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Sunday, 3 May 2015

81. An oath for the new public servant

This oath started with a conversation that I had with Carl Whilstlecraft and has been shaped by many others.  You can see the conversation in this storify – I think it’s important to show the workings out.

What’s it for?  Well for us it’s a reminder of what we stand for and what we have learnt.  It’s also a reminder of how we need to be different in times that are rapidly changing.  Finally it’s a set of ideals that are shared by many, that we are part of a community.

Of course it will always be a work in progress so let me know what you think.

An Oath for the New Public Servant

I swear by the power of the people that I will keep this oath whatever gets thrown at me.

I will always remember my values because they are the reason why I am a public servant.  With pride I will share my belief in democracy, public service and the common good.

I am a public servant because I want to make a difference for people and for places.   I will put the public first and strive to find out what people can offer and what people need.  I will start with people's interests and aspirations and will never assume I know what anyone needs without asking them.

I will focus on solutions and seek out strengths and great work.  I will celebrate the good stuff and always give credit where credit is due.  I will not waste my time obsessing about problems and causes.

I will be constructive and honest in my feedback and willing to receive constructive criticism when it comes to me.  I will give myself and those around me permission to fail and I will learn from failure.   All because I want everything to be the best it can be.

I will put my energy into changing what I can influence and I will not worry about the things I cannot change.  I will lead by being the change I want to see and bring people with me by showing them what can be better.

I will move quickly from ideas to action.  I will prototype, mock up, try out and test.  I will develop through iteration and use feedback to improve.  I will not spend time on unnecessary planning.

I will be social not siloed.  I will work across boundaries both inside and outside of my organisation.  I will help build networks with like-minded people.  I will be open and transparent whenever I can and I will share whatever I can.

I will always be interested in the latest technology but I will remember that it is only a means to an end.  Sometimes new technology is not needed at all; changing how people act is what really matters.

I will strive to be an expert in not being an expert. I will listen, facilitate, encourage and support.  I will remember that there is always something to be learnt from others and a new idea to be found.  I will be critical and ask questions and get the richest picture that I can.

If I follow this oath may I have credit from my colleagues and thanks from the public.

photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/5qcR53

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