Category: Business Operations

Navigating friendships between colleagues: Advice from two office besties

As we continue to work from home due to COVID-19, we’ve realized how much we miss our office space. It’s not only a place where we gather to punch the clock, it’s a place where we argue over where the best pizza spot is, host taste tests to determine whether organic is better than conventional fruit and have indoor snowball fights. Yes, we have done all of these recently.

We are Lisa and Evelyn, and we have decided to talk about our friendship, the benefits of office friendships and how workplaces can support them, as well as some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way.

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You are not working from home, you are at home during a crisis, trying to work

There is a lot of discourse about working from home right now. It’s understandable, COVID-19 has forced us to embrace working virtually from home offices.

This is not ordinary remote work. Traditional work-from-home scenarios have been up-ended as people try to simultaneously juggle work, family and self-care under a higher amount of stress. Some days are better than others.

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Working together, while we’re apart

The COVID-19 situation presents unprecedented challenges for our employees, clients, and society globally. Systemscope is working diligently to take care of its employees through steps aimed at protecting their health and safety. In turn, Systemscope management and all employees are working to support clients by working collaboratively to ensure sustained operations and to navigate new realities. We hope that you all remain safe and healthy and look forward to touching base with many of you over the coming weeks.

We have implemented full remote working practices that have been in place since March 13, 2020 to ensure the health and wellbeing of employees, associates, and clients. We also have a defined business continuity plan which includes a plan that outlines leadership roles throughout the pandemic. As such, the management team is meeting daily to ensure that staff and clients are supported appropriately at all stages of the pandemic and that critical information is being communicated.

Systemscope continues to work closely with clients remotely to minimize the disruption to their business and to help them navigate the unprecedented challenges that we are all facing through a rapid scaling of our specialized COVID-19 service offerings.

Prior to the transition to a fully remote workforce, Systemscope had been following public health guidance and had implemented the following measures:

  • All employees exhibiting fever or flu symptoms are to work from home until they have been symptom-free for 24hrs;
  • All employees that have travelled to affected areas or who have been in close contact with individuals who have been to affected are to conduct a self-imposed isolation from the office for a period of 14 days to ensure that no symptoms of respiratory ailments are present;
  • Disclosure of travel history;
  • Social distancing within the firm and with clients to minimize the likelihood of transmission;
  • Increased frequency of cleaning services and of hand sanitizing stations throughout the office;
  • Phased transition to virtual meetings both internally and with clients;
  • Increased communication to raise awareness on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
  • Providing accommodations for working from home by providing the necessary tools; and
  • Evaluating any work-related travel and participation in large meetings or events on an individual basis.

Systemscope continues to work closely with clients remotely to minimize the disruption to their business and to help them navigate the unprecedented challenges that we are all facing through a rapid scaling of our service offerings.

We are committed to ensuring the continuity of our services and are diligently monitoring COVID-19 developments and following government guidance on how to proceed.

Results-oriented thinking: Is it really providing the right results?

The release of the Auditor General’s 2018 reports highlight that “the federal government has a culture problem that makes meaningful change difficult.”  Part of this is due to the fact that “politicians think from election to election, which can undermine public servants’ efforts to bring in a longer-term plan.” This drives a culture of short-term thinking that places more emphasis on trying to prove quick results rather than on trying to change the inefficient ways of working. read more

Government Transformation: HBR research and perspectives

As a partner of a strategic consulting firm working with the Government of Canada on major transformation initiatives, I take great pride in leading a Learning Organization, intent on researching, developing and actively sharing our intellectual property, methodologies and knowledge.

To continually challenge our way of thinking and connect the dots between our learning resources, methodologies and service offerings to our clients, I often read the Harvard Business Review (HBR), whose articles are as foundationally relevant today as they were 25 or even 50 years ago.   Recently, I was prompted to think about the state of managing in a time of change when reading a recent HBR article that claimed 83% of Public sector re-orgs fail (Making Government Re-Orgs Work April 2017).  Given the current flux related to new strategic approaches directed by the GC Policy on Results, what can we learn to enhance our likelihood of success on government transformation initiatives? read more