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Fireside Chat on Navigating Complexity, with John Hannaford (TRN5-V46)

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This video, recorded at the Policy Community Conference 2023, features John Hannaford, Clerk of the Privy Council, who shares his perspective on how the public service can navigate through complexity by focusing on values and ethics, adaptability, innovation and empathy.

Duration: 00:35:29
Published: December 13, 2023
Type: Video


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Fireside Chat on Navigating Complexity, with John Hannaford

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Transcript: Fireside Chat on Navigating Complexity, with John Hannaford

[Video opens animated CSPS logo.]

[Title page. Text on screen: Policy Community/Communauté des politiques; 11:00 Fireside Chat; 11:40 Reflections on Navigating Complexity (ET). Images of John Hannaford, Clerk of the Privy Council, Government of Canada; and Serge Bijimine, Policy Community Champion, ADM Policy, Transport Canada.]

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford: are seated together in conversation.]

Serge Bijimine: I wanted to start off by talking about something that's on a lot of people's minds. So, a few months ago, you became the head of the public service, the Clerk of the Privy Council and the Secretary to the Cabinet. How are you? <laugh>? How are you doing? <Laugh>

[John Hannaford laughs heartily.]

John Hannaford: I don't look well? <Laugh>.

Serge Bijimine: No, you look very well. But it's one of those things where you inherit these positions and no one takes the time to ask, how are you as a human being?

John Hannaford: It's a fascinating time to be doing this job. I am struck by the novelty of a lot of the situations that we collectively are confronting and I, as a person, am confronting. It's a complicated governing environment. The geopolitics are complicated. The technological context is complicated. The effects of climate are having effects on all of us. I mean, these are all things that kind of make the work of government challenging, but extraordinarily relevant. And so, as an individual, I am feeling the effects of all those things coming through a variety of different files that come across my desk.

But I'm really struck by how important it is – the work that we do together. I think the sorts of challenges that we're facing are ones that government plays a particularly important role in.

[John Hannaford appears full screen. Text on screen: Clerk of the Privy Council;  Greffier du Bureau du Conseil privé.]

John Hannaford: Whether you're trying to figure out how to manage the geopolitics, you're trying to figure out how to manage climate, how you're going to deal with some of the technological changes that are facing us. And those are all kind of affirming things, because we should all recognize that the work [that] we are doing makes a big difference on matters that make a big difference to the country.

So, there's that. And I think at the same time, I am very conscious of the fact that all of these challenges, and we could begin to list them more specifically, are kind of coming simultaneously. The term that I'm going to use is poly crisis. And that's challenging for all of us as individuals, and it's challenging for the institution as well to try and figure out how we manage against a background where there are multiple demands on us,

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation. Text on screen: Reflections on Navigating Complexity; Policy Community Conference 2023.] [Pistes pour naviguer dans la complexité; Conférence de la Communauté des politiques 2023]

John Hannaford: and each of the demands is really, really important. So, how to figure out what needs to be at the top of the pile? How do we figure out how we do these things in a way that's sustainable for us, as individuals? Those are challenges that I think all of us face, me included.

Serge Bijimine: Perfect. I can only imagine probably you more so than others.

John Hannaford: Mmm, I don't know. <laugh>.

Serge Bijimine: And it's the kind of job where you could literally work 24 hours a day and there'll still be more to do. And one of the questions that the people wanted to know is,

[Serge Bijimine appears full screen. Text on screen: ADM Champion, Policy Community Initiative.] [SMA champion, Communauté des politiques]

Serge Bijimine: What does John Hannaford, the man, do to relax as a hobby or outside of work?

John Hannaford: Well, I think drawing the lines around work is important. And as you say, that is not specific to my job.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford: I think all of us have so many demands on us over the course of a day that you do have to be conscious of trying to figure out how you can do that in a way that sustains you and builds resilience. I mean, for me, I've got a bunch of – I'm a keen reader, I love my cottage dearly, so going there is one of my bits of refuge. I like to cook. <laugh> I used to say I'm a keen dog person as well, and I used to have a couple dogs, unfortunately the elder one just passed away a few weeks ago. But we'll be getting dogs soon, so that'll be another thing to keep me occupied.

Serge Bijimine: Okay, perfect. And I love dogs. <laugh> I don't like cats, but I like dogs.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation on stage; the audience also comes into view.]

John Hannaford: <Laugh>. Well, you know what? I didn't either, but my youngest now has a cat. And so, I'm [now] sort of a cat grandparent <laugh>.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford: And I've grown very fond of cats. <Laugh>

Serge Bijimine: My daughter keeps threatening me she will get a cat when she's older. But anyways, we'll see. Hopefully not.

One thing that I wanted to touch on as well, and it's quite timely. So, you recently launched a new Values and Ethics exercise. And when you launched it, I heard from a number of people and they all had the same reaction. They all said,

[Serge Bijimine appears full screen.]

Serge Bijimine: "Wow, this is timely, and why didn't I think about that? " And I answered them all the same way. I said, "well, this is why you're not Clerk" <laugh>.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

Serge Bijimine: But, with that being said, you've indicated that the Public Service Values and Ethics serve as an important compass to guide our action and behavior. And you alluded before, evolving, changing times, and the fact that we're dealing with poly crisis in the world is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Could you share with us your thoughts on the evolving nature of the public service values and ethic in the current context of uncertainty, change, and frankly just poly crisis – multiple crisis at the same time?

John Hannaford: I think the idea of the exercise that Catherine Blewett and colleagues are leading

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford:  is to reflect on that governing environment through the lens of the Code of Values and Ethics. The intention is not to be reinventing the code, because I think actually the work that was done by John Tate a couple decades ago now, continues to be remarkably relevant as a set of principles. And it's relevant not only because it identifies the parameters of what it is to be a public servant and the sort of expectations of what it is to be a public servant, but it does it in terms that are of general enough application that they're relevant in a number of different contexts.

And I think the conversation that I've asked Catherine to lead is to bring that then to the context that we're operating in now. Because [at] the time that John was working, there were different sorts of preoccupations than the ones we face now. And, I would say, I honestly think we are in a more complicated space than we were, and for all the reasons that we were just discussing.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford:  And the other piece of this – we talked about sort of the breadth of the challenges that we're facing – the other piece of this is the pace of change. And because that is just a reality, too. We are constantly being confronted with new, sometimes surprising, sometimes really disturbing sets of facts that we are trying to manage.

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford:  And I think, just from my own experience, in situations where there is a lot of activity, knowing what you're trying to achieve is actually a pretty critical piece. And the Values and Ethics Code, you can see as sort of a set of rules, but you can also see it as a set of objectives, because they really are strategic objectives that are being identified. Whether it's defending democracy or sound stewardship of public resources, or excellence, or integrity. Those are all things that we should be having as our strategic outcomes. And so, when we're thinking about a really complicated geopolitical world, and we're thinking about the effects of climate, making sure that you know what you're trying to achieve amongst the noise is actually kind of essential. So, that's kind of the broad purpose.

But the other piece of it is, we're a big organization now, I have been using 350, I'm told now it's 375,000 members of the public service. We are by far the largest institution in the country,

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford:  and a lot of folks joined in the last five years. And that context is just different than when you and I started our careers. And I think people who have been working in that reality started in their basements, started at their kitchen tables, and it's very different than when you start going into an office every day and you just, by osmosis, begin to pick up the kind of values of the institution that you're serving in. It's just the nature of human relations. And so, I think we need to be a little more mindful now, as leaders in my context, but as a community generally,

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford:  as to what the community values are, and to reinforce that and have an opportunity to talk about them and talk about how they should be applied in given situations. And so, what I'm hoping will happen is that each part of the public service will have a more specific conversation then about how the values and ethics apply to the sorts of challenges that they are facing, because what you are seeing when you're operating in DFO as a fisheries patrol officer may be very different than what you're seeing if you're a consular officer in Peru. But the same set of rules actually do apply in all those instances, but just thinking about how they apply and what the kind of challenges are that people are facing and thinking about those through the context of a values and ethics analysis, I think is really, really important. And I think it is timely now because the challenges are new.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation. Text on screen: www.wooclap.com; Code: PCP01]

Serge Bijimine: And I totally agree. I think you layer on the social media aspect of it, too.

John Hannaford: One hundred percent.

Serge Bijimine: And it starts becoming a lot more complicated and a refresh being needed as well. So, I totally agree.

And you did mention the pace of change. Back when I started, we used to take two years to develop the perfect policy. And what I've noticed is that nowadays, if you take two years to develop anything, by the time you launch it, frankly, all your assumptions are wrong. The world has moved on. There's been a new technology, there's been a new geopolitical crisis. Things have completely changed.

Now, against that backdrop, and the fact that Canada's changing, the world is shrinking, the pace of change has come in, and it won't get any slower. I think it'll likely just become more and more rapid. How do you anticipate, or what is some of your advice on the policy people on how to navigate that new reality, that new role? And what are some of the emerging themes and priorities that you see that you'd like to share with the group here?

John Hannaford: I covered some of that to some degree in my earlier comments. And, I think what I'd add onto it is I think we need to have a pretty clear sense as to how we prioritize, because that is just part of the exercise. We can't do everything all at once. So, how are you sorting through the kinds of challenges that are facing you and making sure that you're paying attention to the most critical things, and managing those that are not necessarily at the top of the pile?

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford: But the other piece of it – so, two other pieces of it. The second is, we need to be flexible. And that's maybe related to the first piece. We need to be able to adjust to circumstances as they arise and not be thrown off if things do not follow precisely the plan that we thought. And I must say, you asked me at the beginning how I'm doing. That's one thing I have taken from my current job is I'm surprised every day by how the day unfolds. <Laugh>

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford: Literally every day. And that's just a feature of the environment which we're in. It's partially a future of the job, but I think it is also the world keeps surprising us. And so, how do you respond when the world does keep surprising us, and doing so in a way that is consistent with what is most important? And do fall back then, to those strategic purposes that we're trying to achieve. Those should give us some guidance as to what is most important, because they give you a sense as to what it is that, collectively, the government expects of us, the country expects of us.

The other piece of it though, is to approach things with some empathy, because <laugh>, we operate in an environment where there's lots of anxiety, and we may feel it ourselves. I certainly do fairly frequently. Others are feeling it. The communities are feeling it. We need to be mindful of that. There's a human element to all that we do that needs to be front and centre in how we do the jobs that we're being asked to do. And I think that that's pretty critically important as well, as we think about how we carry out our functions.

Serge Bijimine: I couldn't agree more on a human aspect. Which leads me to my next question. Canada's changing from a demographic perspective, and so is our public service. And I know there's efforts to remove systematic barriers to recruitment and career path.

[Serge Bijimine appears full screen.]

Serge Bijimine: And a lot of the folks here are from diverse communities, and they'd like to hear from you. So, the Clerk's Call to Action: you've committed to continuing the Clerk's Call to Action, so that was very, very well received, so thank you for that.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

Serge Bijimine: And they also want to hear from you, what else and how else could senior leaders help folks who are typically from marginalized communities who want to join in and contribute more to the public service?

John Hannaford: I see that as an intimate part of the conversation we're having around Values and Ethics, because I think the people values – well, there's two aspects of it: The people values are absolutely values of inclusion and how we bring out the best in our teams, and how we maximize the effect of the public service generally. And to me, that is making sure that we are reflective of the communities we're serving, and best able to then respond to the demands that should be placed on us, as a public service. And for people who are within this organization, they're best able to contribute. And so those are all questions of inclusion to me.

And then the Call to Action is, as I say, an intimate part of the project that we have underway with respect to values and ethics.

John Hannaford: But I think it's also a question of excellence. We want the best of what we can provide. And I would say that I have seen personally from the kind of increasing diversity, the deputy minister community, the value of that, as a way of understanding and responding to challenges that we are facing and doing so in a way that is far more insightful than if we had a bunch of folks from a single background who were sitting around that table.

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford: So, the question of inclusion comes up in a number of different ways, but it's one of my real priorities. And this actually transcends this job. This is something where I think the Call to Action that was issued by my friend, Ian Shugart, a number of years ago was of seminal importance to the health of us as a public service. And Janice reinforced it, and it is now my Call to Action.

Serge Bijimine: And we thank you for that. And indeed, it's a true legacy from Ian Shugart, and may he rest in peace as well.

Similar topic. So, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It's a priority for the government and the work being done related to reconciliation and the implementation of UNDA is an interesting example of adaptive policy making. And I guess the question I had for you is, looking ahead to long-term reconciliation goals, which practices should we uphold, and which should we continue?

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

Serge Bijimine: And it's something to kind of explore, but we'll focus on the reconciliation, but frankly, it's something that could apply to a lot of other policies.

John Hannaford: The moment we're experiencing is really about learning to a certain extent, because it's an aspect of our work where innovation is key. Obviously. But the matters of co-development, of real reconciliations—that's a process—a conversation between public servants and communities that are relevant in various contexts. It's really exciting, I'd say, because it's an opportunity for us to have more flexible ways of working in our work environments. And for this reason, I'd say that it's a matter of far-reaching innovation for the health of our country, for the health of our community.

And I think this is an incredibly exciting area, of development, and I think it's one of these areas where we are going to continue to learn. We're going to continue to see innovation, and we're going to continue to see different ways of developing policy in the contexts where we are living up to <inaudible>.

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford: We are living up to broader expectations, and the real possibilities of reconciliation. And, from my previous job at NRCAN, I saw this intimately, and it was one of the most exciting aspects of the job that we had there, was thinking about how the country can look as a result of some of the assets that exist here and how we can be working with communities who are most directly implicated with respect to those resources in a way that is advancing their wellbeing. And, I think, ultimately we make a better society.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

Serge Bijimine: I agree. I've seen it too, working with NRCAN and the energy transition and how involving Indigenous communities from the start helps push the reconciliation agenda forward, but also the economic agenda as well.

One other question, and this one is about the future. So, a lot of the folks here are much younger than I am. And they have the future ahead of them, and they are thinking, what are the skills and competencies I should be developing? And what should I try to get as experience as I progress in my career? Any insight or any piece of advice you could provide to folks here, just based on your career experience? And I think everyone's here as the objective of being Clerk one day.

John Hannaford: <Laugh> I didn't have that objective <laugh>. I guess a couple things. First of all, it's a team sport, what we do. So, working well within the context of the team is kind of a critical skill. And knowing how to lead within that context, and realizing that it's not about us, as individuals, as much as it is about how we figure out collectively how we can get things done, and provide the best advice that we are capable of collectively and actually achieving things. That's a fundamental aspect of the work that we do.

But, thinking about my own career path, the thing I guess I have always been very skeptical of is a really detailed career plan, because I just feel like there are way too many contingencies that we can send you off in different directions, and if you're too fixated on the next set of jobs that you absolutely must do in order to feel that you're going to be a success, I think the chances of being disappointed are pretty high. And I think you miss opportunities that could be fantastic. And so, the thing I've always encouraged, my own children and anyone who asked me, to do is to think as laterally as possible. Be as open as possible to the opportunities that are presenting themselves to you.

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford: And in many instances, my own experience has been, it's the people you work with who are more important than the things you do. The things you do matter for sure, but a poisonous atmosphere will destroy whatever fascinating file you're trying to confront. Whereas pretty difficult things can be managed by effective teams, and you can have very positive memories of those experiences. And so, I have usually tried to privilege the people I work with over the file and to be as flexible as possible in thinking through what I want to achieve.

And all that said, I go back to some of the points I raised earlier. I think trying to lead empathetically matters a lot. I think trying to be as innovative and as flexible as you can be in approaching the challenges that are in front of us matters a lot. Particularly right now, because I think we are coming up against some pretty novel challenges.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation. Text on screen: www.wooclap.com; Code: PCP01]

John Hannaford: And if we are stuck just in doing what we've always done, we probably won't solve those problems. So, figuring out how we do things in a new way; figuring out how we manage the risks that are in front of us; acknowledging that this is hard, and being innovative and collaborative, I think that gives us the best shot we have.

Serge Bijimine: And I could not agree more. I'd like to ask <inaudible> Are there any questions from the audience? <inaudible>

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation on stage; the audience also comes into view.]

Serge Bijimine: Up on the screen? Okay. Here's one question – I'll pick one. Where do you see the public service in 10 years?

John Hannaford: I think that we are going to continue to see the kinds of trends that we see right now.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford: We started by talking about some of these big challenges that form the context in which we operate. I don't think we are going to see a fundamental improvement in the geopolitical situation in the next 10 years. So, I think that's going to continue to be part of our operating environment. I think we are going to continue to see pretty significant technological change that's going to continue to create new challenges for us as we move forward. And I think the effects of climate are going to continue to be real effects. And I think those are all things that will continue to shape us. I think it's really hard to know precisely how.

And so, that gets you then into, how do you build organizations that are resilient, because we know there's going to be challenges. We know there are going to be changes. We don't know precisely what that means.

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford: So, in that context, again, I kind of fall back on what are our strategic objectives, because I think that's got to then inform how we carry out the tasks that are in front of us. And I think we have to approach this with a sense of flexibility and innovation, because again, that's the nature of – we're not going to solve things if we are rigid and are simply trying to approach things precisely the way we have always done. It's just not going to solve the problem. So, in that context, I think the next 10 years are going to be – I'm sure we will see trends that will continue, but I think we are going to have to adjust and we're going to have to adjust, in some instances, pretty quickly to those challenges as they arise.

And the thing that gives me enormous confidence is our recent experience. You know, I think we don't want, in many ways, want to cast our minds back to the last several years, but living through that pandemic was an extraordinary trial.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford: And I think we are still all feeling the effects of that. And I think those effects are going to continue. But what we should absolutely embrace is the extraordinary innovation that public servants demonstrated over an extraordinarily short period of time. And that's something – I'm not sure if we were asked, on the eve of the pandemic, if we thought we could all transition as quickly as we did to a very new way of working if we would say, yes, that was going to happen. But it did. And I think it's something that we need to recognize that we are capable of change. We are capable of doing things in new ways.

This is a very different institution than when I joined 27 years ago, 28 years ago? We've changed just by virtue of cultural changes in our society, changes in the way that we expect our leaders to behave. There's a series of things that have driven pretty fundamental change in this institution. And I think we, again, need to embrace that. And we need to expect as much of ourselves as we possibly can. You know, one of the values is excellence, and we need to be mindful of that because Canadians deserve it.

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford: They deserve the best that we can bring.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

Serge Bijimine: Yes. I always tell folks, excellence starts with you.

John Hannaford: A hundred percent.

Serge Bijimine: A hundred percent. And then the barriers are set and your team will follow. I think we have time for, potentially, a couple of other questions here. How do we, as policy and analysts, encourage senior management to look at the innovative approaches you speak of, particularly in the risk adverse environment?

John Hannaford: Well, we have conversations like this. We are in a risk adverse environment, that is just true. And it is challenging to be a public servant. If you are making decisions that are of consequence, then there are downside risks to the work that you're doing. That's just true.

By the same token, for all the reasons that we've been discussing, we're in a world where we do need to respond in a timely way to the challenges that we face. And inaction has its consequences, too. And so, figuring out how you navigate within that is our job.

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford: And it's hard. And I think we need to acknowledge that. But by the same token, I think the skill of a public servant and what becomes sort of a feature of people is they become more senior in the organization, is you figure out how you navigate within a risk environment in a way that gets stuff done. And that will require different skills at different jobs and at different times. But part of it is knowing where the risks are and how you manage those risks. And risk can mean any number of different things. And, you know, <laugh> part of any mature risk management is that you have a pretty keen sense as to what the downsides are of the work that you're doing. So, it's not just blindly tripping into new circumstances. It is mindfully thinking about what the environment is you're operating in; thinking about what can go wrong; and thinking about how you're going to manage that. And then thinking what the best advice is in that context. And that's a pretty critical piece of the work that we do. And beyond that, I think every member of the public service should feel empowered to be thinking about how they do their work.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford: I have said this in a number of different contexts, but all of us who are in management should be very open to the views of people who are doing the jobs as to whether there's a better way of doing this. Because ultimately, it's the people who are actually doing the functions who have the most sense as to what's working and what isn't working, and we should be very open to having these conversations. And people should feel empowered to be innovative.

Now, again, this needs to be about mature risk management. There are decisions that need to be made by more senior people in many instances, but there should be a conversation about innovation and about efficiency within our workplaces, about the way that we do the jobs as well.

[John Hannaford appears full screen.]

John Hannaford: Because again, we're trying to create resilient workplaces. We're trying to create situations where people can actually get their jobs done in a way that allows them to get up the next morning and do it again.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

Serge Bijimine: I think you're totally right. The other thing I think a lot of people fail to realize: risk is a spectrum, and not taking a risk could be a risk. And not making a decision in itself is a decision. So, just being clear minded and knowing exactly what the pros and cons are to be able to then have mitigation strategy against those risks is definitely the way to go. I think we have time for probably one more question here. How can we persuade Canadian talent to join the public service and facilitate exchanges between the government and others?

John Hannaford: That's an important question because we're a community, but I'd say it's absolutely essential to have the wisdom and views of the country at large. And it's a matter of recruitment and conversation. And in my opinion, we need to have a sense of openness about our work because, of course, there is a deep level of expertise within the government, but it's not the only source of wisdom in our country, in our community. There is a range of other players who are experts in a variety of other areas. And that's why the exchange between members of the government—the practical exchange within the meaning of "executive exchange"—is an opportunity to share levels of expertise between different sectors and it's something absolutely essential in my view. And let's take the example of artificial intelligence because, clearly, there is a level of expertise within the public service when it comes to this area. But, at the same time, there is a strong community here in Canada that is available to us for exchanges of ideas and practical exchanges between our organizations. And I see that as an opportunity.

Serge Bijimine: And usually there is someone . . .

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation on stage; the audience also comes into view.]

Serge Bijimine: One more? Okay. Perfect. You should ask the person here with their hand up. <inaudible> Can you share a highlight of your career or moment of pride as a public servant?

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford: Huh. This is going to sound slightly corny, but as I am doing my current job, I find I am extraordinarily proud of being a public servant.

[John Hannaford appears full screen. Text on screen: Clerk of the Privy Council;  Greffier du Bureau du Conseil privé.]

John Hannaford: So, I'm six months in. I am honestly deeply proud of the work that we do together. And yes, it's challenging. And yes, there are things that are going to come up that are going to set us off our mark. But I think the quality of the work that is done in this government is extraordinary. And we should be really, really proud of that. One of the features of our country that I hear – I've taken the opportunity to go and talk to people outside of government relatively frequently. And it's not always the case that you hear a lot of praise of <laugh> the public service.

But I would say that when anyone thinks about the assets that we have as a country, public service is actually one of the central assets of this society. And you do not need to look very far to think about where there are challenges where you don't necessarily have the same kind of institutional structure that we have. We are able to have a peaceful transition of power, for instance, between governments, which is not something that we should take for granted. That is an incredibly powerful thing.

[Serge Bijimine and John Hannaford are seated together in conversation.]

John Hannaford We are able to provide expert advice to no matter what stripe of government. And that is part of our constitutional structure. It is the good government of peace, order, and good government. And we're that. And we should be proud of it. And again, the conversation that we've launched with respect to the Values and Ethics Code is considerably about us reminding ourselves the importance of the work we do. And so, I honestly have felt enormous pride in this institution as I've had an opportunity to lead it.

Serge Bijimine: Perfect. And we're hoping to continue supporting you in your journey Mr. Clerk. Or John?

John Hannaford: John, John.

Serge Bijimine: <Laugh>. And with that being said, I just want to take a moment to thank you on behalf of all of us for taking the time to be here with us. You're a very, very busy man and taking an hour of your time here to share some wisdom, it's definitely appreciated. I have a lot that I took away from this, and I hope folks have a lot that they took away from this.

[Overlaid text on screen: Browse the Learning Catalogue! ; It includes courses, events and other learning tools; Visit Canada.ca/School. Consultez le catalogue d'apprentissage! ; Il vous propose des cours, des évènements et des outils d'apprentissage; Visitez Canada.ca/Ecole.]

Serge Bijimine: And I do want to leave you with the last word.

John Hannaford: No, thank you very much, and thanks to all of you for being here and everyone online. I think this kind of forum is so important. And it's interesting: in some ways we think about innovation, well, this is a forum that's actually remarkably innovative. And even the manner of which we're having these meetings is, it's nice to have these kind of hybrid conversations. And I think this is great. Exactly this kind of exchanges that we should be encouraging. So, thanks to you, Serge, and thanks for the organizers of the session. I think it's fantastic.

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