Position Profile

Job Title:  Manager, Engagement and Capacity Building

Work Unit:  Public Agency Secretariat

Ministry:  Alberta Public Agency Secretariat, Treasury Board and Finance

Competition Number:  1042122

Date:  May 2017
 

Position Summary

 

The vision of the Public Agency Secretariat (PAS) is that Alberta has well governed public agencies that meet the diverse needs of Albertans. The role of the PAS in achieving this vision is to build collaborative relationships with departments and public agencies to develop a continuous improvement approach in the areas of governance leading practices, policies, accountability, compensation, and recruitment. The Manager of Engagement and Capacity Building is accountable for leading, developing, implementing and evaluating engagement strategies that align with this vision.

Reporting to the Executive Director, PAS, the Manager, Engagement and Capacity Building (Manager), is the key point of contact between the PAS, government departments and Alberta agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs). The role requires communicating among groups, seeking input, and assisting decision makers balance the needs of competing interests of diverse stakeholder groups. The Manager leads. In addition, the Manager develops, and where appropriate facilitates, learning and networking initiatives to promote capacity building for board members and for government departments to achieve governance excellence.

The Manager’s key areas of responsibility are:

  • Engagement Strategy - Develop and implement an overarching stakeholder engagement strategy in consultation with PAS Executive Team.
  • Governance Leading Practices, Capacity Building and Skill Development - Build governance capacity through development and delivery of learning initiatives, maintain networks and communities of practice to ensure collegial exchange of resources, best practices, etc.
  • Leadership - Support the Executive Director and Director and work collaboratively with staff to ensure the timely completion of high-quality deliverables in the PAS portfolio.

Specific Accountabilities

 

The role encompasses three interwoven activities: (1) Engagement Strategy, (2) Governance Leading Practices, Capacity Building and Skill Development, and (3) Leadership.

     
  1.

Engagement Strategy

The Manager will:

  • Develop and implement an engagement strategy (the strategy) for PAS work, designing the approach in the light of several initiatives requiring engagement of the same public agencies in Alberta.
    • The engagement strategy cycle should: plan in relation to needs assessment and prioritization, develop engagement strategies/tactics, coordinate, implement, report, evaluate, and maintain with a continuous improvement feedback loop into policy and process.
    • The strategy should ensure a consistent understanding of effective governance, roles, responsibilities, accountabilities and alignment with government direction.
    • Implement the strategy with a view to building a shared and common understanding of, and commitment to, strategic engagement from the ministries involved.
    • Design, implement and utilize the strategy to be accessible, respectful, inclusive and accessible.
    • Use the strategy to plan, design and lead engagement priorities and opportunities for the Minister and Deputy Minister to internal and external stakeholders.
    • Use the strategy to promote effective and strategic engagement strategies and standards of practice for engagement across the PAS and in partnering with departments.
  • Develop process and tools, and templates that can be used throughout the engagement planning and implementation process.
    • Develop and manage stakeholder engagement lists and networks.
    • Direct the implementation of an engagement system that maintains an updated list of external relationships for various PAS and related government initiatives being developed. This system will: enable and support responsive communications with stakeholders and assist in proactive engagement planning and issues management; and, provide easy access to current contact information.
  • Plan effective engagement sessions
    • Identify needs and requirements for engagement, learning, sharing and networking both internally and externally to government.
    • Ensure that engagement activities avoid duplication of effort and lead to informed decision-making and the achievement of results.
    • Ensure that engagement activities are designed to result in effective risk mitigation.
    • Facilitate effective governance
    • When required, aid in resolution of emerging issues through integrating perspectives, finding and implementing shared solutions, information sharing.
  • Undertake Internal and External Engagement
    • Build opportunities for collaborative spaces.
    • Lead the development and maintenance of strong working relationships with ministry leadership and service delivery partners, as well as policy, program and planning divisions.
    • Provide leadership to the PAS for internal and external engagement including using a strategic and systems thinking mindset to consider multiple consultation needs of the PAS portfolio with the same boards and departments.
  • Reflect and monitor outcomes of engagement
    • As part of the strategy, collect and respond to feedback on the engagement process and implement enhancements.
    • Apply continuous improvement methods to engagement activities and to capacity building work to discern areas for improvement, adjustment or refocus.
    • Apply developmental evaluation or qualitative data collection techniques to enhance collective understanding of performance measures and indicators and to support evidence-based policy and program development.
  • Communications
    • Develop new and enhanced strategies for communications and information sharing across government and public agencies which leads to effective and consistent internal and external communications.
    • Lead the development of engagement plans and related strategic communications plans for policy and legislative initiatives that are aligned with the overarching engagement strategy, including plans where multiple departments will need to play critical roles.
    • Liaise with Communications in Ministry and Public Affairs Bureau on public announcements etc.
     
  2.

Governance Leading Practices, Capacity Building and Skill Development

The manager will:

  • Scope training needs
    • Scope training needs and requirements to ensure good governance practices are followed among boards in Alberta and for those GoA staff working in the field of board governance.
  • Develop a training strategy
    • Develop a training strategy to provide an overview for approach to training members of Alberta’s boards, which takes into account the planning, development, delivery and evaluation of training, materials.
  • Develop training and information materials
    • Lead a cross-ministry team to develop a common board member orientation module.
    • Develop, direct and evaluate governance and board training sessions that are interactive and easily accessed by staff interested in learning and sharing stakeholder engagement.
    • Develop, direct and evaluate a short webinar series on the topic of governance and participation on boards to be placed on the Alberta Boards website.
  • Establish an informal network of governance staff in the Government of Alberta
    • Establish an informal network of governance staff providing those involved in governance with a forum for collegial exchange and learning. This will aid alignment of governance processes across government and be beneficial to ongoing collaboration.
    • Enable sharing of best practices focused on continuous improvement through governance communities of practice, cross-jurisdictional collaboration, training and information sharing, and partnerships among agencies.
    • Ensure learnings from collaborative initiatives are disseminated to support ongoing capacity building.
  • Establish Governance Leading Practices Support
    • Provide in-house expertise and advice on leading governance practices.
    • Establish an evidence-based repository of cross-jurisdictional promising and best practices for governance.
    • Serve as Secretariat for the Government Organizational National Network.
     
  3.

Leadership

Lead, coach, mentor, support and provide performance management to the branch’s team of professional staff on an ongoing basis.

Support the Executive Director and/or Director:

  • Serve as Acting Executive Director or Acting Director as required;
  • Lead and support the activities of the PAS;
  • Supervise staff as directed.
  • Represent the Executive Director or Director at meetings as requested;
  • Lead and support the establishment of priorities, identifies and resolves issues, clarifies roles and responsibilities, and oversees planning and delivery of branch programs and activities;
  • Provide the Executive Director or Director with background information, research and expert advice;
  • Contribute to budget and human resource management;
  • Promote a positive, respectful and healthy organizational culture.
  • Identify strategic priorities, internal coordination of ministry initiatives and evaluation and reporting of branch and divisional activities, and overall progress to create continuous improvement of the PAS.
  • Ensure that PAS initiatives, policies, programs and services are developed, implemented, and aligned with broader Government of Alberta (GoA) policies and strategies.
  • Lead and contribute to divisional initiatives including ad hoc committees as required.
  • Collaborate with other areas of government as needed to address emerging issues.

Internal and External Stakeholders

  • Promote positive relationships within the government, with board’s members and other stakeholders.
  • Lead and act as a conduit to the government on issues of public agencies regarding any concerns and complexity.
  • Promote increased awareness throughout the government, including the impact of new regulations and processes, and other outcomes and aspects of PAS work.

Knowledge / Experience

 

The Manager must understand the processes of the department and the GoA, especially engagement processes and tools in the context of the PAS work.

A post-graduate degree in adult education, instructional design, sociology, political science, governance, business, public administration or a related field is preferred. The position requires a minimum of 5 years of related experience in all aspects of engagement, governance and/or curriculum design as well as experience in managing, coaching, planning, assigning work and evaluating staff. Experience in relationship-building with internal and external stakeholders including elected officials, ministry and interrelated ministries and GoA partners, community organizations, public sector leaders and boards, and other levels of government.

The position requires extensive knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • Stakeholder engagement practices and principles
  • Best Practices for Governance
  • Adult education and program design and evaluation
  • Ministry, Divisional and GoA strategic plans, mandates, budgets, policies and frameworks
  • Ministry & GoA decision-making processes and practices
  • Ministry & GoA related policies, regulations and legislation (including APAGA and the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Framework).
  • Ministry & Divisional operational plans, programs/initiatives and projects
  • Policy cycle, framework, processes/practices
  • Culturally appropriate principles, models, approaches and practices relating to stakeholder relations and community engagement
  • Knowledge mobilization methodologies, tools and practices
  • Best practices for coaching, motivating and mentoring staff
  • Relevant information systems, presentation, research, database and business productivity software
  • Strategic business theories, principles and techniques including business planning, budgeting, contract management, evaluation, organizational analysis, risk management and negotiation, dispute resolution theories.

The position requires the following skills and abilities:

  • Strong facilitation and negotiating skills to promote consensus, collaboration, coordination and integration of initiatives
  • Excellent abilities of analysis, conceptualization, strategic thinking and innovation to handle complex, diverse, evolving, sensitive contexts
  • Excellent writing skills, including adult education curriculum and program design
  • Leadership in a rapidly-changing, politically sensitive and culturally diverse environment
  • Excellent issues and project management skills to handle multiple priorities
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to work across Ministry program areas and stakeholder groups
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong interpersonal relationships and networks
  • Ability to weigh and balance multiple needs to maximize results and achieve the best solution
  • Ability to lead, motivate and coordinate staff to guide policy cycle work including research, consultation and engagement processes
  • Ability to shift priorities to meet changing demands and timelines
  • Culturally appropriate principles, models, approaches and practices relating to stakeholder relations and stakeholder engagement.

Leadership and Business Know-How

 

Leadership: This position develops, inspires and motivates staff involved in governance across government to reach their full potential and to continue to build organizational capacity for the future. This position is a direct support to the Executive Director in building, communicating and integrating the Division's strategic thinking and planning in alignment with Ministry directions.

The Manager provides leadership and encourages collaboration and cooperation and organizes opportunities for government program leaders and staff to share their understanding of current and emerging issues to put in place action plans to address the complex issues surrounding board governance and stakeholder engagement.

The Manager assists the Executive Director and provides financial management, in collaboration with Ministry finance staff, regarding branch projects, initiatives, contracts and grants.

The Manager requires:

  • Exceptional relationship building skills with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders and must be able to anticipate and adapt relationship-building approaches to the unique needs of stakeholders and proactively build networks and respectful relationships
  • The ability to build collaborative environments and processes
  • Long-term, systematic and strategic thinking, policy analysis, and problem solving skills to identify issues and develop solutions to highly complex and sensitive matters, including ability to foresee challenges and create innovative solutions.

Examples of key skills include:

Leadership

  • Directs and leads staff by demonstrating a commitment to create, support and sustain a constructive environment that enables and encourages staff to achieve best possible results and personal goals.
  • Facilitates informal and formal relationships and partnerships with a diverse and extensive group of people.
  • Promotes and models ethical behaviour consistent with the values of the Alberta public service.
  • Engages and encourages others in strategic thinking and recognizes the strengths of team members to best support the vision and work of the branch and larger division mandate.
  • Uses strong project management and organizational abilities to manage complex issues while delivering results across multiple departments.
  • Uses a strategic approach to determine opportunities for innovation and displays creative and proactive problem solving and decision making skills.
  • Exhibits strong planning, delegation and organizational skills.
  • Identifies order of priorities to determine expected results.

Teamwork

  • Serves as a key support to the Executive Director
  • Provides direction to staff on policies, procedures and legislation and ensuring unit direction is consistent with the overall direction of the PAS.
  • Provide input to PAS cabinet reports with regards to stakeholder engagement.
  • Leads, directs, manages, coordinates and participates in the work of various branch, division, Ministry, cross-ministry and community project teams, partnerships, study groups and committees to develop, modify and implement options, strategies, policies, and plans in respect to governance

Relationship Building

  • Leads and participates in activities that build and maintain effective working relationships, collaborations and partnerships with a diverse number of internal and external stakeholders whom may hold competing interests.
  • Establishes, fosters and maintains essential linkages, partnerships and working relationships in the public, private, academic, voluntary, and community sectors to support common goals with regards to governance and effective operations of public agencies, boards and commissions.

Effective Communication

  • Leads branch work in collaboration with other governance staff across government and external experts to translate engagement learnings and data into policy recommendations and advice to inform improvement.
  • Works with Ministry communications staff and applies understanding and knowledge of pertinent information and communication policies, practices and legislation.
  • Uses strong written, verbal, analytical, listening and interpersonal skills along with negotiating and consensus building skills to communicate and collaborate effectively within the branch, division, and Ministry and with other government and external stakeholders.

Financial Management and Supervision

  • Supports the Executive Director in the development, implementation, monitoring and management for the branch's budget, human resources and fiscal resources in compliance with government and Ministry legislation, policies and practices.

Problem Solving

 

Problem solving in this position often occurs without the benefit of precedents and is a delicate balance between facilitating/guiding/training and leading/directing a shared awareness and understanding of the complex, political sensitivities that may surround ongoing reform of ABCs.

The challenges facing the Manager are:

  • Working in an environment that requires a high degree of flexibility and considerable initiative in determining the most effective means of achieving the desired results.
  • Working in an environment with varying types of public boards, some of which have experienced recent government-led change to their compensation processes and practices.
  • Using persuasion, influence, arguments, relationship building, trust and personal credibility to produce successful results.
  • Determining the key stakeholders, decision-makers, and protocols, and timing and the nature of sharing knowledge and information to affect systemic change.
  • Developing a variety of communication/knowledge sharing methods and venues to meet the needs of a diverse stakeholder group ensuring consistent messaging.

Relationships / Contacts

Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact
Internal

Executive Director and PAS staff members

Ongoing

Collaboration, cooperation, information sharing, issues resolution

ADM and PAS Leadership Team

Ongoing

Collaboration, cooperation, information sharing, issues resolution

Ministry staff

As required

Advice, seek direction, share information

Interrelated ministries and other GoA Ministries and Staff

As required

Collaborate on initiatives, share information, support and cooperation and provide direction

External

Agencies, Boards and Commissions

As required

Information sharing, collaboration, advice and direction

Other types of government and stakeholders of influence

As required

Information sharing, collaboration, advice and direction

Impact and Magnitude of Job (Scope)

 

The position reinforces the need to work collaboratively with boards and government staff to develop and deliver effective engagement and learning opportunities.

Working within a rapidly moving and high profile series of reforms transforming ABCs. Working within a team that is also undergoing ongoing transformation in relation to its purpose, mandate, strategic priorities, and portfolio.

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