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Government of the Future Series: Working Collaboratively with Stakeholders (FON1-V28)


This event recording explores some of the ways that public servants can collaborate more effectively with stakeholders both inside and outside of the federal public service.

Duration: 01:33:15
Published: February 3, 2023
Type: Video

Event: Government of the Future Series: Working Collaboratively with Stakeholders

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Government of the Future Series: Working Collaboratively with Stakeholders

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Transcript: Government of the Future Series: Working Collaboratively with Stakeholders

[The CSPS logo appears]

[Melanie Copeland appears on screen]

Melanie Copeland: Good day everyone. My name is Melanie Copeland. I'm a manager with the Transformation Accelerator Hub at Employment and Social Development Canada, also known as ESDC. I'm also visiting faculty with the Canada School of Public Services Digital Academy. On behalf of the School, welcome to all of our participants on the line today.

I'm pleased to introduce today's event: Working Collaboratively with Stakeholders, which is the third in the series of the Government of the Future. The series is a collaboration between the Canada School of Public Service and the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration, and features scholars and practitioners discussing the latest academic research in public administration, allowing us to adopt strategies and practices to meet today's challenges.

This third event in the Government of the Future Series explores some of the ways that public servants can collaborate more effectively with stakeholders internal and external to the public service. Guest speakers will explore leading thinking on collaboration, models, and frameworks to reduce barriers to collaboration, and how to deploy them. Our guests will also highlight the challenges and opportunities arising from working collaboratively. Participants, you will learn a tonne today from these models, how to use them in a government context, and a handful of other best practices.

I'd like to pause for a moment and recognise that I'm speaking to you today from the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people. I want to express my gratitude to generations of Algonquin people past and present as the original caretakers of this space I occupy. I'm very grateful to be here.

We have a great discussion planned for you, and we want you to have the best experience possible. Here are a couple housekeeping items to make that happen. Today's event is primarily in English, simultaneous interpretation, and the service of CART real-time captioning is available, should you need it, and want to follow in the language of your choice. You can access these features directly from the webcast interface, or you can refer to the reminder email that was sent to you by the School.

We'll be taking questions throughout the event via the Collaborate video chat platform. To submit your question, click on the bubble icon at the top right hand of your screen. You won't see your question appear in the chat, but the moderator will be receiving them. We'll try to get to as many questions as we can during the live session. Please send in your questions in the language of your choice. For the best viewing experience, go ahead and disconnect from your VPN. If you're experiencing technical issues, try relaunching the webcast link provided to you.

Let's say Hi to our esteemed guests, shall we?

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Professor Catherine Althaus is the Australia and New Zealand School of Government Chair of Public Service Leadership and Reform at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, and Deputy Dean for Teaching and Learning. She was previously the director of the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, so she's got the inside scoop on Canada.

Susan Phillips is a professor and a graduate supervisor of the Philanthropy and Non-profit Leadership Program at Carleton University. Go Ravens! Susan's research focuses on public policy and regulation of philanthropy and the non-profit sector; financing of charities and non-profits; cross-sectoral collaboration; community foundations; and place-based philanthropy.

We also have Mr. Thomas Park with us today, who is a partner of the Deep Tech Venture Fund at the Business Development Bank of Canada. Mr. Park has experience working with NGOs, specifically the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and has worked with the United Nations, not to name drop or anything. He also has a master's degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

[Melanie Copeland appears full screen]

Melanie Copeland: One thing to note about our discussion today is that we will not be discussing collaboration with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. These Indigenous communities are very much aware of the Crown's obligation to consult them, and the important legal differences between consultation and engagement. We firmly believe in the idea of, nothing about us without us. And while our panelists have an incredible array of experience and backgrounds, they are not indigenous and therefore do not speak on behalf of indigenous peoples.

If you're looking for resources on how to collaborate with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, the School has several products in its learning catalog that we encourage you to look at. These include videos; podcasts; job aids; as well as many other learning products relating to indigenous people's realities, and relationships with the Government of Canada. These resources will also be included in the email from the School that will come after the event.

When I think of public-private collaboration, including with the not-for-profit sector, I think of my time with CORCAN, a special operating agency under the Correctional Service of Canada. My time with CORCAN was one of the most meaningful and impactful experiences of my public service career thus far. In supporting offender community reintegration, our team offered real world employment opportunities to offenders during their time in incarceration. Collaborating with stakeholders inside and outside the federal government to find these employment opportunities was our priority. Offender rehabilitation needs were at the centre of our conversations with them, and all parties played a role in reducing barriers to future employment.

Today, collaborating widely is a part of how public servants are expected to work and drive results for Canadians in this digital era. Here to speak to us a little bit more about collaborating with stakeholders is our first guest, Professor Catherine Althaus. Over to you.

[Melanie Copeland and Catherine Althaus appear in video chat panels.]

Catherine Althaus: Thank you so much Melanie. And thank you for the invitation to be here.

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: I would like to pay respect to the Wiradjuri people because I am speaking from their land here in New South Wales and pay my respect to elders past and present and acknowledge all first peoples who are present.

So, collaboration. I think this particular time in history requires radical collaboration more than ever. The realities of climate change, we've got rapidly shifting geopolitical forces, huge economic challenges, and all these realities are leading us to think about whether we're going to choose to shut down, or to open ourselves even more. And so, I think we're having an invitation to everyone in the world to make these choices about whether we're going to embrace collaboration or not.

I'm unashamedly in the pro-collaboration camp. The HOW report indicates high levels of trust lead radically or collaborative organisations to exhibit 32 times the risk-taking, 11 times the innovation, and 6 times the business performance over traditional hierarchical competitors. And while I don't want to see the disappearance of hierarchies, I think they're incredibly powerful and important, I do think we can recalibrate when and where and how we use them, and to supplement them with additional options.

Collaboration to me means a form of shifting power. And so, in that regard, I think we have opportunities to rethink relationships, control, motivation and responsibilities.

So, I want to talk firstly about what happens within the government portfolio itself. And we know that collaboration across government has cropped up in a whole range of areas including in terms of machinery of government. And I know many of you would be familiar with concepts such as horizontal governance; initiatives such as interdepartmental committees; PMOs, that sort of thing. Now that can be helpful, but sometimes it seems like we're kind of lurching between a never-ending cycle of centralization to decentralization, back to centralization again. And it seems almost like this binary choice.

For me that seems quite competitive, and I think more recent trends give us the ability to marry the best of population-based universal policymaking at scale, alongside of personalised policymaking. And I've coined this term of Complementary Bureaucracy as a way to try to get us away from competitive forms of organisational approaches towards complementary approaches so that we can try to start to think more creatively in the models that people like Geoff Mulgan talk about, where we think that government policy actually can be divided into the policies that we do to and for communities.

Things like tax; things like defence; things like massive public infrastructure and transport initiatives. They're all things that are done to and for communities, but we know in the areas of health, education, justice, like you were talking about, Melanie, that these kinds of areas have to be done with communities. And I think that that inspires us to think differently and creatively about what kind of organisational forms we can use to make the best of that reality.

So, in the last 20 years, collaboration within government has spawned some focus on co-design and co-production, and many of you will already know about those initiatives. There's been things such as the Deliberative Democracy Movement, and there's lots of practical initiatives in that area. And they're really encouraging us to bring communities into the policy process, not just consult, but to actively bring them in to shape the problem itself and how we can think of it, as well as the solutions.

So, I won't go into much detail on those, but increasingly we've been thinking about things like universal design. And those kinds of universal design principles are where we design policies specifically from the perspective of the most vulnerable in any community. And what results from doing that kind of work is that everyone benefits from that. And a classic example there is how we've thought about pavement redesign in terms of in the road system. And that was shifted to meet the needs of those perhaps with more mobility challenges. But in so doing, we helped everyone. We helped people who have to push babies in strollers or prams. We've helped people with shopping carts; those with visual challenges; the young; the elderly. So, this is also helping joggers; people with skateboards; different sporting kind of needs. So, you can see that by thinking about the most vulnerable, we benefit everybody. So, I think there's great promise in that even further if we were to take those ideas further.

I do want to pay attention to the fact that jurisdictions with first peoples and with vast and diverse geography such as Canada suggest that collaboration can shift power not only with respect to each other as human beings, but also that we have an opportunity to shift our relationship and collaboration with place.

So, an example I've got here is the Whanganui River in Orautoha, New Zealand. And there there's been some really fascinating initiatives where the Whanganui River itself has been given legal status as a person under law. And what that has enabled is the New Zealand people to move beyond co-management of natural resources to actually be quite radical in the way they collaborate with place. And it allows and encourages the local iwi, or Māori tribe, to take an active role to speak in a sense on behalf of the river. But the river itself is treated as a living and spiritual entity under law. So, that creates new rights and responsibilities, and it gives custodianship then with a special new meaning. And suddenly the land itself is working in partnership with government. And that's a really exciting opportunity to start to think about sustainability, and what we can do. And it's not only happening in Orautoha, New Zealand, it's also happening in places like Ecuador and India. We've started to experiment a little bit with similar concepts at the Yarra River in Australia.

And I think giving place its own status allows us to think then about time. And we start thinking about intergenerational dimensions to policy and collaboration. And suddenly time becomes something that moves us beyond policy making being a sort of short term exceptionalist kind of approach, towards that long-term future-proofing idea.

So, the basic message of all these collaborative initiatives is that we're moving away from concepts of domination, human domination in particular, towards recognition of the benefits of inclusion and diversity. And not only inclusion and diversity from human perspectives, but from time and place. So, if we're truly open to those benefits of opening up difference and local knowledge, we suddenly shift away from a one size fits all mentality towards celebrating the virtues of not imposing a pre-formulated solution.

Instead, leadership and policy making, and collaboration becomes about asking powerful questions and not knowing the answer and stepping into that space with humility. And, again, it's potentially risky for governments, but I actually think the payoffs are so huge and it's very exciting, in terms of what then becomes possible. But it does require bravery and courage.

So, I think the traditional style that we have of bureaucracy, which of course is very much coming from the Weberian notion of bureaucracy from the late 1800s. It still has its place, but I think we can supplement the traditional approach with new, innovative approaches to organisational form and collaborative techniques. And that allows us to belong more to the people themselves and to our world itself.

So, I think we're in a very exciting time. There's a lot of interesting work that's being done by folks like Wolfgang Drechsler at Talinn University in Estonia. There's a group there looking, for example, at what other civilisations have to teach us, not just western. So things like Islamic civilisation. And we talk, in our part of the world, about indigenous concepts of public administration. We've got Eastern, Confucian, Buddhist concepts of public administration, and we've got such a rich diversity of history and experience to draw from. And that, I think, should also be paid attention to in terms of different collaborative forms that we might be able to pursue.

So, I think for me, when I think about a place which is absolutely ripe and well placed to experiment even more with collaboration, I think of Canada. There is so much in the society of Canada that can be drawn on in terms of seeing everyone as having strength. And if we take that strength based approach to collaboration, I think we're going to get very far. So, that's it from me for now, Melanie, I look forward to the questions.

[Melanie Copeland appears full screen]

Melanie Copeland: Thank you so much, Professor, for those powerful and diverse insights and stories. I'm certainly taking a lot away from it. I know we'll have a tonne of questions from the participants online. A reminder, please send in your questions. I think being pro-collaboration is something we can all get behind, and I loved how you spoke of the importance of user centricity and designing for the edges. We're going to go over to Professor Susan now, over to you, Susan.

[Melanie Copeland and Susan Phillips appear in video chat panels.]

Susan Phillips: Thank you, Melanie. And thank you for a great start, Catherine. Like Melanie, I too am speaking to you from the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people.

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips: Catherine started us off in a great way, thinking about collaboration as ultimately about power sharing. It's joined effort with mutual goals. It's more than coordination, or contracting, or one way consultation. It's doing what you can't do on your own and fundamentally about innovating.

And therefore collaboration, and I'll speak about degrees of collaboration, entails mutual understanding of goals; shared expectation of roles; shared risk; contributions of different kinds of resources; and a relationship that involves some power sharing and trust building. Which means that all of the players need to appreciate, to accommodate, and to work around the differences and the strengths of their partners. It takes time. Whatever kind of collaboration we're doing, it takes more time than if we did it on our own and involves different ways of working.

I want to speak briefly about the who of the quote, non-profit sector, and models of collaboration. The non-profit philanthropic sector generally has two parts, as I'm sure most of you who worked with charities and non-profits know. The more operational or programming or policy-oriented organisations, which may be umbrella organisations of others, or they may be more community based and program oriented. They certainly have expertise often because they're at the front end of that long supply chain of delivery of programs, but they often have more limited resources. And they have, importantly, internal processes of boards, of members of their own internal democracies that need to be respected. And then we have philanthropic institutions, public and private foundations that we often overlook. In the public side community foundations, and United Way.

And on the private foundation side, family, and corporate foundations of which there are 11,000 in this country. And particularly those private foundations have considerable flexibility. They have no voters, no shareholders, no members. They have substantial assets in most places, and therefore they can take risks. They have the potential for innovation as early risk takers, as blueprinting ideas. And part of that initial tranche of blended capital.

So, my first message would be to know about your potential partners in advance. To do a lot of homework. And I think governments have relatively little knowledge, indeed, as does the public about this sector. We tend to know a few brands, the big ones, but we don't know and don't appreciate the depth in community, particularly when we're working with equity deserving groups.

Collaboration itself, I would see as a bit of a continuum, but with three different kinds of models. The first I would describe as decentralized delivery, where you have overarching and agreed upon goals, but that need local or third party expertise to deliver, but to do so in a way that is more than simply a contracting relationship. Government often puts in the financial resources, but draws on the networks of others in its delegated authority and shared ownership way. An example of this is the recent announcement by ESDC of the Community Services Recovery Fund, in which government is putting up 400 million, but Community Foundations of Canada, the Red Cross and United Way are the delivery agents.

So, government's role is in some of that upfront planning in accountability, particularly for the funding, but more hands off in delivery.But still, you need to appreciate how things are going in the delivery, because that's often where things if they go off the rails, they do so in that interface. And the challenges are whether you've understood the need, and the problems upfront correctly. Do you have the right partners? Do they have capacity? Have you co-designed the overall parameters appropriately? And do you have monitory systems in place, and some flexibility if things need to change.

The second kind, as Catherine and I would call co-production, as the literature does, which is more operational, and delivery focused. You have a concept for program, it could be yours or the collaborator's initial concept, and you agree to parameters and jointly deliver the program or the project, bringing different resources to that. And for government, I would suggest, real co-production means bringing more the money. And it involves ongoing engagement.

And the challenges here are multiple and shouldn't be overlooked and need to be considered upfront. Governance. How is the process going to be managed? Will it be a separate entity, as a lead? Will you do it informally? Do you need an MOU? Something certainly more than a contribution agreement. The financing. If government's putting up the funds, are the instruments flexible enough to adapt? Often you don't know the deliverables upfront in a defined way so that you have a neat contractor contribution agreement. Do your partners understand the constraints in federal funding? And more importantly, can you, as public servants, design in greater flexibility into those instruments? It needs leadership on both sides. If, as public servants, you're doing collaboration as an add-on to the rest of your work, what are the incentives to give it a priority and to work in a different way?

There's the issue of continuity. Public servants move around a lot. I did the evaluation, now it's 20 years ago, of a major collaborative project, the Voluntary Sector Initiative, that involved about 160 public servants in non-profit leadership, and non-profit leaders. And over that time of about three years, 10% of those non-profit leaders moved on. They moved on to other jobs, so they left the initiative. On the other hand, 50% of the public servants left and moved on. They moved on to other positions in government, and they left the initiative behind. Understandably so, but the need for continual re-engagement and re-education was important.

Accountability. It's a public servant engaged in collaboration of both horizontal accountability to your partners, and the regular vertical up the chain kind of accountability. And the danger is often that the vertical overwhelms the horizontal because there are rules for it. We know how it works, and it's easier to do and more difficult to ignore. And while it shouldn't be ignored, it could often get in the way. But we also need to recognise how we engage the vertical with more senior decision makers, are there decision points so that they are going to build in the support and take the decisions they need.

And finally, communication. It may seem like a small matter, but it often gets in the way in a big way. A government has very often very rigid, I'll say rigid, strict protocols about communications, about process and content. And it's often government speak that doesn't resonate all that well with the partners. So, it can be a stumbling block.

And the third one I want to talk about is truly co-creation. That it's more the front end of problem definition, a real innovation around solutions. It necessarily involves greater complexity, greater uncertainty. It's a change in public values, both how the public thinks about things, how senior public servants and politicians think about things, it involves spanning boundaries. It means you have less control, and it's probably longer term. And here philanthropic foundations might play a role, where you're scaling up an early form innovation. Or it could be that you're co-creating new solutions and starting with new approaches to problem definition.

And in co-creation, the challenges are all of the above. All that I mentioned, but with a greater need for trust, for leadership, and for empowerment of different sets of partners. And there's leadership, in particular within government, because you need to A) convince others of the need to work in this way. And about the new kinds of thinking and design that you're coming up with.

And again, there's homework to deal with partners; probably research to accompany the options you might be testing; recognition as in all collaboration, that process matters, but you can't overprocess it or process gets in the way. And a question of, over how long? That realistic assessment and then a commitment to the time required and an exit strategy is needed. And I would say that in terms of co-creation, we do it rarely, and we don't do it enough. It's scary to think about it. It's a fundamentally different way of doing things.

So, by conclusion, I would suggest the other side of this is that there are circumstances under which you shouldn't collaborate. If you don't have flexibility; if the outcomes are predetermined; if you're under time pressure; if the situation is actually a contracting one, not a collaborative one, it's deceptive to pretend that it is truly a collaborative relationship.

As the president of the Chagnon Foundation, the largest family foundation in Quebec noted, you have to ask the sector partners to dance. And you both need to learn how to dance well. And I would suggest that our dance cards, if anybody ever has dance cards, if they really knew what they were, need to be more open. Open to doing things differently.

So, before you begin entering into a collaboration, you need to do your homework. Get to know who are potential collaborators, what they might bring to the process, and look beyond the usual suspects. And as you enter a collaboration, there's a need for a great dose of humility, not to assume that you know the solutions or the process in advance. After all, the point of collaboration is to learn to adapt and to be able to do things more effectively than you ever could on your own. Thank you.

[Melanie Copeland appears full screen]

Melanie Copeland: Thank you so much, Professor, you had me at co-creation. And we know that the process of co-creation in itself helps to create those long-lasting relationships, beyond our lifespan as public servants. The School held, just yesterday, the Annual Digital Government Forum. And the resounding theme was equity of access. And you spoke to that a little bit in your talk just now. 11,000 private non-for-profits. Time to amplify those with a bit less visibility.

A reminder to participants on the line, you can use the bubble icon, top right of your screen, to submit your questions for our fabulous guest panelist today. Mr. Park, thank you for joining us, over to you.

[Melanie Copeland and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Thomas Park: Yes, so it's real pleasure. I don't want to repeat what I heard from Susan and Catherine. I think they were great inputs.

[Thomas Park appears full screen]

Thomas Park: Maybe a few things, just from our experience, so I lead a VC fund, and what's unique about our fund is that a lot of the technologies we invest in tend to have either dual use capabilities, so it's a particular interest to a number of the agencies, here in Ottawa, especially some of our security or defence agencies, or dealing with technologies that might be of a strong interest across multiple agencies outside of the national security establishment. And so, we've seen a lot of the collaboration back and forth and such.

So, I think I would walk away with three main takeaways. One, and it echoes what Catherine and Susan said, be very clear what you want. So, I have dealt with a lot of public servants, and they're probably the most well-read, erudite individuals I've ever met. They move around development expertise and they're very curious individuals and such.

In my experience, people in the private sector, <laugh> are very much more narrowly focused. It's very hard to make money. And so they're just, if I'm like an online commerce that just focuses on rentals, rental market for permits, that's pretty much all I know. I'll know real estate, <laugh> and such. But the other stuff, that's what they call everything else. They don't really have time to engage on that. So, when you are talking to them it's almost like dealing with somebody from another country or another culture. You really have to get into their vernacular.I guess one good example is on that Fintech regulation and digital currencies. So, that's clear when we're dealing with Fintechs. Got it. So, that's being regulated by Bank of Canada. So, this is what we have to say, or this is what you want to know, that makes sense.

I would say the second thing is not only what you ask, but how you ask. So, here's not a great case scenario. So, we have a policy analyst. So, maybe a year or two into the service, reaching out, asked pretty detailed questions, the entrepreneur said, yes, this is what I want, and then they wrote their memo and you never heard from this individual ever again. So, <laugh> this individual took time out of their schedule. And work life balance has a different definition in the private sector, especially in early-stage startup. So, never heard from this individual again. And if they did, it was something vague. Yes, it's under consideration as such. This person probably has a pretty bad view of dealing with the government. That's how they just see all your agencies: Crown Corps; departmental corps; they don't see the difference. A great way is when we have these round tables. So, we could spend a lunch and such with folks and there's a back and forth. So, at least that way people say, at least I got a lunch out of it. It only costs me an hour and a half. This is super helpful.

And I would say the third thing is limit the number of meetings. So, I know in government, <laugh>, people love meetings, which is fine. That's how you transact business, especially when you, I don't want to say government's too bureaucratic, because to be fair to those in the public service because I'm in the in-between, the problems you're facing don't have clear answers. In the private sector, it's a very clear question, does this make me money or not? And if so, how much does it cost? The public sector is, how do I achieve reconciliation? That's not a <laugh>, that's not a two-dimensional question. But for the private sector, it's rare they understand this. So, it's like, well, how does this help me make money? Or, and such? So, if you've got a meeting, it's hard to get the follow ups and such, unless they saw there was a value add. And so that's the third thing is the type of means you would do.

So, how would I engage the private sector? So, be very clear what you want and how you ask for it. So, if you're just asking for information and such, get to know, be the type, maybe it's a round table, two or three people you're soliciting, or something. People don't feel bad if they don't hear back from me. It's like, at least I get to network with some of the entrepreneurs. Or if you want something in depth, be very clear. Bring someone senior.

And I would say finally, maybe the fourth one is, they don't understand the vernacular. So, they don't know the difference between a DM and a policy analyst, an XO1, or departmental operational agents. They don't understand any of this, and so just being clear, and who are you and such? Okay, you're like a VP. That's what they'll say. Oh, you're like a director or like a CEO. Oh, I get it. And just helping to translate that.

[Melanie Copeland and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thank you so much, Thomas, I'm taking away from this don't beat around the bush. I might try this with my husband or my kids. This also brings a fresh new perspective to the idea of using plain language, something that the private and not-for-profit sector will relate to. I think our public servants are now ready for Dragon's Den. So, thank you very much for those tips. So, we're going to head into the Q and A portion now, that was really fabulous from all of our guest speakers today. To submit your questions, again, head over to the bubble icon, top right of your screen.

[Melanie Copeland appears full screen]

Melanie Copeland: The moderator is currently combing through all of them. We're going to start with Thomas as the lead for BDC Capital's Deep-Tech Venture Fund. You work with small and medium sized companies to grow their capacities, you are also a panel co-chair of the Global Hypergrowth Project under Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, IZ, that scales up businesses in Canada.

[Melanie Copeland and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: And as we've mentioned, you've collaborated with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and you were the senior engagement manager with Mackenzie and Company. Since you have experience working across all those sectors, what's really unique about collaborating with the private sector partners, perhaps creating a little bit of excitement there for our listeners on the line.

Thomas Park: So, I think there's a few things, and this is why I really love working at a Crown Corp, because I can get the best. I'm a values driven person and I have a lot of respect for people that commit themselves to the service. People like Susan and Catherine that are there to support the service. They have best practice.

[Thomas Park appears full screen]

Thomas Park: So, I think there's a couple of things that I've learned over time. One, really understand the incentives of the individual you're talking to. So, if the advice that they're giving is conveniently helpful for them to maximize their gains, to get a promotion as such, you need to diagnose that very quickly. So, especially when you're dealing with certain industries, probably all the industries, but I think the most acute one in the last decades are financial institutions, especially in the US, or drug companies, I think we saw this in Covid. They're particularly good at creating an unbelievable sense of urgency. So, the pressure to make a decision very quickly. So, I think that's the first thing.

The second thing is that you'd be surprised, they have a lot less variables that they're trying to optimize for when to make a decision. So, when it came to, at the Gates Foundation, we were trying to reduce the cost of a contraceptive in half. So, there's lots of arguments. We would increase the volume. You know, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of women around the world. We have more choice in terms of the methods that we use, et cetera, et cetera. The only thing the pharmaceutical companies were interested in was, okay, if I'm cutting it by half, how is this going to at least maintain my profitability, if not increase my profitability? That was the only question that you had to answer. So, the other issues were superfluous.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thank you so much for that. Fantastic. Professor Catherine, I'll go over to you next. You mentioned a few successful experiments that have occurred with Complementary Bureaucracy. Can we talk about what this term means, successful experiments? How do we measure that success with these experiments? And how can our public servants on the line here today take those successful methods back to their teams?

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: Thanks, Melanie. So, I guess we've got that notion, for example, of the Whanganui River in terms of a different way of thinking about how to bring in a notion of say, kinship or clan into the policy design and the organisational form. So, that's kind of what Complementary Bureaucracy means. It means that not only do we draw on the strength of hierarchy, we can draw on the strength of markets. There are certain times when market mechanisms actually really appropriate for government policy making. But then we've forgotten that there's actually family, clan, or kinship models. We all come from a family, hugely powerful. We all use measurement factors with our families. We assess informally how's the health of my family going?

And what's interesting about that is that we think about the personal side, how is every unique individual in that family structure doing? But we also think about how the family structure itself is going. And I think that's my tip for the measurement side of things, is you're assessing things holistically, comprehensively. You think about family inter-generationally because you think about your ancestors from the past, how's Grandma doing? What happened there? What's going to be the future for my kids moving forward? So, we kind of capture just the whole range of issues. And I think that's what Complementary Bureaucracy tries to capture is the fact that we have such opportunity to bring clan and kinship forms and structures and thinking into policy design and collaboration processes. So, that's kind of what I would suggest is what it is and how we can think about measurements in practical ways.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Beautiful. Thank you so much for that. Professor Susan, I'm going to go over to you next. We have a question from the audience. When we talk about collaboration, sharing authority, co-development, it's a change in mentality and a change in how we work. This person writing in says, I find there's a greater willingness at the working level to co-create and collaborate. What advice would you have in coaching senior management through this required change when it doesn't necessarily feel intuitive to them?

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips: You've identified a key challenge because, as public servants, you're used to particular processes, and you have constraints. The public has little risk for failure by government. So, the opportunity to be truly risk taking may seem constrained. On the other hand, we're in a time when we need to take some big risks. The complexity of the issues, the different need for different ways of doing things. And again, I think it comes back to understanding who you might work with and what they bring to working together, knowing that you can't do on your own. So, that's number one. What do non-governmental partners, be it private sector or non-profit and charitable, why do you need them? What would they do if you're truly going to do things differently?

And secondly, then thinking about what would success look like? Understanding, and that was one of Thomas's key points.

And then third, how can we reduce or change some of the internal processes so that they're more accommodating to different ways of doing things. And for senior policy makers, if they understand, if you can make the case of how you can achieve more, better, not necessarily faster, but better outcomes, that then the process starts to open up. And if you can demonstrate you have a clear understanding of those who you work with, you're not just putting out a competitive bid to see who responds, you've really identified who your collaborators might be, and what they bring to it.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thanks for that, Professor. And Professor Catherine, there's some opportunities here to think about our collaboration with media as well. Go ahead.

Catherine Althaus: Yes, thanks Melanie. I think the media is a big player in how we view risk in this space. And sometimes we're too afraid to do things because of how the media is going to respond. And I think maybe from the public sector side, we can think more creatively.

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: And with that collaboration idea with the media here, what kind of relationships can we form with journalists who are themselves going through massive change and rethinking the whole journalistic space because of social media and new trends that they're all facing.

So, I wonder if there's some opportunities for us to really create those incentives that Thomas and Susan have been talking about, where we are collaborating with media to up the ante on what is possible for policymaking, for everyone's benefit in this space. So, that's just what I'd add there.

[00Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thank you so much. Mr. Park over to you again. You were mentioning some dos and don'ts for public servants to interact with the private sector. Is there anything particular <laugh> other than perhaps the language we're using and getting out of our own little bubble, anything particular that stands out when collaborating with public service? Anything you'd advise against in ensuring that we are successful in those future collaborations? What could we do to really foster those relationships?

Thomas Park: Yes, I think regular check-ins are good. Quarterly meetings with some of the departmental folks where there's the DGs or ADMs, or especially in the more advanced tech,

[Thomas Park appears full screen]

Thomas Park: they don't mind that at all because it's a good opportunity for them to network some of the other CEOs or other managers. And also to hear what's going on in ours, because it's like, oh, okay, digital currencies, oh, you're doing something on procurement. Never heard of Innovation Solutions Canada. So, I think these kinds of structured quarterly check-ins or biannual check-ins, actually people enjoy that, the forum. I would say the second thing is if you've got bigger asks, so I'm co-sharing the Global Hypergrowth Project with John Ruffolo. Make it really easy.

So, that was one thing, like I said, did a great job was, this is a very in-depth forum, but they did bring on executive advisor consultants to make it easy and also be clear to say, if things don't work out, there's our AGS program to help you out. So, at least it's not for nought, you plan for something and such, there's something there. So, just very much aligning on the expectations. But a lot of times it's just take these collaborations are just continued check-ins are really popular, I find.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thank you for that. Great, great advice. I am sure everyone's taking a lot of away from this, the dos and don'ts. Speaking of dos and don'ts, Professor Susan, I'll go back to you for brief moment. You made the point in your talk earlier that public servants must be much clearer about timelines, deadlines, and their processes with those they seek to collaborate. Could you elaborate a little bit more on that? What is the best way to communicate information to the folks we want to partner with?

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips: A starting point is to have your partners appreciate what your constraints are. I make the second point that I think you need to try to reduce some of those constraints. Let me give you another example from the Voluntary Sector Initiative. Now it's a while ago, but I'm not sure that much has changed. You have a group of leaders of charities, in this case, these were quite small charities working on a joint round table with public servants. And they had an allocation of funding. And the charitable leaders did what they do really well is that they're very frugal. They didn't spend any more money than they had to. They were really careful about budgets, but nobody told them the funds were going to lapse if they didn't spend it in that year. And that's exactly what happened, and they were surprised at the end of the year when the government had to come along and say, well, that money's gone now. They didn't appreciate the process.

So, sometimes it's just a greater understanding of how government normally works, the kinds of constraints that public servants are under because you deal with public trust and public money. And then secondly, the real internal thinking about whether you could do some of those protocols differently and how you could build in more adaptability and flexibility.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Fabulous, fabulous. Professor Catherine, I'll go back to you. We just got another question in the chat. Lots coming in. Sometimes the government deals with large scale partners on projects. How can we ensure that the relationship is collaborative and no one partner dominates the project? Speaks a little bit to <laugh> the dominating methods you were speaking to. Go ahead.

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: Yes, great question. Thank you. So, I'm actually going to draw on the work of Laura Liswood, who is actually Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders. And she's got some great resources about inclusion and diversity in terms of ensuring that we're not having a domination or control relationship. And she's got these great sayings, and I'm going to go back to Grandma again, because all of us bring into meetings, into relationships, the advice that Grandma taught us, or the things that we were taught as we grew up. And these things all come into meetings and relationships. So, for example a classic teaching that Grandma might have taught an American white male is that the squeaky wheel gets the most grease. So, that person's coming in with that approach. Whereas somebody in Japan is being told by Grandma that the nail that sticks its head out too much is the one that you have to hit on the head. Or in China, they might be told by Grandma that it's the loudest duck that gets shot. Or women, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

All these great pieces of advice that come to us, we bring into meetings. But if you're in the meeting, the example that Laura gives of a wheel, a duck, a nail, and a nice, then who's going to end up speaking? It's going to be the wheel. And we can think about that at scale in terms of working with large partners. So, we need to know what is the background that our partners come into those meetings with? What is the cultural form?

So, Thomas has given some great ideas. We've heard from private sector, Susan, just had some great ideas about from the philanthropy not-for-profit sector. And then we've got public sector, they're all coming with these different cultural prisms, the advice that Grandma has given us in our different sectors.

So, we need to start to understand that advice, and we need to start to open up opportunities so that there's time and space for that wheel, the duck, the nail, and the nice to all be able to contribute effectively, because that's where we're going to get the most diversity of thinking, and the better outcomes because that's when we get our most creative, because we've drawn on everybody. So, that's my way that I would answer that question in terms of how we can practically bring back some techniques.

There's other neuroscience literature and empirical findings as well that says that feedback and the way that we give and receive feedback is hugely important, to Susan's point about communication. It's these really simple things about communication that we either take for granted, we forget, or we've taken certain assumptions in.

And I think another practical piece of advice that Laura gives is three up, three down, three times. So, every three months ask for feedback from upwards in the chain, advice and feedback from downwards in the chain wherever you are located, and get everyone used to actually seeking out feedback. Not because it's a punitive thing, not because it's an element that we all get kind of scared of, but actually it becomes part of generating a really positive strengths-based approach to improvement and learning. And then we move away from the blame game approach to the way that we do collaboration more positively.

So, I'm happy for other members of the panel to add their advice here too because I think, again, we've got to hear from these different voices if we're going to be truly powerful in this space.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Absolutely. Over to you Susan, Thomas, reactions, what are your thoughts?

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips: The one thing I would add is government often confuses representation with leadership, and the need to reinforce leadership. That we may have sort of a matrix we have to fill, you need certain geography, you need certain gender, the language, et cetera. And so we fill those boxes, but we may fill them with organisations that don't have the capacity, that don't have the experience because their work is elsewhere, it might be more operational and they're just too small, or you need to build in some of that empowerment, that capacity beforehand, before they can be real players.

So, in the interests of inclusive processes, we need to ensure that we're not creating tokenism in the interests of having the diversity of boxes checked. So, really being respectful of what our partners can bring to that. And if it's a long-term collaboration, of doing some upfront work of building in, or helping the organisations build in that capacity or that they work together, they're bringing in an alliance of groups rather than a single organisation.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thomas, any thoughts? Go ahead.

Thomas Park: Yes, so I guess how I interpret it, how I think about that question is that what happens when you're collaborating with large private sector actors that are dominating or what have you.

Thomas Park appears full screen]

Thomas Park: The lens I would take is negotiation tactics. So, when you're in negotiations, there's two things you have to be clear on what you want. There's the substance and the outcomes you want, but just as important as the process, how it's negotiated.

So, if you've got certain meetings in which you're all around a table and one or two individuals from a couple of firms are just dominating everything, sucking all the oxygen, you do need to lean in. It's important to diagnose what is going on. That was my reaction and I've seen this a number of times, like okay, so what they're trying to do is suck up the time so there aren't enough discussions about some of these other points. Making sure these points are continually repeated. Taking advantage of a bias people to have of equating aggression with competence, I think Susan referred to that.

And it's okay to push back and to renegotiate the process and raise your hand and say, this isn't working for me. So, we're looking to collaborate. We need to figure out a new way to push back as well, too. Sorry, <laugh>, I just deal with a lot of very aggressive entrepreneurs, investors, and my reaction's like, alright, I hear you, I'm going to diagnose exactly is going on. What do you want from this and how you've seen this, but also saying, this process isn't working for me and it's okay to be honest about that.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Catherine Althaus: I'd like to add on to that because I think it's such an important point and there's a role for those who seem to have more power in the process to speak up for those who don't. And we all know what happens in meetings, for example. We know who the power players are, and there is a responsibility if that is not happening, to kind of call it out, as you say. And if you have any kind of form of power in that meeting to use that for the good of the others.

So, we call it protecting the voices from below. There is a responsibility on all of us to do that. So, not only speaking up for ourselves, but those who otherwise don't have that voice or can't express it for whatever reasons, or perhaps they're not even in the room. So, I think it's great to have a negotiation tactic sort of approach and see what role can we play, in terms of advocating for those who otherwise couldn't have the voice. So, thanks for that.

Melanie Copeland: If there's anything to take away from this question as well, and going full circle a little bit, is making sure that those that do have a voice at the table, create some space to amplify those that are not as much represented or don't have as strong of a voice at the table. I really, really like that takeaway.

[Melanie Copeland appears full screen]

Melanie Copeland: We've got another comment or a question coming in. With Covid with hybrid working, for example, we've seen a lot of movement. Public servants are heading into the private sector, private sector folks are coming into the public service, they're looking for different and diverse opportunities. Can our panelists comment on the movement in and out of the public service? Would such movement of public servants to the private not-for-profit help with mutual understanding? Do we have barriers that discourage it, movement of public servants in and out? Any thoughts on that? Go ahead, Catherine.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Catherine Althaus: Oh, I was going to say if Susan wanted to go first actually, and I saw her go off mute first, so I'll defer to Susan.

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips: <laugh> I don't think we do enough of this. Historically, Canada's been quite unusual compared to say the UK or, or certainly the US, or other countries. Australia, where there has been more movement, including more movement into the non-profit sector than we've seen in Canada.

So, we haven't had that kind of cross experiential learning that is so valuable to each of those sectors and to the innovation that then can happen at the intersection of those sectors.

So, I see it as very positive. We're going to have some labour shortages and skill shortages across the board. My concern is often that the charitable non-profit sector, government often, sometimes because of wage differences, sometimes by sheer size, sucks up more of the talent than it might. There's a positive side to that, as I said, experience, but there's also knowledge of different experience, but there's also a downside to it.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thank you. Catherine, over to you.

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: Yes, thanks Melanie. Building off what Susan said, yes, there's some of those potential barriers of the financial ones in terms of, let's be frank, in the not-for-profit sector, you don't earn as much, and so that can be a barrier for those who are really genuinely wanting to do great work in that space, but they're constrained in terms of financial situations and possibilities there, and vice versa in terms of the movement between private and public sectors.

There's also a role for education. So, we've been talking about these assumptions that we bring in and this is where the expectation, if you like, of certain educational qualifications is both really essential, but also can sometimes pose barriers for folks because, say if you want to go into a government job, do you need a Master's of Public Policy, or a Master's of Public Administration, or a Political Science Degree, those sorts of things? There's usually some sort of expectation that you'll have that kind of background.

So, that's really important because then you're learning all those base assumptions and the rules of the game that enable you to do good work, but at the same time, for some people, that might not be within their financial reach or they don't have the time to do that, et cetera.

So, I think there's really sort of practical things, but I agree with Susan, it's a healthy phenomenon that we're having the movement between and within, because otherwise we're not getting the benefit of all the diverse thinking. And we bring that as unique individuals into this space and I think that's really powerful and very desirable. So, how can we find ways to tap on the benefits of those structural pieces that help us, but that don't create insurmountable barriers.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: There's a certain letting go that needs to happen for managers, executives in letting their staff explore other opportunities. Creating that psychological safety for them to go out and try new things and bring back those learnings. Thomas, I'll go over to you. We've also heard of the term recovering public servant. So, really interested in hearing your thoughts on the movement in and out of the public service.

Thomas Park: Yes, so what's really interesting, I think Catherine brought it up, it's about helping them integrate into the culture and understanding the regulations.

[Thomas Park appears full screen]

Thomas Park: So, in my world, if an investor calls me and says, Tom, we're invested in this startup, they're looking to raise more capital, would you be interested? That's perfectly normal as such, if they got a job at ISED and they were calling the BDC, and they kept calling the BDC, listen, my friend is looking to raise capital. I want to help them out. It's likely they're probably involved in conflict-of-interest violation, <laugh>, or some ethics violation of some sort that they're probably fully unaware of, because that's kind of normal behaviour in the private sector.

On the other hand, what I have seen with folks who've been in the public service for a number of years is twofold. One is that private sector is very output, outcome focused, so they're indifferent to the input. So, and oftentimes public service have a lot of meetings, and that's kind of measured and such. We have a lot of meetings, collaborations, white paper, and such.

Private sector is just like, well, did you land the sale? That's all they ask is, how are you building a pipeline? Well, I'm talking to this person and such. And you just see the frustration. How are you building a pipeline for sales? And did you close the sale?

And I would say the second thing is about transparency of information. So, a lot of these organisations in the private sector are a lot less hierarchical. And I notice oftentimes, people in the public service tend to hold back information. So, I've been in meetings where one person from one department will share everything and everybody will be around the table from the other department just nodding without the reciprocity. And so sometimes if I'm dealing with somebody who says, well, what did you do? Well, why don't you talk to this other person? And they'll give you a briefing <laugh> Like, listen, I hired you <laugh>, so you have to tell me what you've been up to, and be very candid about what you're up to because it's not like the public service. If you're not collaborating, sharing information, you're not effective, and there's going to be tougher HR discussions later on, because we need to hear everything you've been up to. That's how we all collaborate and share it and such.

And so, that's where I would see the two biggest issues that I've observed come up.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Susan Phillips:  I can't resist. One more point to that.

Melanie Copeland: Please go ahead. Yes.

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips:   I spent many years as Director of our School of Public Policy and Administration. And the public service and residence program is so valuable, but often it's saved for those who are nearing the end of their career. And we saw a long period where it was, we just can't spare people, and we certainly can't spare people who are the middle ranks, and in the upward trajectory. Those kinds of exchanges, and not just with universities, would be really valuable. You come back in, you've captured some of your knowledge perhaps in various ways, and you shared it importantly.

And secondly, we do much more to have conversations across sectors to really build in some of that foundational understanding of differences. Not necessarily in an instrumental way, but where you have a particular goal in mind of a project or a competitive bid, but you're really trying to understand where the other one is at in terms of how they work. We need to do much more of that.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Catherine Althaus: And I'll add another point in here, Melanie, that with the whole Covid experience has really brought our private lives into our professional world, and that's become far more acceptable.

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: And I think it's been really healthy on one hand in terms of humanizing all of the work that we do, no matter what sector we come from. And I think part of that notion of movement and experimenting is kind of society recalibrating itself, finding out, well, what kind of work-life balance do I want to go for? Can I get a better kind of life or experience in a different role or a different sector?

So, I think there's a role there for bringing in that personal dimension into all areas of society. I'm doing some work at the moment, reviewing a thesis from somebody in Uganda who's looking at ways that, how can we bring the voices of children into policy, genuinely into the process. So, allowing kids into the space.

Now, it might seem a bit weird or a bit radical, but there's some real benefits to bringing the old and the young as part of those voices into the actual policy processes itself into our lives, but in a way that's still respectful so that we're allowing people to still have their private space where they don't have to have intrusion on everything. But finding these healthy ways to bring pets in, the voices of animals, all of these kinds of areas are actually just part of healthy living. And the more we can humanize our processes to uphold that, I think the better outcomes we're going to get.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Write this down, folks, humanize processes. So, I'm in the opinion that public servants have the best mandate in the world. We are there when Canadians need us the most. It is the reason I joined ESDC.

[Melanie Copeland appears full screen]

Melanie Copeland: I was going on maternity leave for the first time, and it was in the midst of the Phoenix Pay fiasco. Here I am not knowing when I'll get my next paycheck. I end up at a Service Canada desk with the most friendly client services officer. And I just felt so much relief. So, I wanted to be part of an organisation that is there like that for Canadians.

So, cue my question. The government sometimes wants or needs to collaborate with the private sector on issues that are societally important, but not directly tied to profit making, such as protecting essential services. How else can we incentivize constructive relationships on these issues with private and non-for-profit? Go ahead, Thomas.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Thomas Park: Yes, there was a lot of interesting innovations that happened the last couple of years on the collaboration. I think there were a lot of great learnings and a lot of positive elements.

[Thomas Park appears full screen]

Thomas Park: I think one is being very clear on procurement, and that's one thing people are trying to do is sell to the government. And that was really helpful during Covid, and such.

I think the other thing that was very helpful was being very clear on guidelines. And so people, actually a lot of private sector folks mirrored their Covid guidelines off of the public service guidelines. Oh, got it. So, that's what they're doing in Ottawa. I trust them. There's a thoughtful policy. I don't have time to hire a consultant, I'll just mirror that. So, that was very helpful for a lot of people. So, that clear communication was super helpful.

And I think repeated communication was very helpful too, and showing great examples of procuring masks, and such, but also making sure that people are not taking advantage. So, I think a lot of people applaud that. Like Revenue Canada is coming out hard on some of those Covid loans like, you didn't qualify, so we're going to be pursuing certain legal action. That's applauded, saying, great, because we all pay taxes. They're always thinking about taxes. Great. They're making sure that the taxes are well spent, and such.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Catherine Althaus: I had one point here in terms of crises. So, oftentimes what happens is when a crisis occurs, certainly I'll speak from Australian experience, we have heaps and heaps of natural disasters.

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: It's become a regular occurrence and it's increasingly so, such that crises are the norm. One thing we've noticed is that we do better at collaboration during times of crisis. Suddenly all the extraneous stuff kind of falls away, and we're just focusing in on getting the job done and making sure everyone's safe and making sure people are as okay as they can be during those difficult times.

So, how do you regularize that response of collaboration in terms of crisis? And I think if I was thinking about say climate change, Australia's got some poor records in terms of its performance on climate sustainability, and businesses have gone out ahead on that issue because they've seen it as a crisis.

And it's one way of thinking, yes, you can frame it in financial terms as Thomas has eloquently put to us, but there's also that notion of how do we frame it as the crisis that needs to be fixed? If we think about supply chains with Covid, it became a crisis and then we responded because we had to. So, there's something in that kind of notion of harnessing the benefits of a good crisis to see where that can take us.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: We've seen this with the pandemic and the incredible momentum we had in going digital and how we had no reverting back. We all had to collaborate and work together. We've seen it with Estonia when they gained their independence, 1991, I believe, and they put everything online. They had no other option. We're seeing it now with Ukraine. The crisis in the war and they're pushed to sticking together and finding ways to better serve their citizens, digital ways to better serve their citizens.

Thomas, you were speaking a little bit about how sometimes the public service will hold information close to their chest. They won't always divulge everything. So, we've got a question coming in. If you know cannot make joint decisions or overcome information sharing barriers, is it worth pursuing co-development and collaboration? Is it still worth pursuing in order to move change forward?

[Thomas Park appears full screen]

Thomas Park: Yes, I do. It's just the way you do it. And so I think what happened was, two examples, I think when ISED was looking at the AI or quantum strategy, this was several years in the making. And so just having a very clear process. All we're doing right now is just giving a landscape of the market, but when we're done, we'll give you a copy of the takeaways. Great, I'll join. And it's not a heavy lift in terms of information, we're just going to have these meetings. So, that was helpful. That was both for the AI and the quantum strategy.

I think Finance did a great job too when they were looking at Fintech regulation. They just said, we looked at the UK regulation, we all know that Canada takes a very conservative approach to changing regulation here. And I think when we saw the crypto collapse, rightfully so. But this is the process and this is the process. And what's going to look like, it may take time. And so, a lot of individuals, like I think PowerCore and the big banks, they applauded that, okay, at least we know OSFI, we know Finance, they were very clear. But this is the first time they have an opening and they're not over-promising anything. We get it. And they're not going to tell us the decision for like several years, but at least we got the discussion going.

So, just managing those expectations. I think it's the, can you please answer these dozen questions in detail and then you'll never hear back from me, that that doesn't work. The engagement, the meetings and such over just an hour or two, that works quite well.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Catherine Althaus: Melanie, can I add one thing?

Melanie Copeland: Yes, please do. Yes.

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: Some colleagues of ours in Aotearoa, New Zealand, they now have initiatives where it's moving beyond, I can't remember who was talking about the movement in and out, that was Thomas I think, of public servants who won't be there for a certain time, or Susan actually said this as well, that there's this rapid turnover relatively of public servants relative to those in the community who are staying there all the time. And so, the experiences can end up being harmful because you suddenly just lose contact and you've kind of wasted time.

So, in Aotearoa, New Zealand, they've got an initiative now of not just sharing the information file, but there's an obligation to share the relational file. So, the obligation on the new person is they actually have to take over the relationship. And so, it's about going and having a cup of tea. We call it yarning in the Australian context, and that that is really an essential part of being a public servant. It seems as if you are idling or wasting time on the public service side, you are not.

It's all about relationship, relationship, relationship. And I think really structurally building that into the way that we do our work, and as other people come into this space as we move on, we've got to find those ways to make sure the continuity is there. So, think about maybe building a relational or relationship file that you actually structurally have to hand over and you take on the relationship.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thank you for saying that Professor. As somebody who is always in teatime, coffee time, I really do appreciate that. I swear I am working, building meaningful relationships, it takes time and effort.

Professor Susan, I wanted to go back to you for a minute on the question of overcoming perhaps a kind of change in tone in dialogue when you're trying to build and foster a good working relationship between the public sector and not-for-profits or private sector. How do you rebuild that trust? How do you course correct with when things have kind of gone array?

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips: A lot of it goes to the point that Catherine made about relationship building, about the understanding of the way in which the sector works, the way in which the sub-sector and the particular organisation you're dealing with. In terms of information, we tend to default to, we can't share information as opposed to defaulting to a greater assumption of openness, and trust depends on honesty in the sense of there's some things you probably can't do.

And as Thomas said, you have to say that. Don't pretend that the options are open if they're not. You have to be clear. Don't pretend that you're covering, and this is a really serious problem, the full cost of whatever service you're providing when you're not. When you're asking for a private subsidy in this sense, a private subsidy from a charitable organisation or the donors, the public who gave to that organisation, because government isn't going to cover the full cost.

So, it's fundamentally recognising that the currency of relationship is trust. And the currency of trust is openness and honesty and information. And particularly across all sectors where you seek to be attracting much younger, the GenZs are now entering the workforce, not to mention the millennials, their assumption and your assumptions about openness, about transparency are very different than an older generation. And therefore, particularly the public service will have to learn to work in different ways, or you will alienate within as well as across.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thank you for that. A hybrid tech related question. Some organisations we're wanting to work with have limited capacity when it comes to digital. Having meetings online with us and trying to create and foster those meaningful relationships in a digital format. What are some tips that you've used or you'd advise public servants to adopt when it comes to trying to foster relationships with folks that are perhaps not tech savvy and perhaps have limited availability on time on their end? Thomas, I see you.

[Thomas Park appears full screen]

Thomas Park: <laugh>. Yes, I hear you. So, I think a couple of things, in the private sector, we're in our private market, so there isn't a lot of information about people. So, I think if, going back to building relationships Susan and Catherine were talking about, most likely they're trying to triangulate whether me talking to somebody is worth it, and if there's a mentor, one of their contacts saying, yes, absolutely, I know you haven't seen what Tom looks like, et cetera, et cetera, but he's a great guy, keep investing in that. Having that validation is super important, especially when you're going into early-stage tech what have you.

And I think the second thing is if you're going to have these meetings, you'll have to be much more acute about the value add for some of these people. Like, how are you helping them? This happens a lot when you have a tech company that's just doing very well. They've raised a ton of money, they've got lots of clients. And so a lot of folks in Ottawa who are interested in scaling want to find time with these individuals and they won't make their time. And if they do, it's maybe 30 minutes a quarter, that's when you want to pull in some other folks to help out, whether it's ourselves at BDC or some of the other folks who actually have money, or sit on the boards of these organisations. So, we can tell the CEO, you actually should spend time with these people. That's how we get them the flag. Like certain programs like IRAP, and such, or SDPC. You do want to spend time with these people. We will flag it to them.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Catherine, Susan, should we encourage public servants to get out there or pick up the phone? Because I do appreciate that some communities are not online. How can we best connect with those communities?

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips: One of the things that needs to happen is greater support for infrastructure organisations within the non-profit sector. The infrastructure organisations aren't nearly as well supported as those compared to the private sector where you have big corporate members who can contribute to that. So, some of that is government support, some of that recognising that when you have stronger infrastructure organisations, you can have stronger relationships and you can, by engaging with the infrastructure organisations and they're engaging with their constituencies and communities, you get, as Catherine was saying, you've got those at the table speaking for those who maybe can't be at the table. And to build that relationship within a sector.

And government support, there's important foundation support and generally much more public support. So, once we think about infrastructure, we start to break down some of those barriers.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: I've got a question for Professor Catherine coming in specifically for you. How cool is that? Is it possible to elaborate a bit more on the importance of providing and receiving feedback?

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: Thank you. So, yes, Neuroscience is telling us that we build up the fear more, the less we do something, and the more it is framed as a kind of a performance assessment process, rather than seeing feedback as being a learning and improvement kind of process.

So, the more that we give and receive, the less scary it becomes. Our brains literally rewire differently because it moves away from the fight or flight kind of approach as people call it, the amygdala hijack. When you've got that sort of scary, I'm under performance review here, as opposed to we normalize feedback. And if feedback is normalized, the brain goes to a different place and suddenly we can actually see it as a learning mechanism and an improvement process, and suddenly giving and receiving feedback becomes something that's enjoyable.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Professor Susan Thomas, any thoughts on providing feedback or receiving feedback to foster those healthy collaborative relationships?

Susan Phillips: It's essential. Feedback is part of the respect loop. I contributed my time, my information, my expertise to this process, and you're not going to tell me if it matters? You damage the relationship, or at least you don't advance the relationship. And you may end it by not providing that feedback, and neither party can learn without that feedback.

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips: So, for me, it's just such a no-brainer. And it's part of the whole democracy deliberative process. We need the feedback to be able to move forward.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: No ghosting, as Thomas was referring to there. Go ahead, Thomas.

Thomas Park: Yes, so I think probably the first step is building the trust. Catherine was saying, if you don't have the trust, you can't give feedback. It will be seen as a personal attack. Especially when you're dealing with someone who's very different from you. Maybe a different gender or race or background. The more differences there are, the feedback will be seen as much, much more personal and almost an acute attack. So, spend the time to acknowledge and build a relationship, et cetera.

I would say the second thing is small bits. Positive feedback is great. You know, just like when <laugh>, I have a toddler, so I'm trying to use way more positive feedback than negative feedback. I can't give him negative feedback. He always melts my heart away. <laugh> My spouse does that.

But I really love how you made this point. I really love it. And I think it would've been a little more effective if you just you mentioned this point or something. Or like, you know Bill, you never mentioned reconciliation. Like you're talking about this and that, and these are their territories, but I know they know you, you are working with the First Nations leadership, but you don't think of it that way. You'd say, oh, well I deal with Casper or <laugh>, I deal with the Chief because it's part of business. Bring it up because that's something that's really important to the service. That way it's small bits, regular check-ins over drinks, or virtual coffee and such, or even texting immediately the closer you are, so it doesn't feel like, it's not a murder mystery at the end of our three month process. Well, let me debrief you over two hours. It's <laugh>, it's not going to go well. <laugh>, that's a tough one.

Catherine Althaus: I think that's such an important point, Thomas. And for me it's like, again, if we bring in family into this process, you've got that kinship kind of model again. If you're motivated by love, then you're going to give feedback differently.

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: So, it's that radical kind of call for us to really treat those of us in the community, we're here together and there might be people that just drive you nuts or you just go, I just don't know how I can sort of align my values with that, you don't have to, you just have to treat them as a fellow Canadian and that you're in this together. And that if we don't give and receive feedback in more positive ways, we are contributing to continuing structural problems. So, we need to recognise our pot in the mess and do more regular feedback processes. Find ways to make it more fun and enjoyable and be motivated by speaking that truth.

You know, in a sense we're speaking truth to power to each other all the time. Otherwise there's that awkwardness. But we've got to start to learn those skills if we're going to move forward what is otherwise radical division in society. And I'm a big believer that we can't leave that lie. We've got to make efforts in that space. None of our societies are free from those divisions. We need to find greater understanding and find that better way of normalizing giving and receiving feedback if we're going to come to some advanced progress.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Approach with love. I love that. As public servants, we're in a unique position where the programs and services we work on, we can also benefit from as Canadians. So, what better way to create even better programs and services than by fostering healthy relationships with our partners across the sectors.

We're approaching the end of our time. In a few words, what is your hope for the future, or your vision for the future? So, Professor Catherine, I'll go to you first.

[Catherine Althaus appears full screen]

Catherine Althaus: I think I'm very excited by the future. It can seem scary for many folks. And I think about young people who have gone through Covid, who've gone through all sorts of different dramas and had to realign. We've got lots of mental health issues that I think are still unexplored in terms of the repercussions of what we've all gone through as a global society.

But despite that, and perhaps in fact because of it, I remain quite optimistic about the future because I think we are more thoughtful. And what I'm observing is we now talk in the public sector, in the private sector and the not-for-profit sector about how we all need to respect each other more, and that we need to pay time to acknowledge the work that we've all done. We're not all perfect, but we're not here to cop abuse. We're all here to try and find good ways forward.

I've never seen that in government speak before, or private sector speak before. It's a radical shift and it's happening spontaneously. For me, that's a sign that healthy collaboration is emerging of its own accord. And there's something about positive impulses that we have in our societies that I'm hopeful will drive us forward.

So, my hope is that we'll continue to have that trajectory, that we can ramp it up and that we can continue to learn from each other and share the benefits of our combined motivations of that love for each other and for our planet.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Professor Susan?

Susan Phillips: I'm going to echo a lot of that. We're at a time of enormous change dealing with climate change, with racial justice and reconciliation, reinventing our care systems.

[Susan Phillips appears full screen]

Susan Phillips: And to do that we'll need to work in fundamentally different ways. But I too, am optimistic. I have the wonderful privilege of working with young leaders in the public sector and in the non-profit sector. And what I see at the heart of that are people who want to change the world for the better. That they're committed to doing the work that it takes. They're committed to working in different ways, and they're committed to new kinds of relationships. And as those of us who step out of some of those leadership roles, I think we're in very good hands as to those we're turning over that relationship building and that change management.

[Melanie Copeland, Catherine Althaus, Susan Phillips, and Thomas Park appear in video chat panels.]

Melanie Copeland: Thomas, your words?

Thomas Park: Yes. Yes, me too. I'm quite optimistic. If I could take one example, look at the Bank of Canada, clearly being much more intentional about the outward communication with the public, especially when everybody's, it's not a good sign when everyone is tracking every Bank of Canada announcement, <laugh>. It's supposed to be something boring. That's just the economy we live in. But clearly doing a great job on the communication on the Twitter, but like talking directly to Canadians that would encourage the service. I know there's been a lot of negative ads, but in general, people do trust the government, like you were saying, Melanie, they trust it. And so there's a grounds springing of trust here especially after Covid, and see how responsive people are, just the continue the outward communication. We can't do that enough. So, I think I remain more optimistic.

Melanie Copeland: Thank you so much everyone. This concludes today's event. We flew through!

[Melanie Copeland appears full screen]

Melanie Copeland: On behalf of the School, I'd like to thank our esteemed guest speakers today and all of you on the line across the country for your participation in today's discussion. Your feedback is important to us. So, please go ahead and complete the evaluation for today's event that will be sent to you in the coming days. The fun doesn't stop here, folks. The School has more events to offer. I encourage you to visit the School's website to keep in touch, keep up to date, and register for all future learning opportunities. When in doubt, just follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn or any of our Canada School folks. Thanks again. Take care and enjoy the rest of your evening. Thank you.

[The CSPS logo appears on screen]

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