Quote of the week
“Our goal is to change the public service culture.”
— The Hon. Tony Clement
At the APEX Symposium last week, the President of the Treasury Board, Tony Clement, told us what he sees as the end game for federal public service reform.
A leaner, more efficient government. A new way of doing business where public servants do more with what they have and move beyond the notion of doing more with less.
In short, a culture change.
There have been hints of this, of course. The Clerk has written and spoken of new competencies such as collaboration, and warned that policy shops can no longer see themselves as the only game in town.
Clement noted that that 70 percent of the government’s targeted savings will be achieved through operational efficiencies, which he explained will come from a focus on how work is done and designed. He said that when government can identify better ways of working it means that things get done faster and with less effort, and that people can then focus on delivering better programs and results.
Clement said that the government wants to go beyond episodic cost-cutting exercises focused on periodic reviews to instill a culture of efficient, constrained use of tax dollars on a daily basis, and told executives present how they can make it happen.
Stewardship of resources must be paramount. Innovation that leads to cost savings should be rewarded. Web 2.0 and social media should be used more to facilitate collaboration, workplace efficiency and savings. And rigorous performance management is needed to get the most out of employees.
He told the public service executives that guidance, expertise, experience, creativity, management and leadership will be essential during this transformation period.
He exhorted them to focus on results and remain open to new approaches, take intelligent risks, and deliver on mission. He urged them to be more aware of today’s reality and to respond to it better.
And his final message on the changing culture was clear: change yourselves.