Last week, Governor Gregoire issued Executive Order 12-02 which reinforces our state's commitment to developing and supporting a diverse, inclusive and high performance workforce. While the Order ought to be celebrated, it misses on at least one key point in it's assessment of diversity:
The changing nature of work - from a centralized, top down model to a self-organized, distributed network - has as much to do with people's challenge in accessing government services than the traditionally acknowledged barriers of ethnocultural diversity.
So long as government and civil services continue to reflect the structures of the past (e.g. resources getting pushed out from the top down instead of pulled out of the system as needed by users), they will fail to satisfy the high performance vision for Washington's workforce.
As the Washington Health Foundation has been learning in its interactions with independent workers (through a grant from the Attorney General's Office to leverage our Personal Health Advocacy service), there is a significant gap emerging between the value people want from the systems they interact with (whether those be corporate, governmental, health care, etc) and what they are actually able to obtain. Government action therefore should be minding that gap while at the same time addressing other root causes that hold back our personal and collective productivity.