“To reach a port, we must set sail — Sail, not tie at anchor. Sail, not drift.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Understanding the importance of leadership and action, especially during difficult and uncertain times, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke these words in 1938 during one of his now-famous fireside chats when the United States was still struggling through the challenges of an economic and social recovery brought about by the Great Depression.
Similar in its adversity and uncertainty, this past year-plus has been among the most difficult in recent history, as Georgians, along with the rest of the world, have endured the unprecedented challenges and devastating effects of a once-in-a-century pandemic. As COVID-19 disrupted everything, it felt like time was standing still, yet also moving faster than ever.
As both a skilled sailor and astute leader, FDR knew that to anchor or drift amidst the storm was not an option. No stranger to sailing in choppy waters, the senior management team and board of directors of the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority knew this as well. To survive the turbulent waters and navigate with purpose to the other side, it was not only necessary but critical to adjust our sails and take bold action. Through thoughtful, proactive leadership and an all-hands-on-deck approach, the Authority made decisions amid the ambiguity, reassessed regularly, and adapted swiftly to ensure we were meeting our primary goal of supporting Superior Court clerks in the operation of their offices.
To implement solutions in uncharted territory, these actions along with hundreds of others - large and small decisions, pivots, enhancements and updates - were made using a purposeful approach on how best to support clerk offices and to continue offering much-needed services. Despite the volatility and disruption, including being forced to alter our own office operations, the Authority’s mission throughout this difficult year was to provide a seamless level of service to Superior Court clerks and all others that we serve.
There was no roadmap for surviving the transformational challenges presented by COVID-19, but the past 15 months reinforced one important reality: nimble organizations are more resilient to adversity. For this reason, the Authority had an edge in adapting to the upheaval because we already had processes and structures available to us, in addition to a forward-thinking mindset open to change. In a fog of uncertainty and collective vulnerability, the Authority leaned on its muscle memory of continuous innovation and out-of-the-box thinking in order to effectively manage the crisis and provide holistic, much-needed support.
From the beginning and rooted to its core, innovation, collaboration and vision have defined the Authority. Although the culture remains the same, the GSCCCA is a very different organization today than the one that opened its doors in 1995. Since its inception, the Authority has not only fulfilled its original purpose of establishing a statewide system for the indexing of UCC documents, but has successfully developed and implemented, at no cost to the state, a variety of additional projects. Effective collaboration with other state agencies and numerous not-for-profit groups for the benefit of the State of Georgia and its citizens has become one of the hallmarks of the Authority’s success and why it is respected both locally and nationally for its progressive, innovative and effective approach to problem solving.
For over two and half decades, the Authority has been an innovator within the public records arena and has led the State of Georgia to the forefront of court technology. Using a mix of old-fashioned cooperation and state-of-the-art technology, the GSCCCA has taken abstract ideas, that many believed were not possible, to the concrete world of implementation, and, in so doing, has changed the way many do business and made life easier for those accessing real estate records, financing statements, criminal case data, and other legal documents.
Click here to read more in our 2020-2021 Accomplishments & Year-end Report.
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