualitative data to identify and share with stakeholders the value municipal utilities provide to their local community and customers.
- Why is it important to understand the value of your public utility?
- Approach to identifying and tracking metrics
- Qualitative data related to the value of public power
- Challenges and opportunities to collect the data
- Telling your story
Hometown’s consultants help community-owned utilities mitigate risks through the re-design or development of effective foundational business practices.
Operational gaps and risks can hinder you from being efficient, effective, and productive. A Business Operations Assessment will identify opportunities to streamline operations, eliminate silos, and build an effective strategy for the future. We can provide a path to strengthen your organization’s ability to be resilient, maintain an effective workforce, integrate or implement technologies, launch new services, and adapt to changing customer expectations.
We can perform an assessment of your organizational business practices in order to prioritize, streamline, and integrate strategies:
- Customer Service & Communications
- Cyber, Physical, Info Protection/Privacy
- Accounting & Finance
- Engineering/System Management
- Project Management
- Program Development & Management
- Vendor Management
- City Relations
- Workforce Training & Development
- Succession Planning
- Technology and Business Alignment
- Fostering Culture Transformation
Enterprise risk management is integral and foundational to organizational strategy, financial stability, operational efficiency, business continuity, and business transformation. It is not a stand-alone activity and its function is core to the successful execution of business objectives and measurement of outcomes. How to manage risk can sometimes be confusing, but once an effective program is implemented, it can assist in prioritization and making efficient key business decisions. Hometown Connections can help you learn how:
- To understand the purpose of risk management, the benefits, and how to seamlessly integrate it into strategic planning, governance, and prioritization.
- To identify risks and assess their criticality, individually and collectively.
- To categorize, and rank risks within your organization.
- To respond to, monitor and report risks.
- To implement an Enterprise Risk Management Framework.
- To train your organization in the identification and mitigation of risks.
As the services organization dedicated to enhancing the performance of community-owned utilities, Hometown Connections is supporting smaller systems lacking the resources to close their cybersecurity gaps. Its low-cost Cybersecurity Assessment identifies shortcomings in cyber defenses and helps utilities develop strategies to resolve them. Through an alliance network organized by Hometown Connections, qualified personnel at joint action agencies conduct the assessments to provide:
- Program Evaluation
- Comparison of the client’s current technology architecture, policies, and controls with industry standard guidelines.
- Network Vulnerability Assessment
- Using vulnerability scanning tools to look for weaknesses in information systems on the client’s network.
- Phishing & Incident Response
- Using email security awareness tools to simulate phishing attacks and provide awareness training to staff.
- Performing an incident response tabletop exercise
- Detailed Recommendations on how to:
- Address deficiencies
- Prioritize action items
- Budget for security improvements
- Report and Presentation
- For governing board and utility/city staff
Hometown Connections gives governing officials and employees of community-owned utilities vital information on creating a culture of customer service excellence across the enterprise.
Hometown Connections organizes its customer service consulting and education services around these core areas.
- What is good customer service?
- How to segment customers into categories and identify their specific requirements
- Changing demographics of utility workforce and customers
- Utility customer expectations – today and tomorrow
- The seven hallmarks of utility customer service
- Building customer service around your customers
- Operating with the customer’s needs in mind when building policies and operations
- How to create a culture of customer service
- Identifying and finding the right information to provide the most efficient and effective customer service can be a challenge. Understanding how to protect customers privacy while using their information presents additional concerns. In today’s digital world, providing the right information, at the right time, can set the tone for how customers feel about their experience with your organization.Working on the front lines, you are the voice of the customer and have unique insight into what they need and how quickly. Hometown Connections will help you understand the key elements of an information governance program and learn how to:
- Assess your customer information maturity
- Identify and classify customer information for the best customer experience
- Understand the difference between information and data
- Protect customer privacy
- Work with information technology teams to build an Information Governance Program
Leadership & Employee Development
To maximize the performance of utility personnel, Hometown Connections consultants offer leadership training and employee development services.
Leading from where you are is the focus of our development and enhancement programs. Whether you need one-on-one assistance at any level, or tools to bring teams together, we can help with non-positional leadership, emerging leaders, leadership enhancement, and executive leadership.
- Accountability and Personal Responsibility
- Communication Techniques
- Conflict and Negotiation
- Organizational Agility
- Team Building
- Relationship Building
- Making Employees #1
- Problem Solving
With continuous change in our industry, there’s a lot for everyone to do, and success depends on each member of the team working together like a well-oiled machine. Sometimes personality differences and interpersonal dynamics can derail projects and productivity. With Totally Responsible Person® (TRP®) training from Hometown Connections, each of your team members will learn to stay positive, productive, and effective, no matter the circumstances.
Hometown Connections provides TRP training to utility employees at all levels of the organization in virtual and in-person formats.
Who Should Take TRP Training
Individual contributors, supervisors, managers and executives
- Distinguish between the Totally Responsible Person and “victim mentality”
- Apply TRP to manage challenging workplace situations
- Give and receive constructive feedback with confidence
- Stop workplace gossip and criticism and communicate effectively
- Identify productive alternatives to enabling and rescuing in the workplace
- Create a personal action plan to apply the TRP principles at work
Bottom Line Results
- Greater self-awareness and leadership capability
- Greater influence and accountability
- Development of your people
- Improved communication, feedback
- Better work relationships
- Improved teamwork and creativity
- Increased innovation and problem-solving
- Increased productivity and respect
- Decreased stress and conflict
- Greater enjoyment of work and life!
The TRP workshop will help everyone on your staff achieve a greater self-awareness, a feeling of personal accountability, and an understanding of the necessity to provide honest, candid feedback to others. To discuss how TRP training can revolutionize the way your people work together, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organizational Modernization News
By invitation only for Vendor Partners & Affiliated Joint Action Agencies/Associations
It’s beyond time for all municipalities and their utility departments to build out their cyber defenses.
Hometown Connections assessment helps small utility staff create culture of cyber vigilance.