Leadership of public sector organizations is one of Canada’s most important assets.
In late November, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) and Deloitte recognized some of the country’s best with their first public sector leadership awards, presented at a gala dinner during IPAC’s fourth annual leadership conference, Engaging to Deliver: Leadership 2009 and Beyond.
The prestigious national awards were founded by IPAC and Deloitte’s public sector practice to encourage and acknowledge outstanding leadership within federal, provincial and municipal levels of government, as well as in healthcare, educational and not-for-profit organizations across the country.
“Success in the public service rarely seems to get any headlines. The reality, however, is there’s so much good work being done at all levels of government and the broader public sector,” said Gabriel Sékaly, CEO of IPAC. “IPAC’s work to date in over 25 countries has highlighted just how advanced Canada’s public sector has become. They’re looking to Canada for this expertise, so it’s critical to showcase excellence for Canadians as well, so we can tell the full story.”
The submissions received were not just one-off projects with one person at the top with a vision. Many involved immense changes throughout an organization. “They’re rewriting how public service works, and directly and positively affecting Canadians in the process,” said Sékaly.
The awards are designed to showcase projects and initiatives where leadership played a key role in making it possible for major organizational transformation and outstanding performance to occur.
“There’s no question that Canadian’s expect the public sector to offer more than other governments around world,” says Paul Macmillan, Deloitte’s national public sector leader. “For them to deliver what we expect, we must be willing to encourage outside-the-box thinking, trying things in new and better ways. So we feel it’s important to recognize organizations that are doing just that, and in doing so provide inspiration to others to follow a similar path.”
With any change comes risk. “We have to recognize that governments won’t get it right every time they try to make a change,” says Macmillan. “The organizations we recognized were all willing to face the prospect of some setbacks. But they decided to manage the risk anyway, and avoided being paralyzed in the process.”
Carole Humphries is IPAC’s director of member services and marketing (www.ipac.ca).
IPAC/Deloitte Leadership Awards
Gold: British Columbia Public Service, Office of the Premier: Being the Best Public Service
Silver: Service Canada: Service Canada College & Service Excellence Certification Program
Bronze: Natural Resources Canada Resource Wiki
Gold: Regional Municipality of Peel, Executive Office: Peel’s Common Purpose
Silver: City of Edmonton’s Innovative Approach to Infrastructure Management: Defining Needs & Developing Solutions
Bronze: The City of Mississauga Road Map to the Future: Moving Forward
Broader Public Sector
Gold: Bridgepoint Health: Organizational Transformation & Influencing Health System Change
Silver: St. Michael’s Hospital: Research & Knowledge Transfer in Health Care Delivery
Bronze: Canada Health Infoway: Achieving an Integrated Pan-Canadian E-health Record System