For the IPAC 2019 Conference, “Innovation and Disruption” has been identified as a key sub-theme. Scott Sinclair, Deputy Minister of Crown Services and Deputy Minister of Central Services in Manitoba, has agreed to champion this important theme.
When I was approached by IPAC Manitoba’s team about the 2019 conference, I was immediately interested by the theme “Public Sector Transformation: Action and Meaningful Change”. Transformation is something many of us have witnessed in different ways, but here in Manitoba it has become especially important since the 2018 launch of the Manitoba government’s Strategy for Transforming the Public Service.
I was particularly interested in the theme of “Innovation and Disruption”, so it made sense to become involved as a champion. In my own career, I’ve been a strong promoter of innovation through initiatives such as the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Declaration on Public Sector Innovation and Manitoba’s Data Driven Program Evaluations (Data Analytics – Quick Turnaround Projects) initiative. As a member of the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba I’ve also been a keen promoter of innovation among the next generation of public servants.
“Wait,” you may be thinking, “isn’t the theme innovation and disruption?” We often seek to be innovative, but we don’t necessarily want to be disruptive. Innovation is seen as a positive, disruption less so. Disruption means change, and change can be hard, which is why people with change management skills are so highly sought after. Here in Manitoba, we’re working to not only manage change, but to make openness to change – to disruption– a built-in part of the culture of our public service.
Both of these words, innovation and disruption, run the risk of being just buzzwords. That’s why I’ve been closely following and participating in the development of a conference agenda that really speaks to those themes. Workshops on topics like data-driven policy and evaluation, social innovation, and innovation in education will provide participants with an opportunity to move past the jargon and into meaningful content led by experts in the field. I think you all will benefit from what we have to offer.
Deputy Minister, Crown Services Manitoba
Deputy Minister, Central Services Manitoba