IPAA on Q – edition one

Photo: Robert Setter addresses the 2017 IPAA Queensland forum – Connected communities, Flourishing places.

After a four year hiatus, the newly revitalised IPAA Queensland is back – so where to and what next for the professional association for public servants across all sectors, academics, industry and community organisations?

We’d love for you to join us on the journey to achieve IPAA Queensland’s purpose – to build the professionalism, performance, and integrity of the public sector. This relies on the foundations of strong engagement, collaboration, sharing and learning and a need to examine how we achieve sustainable solutions to problems facing our communities.

We are progressing work on the IPAA Queensland business model with an eye to invitations to join as members from 1 July next year. In the meantime, if you have colleagues that would be interested, please encourage them to join as friends of IPAA Queensland.

What can IPAA Queensland offer a fast changing and evolving public service and its partners? Stick around and find out.


A radically different future needs a radically different approach

As the state’s largest employer, and with a multi-billion dollar workforce, the Queensland Government has taken a radically different approach to engage the sector — confronting workforce impacts of what many are calling the 4th industrial revolution. How do you plan for digitisation, artificial intelligence, an aging workforce and jobs that haven’t even been invented yet?

Charged with galvanising a leadership board of 22 Chief Executive Officers and chief human resources officers around a burning platform, it was essential the approach was co-designed to deliver a roadmap that has an eye to a radically different future. To ensure shared understanding and urgency, implications of global trends were unpacked. Insights were shared, including those from the Obama administration’s Deputy Director responsible for implementing the President’s Executive Order on Diversity and Inclusion.

With an understanding that organisations that build themselves around ‘hacking habits’ and transparency had the most impact, follow-on workshops clarified critical objectives and outcomes, with agreement that to succeed game changing focus in areas of work, workers and workplaces were needed.

Ideas were then worked up and pitched – Shark Tank style – with real-time feedback gathered and shared from all stakeholder groups. After collating the scores and assessing impact based on value and ease of implementation, the top 5 pitches were selected to inform the future roadmap.

The whole process brought together a collaborative network of over 500 people, across 20 agencies, and 22 Leadership Board members — a first for the Queensland public sector and mandatory for the success of, not only, the 10 year human capital outlook but the future workforce.


Photo: Attendees at the 2017 IPAA Queensland forum – Connected communities, Flourishing places.

We can reduce child poverty, but we’ll have to change the way we do business – Matthew Cox

The seeds of a successful life are sown early in the lifecourse – if these early years go well you are much more likely to arrive in adulthood in good shape. Geographically speaking, kids who struggle in early life are much more likely to live in certain places and in Queensland, as elsewhere, disadvantage is highly geographically concentrated.

Despite this, efforts to support better outcomes for kids and their families tend to ignore issues of place and focus instead on problems and how to manage them.  Over the long haul this approach hasn’t worked very well, despite big increases in social investment of all kinds and a veritable meteor shower of programs hitting communities.

Things could be different – here’s how:

  1. For communities experiencing higher rates of disadvantage, make a long term plan for their success.  Take it seriously and do it with the community in a leadership role.
  2. Build this plan around doing the things we already know help children thrive through each age and stage of childhood.
  3. Use data to understand need and set powerful goals.  Measure progress regularly.
  4. Use collective impact methodologies to bring everyone with a role to play into the process.
  5. Do the things that need to be done.  Build the plan around the needs of children, not organisations. Use design thinking to get clear on this.
  6. If alignment is hard, change the way resources are provided.  Use collaborative governance models to lead the change. Devolve decision making to the community level where coherence can be brought to the portfolio of investments.
  7. Use co-design and co-leadership processes involving community members. You’ll make better decisions.

In Logan we are doing these things. Its early days, but it’s promising. http://logantogether.org.au/


More than just a talk fest

The thing that turns connected communities into flourishing places is the art, practice and culture of connectedness – between people, between people and systems and between systems.” Martin Stewart-Weeks

In case you missed it, IPAA Queensland’s first major event 2017 IPAA Queensland Forum: Connected Communities: Flourishing Places in May, went off with a bang. The forum brought together a collective of keen minds to discuss how we can all work collaboratively to achieve sustainable solutions to policy problems facing our communities.

Check out the slide show gallery of images and tweets and the vox pops and podcasts.

The impactful presentations demonstrated to the 350 attendees who attended throughout the state that place-based approaches have evolved to now significantly enhance policy development, service delivery, and most importantly effective outcomes for our communities. IPAA Queensland is exploring further conversations into action in this space.

Keep an eye out for the high level post forum report, to be released shortly.

Learnings from the ‘Kiwi Experiment’

What can New Zealand teach Australia’s public sector about significant performance improvement? Quite a lot, it turned out, when IPAA Queensland partnered with Griffith University’s Policy Innovation Hub and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) to present Delivering Better Public Services: Lessons from New Zealand – a thought leader seminar and working session with Dr Rodney Scott and Ross Boyd.

Through their evaluation of New Zealand’s Better Public Services Results program, Scott and Boyd have devised some useful strategies and techniques to help other public servants, which they shared with participants of the thought leader seminar and working session. The sessions generated in-depth conversation surrounding the complexities of multi-agency service delivery, and opportunities to apply key outcomes from the New Zealand experience to a Queensland context.

Watch the session in full here

Not to be missed

With 2017 off to a flying start IPAA Queensland’s calendar of events is in full swing!

The On the couch series continues, with award winning ABC journalist Nance Haxton interviewing Directors-General Dr Jim Watterston, Department of Education and Training on 28 August, Tamara O’Shea, National Parks, Sport and Racing on 5 October and James Purtill, Department of Natural Resources and Mines on 5 December. Watch previous On the couch interviews here.

We are also busy planning the IPAA Queensland CEO and Young Professionals Forum for early 2018, where CEOs recognise and foster young talent within their organisation. The theme of the breakfast will be around diversity and inclusion and our speakers will not disappoint – watch this space!