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Category: Government Communications

The Rise & Fall of Phoenix: Lessons in Change Management

Posted by on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - no comments

Large-scale public sector IT transformation doesn’t normally makes headlines, particularly in the usually sleepy news cycle of summer in Canada. But this year, we’ve witnessed the gory details of a slow-motion play by play of the extraordinary rise and fall of Phoenix, the Government of Canada’s new centralized pay system. As change management professionals, this has…

8 Things You Need to Know About the Government of Canada’s New Communications Policy

Posted by on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - no comments

Last week, the Government of Canada issued its much-anticipated new Communications Policy and companion directive for the management of the function. If you’re a federal communicator, this is obviously big news. Less obvious is that it’s also highly relevant for non-federal communications professionals working more generally in the Canadian public or para-public sectors (e.g. institutes,…

Canada’s #WelcomeRefugees Campaign: Lessons in Community & Communications

Posted by on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - no comments

Like many Canadians, I have been fascinated and inspired watching the remarkable efforts behind the #WelcomeRefugees campaign. As a communicator, this landmark initiative represents an unusually significant case study in the importance of communications, and the challenges of getting it right. On a national scale, the Government of Canada’s commitment to settling 25,000 Syrian refugees…

The Power of Hope

Posted by on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - no comments

Susan Delacourt nailed the current post-election ethos in the capital in writing: “Hope is in fashion these days in Ottawa.” While it’s hard to put a finger on it, an unmistakable air of optimism has taken flight (particularly among those working in or with the government) over the past several weeks. Certainly, there is traditionally…

Changing Minds by Reaching Hearts

Posted by on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - no comments

Canada’s recent election offers a master class in change communications. At its essence, the election was about change – the Liberals set out to convince Canadians that a change was needed, and that they were the best alternative. They succeeded, in large measure, by recognizing a fundamental truth of change communication: Experience tells us that…

A Case Study in Symbols

Posted by on Thursday, November 19, 2015 - no comments

As we arrive at the one-month mark after the election, it’s been fascinating to watch the first days of the new government’s outreach efforts, which provides an unparalleled front row seat in a master class in the use of symbols to communicate change. One of the fundamental principles in change communication is that it can’t…

Ministerial Mandate Letters: What Do They Mean for Communicators?

Posted by on Monday, November 16, 2015 - one comment

On Friday, Prime Minister Trudeau outlined his marching orders to his ministers through the unprecedented move of publicly releasing the Ministerial Mandate Letters. These letters hold important signals for government communicators: Form follows function. The PM has repeatedly emphasized his commitment to transparency. His decision to publish the Ministerial Mandate Letters online (a Canadian first)…