Scrap the tech speak and use decision makers’ language

ICT specialists should communicate in bureaucrats’ language, says one official, who argues public sector leaders are “not really interested in what disruption and innovation may mean; they want to see tangible things”. And the best PPPs go unnoticed.

Public servants need to remember to communicate in decision makers’ language if they want to be heard, argued Paul O’Connor, special adviser to the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection, at last week’s Disrupt the Public Sector conference in Melbourne.

Paul O'Connor

Paul O’Connor

“The disruption and innovation is how do we access the multiple layers of that monolith, I call it the executive layer, the officer’s mess,” he told the audience. “Senior officers are living in another world, you need to sensitise yourself to their world and how they make decisions.”

Though he was speaking specifically to a tech demographic, the lessons are no doubt useful across the board for those needing to communicate across professional boundaries.

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