Bob Stark - 2010 Heintzman Leadership Award Winner

The Heintzman Leadership Award is presented annually by the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service (ICCS) to an individual that has demonstrated outstanding leadership within the Canadian public sector in promoting citizen-centred service. In particular, recipients of the award have demonstrated superior and sustained leadership that has resulted in transformational change to the quality of public sector service delivery both within their own jurisdiction, and across jurisdictional boundaries.

The 2010 Heintzman Leadership Award was presented to Bob Stark, one of Canada’s most influential and innovative champions of citizen-centred service, at the Lac Carling Congress on June 13, 2010.

Bob joined the Government of Ontario as Deputy Minister/Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Government Services in 2006. Since that time Bob has led a number of major initiatives to improve citizen-centred service in Ontario. Examples of his leadership include:

  • Bob Stark was the first in Canada to lead the transfer and integration of services from multiple ministries into one customer-focused organization, ServiceOntario.
  • Bob reoriented his organization around a collaborative citizen-centred focus with a strong brand promise. His vision was “to be recognized for meeting or exceeding customer expectations with our service, solutions, leadership and people…every time”.
  • Bob championed the Public Sector Value Chain, ensuring that everyone shared the vision, from front-line staff to senior leaders.
  • Bob founded a Board of Directors with deputy ministers from key Ontario ministries to establish a multi-year strategy to transfer and integrate services, and established innovative interjurisdictional partnerships.
  • Bob introduced money-back service guarantees, a concept unheard of in government. This innovation would follow with many others such as an online service location finder which allows users to intuitively find local services; web-based renewal for licence plate stickers; appointment booking for health card renewals; and through ServiceOntario at public libraries, those looking for assisted access to online services can get help through their libraries or First Nations band offices.
  • In one of his boldest initiatives, Bob is leading the reorientation of service around the needs of communities by overhauling the province’s in-person network. By the end of 2010, about 95% of citizens will have a ServiceOntario office within 10 kilometres of them, offering multiple services under one roof.
  • Bob continues to drive the collaborative vision by establishing inter-jurisdictional partnerships so that citizens can get the services they need regardless of the jurisdiction. He keeps the focus on the citizen through cross-government working groups, communities of practice, training and recognition strategies. He championed a cross-government Newborn Registration Services so parents could complete all transactions from the three levels of government all at once.
  • Within ServiceOntario, a singular focus on service excellence is maintained through extensive training, engagement sessions, recognition programs and diversity working groups. Bob encourages regular opportunities for employee feedback through staff action teams, surveys, coaching, front-line site visits, “Breakfast with Bob” sessions and a collaboration-based intranet.
  • Under his leadership, Bob has created a citizen-centred organization which others from around the world come to study. Delegations come to find out how he has achieved such a rapid and successful service transformation in Ontario.

In recognition of his outstanding, innovative and transformational leadership in promoting citizen-centred approaches to service delivery, the Institute for Citizen-Centred Service is proud to award Bob Stark the 2010 Heintzman Leadership Award.