During the Fall 2016 term, a cohort of part-time Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law (MPPAL) students at York University were asked to anticipate and prioritize the needs of next-generation leadership in the public service. To respond to the request, the students wrote original articles as part of a first-year course in the MPPAL program. They received coaching from Professor John Wilkins, a faculty member in the program.
Their insights will be featured in an ongoing series titled “The Millennials Podium” that will appear in upcoming issues of the Canadian Government Executive (CGE) magazine.
Magazine Editor-in-Chief Patrice Dutil was enthusiastic about getting first-hand accounts from the students. With more than 65,000 readers, CGE has a domestic and international presence.
Class interrogation of the theme saw three research threads emerge. The threads are: learning leadership on the job; nurturing public service careers; and investing in higher education. The students’ work reflected these themes.
The first student submission was published in the March/April issue and was written by MPPAL student Juan Alvarez. The article is titled “Leadership Relay between Generations.”
“The public service across Canada needs to ensure that the intergenerational transition of leadership is carefully managed to guarantee the success of incoming millennials, as well as the best possible service to Canadians,” wrote Alvarez in his essay.
Student Keddone Dias wrote in her article that “clear paths to professional advancement and a management mentorship program would also achieve the dual purpose of retaining millennials while strengthening succession planning — a winning scenario for millennials, managers and the entire public service.”
Jacquelyn Gillis observed that millennials not only offer tech-savvy initiatives, they can create, implement, and manage these projects, allowing for complete in-house revitalization and control. While fellow classmate Judy Green wrote: “Millennials’ ongoing exposure to local community networks and leaders can develop trust and consensus, resulting in increased opportunities to partner and leverage additional resources.”
Nadia Haider observed that a future in the public service is promised to those millennials who build upon the foundations of previous generations. A career-based system remains the most viable way forward to nurture and develop the talent of an intergenerational workforce.
For more information or to read the series on the CGE website, visit canadiangovernmentexecutive.ca/.
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