Over the past two California administrations Tamara championed the course for the priority policy initiatives and digital service and public transformation strategies for the world’s 5th largest economy. And in December 2020 a newly elected Prime Minister in Montenegro asked her to join his cabinet as the Minister of Public Administration, Digital Society and Media.
Montenegro is facing a challenging but historical moment of transition. The new government is made up of all experts, not politicians, who are passionate leaders and dedicated to delivering better services to the people of Montenegro.
The country is beautiful, the people are united by a strong and independent spirit. It’s also a traditional society with a bureaucracy entrenched by 30 years of one-party rule. Right now is a rare opportunity to improve citizen services in a way that may really help promote shared values in the Western Balkans.
President Barack Obama always talked about how important it is for young people to resist the temptation to be cynical about government, which is enabling bad leaders and strongmen around the world. Well a major driver of that cynicism is the terrible, bureaucratic experience that most of us expect when we go to the government for a driver’s license, or unemployment benefits, or just to pay taxes. Montenegro is facing the same challenge.
The best thing we can do as people in technology to reverse this trend is to improve these services, give people a better experience, and show them that working together with common values, expressed through a democratic government, makes life better.
In her session Tamara will share an overview of her team’s approach to transformation on finding ways to drive change across the organization by Putting People First, Empowering For Action and Improving Continuously.
She will talk about how she has taken lessons she learned from the best world leaders in public sector digital services and how she applied her experience from leading this change in California state government to Montenegro.
Two topics will be highlighted:
Empowering Staff and Leadership to Lead Technological and Innovation Change (while continuously in crisis mode!)
It’s becoming clear that the toughest problems our governments all around the world face can’t be solved with process and technology alone—people are at the heart of meaningful, lasting change. Yet many leaders struggle to center their people as they embark on large-scale change. Leadership in government requires a unique set of skills and competencies, including a relentless drive for impact and the ability to create an agile, creative, and diverse workforce.
Leveraging Community-Based Talent to Power Digital Services Efforts
To meet surging demands for technologists, Montenegro is leveraging a range of civic and community groups to catalyze or force-multiply digital initiatives. Here, the culture change inherent to digital transformation is put in stark relief, compounded by the ways in which new voices from outside of traditional government silos challenge longstanding ways of approaching problems.