Quote of the week
“…governments need to examine the major components of perpetual collaboration.”
Collaboration is the new mantra for how governments can work more effectively. Check out the Clerk’s annual reports for the last two years.
And while there are many drivers for this, there are two key ones: first, the fact that many issues (“wicked” and otherwise) cross organizational boundaries, and second, the reality that technology provides those who previously were outside the government process the tools to participate.
A paper by IBM says governments need to look at their existing programs to see how more value and efficiency can be created through collaboration.
It puts forward four components that government organizations should consider for what it calls “perpetual collaboration,” that is, ongoing collaborative processes that become part of an organization’s DNA.
One revolves around culture and governance, where increased transparency and new governance models lead to understood interdependencies among the various sectors (including government) and citizens.
The paper argues that it’s not enough to get one-to-one collaboration right; there are simply too many of these opportunities to manage effectively. It calls for “new modes of interaction” and multi-tiered collaborative ventures so governments can build on the multiple interdependencies and leverage them for success.
Governments need to move beyond a one-size-fits-all model of service delivery as we move to a world of personalized service delivery enabled and driven by IT. Service Canada is held up as an example of single window, one-stop shopping for services.
The paper notes that collaborative mechanisms can lead to the creation and sharing of knowledge, a critical component to the survival and relevance of governments in the future.
This call is similar to that identified in the new book by Paul Macmillan and Bill Eggers in which they make the case that governments can’t continue to operate big programs on their own, and need to look at how they can leverage the skills and interests of other sectors to achieve outcomes.
In both cases, the call is for a greater understanding by public servants of how governments can work with others to get things done.