January 13, 2012
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September 24, 2010
I love new co-op students. They come in with fresh ideas, inquisitive minds and interesting perspectives on the public service.
After only two weeks on the job, our most recent student remarked that he is starting to understand the “pace you folks need to work at” in order to get things done.
Clearly diplomacy is already something he has learned. After some prodding it became clear he has already met one of the government’s more familiar entities, the roadblock!
That’s life in the government, get used to it. Sadly that is ‘advice’ given to freely and without thought of the possible effects that will have, especially on those just starting out or considering a career in the public service.
Don’t sell them folks. I have a little more faith in what we can do for it is not the ‘government’ that puts these roadblocks in place, it is us, the public servants.
And so, over coffee, my simple comments to him – if there’s a road being blocked, find a way:
- Can you move it on your own? Take a bit of time and energy and do it.
- Will it take more than you have? Find someone to help you – maybe work is already underway that will make it easier.
- A little more substantial? Get a group willing and make it happen.
- And the kicker – no matter how many people have try, is it going to require more? Find the person(s) responsible for putting, or keeping it there and work it out. Perhaps it is no longer needed or does not need to be as obstructive? Can the size be downgraded from a roadblock to a speedbump?
A simple breakdown but does it really need to be more complex? I was happy our discussion then led to the importance and value of collaboration, community and tools that can always help.
But, at the heart of it is the recognition that each of us can and should do what we can to make the road ahead smooth and better for those yet to come.
Of course a smart question followed, wouldn’t it be easier to build a new road? Perhaps, but it that always better?
May 21, 2010
Over the last decade or so of my toiling away in the government online world, I’ve often joked about the need for web champions to don capes and prowl the halls bringing attention to the potential of the web and the ‘super’ people bringing our sites to life.
My thinking has evolved. Gone are my longing for capes – it’s now time for the pace bunnies! The gun’s been fired and departmental wikis, internal blogs and online communities are all off and running. Settle in folks, this is a long marathon, not a sprint.
There are some who were already out on the course when these tools appeared at work. Others are happy to try and keep pace and improve along the way while some will forever be trailing behind.
Now, I’m neither an expert nor an early adopter – I have labelled myself as a “utility adopter.” I’m in it for the long haul but still look to those setting the pace up ahead to keep me in the pack.
Through my use and championing of our internal blog, which serves as a litmus test for our readiness to share, other teams have asked that I share my experience and help show them how these tools might help their work, which I’m happy to do.
It all boils down to the same thing – know your audience. I won’t grow frustrated with those lacing up their shoes for the first time, it’s a refreshing jog for me and I always learn something. I’m energized by those ready to speed up a little bit and really test the road. And for those who are ready to leave the pack, I’ll likely point them to the pace bunny ahead and wish them well.
Are you a pace bunny or do you need one?