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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Tuesday 4 March 2014

CSR: Compensating Public CEOs

By and large, the people who go for and get these Public CEO/senior whatever positions aren't in it for the money.  You can make more in the Private Sector with less scrutiny.
For the most part, these folks aren't in it for the money - like Don Drummond, it's legacy they're after.
Which is why we need to think outside the box on this and not jump to uninformed, emotionally satisfying and populist conclusions. 
Yes, public sector CEO positions need to have robust base salaries, but these don't need to be competitive with the Private Sector north of $400,000 or whatever.  The trick is to add value to the position beyond salary.
Part of the package offering can be a fixed sum of "angel investor" money that these CEOs can give to causes or charities that maybe have to apply for "organization of record" and meet a certain sniff test that ensures it's not benefiting the CEO or co-dependent in any way. 
Or, the bureaucracy could co-source a series of internal "fixes" that CEOs could invest in or take on as personal projects in much the same way as Toronto Community Housing sources projects from among their residents to dedicate a bit of annual funding to.  Think training sessions for staff, cultural competency programming, youth internship opportunities, maybe software upgrades.
It could be a matter of CEOs identifying a cause or community as part of their hiring process that gets their above-salary money - say a certain CEO had a passion for development projects among a priority neighborhood or a Firs Nations reserve.
Of course you'd need some carefully defined parameters on how this would work - those parameters could be co-designed with the CEOs themselves and with public input.  That's how Open Government and Open Data are supposed to work, anyway.
Are there challenges and challenges to innovating a new model?  Of course there are - but less, I guarantee, than there are in our current configuration.  The point is we aren't limited to wages as carrots for talented executives.  In fact, the best ones get more excited about what they can leave behind than what they can take away.

And the public would be a lot more forgiving if they understood that the intent is to ultimately benefit all of us.
We are social creatures, after all.


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