With cuts anticipated in the upcoming budget, many public servants are wondering which programs, services and operating budgets will be affected. Many challenges lie ahead. However, as the public service prepares to do more with less, it continues its dedication to providing quality services for Canadians.
There is a shift underway in how we conduct and deliver our business; and how we adapt as individual public servants and teams is crucial. Being connected and sharing will be key.
During an address to PSEngage in November, Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board, announced his position with respect to social media use in the workplace: “The government encourages the use of new Web 2.0 tools and technologies such as blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These tools help create a more modern, open and collaborative workplace and lead to more ‘just-in-time’ communications with the public.”
Even with existing limitations on access to social media and online productivity tools in the workplace, those who understand the value of being connected find other ways to help each other and work together to achieve concrete and measurable results.
Consider the User Experience Working Group and the team that developed the new Standard on Web Usability. Over 265 individuals from across the public service dedicated their personal time and effort to contribute to the standard, generating a high quality output with considerable cost-savings as compared to traditional, hierarchical cross-government horizontal collaboration.
Another collaboration success story is the Collaborative Culture Camp (GOC3) learning series, and its Collaborative Management Day (CMD) events. Inspired by CERN’s collaborative management model, the goal of these CMD learning events is to encourage public servants to move beyond silos to collaborate more effectively.
And the collaborative culture camp learning series all started with one tweet. The events are organized by over 60 volunteers from more than 15 departments. Interested individuals came together to lend their input, knowledge and passion to create these free events for their peers.
Nearly 1000 public servants from across the country have participated in the three prior events and the fourth event is quickly approaching on January 25.
Building on success and participant feedback from previous events, the next CMD aims to provide public service leaders with the tools necessary to foster open and collaborative environments in their own workplaces.
Without a formal budget, GOC3 relies on the support of a variety of partners, including the National Managers Community, Canada School of Public Service, Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation, Chief Information Office Branch of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Institute of Public Administration for the National Capital Region, Federal Youth Network and the Communications Community Office.
Although networking is not new, sharing information is becoming the new norm in the workplace. Tools such as Twitter and GCPedia helps us expand and share with others doing similar work throughout government.
Chances are, whatever issues you are dealing with today, there is someone who has faced a similar challenge or is currently looking at it and asking themselves the same questions. Collaborative tools can help you find those people faster than through traditional networks. They can help bring together groups of interested people to jointly solve problems and generate new, creative ways of service to Canadians.
The spirit of collaboration has taken hold in the Canadian public service. It’s not just among the “young people,” either. Public servants at all levels are interested, keen and inspired – the volume of registrants at GOC3 events clearly demonstrates that this is not just a fad, it’s the new way of working.
We’ve shifted from a world of where “information is power” to the “power of sharing information.” The public service is getting wired. Plug in and join the conversation.
Stephane Tourangeau is a senior multimedia specialist with the Canada School of Public Service, a member of the Web 2.0 practitioners’ community and a lead for Collaborative Culture Camp learning events. For more information about GOC3 or to register for Collaborative Management Day, search us on GCPedia.