Open Government a scenario taken directly from Yes Minister. How can you open dialogue when the whole business and operation of Government and the APS is fashioned, not around secrecy, but on not giving information.
Sir Humphrey is always going on about ‘Do they really need to know (Minister) or should we just allow them to go about their lives blissfully unaware of the complexities of decisions and the overall cost of government policies?”
Innovation is an ongoing dialogue. The APS needs new blood, broader thought, experiences and a willingness to trial. The Public Purse must be seen to be properly and accountably spent. Innovation and accountability don’t always make a good marriage. Innovation generally requires investment without reward prior to actually achieving a return on investment. The APS is properly cultured to address the issue of accountability; just blame the Minister or Government of the day. It is not however a true risk taker without due consideration, weighed, measured, costed, projected and scoped before and after when the evaluation is completed … Measured, weighed etc.
Since the coup in late 2010 when the Labor Party senior members garrotted their leader and installed a new boss and subsequent new Prime Minister, the clock has been ticking for the second stage of the saga. Monday coming is the final count down and no matter what happens the result will be more mess and chaos. The Labor Party may be heading for a defeat at the ballot box not see since Whitlam (1975).
The electorate aren’t stupid. They understand the situation and don’t like being manipulated and will punish anyone who tries to do so.
It is enough to say the children are not playing nice in the sandpit.
A consequence of the collapse of the financial security of many during GFC1 and GFC2 is that people, world- wIde are fed up with political and corporate spin. No longer will people openly accept statements within annual reports, board room minutes, stakeholder briefings, press reports or political messaging. They want the truth, facts and then the ability to react or engage in discussion. The occupy movement shows the level of frustration and boiling points being felt world wide.
Huge profits of banks and other corporations and the level of executive pay rates places companies outside of the general populace and out of touch with those customers who help make those handsome profits.
Political parties are squeezing the middle class out and creating a larger lower/working (doing it tough) class. The effects are a very wealthy upper class and the totally disenfranchised who used to be the lower class but have been rebranded as struggling.
People what to be listened to – look at Greece and Italy. The Arabian Spring has generated hurt, distrust and need to be heard or the people will take matters into their own hands.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. People like to know and will they will listen to anyone who is talking.
Well the year has blitz. 2011 started out with promise of APS continued reform in the area of community engagement, but has languished due to inadequate take-up by many agencies. Many of the champions who are pushing change are not able to gain traction; so the wheels keep spinning.
I was moved into a new position and had my online tools revoked as they ‘aren’t required in the present job’. Gov2.0 and community engagement isn’t about function but communication, involvement, dialogue and listening. I still do them all must use my own devices to manage this at work. I don’t even have access anymore to the Depts FaceBook site.
But, I am now involved in knowledge management which is a reawakening profession. Coupled with Recordkeeping forms the core of a company’s ability to retain, retrain and learn lessons.
Another year has gone by as Spring has sprung upon us. Where does it go? A year since we lost our house to the burdens of finance. A year since we had to move into cramped surroundings. A year since we had to burden ourselves on our friends to support us.
One does get tired of the constant struggle to survive; long stopped trying to get ahead as just making ends meet is becoming a distant memory.
Friends and family are what matters.
Well another winter has finally arrived. The mountains are capped with white and roads have black ice. It is time to take the children into the snow fields and treat them to the finer arts of shooshing. Shooshing is a great word for we could use it for almost anything. We could ask our bosses to shoosh off or our politicians to stop all the shooshing and run the country with the skills of a grown up.
Work progresses slowly towards a retiring end. It amazes me we think of such things. I truly would prefer to hang around and make a difference in the various fields for which I am aptly trained or have experience. Well with the littlest being so young I know I will be around some time yet to come.
So enjoying work, life and family for isn’t that what it is all about.
It is interesting to think we engage, collaborate, communicate and generally live in community with a multitude of people and groups throughout our whole life. Yet when it comes to doing the same activity online many people are fearful.
Within Government public servants / civil servants are apprehensive to make comment either as a private citizen or to just join a conversation. Without this broad base conversation involving peer to peer or public and private sectors innovation will be slow in concept and development.
As my children get older and use the internet more and more to converse with their friends and peers, their conversations are on private discussion or forum sites and not twitter or facebook as these are seen as ‘old people’ interfaces. They are not fearfull of full and frank discussions inolving personal comments and structured arguments. They anticipate this will be a requirement into their working lives which will be encouraged and expected.
They can’t fathom why an opinion or thought could be seen as an infringement upon their work contract or a mechanism for work based performance assessment/ code of conduct proceedings. Those of us who are presently using the tools available to move Gov2.0 forward need to be more ‘out there’ within the general community and within the public sector/work place.
Our peers around the world are working at various levels on the same issues: engagement, conversations, collaborative approaches, structured opinion, communication within the private and public sectors. Yes there are common sense approaches to any conversation where respect for another’s opinion and freedom to speak are based on community and social norms.
Get involved and express yourself. For futher information I recommend Civil Servant 2.0 from the Netherlands – worth getting a copy. http://bit.ly/lHr6ai