Posts By Nicholas Charney

We Used to Be Rockstars

Originally published at I still remember when I got my first invitation to speak. It was a Scheming Virtuously double bill in Calgary then Edmonton. I took vacation from one department while another paid my travel because it was just easier than getting approvals. I’d never done any public speaking before so I volunteeredRead… Read more »

Towards Copernicus

Originally published at Right before the holidays Kent and I sat down to discuss how our partnership was going thus far. As we sat in the local pub on a Friday evening we were flanked by a group of staffers doing as staffers do and snow falling as snow does just outside the window.Read… Read more »

GCPEDIA: A David Among Goliaths

Originally published at Last week I picked up Malcom Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants, and crushed it over the course of a couple of days*. The book explores the power asymmetries between incumbents and upstarts and how successful upstarts exploit those asymmetries by engaging inRead… Read more »

On patience, judgement and expectations

Originally published at This year has been incredibly humbling for me. I had surgery, was immobilized for 12 weeks and had to learn to walk, run and play hockey again. My folks are in the middle of a terrible separation. My mother moved into my home and I haven’t spoken to my father inRead… Read more »

What Governments Can Learn From Amazon

While the Government of Canada’s forthcoming move towards a single website has been met with skepticism, the move is congruent with the trend and presents some significant downstream opportunities to innovate on the service delivery front. First, the trendWhile this approach was used by the province of Ontario and the City of Calgary (among others)Read… Read more »

We are all street level bureaucrats now

Originally published on Or at least we will be, eventually. That’s the argument Kent made on Wednesday in What We Lost in the Fire, We Gain in the Flood, and it’s the argument I want to build on today. But first a quick recap of Kent’s line of reasoning. Street-level bureaucrats have traditionally beenRead… Read more »