A truism: senior management must make a sustained efforts in support of any branding initiative — ongoing leadership is key. When it comes to branding public servants, who is the champion?
Yesterday, Canada’s top bureaucrat, Kevin Lynch, took a stab at it. As reported by the Ottawa Citizen:
In a rare speech, Privy Council Clerk Kevin Lynch bluntly told 1,000 federal bureaucrats at a town hall in Vancouver this week that the public service has plenty of problems, but it’s not the “broken, pale shadow of its former self” portrayed by critics. He acknowledged much of the criticism has a “kernel” of truth, but “the reality is a more nuanced and complex story.”
“Criticism of the public service is not new and it is not always without merit,” he said. “But I fear we have allowed some misperceptions about the public service, from both inside and outside the public service, to go unchallenged too long,” he said.
OK, so it’s maybe more precisely an attempt at positioning — a reaction to an image of public servants that’s grown up in the absence of conscious branding efforts. But it’s a start. (& I figger that the use of the word “bluntly” in this story is a good thing.) And a quick scan of the speech says to me that he’s tackling some stuff that needs to be taken on, such as the idea that the public service is out of touch with reality.
Sooo… is this the start of a sustained effort to take charge of our image? Time will tell.
Sidebar: it would be really nice if a video of the speech was posted along with the transcript. I’d have loved to hear how the speech was delivered as well as reading what the words were.