Voices from Accenture Public Service


In my prior blogs I have discussed how human services agencies in the era of empowerment need to become insight and intelligence-driven and build trust with a new citizen engagement model. But in the era of empowerment, the human services workforce also needs to be empowered to work and operate very differently from today. There are three key dimensions shaping this:

  1. The nature of work in the digital future is changing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a significant impact. But it’s not about AI replacing humans. Instead it’s about recognising the strengths and the complementary of roles between people and smart machines to achieve desired and improved outcomes. Fjord’s 2018 Trends show that when working together humans and machines can achieve better results, such as greater accuracy in identifying cancer cells.
  2. The human services worker will shift from focusing on administration to becoming a life and success coach. Empowered by data and insights the employee of the future will take a holistic view of their client’s circumstances across an ecosystem of care and create positive changes in their clients’ lives. This will require new skills and to work more creatively with empathy and social intelligence as key characteristics of success.
  3. The future human services organisation will also change. It will move to the provision of lifelong services, working across the ecosystem with closer integration of health and social services to deliver holistic support and outcomes. New delivery models and agile approaches will change how projects are planned and executed. Moving from large, monolithic transformation programs to more outcomes-focused, rapid prototyping and responsive delivery enabled by data and insights.

Critical to the future workforce is the evolution of an agency’s organisational culture. Leaders will be tasked with reshaping and championing an innovation culture that encourages risk taking, creativity and experimentation. As human-machine collaboration transforms the way that decisions are made, it relieves human workers from the burden of routine and repetitive administration. As a result, people are better able to focus on forging deep connections via empathy and inclusion.

In the digital era, agility is key. Human services teams will move from focusing on functions to organising around projects. Moving away from fixed roles for team members, the future workforce model will be adaptive and bring together the right combination of skilled people from internal and external sources.

As the era of empowerment takes hold, maximising wellbeing and helping to unlock a citizens’ potential will be the key outcomes by which performance is measured. This evolution will require shifting from measuring efficiency and completed tasks to assessing outcomes and impact on people’s lives. Does your agency have the digital capabilities and organisational structure to enable the era of empowerment to take hold?

In my next blog I’ll be looking at how human services in the era of empowerment will move towards a platform model, orchestrating and enabling a wide range of players and services to create new outcomes with the citizen at the centre.

Want to learn more about the Era of Empowerment for Human Services?  Read our POV.

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