Books

Books

What Kind of a Planning Director Will You Be This Year? Hard Copy

Hot off the press is Paul Zucker’s new book, What Kind of A Planning Director Will You Be This Year?

This 84-page book includes seven chapters on Politics and Leadership, 15 chapters on management, and a checklist to introduce these concepts into your own management style and organization.

Testimonials

· “An unmatched compilation of insightful advice and guidance from the planning professions most respected authority on planning agency management.” Bruce McClendon, past President of APA and author of five books

· “A wonderful and entertaining synthesis of Politics, Management, and Action for planners everywhere. His discussion on ‘Bid Ideas’ is a critical piece of planning leadership.” Brian F. Mooney FAICP, Managing Principal, RICK Engineering Company and Adjunct Professor New School of Architecture and Design

· “I cannot imagine a planning director who would not benefit from it. You will find yourself in situations that may lead you back to this book again and again” W. Paul Farmer, FAICP, former CEO of the American Planning Association

· “Shows you can learn and have fun at the same time, full of hard-earned wisdom, common sense suggestions, and practical advice.” C. Gregory Dale, FAICP, Principal at McBride Dale Clarion

· “Through his observations and great stories, Paul reminds us why we need to be the leaders our communities deserve.” Sue Schwartz, FAICP, Former AICP President, Planning Director Greensboro NC.

Immediately available for $34.95 in paperback at Zucker Systems or Amazon. Also available as a PDF e-book for $20.00 at Zuckersystems.com.

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What Kind of Planning Director Will You Be This Year? Digital Download

Hot off the press is Paul Zucker’s new book, What Kind of A Planning Director Will You Be This Year?

This 84-page book includes seven chapters on Politics and Leadership, 15 chapters on management, and a checklist to introduce these concepts into your own management style and organization.

Testimonials

· “An unmatched compilation of insightful advice and guidance from the planning professions most respected authority on planning agency management.” Bruce McClendon, past President of APA and author of five books

· “A wonderful and entertaining synthesis of Politics, Management, and Action for planners everywhere. His discussion on ‘Bid Ideas’ is a critical piece of planning leadership.” Brian F. Mooney FAICP, Managing Principal, RICK Engineering Company and Adjunct Professor New School of Architecture and Design

· “I cannot imagine a planning director who would not benefit from it. You will find yourself in situations that may lead you back to this book again and again” W. Paul Farmer, FAICP, former CEO of the American Planning Association

· “Shows you can learn and have fun at the same time, full of hard-earned wisdom, common sense suggestions, and practical advice.” C. Gregory Dale, FAICP, Principal at McBride Dale Clarion

· “Through his observations and great stories, Paul reminds us why we need to be the leaders our communities deserve.” Sue Schwartz, FAICP, Former AICP President, Planning Director Greensboro NC.

Also available for $34.95 in paperback at Zucker Systems or Amazon.

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Planning is Funny – Hard Copy

A must-have book for every planner and planning department. Includes:

  • 295 pages
  • 1550 alternative captions
  • 38 cartoon drawings  by national cartoonist Dean Vietor (creator of many New Yorker cartoons) with instructions for you to design your own captions
  • Personal stories from 14 creative planners
  • Captions from 269 creative and silly planners
  • 80 topics, one for every occasion (see the Table of Contents below)

Note: purchase authorizes you to use the cartoons for office newsletters, speeches, powerpoint presentation and personal use.

Also available in digital download version.

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Planning is Funny – Digital Download

A must-have book for every planner and planning department. Includes:

  • 295 pages
  • 1550 alternative captions
  • 38 cartoon drawings  by national cartoonist Dean Vietor (creator of many New Yorker cartoons) with instructions for you to design your own captions
  • Personal stories from 14 creative planners
  • Captions from 269 creative and silly planners
  • 80 topics, one for every occasion (see the Table of Contents below)

Note: purchase authorizes you to use the cartoons for office newsletters, speeches, powerpoint presentation and personal use.

Additional DescriptionMore Details

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The ABZs of Planning Management

The first edition of The ABZs of Planning Management was written some 10 years ago. Since that time we sold out our first and second printings. A number of universities in 6 countries are now using the book as a text for planners, hopefully giving students a leg up on the real-world practice of planning, and it is often recommended as a study book for the AICP exam. We are pleased to announce the arrival of the new edition expanded from 320 pages to 506 pages with many new topics and a comprehensive index. Order your copy today!

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Leaders Praise the ABZ’s of Planning Management, 2nd Edition….

“This is that rarity, a must-have book about a potentially dry subject that’s actually fun to read.”
Harold Henderson , Planning’s book reviewer.

“We hire the best technical planners that we can find, and if they are really good, we promote them to managers. After that, we just hope for the best or we buy a copy of the ABZs.”
S. Gail Goldberg , City of Los Angeles Planning Director.

“Doctor Z has done it again. The second edition of the ‘Zucker Bible’ is better than ever and in lockstep with our changing times. It should be required reading in every planning school and within daily reach of every practicing planner. The chapters on ‘change’ and ‘stress’ are my favorites. They reflect the ‘moving target’ nature of our profession.”
Jim Duncan, FAICP, President, Duncan and Associates, Austin, Texas.

“Your book is a practical and insightful look into exactly what the practicing planner in management needs. This workbook format offers the flexibility to all planning managers to ‘pick and choose’ those elements that are applicable to their organizations’ unique environments. This is important in developing successful managers. The Zucker approach to planning management is your legacy to our profession.”
Ed Gawf, Assistant City Manager, Scottsdale, Arizona.

“The second edition of Paul Zucker’s ABZ’s of Planning Management is a must have resource for today’s planning directors. Paul does a great job of distilling current management advice from both public and private management gurus and blending them with his years of experience to give us an easy ready, a must read, and a go-to resource!”
Sue Schwartz, FAICP, President of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Neighborhood Planning Division Manager, Housing and Community Development, Greensboro, NC.

“The ABZ’s of Planning Management, Second Edition is an essential, all-encompassing guide to meeting the numerous real-world challenges that are confronting planning agency managers. It’s a resource and reference book that will be found in an open position on the desks of planners, not on their shelves.”
Bruce McClendon, FAICP, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

Foreword by S. Gail Goldberg, Los Angeles Planning Director

Between accepting and starting my new job as Planning Director of the City of Los Angeles, I was inundated with messages and reading material passed along to me from my new friends in L.A. Many folks shared history and personal anecdotes of their native city as they welcomed me north from San Diego. They described the neighborhoods that I might like to live in, the sites of interest and the restaurants that I really must try. Others provided their political perspective and an overview of the business and development environment. But most of the folks I heard from shared with me their stories about a planning department bogged down in case processing and void of long-range planning.

By far, the most popular e-mail attachment, for my reading pleasure, was an audit of the planning department that had recently been completed by the City Controller. The accompanying newspaper articles carried somber headlines, such as “Audit Criticizes City Planning Policies.” My head was spinning with quotes: “an agency cast in a time warp of past practices, old procedures and outdated technology” that was “mired in backlogs,” etc. etc. One can only imagine how excited I was to read this. After all, I had already resigned my position as Planning Director of the City of San Diego.

There was one ray of hope. The audit had been conducted for the Controller by Zucker Systems. And I know “The Management Doctor.” I have seen Paul Zucker many times, in his all-white medical garb, standing in a booth at planning conferences under the ZUCKER SYSTEMS banner with the sign on the desk reading: “The Management Doctor is In.” We all know the true measure of a doctor is not just diagnostic skill but the ability to find a cure.

Beyond the occasional encounter at a planning conference, I also was fortunate to have spent many years of planning in San Diego, the home of Zucker Systems. I have had opportunities to interact with Paul and to assess his work. He is most impressive. He combines a very successful career as a planning manager with a subsequent and equally thriving career as a management consultant. I knew that if Paul had conducted the audit, it would be fair and there would be constructive recommendations.

More than a year has passed since my first introduction to the Los Angeles Planning Department. Dedicated planners joined with me to create a Strategic Plan for the Department that addresses many of the recommendations in the audit and introduces “real” long-range planning to our work program. Our journey is that of all planning departments: to produce great plans, to efficiently and effectively process cases, to be responsive to our stakeholders, to nurture staff and foster creativity, and to fully engage the public.

And we face the same challenges of limited funding that most often results in insufficient staff, which we compound with inadequate training. Of course, nowhere is training more lacking than in the area of planning management. We hire the best technical planners that we can find, and if they are really good, we promote them to managers. After that, we just hope for the best or we buy a copy of Paul Zucker’s The ABZs of Planning Management.

This new edition of The ABZs of Planning Management, and the one that preceded it, delves into the chaotic world of planning departments and, with clarity and humor, identifies our most common challenges and offers best practices and innovative solutions. Reading Part I, The New Environment, challenged my thinking about the nature of organizations today and the role of managers while it expanded my view of leadership. The Vision and Mission chapter was particularly relevant to me as I work to set a new direction in Los Angeles. And I laughed with Paul as he talked about planners who see themselves as somehow separate and apart from the political process. What country do they work in?

Part II, Employees, gently reminded me that “people are our best asset” and then convinced me that nurturing individual growth and creativity in our staff is, quite simply, a survival strategy for today’s planning organizations. Part III on Planning and Development Functions provided practical ideas and examples of best practices that helped me rethink both our planning functions and case processing. And then, of course, I was challenged to fit all of that into a creative and fluid organizational structure.

Thank goodness the doctor is still in the house and that Part IV addresses structural issues. Office Management not only provides examples of effective organizational structures, but also challenges conventional thinking about vertical and horizontal responsibilities. It also offers many practical ways to create that efficient and effective department that we all aspire to have. Finally, Part V, Tools, provides a concise review of key management tools to help evaluate and improve our organizations. Of course, if all else fails and downsizing becomes the tool of choice, the book concludes with a great chapter on Unemployment Blues.

If you are a planning manager or aspire to be one, you will find The ABZs of Planning Management a great read with many “aha” moments. One cannot read it without wanting to share the ideas with co-workers. The book is a wonderful impetus for real dialogue with your management teams. It is thought provoking and inspiring. I can assure you that all of my managers will have a copy.

S. Gail Goldberg, City of Los Angeles, Director of Planning
Spring 2007

 

New Material

  • Management – Leaders, Chapter 1
    Since writing the first edition of The ABZs, there have been hundreds of books and extensive research on managers and leaders. This chapter is intended to report on some of this research and help you visualize your role as both manager and leader.
  • Boards and Commissions, Chapter 11
    We may not like all your boards and commissions, but planners need to learn how to work with them.
  • Building Permits, Chapter 18
    Cities and counties used to want me to review their planning program. However, today the desire is to reform the entire permitting process, so planners need to know more about the building permit, engineering and other related functions.
  • Stress, Chapter 13
    Many planners were stressed out in 1997, and I find many are today – a needed topic.
  • Budgeting, Chapter 21
    In my classes, I always ask which departments need more staff. Invariably it is: all of them. Yet, in my consulting practice, I find few departments that know how to make the case in their budget. This chapter will show you how to do it.
  • Technology, Chapter 22
    I was hesitant to write this chapter since technology is changing so rapidly. Hopefully these ideas can help you keep up the pace. It was written by my firm’s technology expert, with lots of input from our head planner.
  • Office Space, Chapter 24
    Managers have the responsibility to see that staff has a workable and invigorating environment.
  • Measurement, Chapter 27
    The need for using measurement as a management tool has taken on increased importance since the 1990’s.
  • Consultant Selection, Chapter 28
    Outsourcing has hit the private sector, and it is on its way to the public sector. This chapter will help you get prepared.
  • Other Office Management Issues, Chapter 29
    Lots of new ideas here to help you run a better shop.
  • Benchmarking, Chapter 33
    We can learn from each other and this chapter will tell you how

Table of Contents

Foreword

About the Second Edition
How to Read this Book

Part I – The New Environment

1. Management – Leaders
2. Vision & Mission
3. Customer Service
4. Politics
5. Change
6. Communication
7. Time Management

Part II – Employees

8. Hiring
9. Delegation
10. Evaluation
11. Motivation
12. Training
13. Stress

Part II – Planning Functions

14. Planning
15. Plan Format
16. Permitting
17. Boards and Commissions
18. Building Permits

Part IV – Office Management

19. Organization
20. Systems
21. Budget
22. Technology
24. Telephone
24. Office Space
25. Forms
26. Manuals and Handouts
27. Measurement
28. Consultant Selection
29. Other Office Management Issues
30. Downsizing

Part V – Tools

31. Focus Groups
32. Peer Review
33. Benchmarking
34. Department Audits
35. Unemployment Blues
Annotated Bibliography

Index

About The Author

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Cats, Dogs & Friends at the Office

A new book by Paul Zucker and Dean Vietor

  • Lots of cartoons you can utilize in your memos and powerpoints.
  • 82 Cats, 45 Dogs, 10 Birds, 36 Others
  • Order your copy today!
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Mis-Management – Quips, Quotes and Cartoons

  • 154 Management Cartoons by Dean Vietor
  • Related Management Commentary by Paul Zucker, aka the Management Doctor
  • Management Quotes from famous people
  • 212 Pages including an index
  • Full color publication
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What Your Planning Professor Forgot To Tell You

What does an urban planner need most?  A sense of humor!  Peripatetic planner Paul C. Zucker proves it in his wise and funny new book What Your Planning Professors Forgot to Tell You­ 117 Lessons Every Planner Should Know.    

Zucker knows a good story when he’s lived one and he shares a career’s worth in this collection.  It’s a tongue-in-cheek primer on how planning really works (or doesn’t).  His wry observations ring absolutely true on every page.  Practicing planners will nod in rueful agreement with lessons­ often learned the hard way­ about achieving true success in planning and in life.  And those just starting out will benefit from Zucker’s insights about management, vision, career paths, and professional relationships. 

Book Information
Paul C. Zucker, 210 pp. 1999. APA Planners Press. Paperback.

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Joint City/County Planning Organizations in the United States

This review is based on a national survey conducted by Zucker Systems in 2005. The study lists:

  • 75 Joint City/County Planning Organizations
  • 17 former Joint Organizations
  • 7 MetropolitanYtype Organizations
  • 5 Other Type of Joint Organizations

Twenty-five of the 75 likely organizations included detailed comments to an extensive questionnaire.

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Review of Planning Organizations in the 50 Largest U.S. Cities

The Review of Planning Organizations in the 50 Largest U.S. Cities is a comprehensive report showing how planning is handled in the nation’s 50 largest cities. It was based on a 27-question survey completed by all 50 cities in 2008 and to our knowledge is the only such database that exists. In addition to summary tallies, the report includes the detailed responses from each of the 50 cities. Subjects covered include:

How the planning function is organized.
The existence and up-dating process for the Comprehensive Plan.
Planning’s involvement in the Capital Improvements Program.
How various current planning processes are handled.

Zucker Systems is making this material available as a public service at our printing and handling cost.

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The Management Idea Book

This classic 112 page best seller on managing a Planning Department is now out of print. However, a few copies are still available from Zucker Systems to round out your library. Give us your name request with your order and the author, Paul C. Zucker will autograph your copy.

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What Top Managers Say………….

“-a cookbook, with tested recipes for managing an organization, providing professional leadership, maintaining one’s sanity at the same time. Even experienced managers should find some fresh things here.”
Clifford W. Graves AICP, Former San Diego County Chief Administrative Officer

“The kind of down to earth management advice and techniques that managers need more of – helpful for public and private managers alike.”
H. Curtis Reed President, La Jolla Associates, Ltd. (a national management consulting firm)

“Of the numerous books on management available to the harried executive or bureacrat, this one stands out. It offers practical useable ideas. The tips and techniques are of considerable help to anyone who wants to function more effectively in management.”
Katharina Richter Past President of the Council of Planning Librarians

“One of our staff members recently purchased The Management Idea Book. The book met with such a success that we would like to purchase 5 additional copies.”
City of Rancho Cucamonga

“An authoritative volume on how to organize and manage day to day operations of a Department – Gutsy insight into real life operational problems. I recommend it to all existing and emerging managers.”
Jack Schoop AICP, Former Director of Planning, Santa Clara County, California

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ABZ’s of Planning Management First Edition

The ABZs of Planning Management is a comprehensive 321 page book on managing planning and county development functions.

Dozens of Ideas You Can Use Today Include:

  • Fostering Change
  • Designing The New Organization
  • Handling Politics
  • What If You Become Unemployed
  • That Mission Thing
  • Selecting, Delegating, Motivating, Evaluating
  • Defining The Customer
  • Power Through Systems
  • Forms, Manuals, Handbooks
  • Streamlining The Permit Process
  • Comprehensive Plans
  • Time Management For Planners
  • Focus Groups, Peer Review, Surveys
  • That Telephone
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What Readers Say….

“Paul Zucker’s The ABZs of Management is the best book about managing a planning agency that is available today.”
Frank S. So, AICP Executive Director, American Planning Association, Chicago, IL.

“I would recommend its reading to every planning professional.”
Gary J. Schoennauer, Former Director of Planning, City of San Jose, California; 1997 APA National Distinguished Service Award recipient.

“After being a fan of your publications for many years, it was like a “Zucker’s
Greatest Hits” edition. As usual, you are able to synthesize complex management theories and concepts into a few practical bullet points and humorous graphics.”
Bob Brown, Community Development Director, City of Milpitas, CA.

“A lively mosaic of actions, reactions, trajectories and insights to reduce managerial anxieties and move you from A to Z.”
Joseph M. Kourakis, Acting Department Head, California Polytechnic State University, City and Regional Planning Department.

“It will be a valuable reference for those of us involved in managing land use planning organizations.”
John B. Hester, Director, Washoe County Department of Community Development, Reno, NV.

“Paul Zucker has the rare ability, among all of us in the planning profession, to put management principles and practices into helpful vignettes and sound bites.”
Melanie Fallon, Community Development Director, City of Huntington Beach, California

“This book is a primer to all planners whether they be in administration, management or on the front lines with citizens. It’s a great textbook and should be required reading for the AICP exam.
Robert B. Hunter, AICP, Executive Director, The Planning Commission, Tampa, FL.


Foreword

When I became San Francisco’s Director of City Planning, I didn’t know very much about management and that was probably just as well, I might have been scared off the job. But, having taken the job, it would have been nice to have a source of ideas and knowledge that might be applicable to the kinds of issues that are a constant part of a city planning office. That, I think, is the most worthy role of this book: it’s a single source of ideas, methods, and tools that can help planning offices be better and to facilitate internal and external change, as needed.

This book is about management, and is full of practical ideas and not-so-common sense gained from years of experience and of thinking and studying the subject.

I first met Paul Zucker in the 1960s when he was Marin County’s (California) Planning Director, fighting on behalf of environmental issues much before others joined the fray. He has had a long and varied career since, so, he knows of what he writes and almost all of what he writes reads right to this observer.

By Allan B. Jacobs

Allan B. Jacobs is a Professor of City Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been Chair of that Department, twice, and is the author of several books including Making City Planning Work and Great Streets. He consults widely, most notably for the City of Curitiba, Brazil.

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