The Culture of Innovation in the Canadian Federal Public Service

The Culture of Innovation in the Canadian Federal Public Service
2016-03-09 Béla

Study by Douglas Michael Lloyd.

The Canadian federal public service has long been seen as an institution which safeguards the public good, and offers clear unbiased advice to elected politicians. However, it is also not recognised as a bastion of free-thinking and innovation. Employees are aging, retention is a problem, and the government is finding it difficult to attract and retain younger employees into its workforce. In fact, the government is seen as a holding place for older technologies as well as older workers, and the only real retention strategy is the “golden handcuff” – a defined benefit pension plan rare in the Canadian landscape – where the philosophy is predicated on the thought that “if you stay for 10 years, we know you will stay for another 15 years for the pension”. This paper examines the definitions of innovation in the Canadian public sector, and looks at how innovation is taught, inculcated, and managed in the institution. It also looks at what is missing, and how the government cannot only foster it, but how government can legislate, to an extent, the creative process in government.

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