CLICK inspires excellence in public service, leadership in the new normal

CLICK inspires excellence in public service, leadership in the new normal

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has put our leadership to the test. Charged with steering their respective organizations and constituents in difficult times, it is becoming apparent that to emerge from this ongoing health crisis stronger and more resilient requires an updating of the technical skills and refocusing of priorities that are vital in navigating a volatile, rapidly-changing, and sustainability-challenged world.

Now in its second year, the Executive Course on Leadership, Innovation, Communication, and Knowledge Management (CLICK) fulfills this initiative as a capacity-building course for career executive service officers (CESOs) and other third-level government officials. The program is made possible through a tripartite agreement between the Aboitiz Group, Development Academy of the Philippines-Graduate School of Public and Development Management (DAP-GSPDM), and the National Union of Career Executive Service Officers (NUCESO), Inc.

“The public servant is a unique professional operating in a unique environment. He or she is constantly demanded to continuously develop and improve in order to provide better service to the public ,” said Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz. “It really is to our collective benefit that they receive the right kind of support to become even better leaders not only in their respective agencies but, more so, in the communities they belong to.”

The CLICK program equips senior government leaders with a comprehensive set of leadership and management skills to adapt with the evolving demands in the workplace. As they apply their learnings by developing sustainable work strategies, they become phronetic leaders who are proactive catalysts of positive change amid a dynamic and ever-evolving environment that has been made more volatile by the ongoing health crisis.

“Our focus drastically shifted when the pandemic happened,” said CLICK Batch 2 co-learner Atty. Valery Joy Brion, Director IV of the Department of Finance Strategy, Economics, and Results Group (DOF-SERG). “We knew we had to do something to help the economy recover and, at the same time, save lives.”

Director Brion, seeking to elevate her organization and its services to the public through the pandemic and beyond, became interested in the CLICK program’s comprehensive modules on futures thinking, human resources, and knowledge management.

“I want to create agile organizations in my unit that benefit from knowledge management. I’m fortunate that I have a legislative and engagement team that I believe is an agile unit but what I want to do is replicate that model by creating some shadow teams,” she explained, adding that CLICK’s HR Module on Profiling Talent has been “really helpful” in identifying the right people for the team.

For Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Director Atty. Regina Cajucom, the CLICK Program is a chance to pass on fresh perspectives to upscale service delivery.

“Our module on StratCom (Strategic Communications) really made me appreciate how to talk to our audience. At SEC, we are practically a frontline service agency because our main functions include registration, amendments, and monitoring of corporations. And while we are undergoing digital transformation, we understand that some of our stakeholders may not be very receptive to change,” Atty. Cajucom shared.

This enthusiasm has prompted her to already apply her key learnings from the module at their agency. “We have to effectively communicate the value of our initiative. So I have already started to apply that in my webinars when there are new guidelines, processes, or memorandum circulars that our organization is introducing [to the audience]. We want them to know the rationale behind this and what value it provides to them.”

As a course delivered through synchronous and asynchronous learning methods, the CLICK program has been a great advantage for many public service leaders who otherwise would not have had the time nor opportunity to pursue higher learning due to their monumental responsibilities. Director Brion and Atty. Cajucom attend classes in between their own respective virtual meetings.

“What’s also nice is that even for our co-learners who, unfortunately, had to miss classes, at least there are recordings that they can study at their own time and these are the conveniences of a digital learning experience. Nobody gets totally left out,” shared Director Brion.

CLICK has fast become a platform for government leaders to seamlessly engage in knowledge sharing, networking, and building lasting partnerships with their contemporaries in the public sector. “It really built a sense of community. We’re all workers in government, sharing our best practices, our struggles. It is really a good thing to be able to build a network for when you engage in interagency initiatives. Work becomes more efficient if you have established partnerships and connections with other agencies,” the DOF-SERG Director further explained.

For Atty. Cajucom, the abundance of leaders in different agencies has enabled her to paint a clearer picture of the workings of her fellow public servants. “It will expose you to the functions and programs of other agencies, so it’s an opportunity to be able to understand how the government works as a whole and it’s very helpful when you also apply it to your agency and think outside of your agency. It will give you fresh ideas on every aspect of governance.”

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