Grapevine City Manager Proposes “Grapevine University”

One Good Idea

Walt Disney once said, “Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it’s done right.”

On Tuesday night, Grapevine City Manager, Bruno Rumbelow, rolled out step one of Walt Disney’s quote by getting a good idea and staying with it.  The idea presented by Mr. Rumbelow was to start a Grapevine University to preserve the city’s core DNA and values that have made it successful over the years.  

According to Mr. Rumbelow, the Grapevine University would make leadership training available to all city employees including parks and recreation, fire department, police department, public works, city offices, et al.

Although Mr. Rumbelow did mention that the preliminary work on this presentation had taken months, his presentation which was open to the public in Grapevine’s City Council conference room took less than 15 minutes.  Specific details about the plan were few and far between, although it did look like a somewhat large document was provided to the City Council members which we presume (read: hope) provided much greater depth around this idea.

Training Classes

The development of leadership training and the passing on of core values that have made Grapevine successful is a great idea. Some of the training ideas mentioned include the following:

Customer Service Training
Supervisory Training
Managerial Leadership
Team Building
Budgeting
Sexual Harassment Training

Creating a working environment that trains and promotes from within is typically good for employee morale.  So we agree that the idea on the surface is a good one.  As with anything, the difficulty is in the implementation of the idea (which if you are following along is step two of the Walt Disney quote above).

Our Concerns

What we did not hear was the cost of Grapevine University and that is always a concern.  Outside training consultants can be expensive.  And if this leadership training is done right, this may be an expensive undertaking.  We take comfort in the fact that we have a smart and capable group of City Council Members who will decide whether this project is worthwhile.

One other concern is whether or not this University will drown out new ideas.  The passing on of tradition, legacy, and repeatable success can be great.  But you certainly do not want to lose the creative energy and new ideas that come in with a new generation of leaders.

It will be very interesting to see if the City of Grapevine moves forward with this idea and then how well the idea gets implemented.