Government organizations rooted in social objectives often become atrophied by process orientation overtime. As a result, employees respond more to process changes than the overall objective of the organization. In order to drive transformation, government organizations must change that paradigm.

Operating with a system where careers are deemed safe creates an employee who feels protected from external forces and has no need to be responsive or involved in process or organizational changes because there is no direct financial measurement of success or perceived incentive for the individual. It is then important to recall the social purpose of the organization.

Government transformation is driven by two forces: the needs of society for better services and the demanding citizen who is now expecting more of government than ever before – that will truly be the catalyst for government to change. The social pressure will then drive accountability and transparency because the public does not want to see their money being wasted. Decreasing costs and increasing citizens’ return on citizenship (ROC) will be the key drivers of change.

Social accountability relies on civic engagement. In a public sector context, social accountability refers to a broad range of actions and mechanisms that citizens, communities, independent media and civil society organizations can use to hold public officials and public servants accountable. These include participatory budgeting, public expenditure tracking, monitoring of public service delivery, investigative journalism, public commissions and citizen advisory boards. These citizen-driven accountability measures complement and reinforce conventional mechanisms of accountability such as political checks and balances, accounting and auditing systems, administrative rules and legal procedures.

Therefore, a good organizational change management (OCM) program considers internal as well as external dynamics. The communication plan serves the purpose of communicating with citizens so that they are fully aware of the services they will be receiving and how their tax dollars will be deployed to serve them more efficiently. This message should be delivered internally to evoke pride in the organization’s general mission and get the staff engaged with the overall process.

The focus of the OCM communications plan becomes mission critical to the ERP implementation initiative since it drives accountability and puts government employees under pressure to perform. Since there is a universal ethos and a subliminal patriotic theme, the government employee becomes more involved in the success of the ERP implementation since he or she is now directly involved in the betterment of society (of which he or she is also a member and citizen).

Once you have created motivation and engagement with public accountability, you are now ready to deploy your motivated and engaged staff to become part of the “think tank” that will collectively be innovative. Innovation usually comes from within and from the soul of the organization and this can only be nurtured by innovative ERP consultants who understand citizens’ ever-changing needs.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for Part III and enter your comments on how we can promote innovative thinking and transform government! Our ROC Awards will be coming soon to recognize innovative leaders in the public sector.

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