Category: Reform

Where do you spend your time?

In 2006 Sir Gus O’Donald (former head of the UK Civil Service) challenged his top leadership with a simple question: Where do you spend your time?

Sir Gus set them his “100:0:0” challenge.  This challenge was his way of asking them how much of their time was spent on their narrow policy areas, their departmental objectives and civil-service wide, corporate issues.   For many the answer is 100:0:0.

How do you spend your time? Use can use this template to undertake your own exercise.  Do it once every few months (at least bi-annually).

The Challenge:

If any of the boxes are zero or below 10%, think about what you can do to increase that percentage. There is no right or perfect mix.

It is often hard to find time to look outside your own division, workgroup or other administrative unit. Every job involves a multitude of tasks, some with obvious value and some a lot more questionable. Find the time to ask whether the bottom 5% of those tasks really are necessary. Can they be stopped to free up resources? If they are outside your control, is there an effective alternative you can suggest? The key to spending your time on broader issues and objectives is to consistently free up time and resources.

Tweets from a public sector convention

In March 2011 I attended the International Public Sector Convention 2011 held by CPA Australia.  I took the opportunity to play with twitter and tweeted my first conference.  You can follow me on twitter here.

I am not sure why, but now when you search my hash tag, #cpaipsc2011, there are no results.  So, to preserve my tweets I have set them out below.

11 March 2011

  • Nicholas Gruen says markets let you ask the Spice Girls question: Tell me what you want what you really really want? #cpaipsc2011
  • Peter Thompson says that CPAs are storytellers with numbers. We need to be able to communicate at the human level. #cpaipsc2011
  • Alex Malley CPA @cpaaustralia jokes there are 2 types of people : CPAs and those that want to be CPAs #cpaipsc2011
  • Darrin Grimsey – if infrastructure is working it is silent. We are surrounded by a silent world which supports us. #cpaipsc2011
  • Ben Peacock shows us a video by Dan Pink on Drive –… #cpaipsc2011

10 March 2011

  • Listening to Ben Peacock –
  • Interesting observation – I have spent some quality time with my NT colleagues, time we don’t spend when we are home in Darwin#cpaipsc2011
  • Time to settle down with friends, some new and some old, and enjoy the conference dinner. An amazing setting here at the MCG.#cpaipsc2011
  • @cpaaustralia #cpaipsc2011 Another big day with some valuable lessons and a dash of inspiration. Simon Brown-Greaves was a stand out today.
  • @cpaaustralia #cpaipsc2011 Fergus Welsh from New Zealand says a quality public sector is vital for society.
  • Simon Brown-Greaves on leadership: cartoon – “Our employees are our greatest asset. I say we sell them.” #cpaipsc2011
  • Check out the Royal Australian Navy Leadership Ethic –… #cpaipsc2011
  • Better practices in corporate areas = more money for frontline services. Obvious?Yes, but delivery requires clarity of outcomes#cpaipsc2011
  • Public Service has always been innovative. Innovation is not a new concept and remains vital to meet the challenges ahead#cpaipsc2011
  • Ian Fitzgerald believes the Heads of the PS have a stewardship role to ensure the PS meets the demands of today and the future#cpaipsc2011
  • Patricia Kelly says the Public Sector innovation matters as it underpins broader economic success. #cpaipsc2011
  • Colin Pidd predicts that there will be less focus on accountability and more focus on responsibility. #cpaipsc2011
  • In talking about the future Colin Pidd said that best practice is on the way out. It is not the best place for innovation. #cpaipsc2011
  • Quote Day 1: Colin Pidd “computers are like fruit, they rot on the shelves if not sold within 6 months” #cpaipsc2011
  • Quote Day 1: “working in the public sector will be like walking through treacle” yet John Collington feels he has achieved more#cpaipsc2011
  • In Melbourne attending the International Public Sector Convention 2011 run by CPA Australia #cpaipsc2011