Wasco County Culture Guide
Following a particularly negative interaction with another entity on a project, the County Clerk and the County Administrator were reviewing the meeting and how difficult it had been. For the Clerk it was the first project where it became apparent that some citizens don’t like county government, no matter how we try to help. The Administrator jokingly said, “Welcome to county government. 50% of the people love you, and 50% of the people love to hate you.” To which the Clerk replied “Yes, but that’s still 100% LOVE!” Then the Executive Assistant to the Commissioners chimed in and said, “Truthfully, it’s more like 20% love us, 20% love to hate us, and 60% are indifferent.”
The 100% Love statement really began to grow and take shape over the next couple of weeks. It started out as a tongue-in-cheek remark, but upon further reflection it began to emerge as a concept with much deeper meaning. It grew into a way of thinking about all aspects of what we do. The questions started to be asked: what could 100% Love mean to me as an individual and as a team/department? What could it mean as a County, and to our citizens? This concept began to resonate with some of the management staff as we began to talk about it and look for examples of 100% Love. What came out of this thinking was a critical question: could the concept of 100% Love be the guide for how we serve ourselves and our citizens, recognizing that the goal is to move some of the people who “love to hate us” into the “indifferent” category, and move some of the “indifferent” citizens into “love to love us” category? And more importantly, use the 100% Love concept as our guiding principle for serving people, regardless of whether they love us or hate us?
The 100% Love concept immediately started showing up in actions in the courthouse. The Assessor’s office created the Christmas door decoration for the Administrative team, who were too swamped to decorate their own door (despite it being a favorite activity). The Clerk’s office and Assessor’s office traded spaces in the courthouse so that the 14-person Assessor’s team could have more room. This effort involved multiple people – Facilities, IT, help from youth offenders doing community service, the Commissioners and other managers. It is amazing how often the 100% Love concept shows up when you look for it. In essence, the concept started to get legs and show up in all aspects of the work environment and our actions. From that point on an emerging culture began to show itself and has since permeated our organization. It is reflected in our actions, our approach to doing business and to our overall being. It is this culture, based on the 100% Love concept that is most important to the organization. This culture, should you choose to participate in it, is a guiding principle for everything at Wasco County. Through everyone’s commitment, dedication, and unwavering focus we can create the momentum that will carry the County forward.