Public sector catch-up: ideas registry needs a name, DTO launch, worst strategic thinkers?

By Harley Dennett

Monday March 30, 2015

Finance’s idea registry needs a name

A trial version of the Department of Finance‘s ideas registry will be up next month, with several agencies volunteering to test it out. But right now they’re seeking input on what to call it. They’re looking for a name that sums up what it’s for and encourages active participation:

“It’s a cross-agency idea management system that will allow APS officers to share their skills and knowledge with colleagues in other Departments. The proposed system will provide member profiles, which can be updated with information on the APS officers’ skills and abilities, thereby encouraging greater mobility and secondments across the service. Ideas will be able to be posted and then supported or commented on by others to help develop, refine and test their relevance and suitability for advancement.”

We’re partial to “the Ideas Crucible”, but if you’ve got more helpful suggestions send them to [email protected]

Communications launches the Digital Transformation Office

The DTO launched at University of Technology, Sydney on Friday with Malcolm Turnbull, Vivek Kundra and several private sector speakers on hand. There will be an interim CEO from within the Department of Communications while they search for the full-time head. The Mandarin will bring you interviews with some key people, including the interim CEO, over the next few days.

Here is the Department of Communications video of the event. Viocorp supported them in what was a very slick set up and presentation. The event was held at the new Dr Chau Chak Wing UTS business school building in Sydney . Live forums are challenging. According to our attendees it was  a great example of how to create a first class engagement event, supported by modern digital outreach.

The accompanying slide pack is here. Slide 2 below from NICTA gives some interesting data snap shots around digital government.

Digital Government snapshot
Digital Government snapshot . Source : NICTA


Strategic thinking at Defence? Pitting civilian vs military

As Department of Defence officials cool their heels and wait the release of the First Principles Review, especially in DMO, and learn whether they have jobs, or agencies, to go back to, a kerfuffle broke out last week over whether Defence provides a good breeding ground for strategic thinking. Hugh White, told the Saturday Paper that that military officers were given “more deference than they deserve” and were more tactical than strategic thinkers. However, the Mandarin is informed the unpublished part of the quote went on to clarify “with the possible exception of Jim Molan”. The retired major-general rebutted in the Interpreter that it would be a “recipe for disaster” to let civilians run Defence strategy. Now Hugh White clarifies in the Interpreter:

“So to be clear, I do not believe that civilians are any better at providing strategic policy advice than military officers. On the contrary, had I been asked, I would have said that the depth and breadth of strategic policy expertise among civilians in the Defence Department is just as inadequate as it is among their military colleagues. This is a major problem for our defence policy which, to be fair, I believe the senior leadership of the organisation understands.”

Demise of heroic leadership

Leanne Ansell-McBride at the Victorian Leadership Development Centre writes on research conducted into the post-heroic leader model, where a humble, uncertain, collaborative leader can succeed:

“The Catalyst Research Center for Advancing Leader Effectiveness surveyed workers from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the US to identify what it takes to build an inclusive culture.  This research showed that ‘humility is one of four critical leadership factors’ that creates a culture of inclusive leadership…”

Job well done

Graham Tanton, who heads up Department of Industry and Science‘s business online services and small business program branch, raised an important point at the winner’s wrap-up event for the IPAA’s excellence in public sector management awards last week. Innovation does occur in the public sector, start-up culture or not, and should be recognised:

“Often I think people put private enterprise up as the bastions of innovation, where as the public sector as a whole we just do it and get onto the next thing. We don’t necessarily sound our own trumpets. I think as a whole, for the myGov, [BOS] and this space it’s a celebration of what we actually do for the public agenda.”

Found something at your agency or on the web we should know about, let me know.

About the author
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
The Mandarin Premium

Insights & analysis that matter to you

Subscribe for only $5 a week

Get Premium Today