Children and family development deputy minister Lesley du Toit is restructuring the restructuring process in her ministry - something she acknowledges could cause "further confusion." And she's working to free herself up from the day-to-day operations of the ministry so she can focus on that process by building "relationship, trust, inspiring, giving hope and carrying the 'big picture'." This, according, to an email obtained exclusively by Public Eye.
Back in June, Ms. du Toit announced the formation of a transformation team - which would be responsible for reforming the troubled ministry. But, four months later, the deputy writes "there has been some concern as to how the work of the transformation team would fold into the day to day work of the ministry." And she also notes there have been questions about "what the role" of the ministry's senior bureaucrats "would in fact be in transformation."
As a result, Ms. du Toit is roughly cutting in half the membership of the transformation team - whose roster was found to be too large and unwieldy. In practice, this should give the bureaucrats who belong to the team more of a say in the reform effort.
The email also notes that effort is being divided into two component parts. The first component involves changing the ministry's workplace culture and values. It is that "piece" which Ms. du Toit will "lead and put most of my energy into." And that means she'll take a "supportive rather than a direct" role in changing the way the ministry delivers its services. The following is a complete copy of the text of that email.
Sunday, October 06, 2006
TO: MCFD Leadership Team and Transformation Task Team
This note is about organizing the transformation work as apposed to transformation itself. Please be clear that I am not taking any steps back on transformation. It is important that this distinction is made and that people do not get the idea that transformation itself is changing or has taken a step back. Thank you for your participation in meetings so far and for being patient as I seek to address some important issues.
You will all be aware that since our last transformation task team meeting I have been thinking of making some changes to the way we approach the transformation work. After having discussions with as many of you as possible I want to communicate to you how we will be taking this process forward. My apology if this seems like further confusion.
It often takes 3-4 steps forward and then 1 back to make sense of things, so I guess this is one of those early steps back. I would rather question things now than have us feel even more confused at a later stage. I do feel that we have to have greater clarity to roles and responsibilities so that we can achieve our goals and make use of knowledge and skills effectively. I also believe we really need to know how we will approach this work and where we are headed. I'm not sure that I have been as helpful as I could in providing this clarification.
We have a relatively short time to accomplish a great deal and I want to be sure that we are headed in the right direction and that all who lead the transformation with me are working from a similar perspective, and recognize the need for change. I'm working on how I can free myself up more to really lead the transformation change management work and give a greater sense of direction to what we are going to do together in the next 4-5 years.
In talking with the leadership team it has also become clear that there has been some concern as to how the work of the transformation task team would fold into the day to day work of the ministry, and what the role of the leadership team and all the people they lead would in fact be in transformation. In my attempt to ensure that staff involved in day to day ministry work are not burdened with transformation as an add on, I seem to have created an impression (if not a situation) in which it appears as if we have two separate things happening as parallel processes - transformation being one, and ministry work the other.
To bring these two components closer together and have them integrate with one another I have reformulated the "groups" we have and how we will go about our work. The transformation work has two major components - one being the work of change management and the other being the change in the way we go about governing and delivering services.
Change management is basically about the "heads and hearts" work of facilitating, supporting, teaching, and guiding as change happens. Change management involves setting the strategic direction and managing people and processes as the strategic direction takes form and shape. This includes any of the organizational change in MCFD and the shift to regionalization with regard to aboriginal and non-aboriginal governance and services. Quite a chunk of this is relationship, trust, inspiring, giving hope and carrying the "big picture". This piece of the transformation work is represented below in dark pink. This is the piece I will lead and put most of my energy into with regard to transformation. Pat Doyle, the Director of SHR will assist me in leading this. In addition many of you will be drawn upon to support us in this work, especially the REDS. You will see from the diagram that this part of the work is the major component in the first 12 months and decreases as the years go on, to the point where it is no longer needed.
Change in service delivery This component involves leaderships and support in strengthening the good practices that exist and setting in place new practices and programs which support the strategic direction. It also involves leading processes of evaluating existing programs, testing new programs, resourcing, tools, standards, policy, quality assurance etc against the approach we are taking, and either strengthening implementation or redesigning/designing and then implementing. Research and piloting will be part of this component and change management. This is the piece represented by the light pink. This component of transformation will be led by the Transformation team, particularly ADM's and REDS. I will bring my experience and expertise in as needed but this will be a supportive rather than direct role, until the change management work has significantly decreased. This work will gradually increase, and then incrementally over the years this work will become the way the ministry does business, until eventually this is the way the ministry functions and transformation is completed.
The two components are not mutually exclusive. One impacts on the other throughout transformation. It is thus apparent that the transformation team structure should be changed. The concept and structure of the task team will be removed. There will be one team which oversees the integrated transformation work i.e. the entire square illustrated below. This will be the Transformation team.
TRANSFORMATION TEAM The new transformation team will include:
* MCFD leadership team
* Dan George, Sandra Griffen, Philip Cook, Brent Parfitt, Cindy Blackstock
* Audrey Lunquest, Stan Williams
* People representing other ministries and judiciary
The transformation team will be co-chaired with me by Philip Cook, Sandra Griffen, and Peter Cunningham.
MCFD TRANSFORMATION STAFF All transformation staff will be in the Reference Group, as will the Transformation team. The provincial office staff will remain within their program areas, reporting to their ADM's. They will be drawn upon for transformation work by their ADM's and/or myself. The Regional staff will of course remain in their regions and will be drawn upon to do transformation work in their region by the REDS and/or myself. This work will probably start slowly but will escalate as the months go on.
TRANSFORMATION WITH REGARD TO ABORIGINAL GOVERNANCE AND SERVICES In the next few weeks we will be working to try and define what the transformation work will look like with regard to this component. We do need to bring clarity to interface, roles and functions - particularly regarding Deb and her team, the broader Aboriginal Forum, MCFD Regions, and Regional Planning teams. Part of this is defining the difference between transformation and 'regionalization', and the relationship between the two. The date of the next Transformation Team meeting is 18th October. The Date of the first Transformation Reference Group will be the 19th October. Details will be sent to you through my office. Thank you for being patient with me on this. I look forward to meeting with you soon.
Lesley du Toit Deputy
Minister Children & Family Development