The California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) recognizes that local government managers and department directors must be able to think strategically and make decisions through an informed and inclusive process.

The California JPIA’s Leadership Academy, held last month in Santa Barbara, brought together 24 leaders representing 19 member agencies in a strong learning community. Through hands-on exercises and dynamic discussions, participants learned strategies to master the complex challenges of leading today’s local governments.

Leadership experts presented the following sessions at the Academy:

  • The Job-Person-Environment Assessment
  • Trust, strategic thinking, and innovation
  • A leader’s role in liability and workers’ compensation
  • Transforming your organization through great leadership
  • Public service ethics / making decisions in the gray zone
  • Conflict resolution: leadership strategies, tools, and techniques to help employees get along

“I found the Leadership Academy very valuable,” says police sergeant Tony Mosqueda, of the City of Morro Bay. “I have tools and strategies that I can take back to the department and share with my team.”

The California JPIA develops training to support professional development and believes it plays an important role in supporting risk management and good governance. The California JPIA’s academies—training that focuses on a specific public sector discipline, such as public works, human resources, and parks and recreation—present essential theories and techniques for pragmatic problem-solving.

The academies are one example of how the California JPIA’s training program has transitioned into a holistic, loss-prevention strategy with a real impact on claims.

“When the California JPIA first began to conduct training, in the 1990s, it was simply provided as a member benefit,” says Norm Lefmann, assistant executive officer, who oversees risk management and training programs. “Members loved it, but it did not have an intended impact on claims.

“Since 2011,” Lefmann continues, “our training has become more and more focused on understanding what exposures are and addressing strategic areas, so that we may reduce the cost of claims and coverage. Academies offer pragmatic solutions and a variety of ways to deal with situations before they become problematic.”

Next up on the California JPIA’s academy schedule is the Public Works Academy, June 18-20 in Westlake Village. That program, geared for experienced public works supervisors and managers, will emphasize best practices needed to effectively manage Public Works risk exposures.

Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 100 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive risk management training and loss control services.