Rethinking Budgeting

City Budgeting for Equity and Recovery: Effective Change Management in Equity Implementation

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Changing practices to drive greater equity can be extremely intimidating for cities that aren’t yet substantively educated or exposed to the relevant concepts, and for those within cities who perceive their status or authority as being threatened by the adoption of new principles. This is especially the case given today’s turbulent environment.

Creating a sense of urgency about change can be relatively easy as an executive, but significantly less so as a subordinate. Finding champions may seem impossible if cities are struggling to get stakeholders to even entertain a particular topic. Both proven and emerging change management practices can be simultaneously deployed to help overcome these challenges and dramatically improve the probability of success. If an individual who is seeking to make change lacks a traditional leadership position, or active supporters for their cause, or simply does not know where to begin, this article can help them model an approach to lead from their current position and effect sustainable, enduring organizational change.

As part of our ongoing work with the cohort of cities looking to make transformative change through the Bloomberg Philanthropies/What Works Cities/Results for America City Budgeting for Equity and Recovery (CBER) Initiative, this article represents a combination of lessons learned and promising change management practices that have emerged over the duration of the initiative.