By Ryan Androsoff, Founder & CEO, Think Digital

I’m thrilled that we have announced the launch of Think Digital, a new company focused on the vision of creating a future where public institutions are able to adapt and thrive in the era of digital disruption! It’s the continuation of a journey that started many years ago, and I’d like to take a few minutes to share with you a bit of the Think Digital story.

For the past two decades I have been working in and around government – both here in Canada and around the world. The majority of that time I’ve been focused on what today is often called “Digital Government”. I spent a number of years inside the public service leading digital policy and transformation projects from the Office of the Government of Canada Chief Information Officer, including as one of the co-founders of the Canadian Digital Service in 2017. I also spent a year at the OECD in Paris, France working with their Digital Government team and having the opportunity to learn first-hand about how countries around the world are working to adapt to the digital era.

Over the past four years since leaving the public service I’ve built a consulting and training practice focused around advancing digital change in government. I’ve had an opportunity to work with a dozen different government organizations – federal, provincial, and municipal governments across Canada – on a variety of projects ranging from developing digital transformation roadmaps, to putting in place strategies for digital skills training, to conducting a review of the role of the Chief Data Officer across the federal government.

I’ve also had the opportunity to create unique and impactful digital leadership training programs through my partnership with the Institute on Governance. Perhaps most notably, three years ago we launched the Digital Executive Leadership Program, the first program of its kind in Canada focused on digital leadership and literacy skills for public sector executives.

This work with government over the years from both an inside and outside perspective has reinforced for me the magnitude of what the digital revolution means for public sector organizations. At its core, the Digital Government movement is about recognizing that the technologies of the internet era are changing society in profound ways, and that for government institutions to be effective they must adapt to this change. The challenge is that governments around the world carry the burden of legacy. Legacy technology systems of course, but also legacy culture, practices, and policies. Our public sector institutions are ultimately made up of people and thus require a human-centered approach to enable sustainable change.

In short, rethinking government for the digital era means we need to start with changing mindsets.

This is where Think Digital comes in. Over the past few years I have had the honour of collaborating with an amazing network through the work I have been doing around digital transformation in the public sector. The genesis of Think Digital was to start pulling together this ecosystem of people and organizations under a common banner – all of whom believe in taking agile, human-centered approaches to using digital technology and data to advance the public good. Through Think Digital we have started to assemble an outstanding group of Associates and Partner Organizations that are ready to come together to help support meaningful and sustainable digital transformation through our three services areas: Advisory, Engagement, and Training.

There will be much more to come in the weeks and months ahead, so if you haven’t already please sign-up for our mailing list so that you can get the latest from Think Digital directly to your inbox.

We’d also love to hear from you! Please send us a note or post in the comments below and let us know what challenges you are facing in transforming your organization for the digital era and how we can help.

4 Responses

  1. It’s true – the public sector is burdened with legacy technologies. The government is trying to get rid of or upgrade them. But unlike the most of the private sector, the public sector organizations are complex, and the complexity gets in the way of transformation. But some private sector organizations, such as financial institutions, are faster and smarter in adopting new technologies despite the large size and complexity of their operations. Those organizations have successfully created a new mindset both for their employees and clients. The public sector has to learn from all and adapt fast to enhance its performance. I am sure Think Digital will contribute to the effort of the public sector in transforming its operating environment.

  2. It’s true – the public sector is burdened with legacy technologies. The government is trying to get rid of or upgrade them. But unlike the most of the private sector, the public sector organizations are complex, and the complexity gets in the way of transformation. But some private sector organizations, such as financial institutions, are faster and smarter in adopting new technologies despite the large size and complexity of their operations. Those organizations have successfully created a new mindset both for their employees and clients. The public sector has to learn from all and adapt fast to enhance its performance. I am sure Think Digital will contribute to the effort of the public sector in transforming its operating environment.

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