Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Round Up: January 14

Fairly quick little update.

Apparently the GoC is considering a new policy re: security screening, the new one would apparently involve finger printing and credit checks.

Etienne has shared some of his work re: the use of Facebook as a Public Servant.

Our last weekly got three comments (reproduced verbatim):

Anonymous kp said...

good article...I'd say that you are already one of "those" leaders.

January 09, 2009

Anonymous Stephane Dubord said...

Here here kp!

But on the topic of risk-aversion in the PS, we had a discussion on the issue at the MTP Forum last month with Anatole Papadopoulos, and came out with a lot of reasons why it permeates the PS.

First is the type of employee attracted to the PS. Those looking for job stability and pensions aren't necessarily the risk-taking type.

Second, there's the risk-reward balance. In the private sector, if you risk and succeed, there's a high reward factor, which the PS lacks. Even if you risk, and succeed, in some major endeavor, you won't get a bonus or a promotion out of it. You'll just get to include it in your competency portfolio for your next competition.

I think the reason for the lack of risk-taking is that the PS attracts risk-averse employees to begin with, and then doesn't offer any incentive to risk. No matter how little there is to lose, it still outweighs the lack of incentives to gain.

January 12, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Nick and Mike. I've been lurking your site for months and just **have to** come out of hiding after reading your most recent post. The Human Resources Branch at Industry Canada is in the process of designing an innovative new physical workspace for itself. We are lowering the cubicle walls, creating collaborative work pods, providing private rooms for those times when work requires major concentration and going wireless in order to create a mobile workforce. And, we're doing it in full partnership with our Accommodations folks who are keen to implement something new with us. If you're interested in hearing more about our plans and following our story as we move into the new space in May or June 2009, send me an email ... nathalie(dot)kachulis(at)ic(dot)gc(dot)ca. :o)

Nathalie Kachulis
Deputy DG, HRB
Industry Canada

And our last email rant got this comment:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to note that the Ontario Public Service and the City of Vancouver are on that list. If the provincial and municipal governments can make it on there, what's stopping us?


January 14, 2009

Thanks to all of our readers/those who leave comments. Nathalie, I will send you an email before the week is up!


  1. Seriously - contact me. We're keen on sharing our physical space transformation experience with you.


  2. Oh ooops, read your post too fast and didn't see your last paragraph. I will cool my jets and wait for your email, lol!


  3. great outreach Nat....

    Stephane....excellent insights. I have always said that we should stop trying to be "the employer of choice" and start being "the employer you choose". There is a difference and you spell it out quite nicely. We have to find ways to engage new recruits in a way that is different from the private sector. A good example is the implementation of competency based selection processes. In the private sector, the competency profile is at the level of high potential. In the public service, it is legislated that the competency profile for selection is based on minimally accepted working level so as to be accessible by everyone! When I first heard this my initial question was "are we hiring for incompetence?" But then I read the legislation and I realized the accessibility issue. However, I also found ways to create a high-pot profile that could be used in development programs to build appropriate capacity. So while we face challenges, where there is a will there is a way...we just have to think differently.

  4. Unfortunately KP, moves like the termination of the Management Trainee Program tend to point in the other direction. CRA has confirmed that the program is being phased out completely. The CPSA is leaving the program participation (and funding) at the mercy of Depts' will, and in a time of budget constraints, well, let's just say CRA probably won't be the only one closing that door. That was a key program to attract those high-potential go-getters to infuse some risk-taking and initiative into the PS. I agree, we need more, and unfortunately, we'll probably be getting less instead.

  5. Stephane, actually, the MTP and other public service wide leadership development programs will continue to be run....but they will be run within departments using the same principles of stretch assignments. I am a participant in AEXDP so am very familiar with what is being proposed and have had an opportunity to provide my thoughts on the subject. That said, I agree that the programs will be different and will become more of an incumbent based development program where managers will want to keep their staff--and what's wrong with that? Sounds like a good idea to me--this will encourage departments to build stronger internal capacity and collective support for development. I know many high potential and exceptional leaders who have never been part of a leadership program; and not all participants in these programs have been I am not sure that we need centrally run development programs...why isn't everyone just developing leaders?

  6. Seth Godin was interviewed recently by CBC's Spark on how the internet is changing leadership, it's worth a listen: