Friday, February 19, 2010

Column: Stand Up and Be Found

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet with Bill Eggers, Global Director, Policy Sector Industry, Deloitte Research, and author of the recent Putting a Man on the Moon: Getting Big things done in Government. His schedule was packed. He presented at the Annual Government Performance Forum (which I attended), he met with Government of Canada Chief Information Officers (CIOs), and then with Deputy Ministers (DMs). What I found absolutely amazing was that Bill was also kind enough to carve out some time for me.

I just want to take the opportunity to share some of my reflections on Bill's presentation, his book and our conversation.

First, Bill's presentation - a live rendition of Man on the Moon - was compelling. Think TED meets public policy. When I read the book last month I was immediately drawn in by the success stories. Hearing him articulate them in person drove them home even harder. If you are interested in how to lead a project in government or looking for some inspiration to soldier on I would suggest you take the time to read the book. Below is a quick presentation I threw together using Prezi (a very cool presentation software). It is my own little mashup of the ideas in the book, and one of the reasons that Bill asked to meet with me while he was here in Ottawa.

The real kicker for me was that prior to even being introduced to him in person, Bill stopped his presentation mid-stride and asked if I was in the room. He went on to describe the presentation above as the best mashup he'd seen of his book and encouraged people to check out my blog, follow me on twitter or otherwise connect with me (awesome!). I was speechless. That was not something I at all expected, but something for which I am incredibly grateful.

The next day I had the privilege of sitting down with Bill for a one-on-one. While I won't get into the nitty-gritty of the conversation itself, I would like to share that Bill told me the message he delivered to our CIOs and DMs was incredibly simple: find and nurture the talent in your organization or risk losing them at a time when we are in desperate need of new ideas, new efficiencies, and a new narrative of public service culture.

My advice to you is equally simple: stand up and be found.

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