strategic initiatives

At the Carlisle Institute, the major challenges facing us today inform our research priorities. They focus on the relationships that shape our prosperity, the vision needed to shape a new model of competitiveness, governments that support citizens and the tasks of developing a political and social culture that will address the challenges to the historical social contract. Our strategic research initiatives are related to the four core programs of global economic integration, transforming government, reinventing entrepreneurship and the changing social contract. Current research projects are:

Innovations in Government: Perspectives on Public Service Reform
Over the past few decades, public service organizations around the world have been subjected to significant bouts of reform. Reform has been driven by a number of social, economic and technological developments that have altered the environment within which government operates. Today, as the pace of change has increased, public service structures, and the public servants who work in them, must continue to adapt if they are to have the right skills, knowledge, and capabilities needed to meet the challenges of 21st-century government. Carlisle is working with a number of institutional partners on this report, the aim of which is to analyze international trends in provincial public service reform, identify and understand the new challenges and problems confronting the public service, highlight innovative case studies and best practices that offer possible ways forward and suggest promising new directions for future public service reform.

Government Communities of Lean Six Sigma
This study will focus on the productivity gains that can be made in government by utilizing Lean Six Sigma, a major initiative for driving new levels of business performance improvement. The study will review how, by utilizing customer-centered, industry-recognized methodologies, a number of Fortune 500 companies have made a major commitment to using Lean Six Sigma tools and methodology, both to drive improvements their businesses and to deliver measurable results for customers. The disciplined approaches involve analyzing business processes and identifying ways to eliminate both errors and unnecessary steps and review ways to deliver improvements quickly and focus on leveraging existing infrastructure investments. How much of this culture and operational framework can be introduced to government? This study will review how productivity improvements can be achieved from streamlining paper-choked workflows to automating labor-intensive functions, and make recommendations concerning where significant performance improvements could be achieved a large-scale rollout of Lean Six Sigma in the public and academic sectors.

The Role of Sector Associations as a Competitiveness Driver
This project seeks to determine the importance of sector associations as determinants of productivity and competitiveness. Research performed by the Science Council of Canada in the 1980s and 1990s concluded that the role of sector associations was critical for the development of initiatives to increase the effectiveness of a competitiveness framework. Sector associations are vital to delivering crucial innovation services such as information networks that drive knowledge about technology, markets, events and resources; support for collaboration to catalyze initiatives involving groups of firms to achieve a strategic objective such as co-operative manufacturing or export marketing; and advice about solutions to technical, management or marketing problems, delivered through a specialized service provider such as a management consultant or a consulting engineer. As organizations assess their needs against elements of a competitiveness framework, industry association support involves technical services, prototype preparation, and quality testing or the performance of research and development. Other important services include infrastructural support, as when an incubator or a science park provide administrative or technical assistance; educational and training services; financial services, as when a co-operative receives block loans from a financial institutional to administer individual loans to members; and advocacy, where the interests of members are represented to government.

For more information about the Carlisle Institute's research programs, contact us at research@carlisleinstitute.org.