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Shock 2020 – Emotions, Innovations, Decisions
Virtuālā īskonference “Šoks 2020: Emocijas, inovācijas, lēmumi” ir nacionāla līmeņa diskusija OECD globālā pasākuma Government After Shock ietvaros. Īskonferencē atskatīsimies uz Latvijas publiskā sektora pieredzi un rīcību dažādās kritiskās situācijās, kā arī dalīsimies atziņās un gūtajās mācībās no joprojām aktuālās Covid-19 krīzes:
- kā valsts un cilvēki mainās krīzes laikā,
- kā mēs katrs no krīzes vienlaikus kaut ko iegūstam un kaut ko zaudējam, kā vecā vietā nāk kaut kas jauns,
- cik svarīga ir sadarbība neierastos apstākļos, palīdzīga roka un atbalsts.
Short conference of the State Chancellery of Latvia’s Innovation laboratory: “Shock 2020 – Emotions, Innovations, Decisions.”
November 18 marks Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia, therefore in the pre-celebratory mood we will look back at Latvia’s march through different historical crises and share knowledge and lessons learnt from the COVID-19 crisis, which is still relevant.
The program consists of the opening address and 5 presentations followed by discussions. Presentations will include the following topics: retrospective review of national history in the context of crises, organization of public administration during the COVID-19 crisis, how do we feel and adapt to new conditions and case studies from different public sector fields.
This event is for invited guests only – held in Latvian.
Summary of the event
November 18 marks Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia, therefore in the pre-celebratory mood we looked back at Latvia’s march through different historical crises and shared knowledge and lessons learnt from the COVID-19 crisis, which is still relevant.The program consisted of the opening address and 5 presentations followed by discussions. Presentations included the following topics: retrospective review of national history, organization of public administration during the COVID-19 crisis, how do we feel and adapt to new conditions and case studies from foreign affairs and education sectors.
What was the most powerful idea, insight or realisation that came out of the event?
There were several quotes that caught our attention the most:
“In such crises, all formalities become secondary. The key is content and meaning. The moment when we realized that we could be flexible and deal with everything – when we realized that there were professionals around us, a cohesive and capable team to trust on.” (re about the state administration management during Covid-19 crisis)
“There is a misconception that all that diplomats do – in suede shoes slide on parquet floors and drink champagne. We are trained and prepared for crises, but I can compare the real crisis management with an exam at a music school – you are acquainted to various musical instruments, but you do not know which one will be given to you this time.” (re repatriation organization during Covid-19 crisis)
“We each have to eat a handful of salt in our lives or at some point during crisis. We can’t change the
amount of salt, but we can choose the volume in which to let it pour – choose a lake, not a glass. It is a question of scale.” (re how people feel and adapt to changes)
What do we collectively need to keep talking about?
- The importance, the role, irreplaceability and image of public sector institutions
- The emotional aspects that employees are going through working in stressful conditions
- Collaboration between public sector institutions on both national and international levels
- The critical importance of trust – within a team, between an employee and a manager, between public servant and society – in any times, but most importantly – in times of crises.
Reflecting back on the event, what key insights or conclusions can be shared about what should be “left behind” beyond the crisis? (ex. What has proven to no longer fit in the current context?)
- Do not keep doing anything unless you can answer – why am I doing this? If this is not clear, a response should be sought from those who delegated that work.
- Distrust – “if you are not at your office desk, then you do not work”. Flexible working hours have been questioned in the past, but they must be kept in the future for sure. More flexibility, less control and bureaucracy in processes of public administration
- Flexible working hours do not mean 24/7, however we must remember to plan our time at extent that it is 8 working hours in average and time for ourselves left. This has often been misunderstood.
Reflecting back on the event, what key insights or conclusions can be shared about what should be “kept” beyond the crisis? (ex. What has proven to be important, what were things introduced in crisis response that should be kept after?)
- Trust – that we can accomplish more than expected from us if there is a trust. Instead of having to write time sheets, let them do more, allow to take responsibility. We will move on stronger if we keep this in mind!
- The values that were defined at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Republic of Latvia) in honor of the
centenary of our diplomatic corps shortly before the crisis, we were able to test at full capacity – honesty, cooperation, courage. We were able to work together more, we allowed ourselves to be brave, and we did the work honestly.
- We have seen that public administration is capable to change. We just need to put into words the things we want and can do.
Reflecting back on the event, what key insights or conclusions can be shared about what collectively we should “do differently” beyond the crisis?
- This crisis has helped to realize how human we all are and that only with such a humane attitude will we overcome this crisis and any other crisis that will come.
- You cannot eat that elephant at once, but only piece by piece. There is a good advice to practice one thing on a daily basis that motivates you not to let yourself down – for example, to practice gratitude or, when working remotely, not in a bathrobe all day, but to cheer yourself up – dress like going out to the office or elsewhere.