Emerging and Current Developments
Review of the Professional MPA Program.
I have been asked by the Executive Director of the School of Policy Studies at Queens to undertake a review of the PMPA program, with an eye to suggesting a future direction, building upon the many strengths of the current program and what we also have learned in offering this program for so many years. Click here to see the Scoping Document.
A survey of alumni can be found here or by scrolling down the sidebar menu. Please fill it in and send it to me. Your input is valuable to us.
National Case Competition is Moving On and Up
With the successful conclusion of the fourth National Public Administration Case Competition in Halifax, the time has come to review our successes to date, what we have learned and how we can broaden participation in this new way to showcase emerging public administration talents across the country. As well, the time has come to involve more people and organizations in the work of this event, which has become a singular event in the cycle of public administration schools. to that end, CAPPA - the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration - is leading a review. this is timely and much needed as the event has well outgrown the capacity of one person to carry.
Readings for 897 are posted.
Courses Planned for 2015-16:
Presentations: Recent and Forthcoming
Police Governance 101: Presentation in March, 2015 to the Police Commissions of Manitoba. Click here to access.
Putting Policy to Work: Policy Implementation Checklist: This checklist is the product of a workshop offered through Queen's to the Ontario Public Service, last held in Toronto, April, 2015. Click here to access.
Discussion Guide: Summit on Police Governance, Toronto, April, 2015. Click here to access.
Briefly Noted: Passing Comments on Management and the Meaning of It All
Is Busy the New Bad? When Random Busy meets Strategic Busy
What’s the most common cliché response to any type of “how’s it going?” question these days? “Busy” with a shrug, roll of the eyes or quick glance at the phone, held in the hand of course. We wallow in a sea of busy. We continue to seek out distracting notices and communications that add to this sense of business. The mantra will not let up.
To what end? Having it all? Communicating a sense that busy means important? Or just being in tune with the current zeitgeist? Probably all of the above. The odd bit, taken from a management perspective, is that we need busy to keep us going. We need it to stimulate us, to give us the requisite variety and the multitude of inputs and outputs we need to manage in a complex world. The real bad here is when business is random, non-strategic, reactive and totally lacking in a sense of being productive.
The world of the manager is built on variety. Mintzberg and many others paint a picture of complexity that involves people (with all their emotions, interests and potential resources ranging from money to time) and information (written, verbal and non-verbal) all swirling in the rich culture of organizations. Managers move about this culture in unique ways and for very specific purpose: to get things done. They deal with a variety of problems on a continuous basis. They have to change gears in terms of what they are doing, how they are doing it and to address situations that often offer no stereotypic response. If it is an established procedure with easy parameters to follow and predictable outcomes assured, then the manager should not be involved. The job is physically busy – sitting in meetings, moving around, seeing groups and individuals, speaking and listening (that’s the hard part), reacting and explaining, just to name a few.
Managers need to be able to adjust and accommodate as information comes their way that alters the known set of parameters. The variety of the work is intense. So too are the responses. Managers mould responses: they seldom do it on their own. So too with decisions and strategy. That work is also one of busy accommodation to changing realities.
The research from a variety of sources confirms another reality of management: for all the business and seeming randomness and speed of information, most managers thrive on it, like it and encourage it.
So, the next time someone asks how you are, don’t say “Busy”, say “Good and busy.”