The key communication to make at the outset of institutional reform is to express clearly that reform is directed at better services and or more services at the same cost and or as starting the trend toward a smaller organization if warranted. For reform to find acceptance it is critical that the people who have dedicated their lives to serving the government are given full consideration, that is to say, they all need assurance that their situation will improve or be unharmed. The spirit here is to bring efficiency to the government to better serve the province and to manage costs, this is in no way an attempt at a callus reduction in the civil service. In fact, it may be necessary to consider as part of the cost of gaining greater efficiency over time to pay out people affected – at the point reform is implemented the costing would be done and pay-outs would be costed into the whole program – so rather than a cost they are an investment on an improved future circumstance.
For any given endeavour there is an optimum size of the organization. In the 1970s, the Midwest US 1400 acre family farm was considered the most efficient economic unit in the US. It was efficient because everyone involved was utilised completely and they had a complete vertical understanding of the organisation. In the early 1920s, Henry Ford built a completely integrated manufacturing plant, every aspect of the automobile was made in that plant. It was discovered over time that while it seemed a good idea, the complexity and variety of processes made the model very inefficient. This model was abandoned and the new models were developed which eventually lead to a highly integrated but segmented supply gain – so there are a series of plants doing specialized work that feed various assembly lines.
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The requirement for institutional reform is clear, the challenge is that people often incur fear at the prospect and understandably so, their livelihoods are at stake in many cases. That is why the most important aspect of change policy is to extend security to all affected actors; this generates an atmosphere that gains people's help in change rather than their resistance. There must be a commitment to compassion in change.
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