The 2015 Outline and first weekend lectures for 827, Public Sector Financial Management is now available under Teaching ,Queen's University.
All readings for 897 are now posted.
Word from On High, Really On High: Organizational Deadly Sins
In a ground-breaking speech to the Curia of the Catholic Church in December, 2014, Pope Frances laid bare a series of “ailments’ that afflict the bureaucratic centre of that large – let’s face it – global corporate entity. But, just read this list of deadly sins and see how much they can match any organization that loses its focus, except where it comes to its own preservation and interest.
Access the list of Deadly Sins Here
Measuring Employee Engagement: Off the Pedestal and Into the Toolbox: I just completed an interesting review of employee engagement surveying in the public sector for a Canadian government. You can access it here.
I was pleased to be notified by the Financial Management Institute of Canada's (fmi*igf) Board of Directors that I have been awarded the 2013-2014 Alan G. Ross Award for Writing Excellence for your
article “What is financial literacy for the public manager”. This article was published in the autumn 2013 issue of the fmi*igf Journal. You can access it here.
"Are we there yet? Reflections on 25 years of police governance." - talk to the Canadian Association of Police Governance, Halifax, August 23, 2014. To read, Click Here
Article in The Winnipeg Free Press on police governance; "A Strong, Active Board is Vital to Police Oversight." Monday, July 28, 2014. To read, Click Here
Two great new case sites, with valuable cases and simulation material:
MITSloanManagement's LearningEdge is a very good source of both cases and simulations. There has been considerable investment in case and simulation design. Well worth a look at https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/Pages/default.aspx.
Markkula Centre for Ethics, Santa Clara University Case Studies in Ethics: This is a large offering of ethics cases and challenges. Well done. http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/focusareas/cases.cfm
Briefly noted: Keeping an eye on Developments
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.”