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Our Story Continues to Unfold

Portrait drawing of Town Manager Sean Stegall

Organizations that enjoy enduring success have core values that remain fixed, while their strategies and practices adapt to the changing world. And with the Imagine Cary Community Plan, which embraces our values, we have the blueprint for our future, a future created by the people of Cary.

But while the vision set forth in Imagine Cary is established, our efforts to reimagine the organization and report on results are in their infancy. Strong performance is about making meaningful, incremental improvements daily that are consistent with our committed and communicated targets and goals.

This quarterly report -- and those that will follow -- communicates our progress toward achieving Imagine Cary by offering a clear snapshot of an organization moving steadily forward at a pace that can be absorbed and sustained by the Council, staff, volunteers, contractors, and consultants involved in this incredible journey. Three areas that are particularly noteworthy for progress this quarter are:

1. Our continued strong financial position;
2. The end of budgeting as a one-time, annual event; and,
The ongoing work on cultural/The Cary Way.

Without question, we have embarked on one of the most transformative periods in Cary’s history, and we view this as the ultimate opportunity. Every day is a chance to be better -- a better organization, a better community.

Around the world, we are seeing growing concerns about congestion, air quality, and protecting the character and quality of life in cities. We understand that in this era, the winners will be the innovators, the disrupters, and those willing to break with tradition -- but not their core values -- to find new solutions. 

That is why we are pushing ourselves even harder to think, to act, and to disrupt like a start-up company, anticipating citizens’ wants and needs 10 and 20 years down the road. Our efforts to decentralize our business model will support our internal performance improvements, allowing us to better serve our community and create a more cost-efficient and resilient organization that, throughout its evolution, remains focused on Keeping Cary Great.

Agile organizations regularly rethink and, if necessary, redesign their structures, governance mechanisms, and processes to strike a balance between speed and stability.  But a company attempting to become more agile may find the effort daunting. 

One critical prerequisite for sustaining real change is putting in place the behavioral norms required for success. This is not solely about making cultural statements or listing company values; it is, rather, a matter of instilling the right kinds of behavior for “how we do things around here.”

We have launched experiments throughout the organization to help us learn more and prepare for the future -- everything from technologies that locate open parking spaces to making employee collaboration easier to even rethinking how we collect trash. Our experiments are building blocks to enable staff to discover ever-increasing meaning in their work and thus allow our citizens to enjoy a better quality of life. 

In all we do, we endeavor to stay “constructively discontent.” We’re always encouraging our partners, our colleagues, and ourselves to achieve more, work more holistically and be more efficient.

Through it all, we will continue to honor the trust that the Town Council and our citizens place in us by maintaining high ethical standards and refusing to compromise by demanding excellence in all we do. By living our values and acting with purpose, we continue to evolve our own story -- striving to uphold Cary’s commitment to make every day better than the last. 

In Keeping Cary Great,

Sean R. Stegall
Town Manager