Govt to learn to manage brilliant, difficult workers if to innovate, Liz Pommer and Vicky Darling

If govt wants innovation, learn to manage the brilliant, difficult workers

Defence force’s structure, for example, doesn’t support someone who “lays on the outer”, says deputy chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Warren McDonald (pictured). Speaking at the Air Power Conference in Canberra, McDonald laid bare his concerns that disruptors — the very people most likely to have the innovation inspiration organisations are looking for — are neither embraced nor managed well by the highly proscriptive workforce and career structures in Defence.

National security agencies are seeing a shift in thinking of what their cyber-equipped innovation-driven workforces should look like.

Nostalgic poster depictions of adult boy scouts — square jawed, fit and charismatic white men — are making way for gradual acceptance that the future workforce must comprise of diversity beyond the presently acceptable factors like ethnicity and gender.

Brilliant, but difficult workers who may have personality disorders, criminal records or health concerns such as obesity, are more often driven out of government organisations than welcomed and managed. That must change, say a new generation of leaders in these national security organisations, if they are to meet the challenges of the future.

Read more: If govt wants innovation, learn to manage the brilliant, difficult workers, The Mandarin


Posted in 21st Century government, Leadership, Organisational culture.