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May 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm #162353
I may have been wrong about the Clerk of the Privy Council. I’ve always heard the role described so and have always assumed that it was equivalent to our Secretary of the Cabinet.
Here in our province, Cabinet Office, led by the Secretary, is like the Premier’s Ministry. It plays a similar role to what you describe, translating the desires and policy objectives of the elected government and delegating to the rest of the public service. But Cabinet Office (unlike the Premier’s Office) is civil service, not political staff. They don’t necessarily change when a new government is elected. The Secretary can change, however, whenever the Premier
But in the province, the Secretary of Cabinet does lead the public service. As I mention above, deputy ministers report to him (or her) just as much as to their ministers. It seems to me like this might make for stronger incentives to follow central instructions.
This question occurred to me when reading the Sunlight Foundation’s response to the new White House Digital Strategy. They talk about all of the previous directives which have gone out and, as they report it, have not been fulfilled. If the only one in the chain of command who can hold people to the fire for central edicts is the President (who has a lot on his mind), it’s no wonder that directives can be put aside for more pressing local concerns.
It sounds like OMB may fill some of that role. Does anyone in line departments actually report to anyone in OMB (in terms of HR reporting relationships) or do they just report up the line in their departments? How much can OMB make people in the federal public service do things?
July 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm #105407
People may dislike chanegs as they are proposed or as they are being implemented. If the change results in a real and substantial improvement for them, most people will not end up disliking the change in the end.
So what you want to do is to ensure that the changes that you initiate or suggest end up resulting in real and substantial improvements. Make sure that they keep associating you with the change at the end phase, when they are reaping the benefits, not just at the beginning phase, when they are worrying about the effect.
Then they start to associate you with positive experiences and like you.
Of course, this only works if you can establish a good track record for bringing in real improvements.
June 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm #68295
June 3, 2010 at 4:48 pm #101980
A lot of good points here.
In addition, I think one of the most important skills for a boss doesn’t involve his or her employees at all. It’s the ability to manage up and across. To manage executive expectations, secure resources, deal with issues raised by colleagues and superiors. If you’ve got a high performing team who’ve bought into the vision and know what is expected of them, this skill can really free them up to get the job done.
June 3, 2010 at 1:44 pm #98879
I think there are a number of ways that web technologies can support knowledge management. I think we have to understand and practice it a lot better before we are close to having it as “a service on the web” whatever that means.
When I think about knowledge management, I tend to think separately about explicit and tacit knowledge, as my means of managing the two can be quite different.
The web can be very good at providing systematic access to explicit knowledge. There are examples like Wikipedia (what are encyclopedias but attempts to organize and provide systematic access to humankind’s knowledge?). There are the early attempts to bring together various data sets into something like knowledge (both emerging tools like WolframAlpha and the mashups and visualizations we’re seeing out of groups like the Sunshine Foundation).
What’s harder is managing the tacit knowledge. Residing in people’s heads as opposed to being explicitly written down, it is harder to get at. Yet we are seeing that emerging web technologies are helping leverage this knowledge, too. And they are doing it in two different ways.
One is pretty straightforward. One way you can help people make use of tacit knowledge is show them where the experts are. Then they can ask their questions and help convert the knowledge from tacit to explicit. Social networking tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and, of course, Govloop, are great for this. People often list interests and experience in their profiles, which can be searched. In addition, there are groups that bring together people with similar interests for kowledge sharing.
The other way is, I think, a little more interesting. People’s tacit knowledge, while not written down, will nevertheless influence their actions. Analysis of the actions can often reveal the underlying knowledge and leverage it. The first (and perhaps most successful) example of this was the breakthrough that was the original Google search algorithm. Rather than look for keywords on the page to determine what the page was about and how relevant it is (explicit knowledge) the algorithm looked at behavior (who was linking to it, from where, using what link text) to get at web authors tacit knowledge of what was relevant and what wasn’t.
Increasingly, we’re seeing computer programs that assist in the analysis of user behavior (be it paths through a site, shopping patterns, social network analysis) to help make explicit the underlying tacit knowledge of the crowd.
Anyway, those are my thoughts off the top of my head.
May 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm #99858
I certainly agree with the proposition that “Acquisition 2.0 will give ethics officers the heebie-jeebies.” Just about anything 2.0 will give lots of people (especially those concerned with risk and controllership) the heebie-jeebies.
But I think that “Acquisition 2.0” also gives opportunities to mitigate those risks and that the residual risk may be lower than what remains in more traditional acquisitions.
The key elements are transparency, attribution, and clear rules.
So long as we know who is allowed to contribute what (the rules) and who is contributing what (transparency and attribution) we can be sure that conflict of interest doesn’t occur (or is identified and dealt with, if it does). And with an open, transparent system, where competitors can be on the lookout for inappropriate private sector involvement in decision making, we stand a much greater chance of identification of conflict of interest situations.
That’ll mean more work for the ethics officers, until people get used to the fact they’ll be found out. Which may be a valid reason for another sort of heebie-jeebies on their part.
April 21, 2010 at 8:50 pm #98092
I’ve seen the same thing in Canadian polling numbers. The satisfaction with the individual services received generally is a lot higher than with government as a whole.
April 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm #97660
When I searched in google updates for a term I had used a number of times in my own tweets, I got zero results. So I don’t believe their index is anywhere near complete. I’m waiting for the ability to search the LoC repository.
April 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm #97780
@Sheryl: I may be wrong, but I think that they are only collecting public tweets. Not those on locked accounts restricted to approved followers. I think people need to be realistic in their expectations of privacy on things they publicly and openly publish on the Internet.
In terms of Flickr, I’d have no objection to them collecting anything that was published for anyone to view. On the other hand, if I’ve restricted a photo for viewing only by family and/or friends, it shouldn’t show up in their collection.
You point out that people are still posting things publicly on the Internet and expecting privacy and seem to suggest that the government should support this expectation. I worry that this will lead to expectations that we can’t deliver on. People can try to scrub but they have no way of being sure that they’ve succeeded. If we try to educate them to expect privacy in public postings rather than the contrary, we’re setting them up for a world of hurt.
The most I think we can expect from the LoC is that they’ll remove material if requested by an authorized person.
That’s the privacy side. I’m not going to get into the copyright side.
April 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm #97656
It shows how times change. When I first heard this story, the second letter didn’t say “Blame the economy”; it said “Reorganize”.
March 2, 2010 at 4:32 pm #90030
I think overall, the model holds – and is sufficent to support robust activity and significant value creation (as the Internet shows). But there are really so many more than three levels of activity in social media.
March 2, 2010 at 4:21 pm #89812
A colleague has shared some of the initiatives at the municipal level here in Ontario, Canada. I’ll add a couple at the provincial level:
– Health Force Ontario has a Twitter stream
– The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Careis implementing a Mumps Catch-Up Vaccination Program, focusing on young adults. A Facebook page complements this initiative and encourages young adults to spread the word. (Spread the Word, Not Getting Mumps)
March 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm #82350
I think we’re getting more internal use before more public use.
In general, I think that there are two counter-balancing forces.
On the one hand, using it internally is generally seen as less risky than using it externally – and so easier to get approval to act.
On the other hand, anything public-facing is generally seen as more important or higher priority than anything internal. So it is easier to get resource allocation.
For activities that are seen as risky and cheap, you are best off starting internally. For activities that are more expensive and seen as less risky, you might be better off starting with something public and using its success to make the case for internal.
I wouldn’t lump all of social media in one category. Doing a wiki consultation is very different from a marketing effort on YouTube and Facebook. Even for a wiki consultation, asking for people to submit and vote on suggestions (what should we do?) is different from asking people to submit options and their pros and cons (let us know the different sides and we’ll make a choice).
September 24, 2009 at 8:46 pm #81435
This was asked on OPSpedia, too. I thought I’d share my answer to that question here as it seems relevant to the discussion.
Specifically, what was asked was:
1. Is it easy to join govloop? 1a. Are we worried out our info on American servers (subject to US PATRIOT Act, etc.)? 1b. Are we worried about losing the value of including our American colleagues in our discussions? 1c. Do we need to re-create the wheel?
2. Do we need yet another level of social networking (beyond OPSpedia, GCpedia, etc.)? 2a. Can’t we just connect these workplace social networks?
1. Yes, it’s easy.
1a. It’sa network on the Ning platform. These concerns don’t seem to be keeping Canadians from signing up to Facebook. They don’t prevent our government from using Google. I don’t think it is too much of a concern. Treat it as a place for low sensitivity material. We shouldn’t be posting health records to this sort of collaboration space, wherever it is hosted.
1b. I think it is something to think about. Along that, if we want to collaborate with colleagues from other countries, do we want to create a profile in a social network for each. Does that make sense?
1c. That’s the question, isn’t it?
2. Answering a question with a couple of questions. Govloop is not a government-owned site. It is run privately by Steve Ressler in his spare time. Is there value in an “unaffiliated” network? We can participate in govloop in our spare time as private citizens who are civil servants. When we participate in OPSpedia, we are inherently doing so as OPS employees. Is there value in a social network for civil servants that we participate in not as employees?
2a. There is certainly the intent to do this between OPSpedia and GCpedia sometime in the future. I expect we’ll want to extend that to other jurisdictions as well. It’s in the future. How far, I couldn’t say.
August 17, 2009 at 1:53 pm #78088
That certainly makes sense for your average web page.
I take it you don’t have a lot of multi-media (podcasts, video, etc.)?