Most people in government work in the middle or at the front line of organisations. Sometimes they are described as the ‘frozen middle’, suggesting them to be people who resist change. Yet very often the most creative people in government work at the middle, exhibiting extraordinary imagination and grit to push their ideas through difficult bureaucratic structures. In this ‘fireside chat’ between the co-author of the Creative Bureaucracy and the developer of Free Agent Canada, we bust the myths about middle-level public servants and explore what they can do to break out in uncreative cultures.
Life in the Middle: Frozen or Creative? Helping Mid-level Public Servants Break Out
Abe Greenspoon, Margie Caust
Assistant Director, Enterprise Change Management / Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada
Abe is a Canadian public servant currently contributing to a project on organizational change management at Canada’s department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. His mission over the past few years has been to help public servants discover and create the conditions for their success. Abe sees government, at its most basic level, as a manifestation of a group of people deciding to combine their resources to do the things we can’t do alone. Abe has worked in the public sector for over 12 years and has a Master’s degree in political science.
Urban Strategist & Co-Author of 'The Creative Bureaucracy'
Margie Caust is an urban strategist focusing on city futures. She is helps cities rethink their assets to create economic opportunities. She is co-author of ‘The Creative Bureaucracy and its radical common sense’, with Charles Landry. Margie has worked in Australia and the UK facilitating cross government and cross regional collaboration, building economic programs and contributing to big picture thinking. She has an MSc in Development and Planning (Urban Regeneration) from University College London.