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Spark Toronto 2018 - Canada's Free Agents - Helen Daniels

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Spark Toronto 2018 - Canada's Free Agents - Helen Daniels

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In 2016, Natural Resources Canada launched a pilot to test a new cloud-based model for workforce mobilization and Canada’s Free Agents was born with an initial 10 employees. Today we have scaled to almost 60 Free Agents across three federal departments.

Our model offers employees who have been pre-screened for innovation attributes the freedom to find work that matches their skills and interests AND supports managers to rapidly hire those employees in a low-risk manner, in order to fulfill their short-term project needs.

Join Helen to hear stories of success and failure from our experiment in employee autonomy, mobility, and system change.

In 2016, Natural Resources Canada launched a pilot to test a new cloud-based model for workforce mobilization and Canada’s Free Agents was born with an initial 10 employees. Today we have scaled to almost 60 Free Agents across three federal departments.

Our model offers employees who have been pre-screened for innovation attributes the freedom to find work that matches their skills and interests AND supports managers to rapidly hire those employees in a low-risk manner, in order to fulfill their short-term project needs.

Join Helen to hear stories of success and failure from our experiment in employee autonomy, mobility, and system change.

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Spark Toronto 2018 - Canada's Free Agents - Helen Daniels

  1. 1. #GCAgents
  2. 2. #GCAgents The problem? Talent locked down in positions + increasing need for gig work + SLOW staffing
  3. 3. #GCAgents “The most challenging thing (in the Public Service) is being nimble. Moving people around from one task to another or being able to dismantle a work unit and create a different one. We are too slow and not very nimble.” - Michael Wernick, Clerk of the Privy Council
  4. 4. Experiment to test hypothesis that: 1. A cloud-based model will enable matching talent to business need 2. Free agency supports employees to be engaged, happy, and healthy 3. A network of Free Agents will improve the overall innovation capacity in the federal public service
  5. 5. Project ProjectProject Project Project
  6. 6. Benefits for Free Agents Autonomy & freedom Mobility not restricted to discipline & level A talent manager to support career development Access to a network & community Stretch opportunities !7#GCAgents Potential to be promoted Wellness & balance (flexible work schedules, LIA, telework) Learning & development activities Pursue interests & “flow”
  7. 7. Don’t need a classifie d position Low risk A talent manager for support Rapid hiring Access to a network of innovators !8#GCAgents Pre-screened highly engaged talent Cheaper than a consultant (keeps knowledge inside GC) Benefits for host manager
  8. 8. #SUCCESS Happy employees - ● 100% Job satisfaction vs 77% PS wide Happy managers - ● 93% Satisfied managers ● 85 % would hire another Free Agent ● Just trying stuff (pilot) ● Iterating & scaling ● Focus on the people ● Community (vs silos) ● Learning ● Finding flow & purpose ● FAs pitching their own ideas
  9. 9. #FAILS ● Superhero change agents ● Scaling quickly - as a hack Next… Influence lasting system change
  10. 10. Who are the current Free Agents? Of 40 current Free Agents: ● 22 women / 18 men ● 4 regional ● Ages ranging from 25 to 60 years ● 8 different disciplines: ○ Comms ○ IT ○ HR ○ Policy ○ Science !11 #GCAgents
  11. 11. Innovation attributes Model from nesta (UK company) ● Action-orientation ● Courage ● Creativity ● Curiosity ● Empathy ● Passion ● Persuasion ● Problem-solving ● Quick learning ● Reflection ● Resilience ● Team-orientation
  12. 12. #GCAgents The conditions? Blueprint 2020
  13. 13. #GCAgents A vision + desire for change + senior champion + JUST TRY = something new
  14. 14. #GCAgents The visionary + the leader (kingpin) + the do-er (serendipity + stepping into unknown)
  15. 15. #GCAgents Recognized as a model of innovation by the OECD: ● Semi-finalist for the Innovation in Government Award in Paris ● 1 of 8 innovations featured at the World Government Summit in Dubai 2018
  16. 16. #GCAgents GCcollab, Twitter, LinkedIn @freethetalent

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