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Political acuity: a skill for managing conflict in the municipal workplace

In this video, Dr. Peter Constantinou chats with Municipal World CEO Susan Gardner about political acuity, and how it can be an essential skill for managing conflict in the municipal workplace – especially between political and administrative leaders. Political acuity, he explains, is the idea of knowing and understanding how – in the wider context – all the various unknowns of daily life impact the decisions people make. It is also, he adds, knowing when to do something and when not to do something, of understanding when something will be acceptable and when it will not. A large part of his studies involved the conflict that can often arise between the two parts of the political system in Canada, elected officials and the civil servants who inform the decision-making process. Studying the issue at both the municipal and provincial level, his conclusions were used as the basis for a curriculum that can be used in training for those two sides of the political system.

From the 2018 Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association (OMAA) Fall Workshop in Muskoka, Ontario. See more in the Fall Workshop Report.