Exploring public service in the North

Usually, the summer period is a relatively slow time for public servants across the county. Parliaments and legislatures are in recess, politicians are spending much deserved time in their ridings, and family vacations become a priority for hard working staff. However, this year seems to be an exception. Issues with the Phoenix Pay system, dramatic...

Fostering innovation in new public servants

As a new professional working in government, I hear a lot about “innovation,” and I am regularly encouraged to be innovative and bring new ideas to the table. However, there is always more that we can do to create and support a truly innovative culture. It is very easy for organizations to maintain status quo...

Human-centred design: the challenge of putting people back into policy

Most people go into public service because they want to improve things for the people they serve. But often they simply don’t know how — there’s still this myth that innovation means a crazy scientist in the lab. Teaching ordinary public servants new methodologies can show them that they too can really change things, and...

Canadian Government Executive appoints Deputy Editor

Canadian Government Executive media (CGE) announced today that Lori Turnbull has been appointed Deputy Editor of the publication. She will bring experience and a dynamic skill set to CGE from her work as a professor at Dalhousie University teaching political science as a faculty member since 2005, as well as being the Interim Director of...

President of the Public Service Commission willing to do what it takes

Recently, CGE Editor-in-Chief George Ross sat down with Patrick Borbey, President of the Public Service Commission of Canada to talk about his role, priorities, leadership approach, the role that PSC can play in the reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous people and more. Patrick Borbey was appointed President of the Public Service Commission in May 2017. He has held a number of...

How to help a new professional increase their chances of scoring a permanent government position

Have you ever had a stellar employee on your team, but were unable to turn their contract into a permanent position because someone returned from their secondment, or because their position opened up to competition? Perhaps you have been in a similar situation at some point in your career, and you might be able to...

Five ways governments can keep their staff — without a pay rise

The UK Department for Education (DfE) doesn’t have an easy mandate: it’s responsible for children’s services, education and child protection at a time when resources are stretched thin. But the department has another problem to grapple with — it can’t seem to retain staff. “Churn is a really big challenge,” said Rebecca Johnson, People Leader...

The Architecture of Failure

We all ask why governments fail, often spectacularly, to carry out their policy goals through bad implementation. When something goes wrong, we watch the arch of public attention rise, demands for accountability, and then governments move in to fix the problem. Then, we move on. We seldom go back and do a post-mortem on failure....

Public sector innovation buzzwords: translating jargon into plain English

Innovation labs and units have become so fashionable in the public sector that the question “Have we reached peak lab?” has become a cliché. From MindLab’s ideation pod to Louisville’s digital badges , the culture of innovation is spreading. But despite their popularity, innovators have to admit one failing: they are simply not good at defining what it is...

Game Changers: Lisa Witter and Robyn Scott, Co-Founders of Apolitical

We would like to introduce a new section on Canadian Government Executive – Game Changers. In this section, we will profile executives who are contributing to making a difference to the public sector community both in Canada and overseas, as a game changer. In this inaugural Game Changers piece, we are excited to announce Game...