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Monday, February 27, 2006

Travels with Graham

Fort Wayne Mayor Gets Around

Mayor Graham Richard has been traveling quite a bit lately to speaking engagements.

He was in Goshen last Friday to speak to the annual Goshen College business forum. The following is from the Goshen News story by reporter Tara Lane:
Calling himself one of the “faith of the frozen chosen” — an Episcopalian — Richard said he appreciates the service of private, not-for-profit organizations that are faith-based, such as Goshen College.

A former teacher, Richard said a commitment to building partnerships must include closing the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” and those who have earning power and those who don’t.

“We need to be sure that those who don’t have earning power have learning power,” he said.

One way Fort Wayne city officials use partnerships to boost learning power is through the redevelopment of the former Southtown Mall property. He said ground will soon be broken to build a 125,000-square-foot facility that will consist of numerous colleges offering courses in the same facility.

Richard said the partnership with the colleges will provide “state-of-the-art training” which will benefit everyone.

Another way Fort Wayne officials have used partnerships and worked to create a globally competitive city is though the use of fiberoptic broadband services. Richard said the broadband services help connect small businesses, schools and households. He said that with the services, individuals are able to take college courses they may not have had access to previously. Richard said 87 schools and about 110,000 households and businesses are able to use the service.

Richard also spoke about “Net Literacy” a program that originated in central Indiana but is now used in many other communities as well. The program relies on middle and high school students to volunteer to teach computer skills to low-income senior citizens and people who aren’t used to computers or the Internet.

He said the program “builds linkages with people who might not have those capabilities.”

Richard said that business practices including Lean and Six Sigma have been used in the city of Fort Wayne to increase productivity and decrease waste.

“Lean” thinking provides a way to do more with less — less human effort, equipment, time and space. The Six Sigma philosophy works on reducing waste and focuses on increasing satisfaction while simultaneously increasing profits.

It seems to me Fort Wayne's answer to every problem is to hire a consultant from out of town to resolve it for us. If that consultant comes up with something the City government does not like; they hire a new consultant...

Mike Sylvester
This whole Six Sigma deal is really irritating...like watching a motivational speaker explain (but not REALLY explain) how to think outside the box. I have a GE Six Sigma handbook at work and it is literally enough to make you want to grab Tony Robbins by the Adam's Apple and squeeze...

I thought ISO was bad.
On the other hand, the mayor doesn't carry a stool around. (www.takingdownwords.com)
Grand Opening Graham, what's he good for, nothing!
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