DevelopmentPublic Sector
meeting, team employees, management
June 20, 2019

People first, policy second: An introduction to CGE’s Millennial Outlook

If anyone has an immunity idol, and you want to play it, now would be the time. JEFF PROBST, HOST OF SURVIVOR (2000-PRESENT)

Since debuting in 2000, Survivor has traversed the world and humanity over 38 seasons. It birthed a new lexicon in modern vernacular – alliance, social game, hidden immunity idol, tribal council, blindside. Its folklore features iconic phrases like “come on in, guys”, “drop your buffs”, “let’s get to today’s immunity challenge”, “once again, immunity is up for grabs”, “time to vote”, and “I’ll go tally the votes.”

Survivor brings new meaning to game theory. Reward and immunity challenges call upon players to manage relationships, unravel clues, solve puzzles, and compete physically. The winners are not always the smartest or strongest but those who learn quickest how to adapt to uncertainty, surprise, and change. It offers a millennial metaphor for the paradigm shift in public management.

Futuring work

What are the global context and trajectory? The OECD proclaims that, “The future of work is now.” It is fostering solutions-oriented conversations across sectors and countries to build a better world of work for all. Three priorities stand out:

  • DIGITALIZATION

How can technology shape the future of work in a positive way? Machines are doing routine tasks traditionally done by people. Due to big data, artificial intelligence, and ever-increasing computing power, complex tasks are becoming automated. New jobs like robot trainer and digital ethics specialist are different in job type and quality from those that are disappearing.
14 per cent of jobs in OECD countries are highly automatable.
32 per cent could face substantial changes in how they are carried out.

  • SKILLS AND LEARNING

How do we keep skills and learning relevant in the changing world of work? Changes in jobs mean changes in skillsets. Jobs that do not exist today require skills not yet conceived, along with life-long learning. But are those with the greatest needs getting trained?
More training goes to adults 25-53 who are employed with medium-high income and skills.
Less training goes to adults over 53 who are unemployed with low income and skills.

  • SOCIAL PROTECTION

How can we improve social protection so that everyone benefits? More people have non-standard jobs, where they work part-time, have temporary contracts, or are self-employed as ‘gig’ workers. In many countries, social benefits and collective bargaining assume that people have a stable, full-time job with a single employer. This model is obsolete.
Most self-employed workers have no access to unemployment benefits in half the G20 countries.
37 per cent risk not receiving health benefits.

Threading futures

What is the working reality on the ground, especially for new public servants? We need to tap what is on the mind of next-generation leaders to anticipate the future of public service. Their views may also inform the thematic focus of Canadian Government Executive going forward.

The 2020 class of first-year candidates in the Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law program at York University’s School of Public Policy and Administration is the sample. These part-time graduate students are young professionals and mid-career managers who take courses on campus or downtown, weeknights and weekends. They have busy lifestyles, balancing studies with work and family.

Public Management is the first course in the two-year MPPAL program. The final assignment is to select, research, and write an original article on a favourite theme or topic of interest. The purpose is to consolidate new learning, advance thought leadership, and practice creative writing.

At the conclusion of the Fall 2018 term, 52 students drafted short articles. Authors were asked to choose up to three key words each, resulting in 122 topic categorizations. Eleven articles survived voluntary, post-course rounds of review and editing and were submitted for CGE publication.

The thematic threads and topical issues are summarized in the accompanying table:

  • People issues are front of mind in half the articles, pointing to the primacy of the HR function;
  • Traditional planning, service, and finance priorities do not resonate with the authors;
  • The granularity of topics under interrelated people, leading, and organizing themes correlates with the need for greater public service capacity to tackle complex policy management issues; and
  • The robust sample size affords opportunity over time to discern trends in public service careers and to track issues in public management.

How does the student profile correlate with these results? The sample of part-time students is 70 per cent female and is more mature and experienced on average than typical master’s students. Their articles may offer value-added insights intriguing to CGE’s readership.

In homage to Survivor, good people who are good leaders make good policy for good governance – an honourable legacy to which Millennials can aspire.

About this author

Avatar

John Wilkins

John Wilkins is associate: public management at York University (jwilkins@schulich.yorku.ca). He was a career senior public servant and diplomat.

0 comments

There are no comments for this post yet.

Be the first to comment. Click here.

Development
 
Thanks to the development of new technologies that make previously unimaginable...
 
Since debuting in 2000, Survivor has traversed the world and humanity...
 
In late March the ONS detailed the occupations in the UK...
 
In the next year, one in three US federal government workers...
 
Despite a rapid expansion in digital democracy initiatives around the globe,...
 
In the show, J. Richard Jones talks with Colin Earp, Partner...
 
Deforestation interventions in Latin America and Asia may be more effective...
 
Below is a piece of design fiction focused on what it...
 
Service delivery is an integral part of the work of governments...
 
In recent years, growing evidence about the importance of early childhood...
 
In the past 18 months or so, new governments have taken...
 
Could robot doctors be on the horizon? A study published February...
 
We are excited to announce that the February/March 2019 issue of...
 
The use of “nudges” in policymaking has been a major trend...
 
There is an interesting paradox playing out with the public sector...
 
Last week, Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand-based financial services company, announced...
 
Canadian Government Executive, in collaboration with Dalhousie University, is seeking your...
 
Imagine your favorite world class service provider replacing the Board of...
 
Lately, all levels of the Canadian public service have devoted much...
 
We have been hearing quite a lot about superclusters. The Government...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones talks with...
 
In 2017, identity theft cost Americans $16.8 billion, and, in just...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones interviews Alex...
 
It is time to reboot democracy. This year, the French constitution,...
 
We are excited to share with you the October/November 2018 edition...
 
Ontario Northland is a crown corporation that provides transportation solutions to...
 
Canada’s international reputation for welcoming and integrating newcomers is unparalleled. At...
 
In the three years to 2020, Canada will welcome almost a...
 
Mining embodies progress. Mining provides civilization with the materials required for...
 
On today’s show, J. Richard Jones sits down for a chat...
 
We are excited to share with you the May/June issue of...
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones speaks with...
 
As the world grows more digital – and increasingly mobile –...
 
Throughout Canada, healthcare systems are challenged by population growth, aging, and...
 
Over half a billion children live in countries that are falling...
 
According to a recent McKinsey study there is a potential for...
 
On the global scene, technology has revolutionized and automated the work...
 
Today on CGE Radio, we speak with Craig Szelestowski, President and...
 
The adoption of new technologies provides many opportunities, poses unique challenges...
 
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This quote from management specialist Peter...
 
On a recent visit to Ottawa, I had the opportunity to...
 
Professional development is tremendously important to members of Canada’s public sector....
 
Over the last two years, an ever-growing number of organizations around...
 
Ships docked in a harbour may not be going anywhere; however,...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) and CATAAlliance , Canada’s one voice for...
 
Do Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) make a difference? Our evaluation...
 
The design needed and practiced in government departments and the broader...
 
As social media becomes ever-more prevalent in the lives of today’s...
 
Evaluation is performed for a range of reasons:  to improve programs,...
 
Radical candour sounds rather outré as a prescription for government executives....
 
In this episode of CGE Radio, J. Richard Jones is joined...
 
Behavioural Insights (BI) is a multidisciplinary approach that uses principles and...
 
In March, the Canada Revenue Agency’s website was shut down by...
 
How does a mandate for innovation challenge evaluation? Increasingly, the public...
 
As the face of the Association of Professional Executives of the...
 
One of the writers in this month’s issue started a note...
 
Excellence in leadership is instrumental in serving the public interest. New-age...
 
Canadian Government Executive Media (CGE) announced last Friday, that George Ross...
 
We are thrilled to offer the July/August issue of Canadian Government...
 
At this time a year ago, the 88,000 displaced people of...
 
“Former Metro banker stole $73,000.”  “Enbridge sues ex-employee.”  “Woman stole $51,000...
 
The recent introduction of the new Government of Canada (GC) IT...
 
So, what can be said about Canada’s public administration as the...
 
The way forward to engaging Millennials in the public sector Passionate,...
 
We are happy to share with you the May/June issue of...
 
The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA Alliance) is Canada’s One Voice...
 
Since Confederation in 1867, more than 17 million immigrants landed in...
 
In today’s world of heightened focus on good governance and accountability...
 
Orchestrating the transition from present to emergent leadership Millennial is the...
 
As ‘month 13’ for Canada’s Syrian refugee arrivals comes and goes,...
 
As governments around the world move towards the digital transformation of...
 
The way organizations recruit, shape and manage their workforce to find...
 
The promise of web 2.0 was the emergence of a user-driven...
 
Commodity Management (the official term for life-cycle asset management of goods...
 
During the past decade, the international university-level student population in Canada...
 
We have all heard the sayings: “Home, sweet home”; “There’s no...
 
Imagine a Canadian government that shares best practices in service delivery....
 
There is a new buzz in policy circles. Advances in data...
 
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with its 28 independent member countries...
 
The internal audit function in the Canadian public sector finds itself...
 
As Canada’s government agencies strive to improve delivery and efficiency under...
 
To boldly go where no one has gone before STAR TREK:...
 
In recent months, Canadians have borne witness to a new cycle...
 
Professionals, managers, and executives in the cost estimation industry can gain...
 
Canadian Government Executive kicked off its CGE Leadership Series for 2017...
 
The rapid advances in digital technology, demographic and societal shift even...
 
The critical challenge facing the public service is changing its culture....
 
Having the right talent is critical to delivering right results. But...
 
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are part of the new global “Agenda...
 
An Interview with Larry Ostola, Toronto’s Director of Museums and Heritage...
 
For all its subtleties and mysteries, the Westminster system of government...
 
When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message”...
 
Laskey Hart guest hosts CGE Radio this week with a summary...
 
The non-profit sector is operating within an era of increased accountability,...
 
Earlier this year the Ontario Ministry of Health announced that it...
 
Gladwell made Anders Ericsson famous—or, at least, his research work. A...
 
Canada’s top soldier said the Armed Forces continue to be locked...
 
BC Hydro said it is pushing through with it $9-billion, hydroelectric megaproject on...
 
Yesterday, Federal and Atlantic Provincial Ministers of the environment met to...
 
After writing the book “Megatrends: The Impact of Infrastructure on Ontario’s...
 
Governments around the world are seeking to tap technologies such as...
 
Signaling a realignment of Canada’s involvement with NATO, Prime Minister Justin...
 
As an executive you’ve probably experienced frustration when you ask for...
 
The Public Health Agency of Canada has long been aware of...
 
Dispersed organisations can be very powerful structures. There is ample evidence...
 
By Nicole Verkindt Despite growing up in a small town in...
 
Canada, today, became a full supporter of the United Nations Declaration...
 
A research project at that explores the design and feasibility of...
 
A landmark Supreme Court ruling has paved the way for some...
 
Years and years ago when I was unemployed, being able to...
 
Local job figures blew away expectations as records indicated that 41,000...
 
At first glance, the title may seem counterintuitive. By their very...
 
The Liberal government’s first federal budget laid out $11.9 billion over...
 
The Liberal government is expected to announce on Tuesday a new...
 
A leader’s credibility begins with personal success. It ends with helping...
 
Monday was the final day for Canadians to donate money to...
 
Huawei is bringing back to Canada and expanding its information communication...
 
Many women entrepreneurs in Canada struggle to access capital, technology, networks...
 
Written by Tim Wacker Almost a quarter century ago, when most...
 
Written by  Brady G. Wilson You may not realize it, but...
 
Continuous, life-long learning is the future of the public service. Building...
 
Mega-ConnEX is an annual speed networking event organized by the Health...
 
Canada’s contribution to development and humanitarian assistance is recognized around the...
 
Deliberations and negotiations in the United Nations are intensifying on what...
 
The UN consultations on the post-2015 development framework are focused on...
 
At the turn of the millennium, the international community made a...
 
Budgets are statements of political will and power. They are performance...
 
Decades of reform in developing countries point to four enduring dilemmas:...
 
The Lough Erne Accountability Report states that the G8 has played...
 
While there can be no singular solution for good governance, building...
 
it’s not the most original saying...
 
With the demographics of an aging workforce and a significant number...
 
Shakespeare’s “dark comedy,” Measure for Measure, deals with the issues of...
 
Reform is almost always about developing the capacity of government to...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.3 March 2007 Assembly of First Nations National Chief...
 
CGE Vol. 14 No.5 May 2008 Before dawn on Monday, 18...
 
CGE Vol. 14 No.4 April 2008 “What is a Foreign Service...
 
CGE Vol.14 No.3 March 2008 Most observers expect more than 40...
 
CGE Vol.14 No.3 March 2008 The Commonwealth Secretariat convened the first...
 
If you want to understand someone else’s position, walk a mile...
 
What makes a perfect mentor? Is it age and seniority? Perhaps...
 
Often, decisions about how to recruit are made based on habit...
 
It has been said that if everything is important, nothing is...
 
The Mosaic Index, by Professor Richard Florida, which measures the percentage...
 
Government policy agendas have long been fraught with complexity....
 
Looking at all the engineering diagrams overlaid on maps on the...
 
Gérés efficacement, les conflits peuvent favoriser la résolution conjointe des problèmes,...
 
Popular wisdom holds that the public service will need to recruit...
 
CGE Vol.14 No.2 February 2008 As I mentioned previously, one cannot...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.9 November 2007 What is the toughest job in...
 
CGE Vol.13 No.9 November 2007 Growth can mean opportunity. Significant increases...
 
The subtitle of this report, prepared by the U.S. National Governors...
 
We can learn from archetypes. They can help us lead, if...
 
Improving leadership development is widely recognized by HR leaders and senior...
 
Natural Resources Canada is accustomed to nurturing, protecting and growing Canada’s...
 
In an increasingly competitive and complex global marketplace, both employers and...
 
The transition from the private sector into an executive role in...
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
 
Some title Some author
Some excerpt
Thanks to the development of new technologies that make previously unimaginable...