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REFLECTION AND SENSE MAKING:
THE CHALLENGES OF A PERMANENT SECRETARY

Didacus Jules
1 Feb 2013
The Role of Civil Service Leadership in Securing
Regional Growth and Economic Development
Some provocations:
• Is the publ...
The Role of Civil Service Leadership in Securing
Regional Growth and Economic Development
Some provocations:
• Should succ...
The mathematics of insularity:

1 – 10 = 0

- Eric Williams

The mathematics of regionalism:

1 + 1 = 11
The PS – a major ...
MY JOURNEY AS CONTEXT TO THE LESSONS OF MY EXPERIENCE
80’s

PS Education – Grenada Revolution
Change the world by all mean...
“we must maintain an optimism

of the
will; despite the pessimism of the
intellect

- Antonio Gramsci
Reform and progress are only possible
when the political and administrative
wills are in synergy

POLITICAL
ADMINISTRATIVE...
VISION: short term
agenda in a long term
perspective

ETHICS OF
GOVERNANCE: setting
the tone for the country

ACTION PRIOR...
PERMANENT
SECRETARIES
Political tribalism
Policy

incoherence

Not so
PERMANENT
anymore

Blurring division of
labor betwee...
DAY 2

1st working day of
new administration
– jointly prepared by
Minister and
Permanent
Secretary
...a simple
unambiguou...
WHAT IS EXPECTED

OF A PERMANENT SECRETARY?
NEW VS OLD PARADIGMS FOR PS LEADERSHIP
Old Paradigm

•

Good first degree with long •
tenure
of
service
and
experience

•
...
NEW VS OLD PARADIGMS FOR PS LEADERSHIP
Old Paradigm
•

•
•

Absolute adherence to rules & •
procedure
Conservationist and ...
LEADERSHIP:

the art of serving from in-front

...empower people

...lead by example

...embrace crisis; digest problems
COURAGE:

the strength to speak and act

...define your principles
...take a stand
...when to break the rules

SPEAKING

T...
PROBLEM SOLVING

think beyond...

...if you are forever outing fires..
...the problem is not money but imagination
NO

Ifs
Buts
Maybes
Perhaps
WHO REALLY ARE

YOU?

I am greater and more important than my job
My job does not define me
It is I who bring integrity to...
At the end of the day, any government of whatever
political stripe wants a public service that will not just
deliver but d...
“we must maintain an optimism

of the
will; despite the pessimism of the
intellect

- Antonio Gramsci

We refuse to be
Wha...
THANK YOU
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Reflection and sense making

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Presentation to Permanent Secretaries participating in the CLP on the challenges of being a permanent secretary.
The Caribbean Leadership Project (CLP) is a seven-year, $20 Million Canadian project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and hosted by the Cave Hill School of Business/University of the West Indies (CHSB/UWI). This regional project covers twelve CARICOM member states (namely Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago)

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  • The political / administrative interface is often fraught with tension as the imperatives or interests of the former are not necessarily those of the latter. Managing that tension and furthering the objectives of the organization can degenerate into a battle of will and so frustrate all of the players involved. There are some difficult but necessary leadership insights to be gained in all of this.
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  • This presentations asks us all to examine our relevance as leaders. Do you have the guts to transform your space - question everything and change what MUST!
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Transcript of "Reflection and sense making"

  1. 1. REFLECTION AND SENSE MAKING: THE CHALLENGES OF A PERMANENT SECRETARY Didacus Jules 1 Feb 2013
  2. 2. The Role of Civil Service Leadership in Securing Regional Growth and Economic Development Some provocations: • Is the public service either “civil” or a “service”? • Location of the public service in the national economy is an aberration (accountable to taxpayers..but they are the major tax payers – the circularity of the govt apparatus paying for the govt) • A PS must bring a vision and a sense of mission to their portfolio; be transformational but operationally effective/efficient. This can often mean challenging the status quo and an intelligent subversion of service norms
  3. 3. The Role of Civil Service Leadership in Securing Regional Growth and Economic Development Some provocations: • Should succession be a matter of “waiting your turn” or selection by competence/potential? • Obsession with hierarchical structure rather than functional responsibility... Feed chain and negative impact on creativity and enthusiasm
  4. 4. The mathematics of insularity: 1 – 10 = 0 - Eric Williams The mathematics of regionalism: 1 + 1 = 11 The PS – a major responsibility to move beyond insularity, see the synergies and recognize the benefit of collaboration
  5. 5. MY JOURNEY AS CONTEXT TO THE LESSONS OF MY EXPERIENCE 80’s PS Education – Grenada Revolution Change the world by all means Impossible is nothing The power to do 90’s PS Education & HRD – St. Lucia A vision for change: pragmatic but idealistic The power of team 2k’s Vice President HR – St. Lucia HR as determining metric for success; productivity is everything
  6. 6. “we must maintain an optimism of the will; despite the pessimism of the intellect - Antonio Gramsci
  7. 7. Reform and progress are only possible when the political and administrative wills are in synergy POLITICAL ADMINISTRATIVE POLITICAL Public needs/wants Expectations Vision and direction Short term – electoral cycle The popular © Jules 2013 ACCOUNTABILITY PROGRESS STRATEGIC IMPERATIVES WILL ADMINISTRATIVE Delivery with efficiency Structure and means Long term – development gestation cycles The necessary
  8. 8. VISION: short term agenda in a long term perspective ETHICS OF GOVERNANCE: setting the tone for the country ACTION PRIORITIES: choosing options within limitations of possibility ACCOUNTABILITY: the 5 year contract POLITICAL ADMINISTRATIVE LEGAL FRAMEWORK: Fair and equal rules; guidelines and penalties PROGRAM & BUDGETARY MATRIX: $ for the vision & agenda © Jules 2013 WILL POLICY FRAMEWORK: Dev. Objectives; Sectoral; Equity, transparency and fairness REGULATORY POWER & MANAGERIAL CAPACITY: to enable or prevent effectively Political Will Administrative Will
  9. 9. PERMANENT SECRETARIES Political tribalism Policy incoherence Not so PERMANENT anymore Blurring division of labor between policy and administration
  10. 10. DAY 2 1st working day of new administration – jointly prepared by Minister and Permanent Secretary ...a simple unambiguous statement of macropolicy
  11. 11. WHAT IS EXPECTED OF A PERMANENT SECRETARY?
  12. 12. NEW VS OLD PARADIGMS FOR PS LEADERSHIP Old Paradigm • Good first degree with long • tenure of service and experience • • Hierarchical • Oriented to reinforcement of • the system Systems oriented (managing • the internal customer – meeting the needs of Government) Independent leadership • Thorough understanding of • rules, regulations and norms of the public service Capacity to manage system • (regulatory and supervisory effectiveness) Strong procedural orientation • Educational Requirements Managerial Capability and Style • • • Skills/ Knowledge and Ability • • New Paradigm At least a second degree or professional accreditation in an area with advanced managerial training and preferably some exposure to a private sector environment Participatory/empowering Oriented to change management service oriented (managing the external customer – meeting the needs of the citizen) Interdependent leadership Thorough understanding of the environment (Government, economy, and social) Capacity to change the system (proactive, business process reengineering) Strong inclination to innovation
  13. 13. NEW VS OLD PARADIGMS FOR PS LEADERSHIP Old Paradigm • • • Absolute adherence to rules & • procedure Conservationist and regulatory • outlook Dominated by manual • processes Heavy reliance on paper • archiving Business at the pace of people • Stable environment • • • Circumspection • Willingness to be self-effacing • • General acceptance and buy-in • to the status quo • • Environmental Differences • Personal Qualities New Paradigm Adherence to policy Entrepreneurial and facilitatory outlook Dominated by computer and information technology Reliance on databases, document storage and retrieval Business at the speed of thought Unstable, unpredictable, rapidly changing environment Boldness Willingness to be visible and to articulate vision Questioning of and preparedness to change the status quo
  14. 14. LEADERSHIP: the art of serving from in-front ...empower people ...lead by example ...embrace crisis; digest problems
  15. 15. COURAGE: the strength to speak and act ...define your principles ...take a stand ...when to break the rules SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER
  16. 16. PROBLEM SOLVING think beyond... ...if you are forever outing fires.. ...the problem is not money but imagination
  17. 17. NO Ifs Buts Maybes Perhaps
  18. 18. WHO REALLY ARE YOU? I am greater and more important than my job My job does not define me It is I who bring integrity to my position I define my fit
  19. 19. At the end of the day, any government of whatever political stripe wants a public service that will not just deliver but delight the public with the quality of its service. And citizens want to feel empowered that the public service is working for them and not against them, and that it is accountable to the taxpayers. No one can be satisfied with a service that is unresponsive, archaic, and weighted down by bureaucracy. - D. Jules 1999
  20. 20. “we must maintain an optimism of the will; despite the pessimism of the intellect - Antonio Gramsci We refuse to be What you wanted us to be; We are what we are: That's the way it's going to be. You don't know! You can't educate I For no equal opportunity: Talkin' 'bout my freedom, People freedom and liberty! Bob Marley – Babylon System
  21. 21. THANK YOU
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