Executive Director's Message

2016–17 was a year of considerable reflection, renewal and innovation for the ICCS

After a third straight year of positive financial performance across all our services and products, the ICCS is now poised to begin thinking about its future; how and where best to reinvest, and how it can thrive and prosper in the years ahead.   Under the exceptional guidance of the ICCS President, Board and Joint Councils, the ICCS set out to examine its business model, services and products, and consider future market opportunities. 

This period of reflection was underpinned by three key studies to reflect on our journey over the past decade as an organization and critically examine our successes and failures. These studies included a Sustainability Review, a Research Product Review and a Market Analysis Study.  Through extensive analysis and stakeholder engagement, each of these studies revealed a common thread – there is a tremendous amount of support, passion and commitment for the ICCS, across Canada and beyond our borders. 

Our members, clients and stakeholders want to see the ICCS succeed and prosper and expect it to renew and innovate to ensure that we remain relevant and continue to be the leading centre of excellence for the advancement of public sector service delivery.  As aptly stated by one of our members, ‘if the ICCS did not exist, we would have to invent it’.  It is now time to re-invent the ICCS for the next decade. 

Renewal and innovation will be key to the future success of the ICCS.  As the ICCS Board and staff begin to deliberate the numerous recommendations made in the three studies, the fundamental question that must be addressed is: what do we want the ICCS to be in the next five to ten years?  It is clear from the studies that the ICCS must become better at communicating and marketing itself, its services and products. We have started on this journey – through the use of social media, notably Twitter and LinkedIn, the ICCS is now actively communicating and using these social media tools to increase our reach and share timely information.  We will begin to add a marketing lens to all our work to better understand our clients and how we target our messages to members, clients and stakeholders.  We will become more active communicators and seek to ensure that ICCS becomes a well-known brand name. 

The ICCS must also become an innovative organization.  The ICCS must begin to reinvest in its products and services and modernize the way it interacts with its members, clients and stakeholders.  As governments are faced with the challenge of meeting rising citizen and business expectations through and ever increasing digital world, so too must the ICCS begin to transform itself into a digital service-oriented organization.  Several notable projects were started this past year specifically aimed at beginning that transformation, including: the official launch of our new client centric website, a new enhanced Council members’ user-friendly intranet site with repositories for all working groups, simplified online purchase and registration systems for Councils meetings and learning webinars, and an enhanced collaboration and learning platform including our first ever offering of certification and learning programs online for self-study.  In the coming years we will continue to build on these projects, and add new ones that will continue to help us transform into a digital and marketing oriented organization, one that is poised for better serving our members, clients and stakeholders into the future. 

The ICCS has also begun to reinvent its products and services.  We have already rethought our services and support to the Joint Councils.  Working hand-in-hand with our Councils Co-Chairs and members, we have reviewed our service offerings and are now providing more value-added services notably in support of key inter-jurisdictional projects through procurement and project management services.  A new Councils’ intranet site and supporting repositories demonstrate the ICCS’ efforts to improve its information management services to the Councils to ensure effective document management and retrieval.  In the coming year, the ICCS will continue to work with the Councils to leverage collaborative technologies to better support the work of the Councils as they move towards finalizing their strategic priorities.

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In terms of our flagship research products, 2016-17 saw the completion and release of Taking Care of Business (TCOB) 5.  This latest iteration of TCOB provides another example of our efforts to reinvent our products.  Key enhancements were made to both the methodology and final presentation, including eye-catching info-graphics that reflect a more modern approach to data and insights presentation.  This ground breaking work has now set the course for more user-friendly research reports that can be much more easily consumed.  The coming year will see the ICCS undertake the Citizens First (CF) 8 study, which will continue to build on this approach.  In addition, thanks to the Research Review, the ICCS will look to offer periodic, topic-specific research studies that fill both specific interest and budget needs of both existing and potential new clients. 

The Common Measurements Tool (CMT) witnessed another strong year fuelled by the re-emergence of governments’ interest in service performance measurement.  A number of new jurisdictions are now implementing the CMT to better measure and analyze levels of citizens’ satisfaction at the programs and service level.  With the increased interest and use of the CMT, the ICCS will undertake a review of the CMT next year with a view to identifying opportunities to modernize the tool and how our clients use it.  We will also explore options for digital enablement of the CMT and Benchmarking service. 

The Certification and Learning (C&L) program enjoyed a successful 2016-17.  The review, re-write and release of the Certified Service Manager (CSM) Body of Knowledge (BoK) signalled the renewal of the Certification and Learning program.  Designed specifically for online use, the new BoK reflects the ICCS’s efforts to modernize service delivery.  With its release, the ICCS was able to develop an online self-study version of the CSM along with the Certified Service Professional (CSP) that meets the needs of today’s public service for continual learning and improvement at a convenient time and place.  This approach allows for ongoing updates and refreshes to ensure that our clients receive the latest knowledge to support their efforts to better serve their clients.  The ICCS will continue to seek innovative ways to deliver its certification and learning program as well as offer timely and relevant learning webinars and events based on the needs of our clients. 

Reflection, renewal and innovation cannot happen without a dedicated group of individuals who share the same commitment to meet the evolving needs of clients.  As Executive Director, I am privileged and honoured to work with an incredible team.  Each and every team member shares the same passion, commitment and desire to see the ICCS thrive and prosper.  With the guidance of the ICCS President, Board and Joint Councils, we at the ICCS look forward to re-inventing the ICCS for the next decade.  

Dan Batista

Executive Director, Institute for Citizen-Centred Service