Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Round Up: December 9th

Suggested Reading

1. David Eaves blogged a great piece on why StatCan is (or could be) like Google. Here is a taste:

The other week I gave a talk on Gen Y, Gen X, Technology and the Future of the Public Service at StatCan’s manager’s meeting. The speaker before me apparently told the gathering that they “should be more like Google” if they want to recruit young talent. During his Q&A one of the managers asked how a government agency be like Google (a legitimate question I thought) and the speaker didn’t have much to say. Frustrating, no?


But I think there is a good case. While the idea of StatCan emulating one of the best performing, young, hottest companies in Silicon Valley may sound far fetched, it needn’t. StatCan can be like Google. In fact, it already is.

2. The President of the National Council of Visible Minorities in the Federal Public Service gave the following address linking public service renewal and employment equity. It is very interesting (to me at least!) given my passion for renewal and the fact that my first job in government was in the area responsible for the Employment Equity Act.

3.Why You Need to Be a Happier Manager c/o Harvard Business Publishing.

Comments on this Blog

First we got a comment from mgifford:

Would be treat to see more acknowledgment about the use of MediaWiki for this collaboration mechanism. I posted the following earlier this week.
The post mgifford links to in the comment above highlights the fact that in creating gcpedia/nrcan wiki the government has deployed an open source technology and that this fact is a very important and oft overlooked one. Go ahead and take a look, there are some other articles of interest there as well (In fact, just added their RSS to my Google Reader).

We also got a comment from KP who opined:

Nick/Mike, I say GET ON WITH IT...what are you waiting for? I find that, as usual, you tend to put your obstacles at the feet of the senior management (i.e. we are not that bright or adept when it comes to WEB 2.0) rather than forge ahead on your own. I'm a DG and I launched into GCPEDIA the day it was announced! Check out my page under users, Katherine Parker, and under projects, Prospectors and Developers Association....this is an inter-departmental wiki site for several departments at the senior management level. So no more excuses okay?

I have several thoughts. First, let me assure you that we are indeed doing our best to "get on with it" and "forg[ing] ahead". Both Mike and I have user pages on GCPEDIA (we even have permalinks to them on the right hand bar of the main page); and we are planning something for this Friday takes our unofficial contributions to the renewal fora to a new level.

Second, the purpose of the column we wrote last week was to try to shed light on the types of conversations that are now occuring around the GoC in light of GCPEDIA's launch. I have been working hard in my own official role to push towards incorporating GCPEDIA and have been met with many challenges along the way. I know that may seem vague, and I am not trying to skirt the issue but this blog is simply not the platform for me to comment on my official GoC duties.

Finally, there are a lot of contributing factors that allow (or restrict) public servants from making contributions to GCPEDIA. For example, being a DG or working at NRCan may provide you with a greater level of freedom then people at other levels or in other departments. Maybe it affords you less, I don't know. The point is that it is typically easier said then done. Colloquially speaking, I had a DG ask what Wikipedia was the other day, the variance in experiences and acceptance across the GoC is a major hindrance to GCPEDIA, which is why we advocated some high level communication encouraging people to check it out and engage.

Again, stay tuned for Friday's column.

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