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General Manager, Operational Services

Job Type: 
The City of Calgary
Job Description : 

Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta and offers all the energy of a large metropolitan city with the warm and welcoming spirit of a connected community. There is an abundance of arts, cultural, sports, and recreation opportunities to suit all ages and tastes as well as excellent health care and post-secondary institutions including seven major universities and colleges. The City’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains is an added bonus. Calgary is a city that may surprise you.

Recognized as one of the World’s Most Livable Cities by The Economist, Calgary features all the amenities of a sophisticated large metropolitan centre, set against the beauty of the unspoiled, resource-rich foothills of Alberta. But what sets this city apart is the dynamic and innovative spirit of the 1.4 million people who call Calgary home. The City of Calgary has the privilege of serving the diverse population who shape Canada’s third largest municipality, along with the many newcomers who arrive each year.

Here are a few things you should know:

  • Calgarians enjoy more days of sunshine than any other major Canadian city - 333 days per year in fact!
  • Our citizens are young: the median age of Calgarians is only 37.2 years
  • Calgary is the third most diverse major city in Canada with more than 120 languages spoken in the city
  • Calgary is 848 square kilometres in size, or 327 square miles
  • Calgarians are community-minded; Albertans hold the 2nd highest national volunteer rate at 55 per cent
  • Calgary is home to seven major universities and colleges
  • Calgary is “open for business” and committed to attracting new and innovative economic development opportunities.

For more information on Calgary and what it has to offer please see:

The City’s 15,000 employees deliver the services and run the programs that help make Calgary a great place to make a living and a great place to make a life. Civic leadership is actively engaged in building an inclusive public service environment where employees with diverse backgrounds, varied personalities, skills and experiences work together to provide exceptional municipal public service. The City has also been named one of Canada’s Best Employers by Forbes.

Unified by a commitment to the common purpose of making life better every day, City of Calgary employees live out our One City, One Voice corporate culture in daily interactions with customers, citizens and each other. The shared values of individual responsibility and collective accountability define employee behaviours against the essential qualities of the organization, called the 4Cs: Character, Competence, Commitment and Collaboration.

The City as an organization has a culture that encourages innovation and collaboration and is committed to help employees grow and thrive in their career. The City offers flexible work arrangements, as well as competitive wages, pension and benefits. The City welcomes individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to upholding the values of equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism which will assist them to expand their capacity for diversity in the broadest sense. Applications are encouraged from members of groups that are historically disadvantaged and marginalized.

As Calgary continues its evolution, the City organization is also realigning to a functional model. More information about this realignment will be shared through the recruitment process.

THE ROLE: General Manager, Operational Services

Reporting to the City Manager, the General Manager, Operational Services (OS) is a member of the Executive Leadership Team, who collectively develop the overall strategic direction and plans for the City of Calgary, and ensures the effective execution of Council priorities and services to the citizens of Calgary. The General Manager, Operational Services is accountable for and oversees the strategic direction and operational management of the Operational Services department. This department’s core purpose is to operate, maintain and deliver core municipal services to citizens.

Under general policy guidance from the City Manager and City Council, the General Manager provides inclusive leadership and direction to all departmental business units, including: Transit, Roads, Parks & Recreation Operations, Fleet Services, Waste & Recycling Services, Water Services, Operating Contract Management, Facility Operations, and Leasing.

The General Manager ensures that each of the Operational Services department’s services, supporting programs and sub services are consistent with the overall mission of providing the best possible experience to residents of the City of Calgary and aligns with Council priorities. The General Manager provides expert level advice and expertise in their area of specialty to the City Council and participates in applicable committee meetings. The role, as a member of the Executive Leadership Team, leads overall policy development for the department, develops strategic plans, leads/sponsors key projects and initiatives, and directs the implementation of these policies/projects/initiatives/plans within the Operational Services department.

Key Responsibilities

To be successful in this role, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Nurtures and fosters an inclusive leadership approach that promotes equity, diversity and inclusion; psychological and physical safety; health and wellness.
  • Plan, direct, and provide strategic oversight over the operations of the department, including the activities related to the operation, maintenance and delivery of core municipal services; direct department operations through subordinate heads, coordinating department-wide management activities and facilitating implementation strategies.
  • Provide a vision, strategic leadership, and direction to the management team in managing departmental operations, policies and challenges related to the effective and responsive delivery of programs and services.
  • Ensure that the department has a clear mission/mandate and a strategic vision for success matched by a plan that includes the resources necessary to achieve that vision.
  • Works with the City Manager and Council to identify short and long-term strategic priorities and leads the development of strategic, business and operational plans. Integrate strategic plans into a coherent and aligned strategy for the Department.
  • Direct the development of annual and longer-term business plans for each business unit in the Department, ensuring alignment with strategy; quantify business outcomes (i.e. KPIs); set budgets; and review and approve business cases for projects and programs that have organizational impact.
  • Maintain constant focus on the municipal needs of the residents of the City; identify and manage these needs by collaborating with other departments, the City Manager, and the City Council as necessary.
  • Set, and lead the delivery of, annual and long-term departmental objectives; manage and report on performance, and take corrective action where necessary to ensure achievement.
  • Oversee departmental operating budget and ensure effective financial, business planning and management processes.
  • Identify opportunities for synergies within department, streamline functions and create more operational flexibility.
  • Ensure the department’s structure, systems and processes enable staff to deliver integrated programs and core services.
  • Develop and oversee implementation of strategic plans within the department, with an emphasis on cross- departmental collaboration and achieving synergies; direct the development of annual and longer-term departmental business plans over a 2-5 year time horizon, ensuring alignment with strategy.
  • Collaborate with other departments and identify opportunities for synergies.
  • Lead, coach and mentor employees within the department to achieve operational and strategic objectives; develop a cohesive and motivated team committed to the mission of the City of Calgary.
  • Identify the capabilities needed to meet the current and emerging business needs of the Department. Evaluate current capabilities, identify gaps, and prioritize development activities.
  • Functions as the Deputy City Manager, working with the City Manager to identify and execute additional key strategic initiatives and functions as interim City Manager when necessary.

The Person – Experience and Education

The General Manager, Operational Services will have:

  • A post-secondary degree in a related discipline. A related Master's degree, i.e., MBA or MPA is strongly preferred, yet optional. Equivalent/relevant combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience, with at least 5 years at the senior management level, preferably within a large, complex and diversified organization. Public sector experience, particularly municipal government experience, is highly desirable.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

The successful applicant will bring the following attributes to the role:

  • Strategic Mindset: sees ahead to future possibilities and translates them into breakthrough strategies. For example, is a strong big-picture thinker; makes frequent, clear references to the City's vision and strategy and the efforts required to drive them forward. Effectively integrates long-term opportunities and challenges with day-to-day activities.
  • Plans and Aligns: plans and prioritizes work to meet commitments aligned with departmental and Citywide goals. For example, makes nimble plans accounting for a range of risks and contingencies. Achieves greater cohesion integration, and alignment between own group and other areas. Both persistent in adversity and nimble in change.
  • Drives Vision & Purpose: paints a compelling picture of the vision and strategy that motivates others to action. For example, is a strong champion for the City's vision; energizes people to commit to this long-term direction. Regularly and enthusiastically describes how people's efforts make a difference.
  • Collaborates: builds partnerships and works collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives. For example, enhances and improves collaboration among coworkers and across departments. Solicits ideas from diverse colleagues, leaves space in conversation for them; gives credit well and generously.
  • Organizational Savvy: maneuvers comfortably through complex policy, process, and people-related dynamics. For example, has a clear grasp of departmental culture and political dynamics throughout the City; helps people make connections and thrive. Secures the vigorous commitment and enthusiasm of champions and advocates. Optimizes team resources across multiple objectives to maximize their value.
  • Develop Talent: Through an inclusive leadership approach, develops people to meet both their career goals and the organization's goals. Creates a development focused culture, supporting others' development efforts. Establishes ongoing programs and processes to facilitate the development of all talent. Coaches and mentors key talent.

Other desired competencies and skills include:

  • Leadership Skills – Ability to set visions and goals and communicate them effectively across an organization. Excellent analytical, organizational, negotiation skills and strong leadership abilities.
  • Change Management Skills – You lead by example and are recognized as a change agent with the ability to inspire, engage, and encourage others, instilling enthusiasm and commitment as you help move the organization forward.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills – Has an open, honest and consistent approach to working with others. Ability to communicate effectively at all levels, both informally and formally. Is an active listener, able to build rapport and show empathy, taking a genuine interest in staff, clients and other stakeholders. Excellent writing, presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Personal Management Skills – Gains credibility and trust quickly and instills confidence with interpersonal flexibility, perseverance and integrity. Ability to act decisively with sound judgment - prone to action over reaction.
  • Committed to Personal Excellence – Possesses a strong entrepreneurial flair. Continuously seeks to stay current and be at the leading edge in their field. Understands organizational challenges and is a “progressive idea person” committed to excellence and innovation in the workplace. Encourages others to achieve personal excellence.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

The City of Calgary values diversity of expertise, talent and opinion which creates an innovative and collaborative environment. They are committed to a respectful and inclusive workplace and welcome applications from all qualified individuals.

Leaders has embedded the experience gained from our search work with expertise in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) into our process from start to finish, to ensure that we conduct searches in accordance with EDI best practices.

For information about the City of Calgary's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion please go to: Diversity & Inclusion.

Express Your Enthusiasm for This Role

If you are committed to public service, enjoy collaborating with others, share The City's values, have a desire to learn and grow, join The City of Calgary. City employees operate the facilities, deliver the services and run the programs which make a difference in our community. The City supports work-life balance and offers competitive wages, pension and benefits. Together we make Calgary a great place to make a living, a great place to make a life.

Closing Date: 
April 11, 2021
Application Return: 

All interested candidates, including current employees of the City of Calgary, are encouraged to apply. Email a convincing cover letter and tailored resume (PDF or Word document only) to Allan Nelson, Laura Youngberg or Shalini Bhatty at calgary@leadersinternational.com indicating the job title in the subject line of the email.
Applications will be accepted until April 11, 2021