Online Workshop

Political Acuity: Connecting the Dots

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About this Online Workshop

In today's increasingly complex governance environment, public servants maintain the time-honored tradition of being non-partisan in the advice they provide to both their internal decision makers and political leaders.

At the same time, being politically astute and knowledgeable about the public and political interface, attendant relationships, protocols and practices, can produce better policy and strategic advice. We call this connecting the dots.

Political acuity is about judgment; understanding an issue, its origins, and the players, developing an approach, and knowing when to act. This know-how and timing is particularly important in the context of the relationship between public servants, their internal environments and Council and other orders of government. Staff who work in Social Service are often answering to several orders of government at the same time. This can be very challenging and requires well-developed political acuity.

This online workshop will introduce you to the skills and abilities for understanding and cultivating your political acuity. Learn how to recognize and work with formal and informal systems, practices, relationships and cultures so that you can identify impacts, influence decisions and achieve organizational objectives. Practical examples will be used to illustrate these skills and learning will occur through individual and group exercises, case studies and discussions.

NOTE: This is an interactive, virtual workshop, which is different from a webinar. Participants will be expected to participate through voice and video, and to engage with each other and the facilitator in large and small group discussions, to learn from each other and practice skill development.

Learning Objectives

  • Your professional ethical responsibilities to yourself and others
  • To understand what political acuity is and why developing it will help you have a brilliant career as a public servant
  • To identify and explore how to build and strengthen key relationships
  • To understand the current environment and its implications for your work
  • To strengthen your ability to provide strategic advice and direction

Who Should Attend?

This workshop will be of interest to human services staff who make key decisions and especially to those that write reports for council and other levels of government.

Format and Duration

Two, three-hour online workshops over two days.

Workshop Dates and Registration

There are currently no upcoming dates scheduled for this workshop. If you would like to enquire about bringing this virtual workshop to your organization or staff, please email


  • Members: TBD

  • Non-Members: TBD

Technical Requirements

OMSSA hosts this virtual workshop using Zoom, an online, interactive platform that you can join straight from your web browser, or by downloading 'Zoom Client for Meetings' on your computer or tablet

Participants will be expected to join the workshop via both video and audio. Participants should therefore have access to a desktop computer, laptop computer or tablet with:

  • a webcam or built-in camera

  • a built-in microphone or a headphone jack where you can plug in a headset or earphones

We strongly recommend that participants use a headset or earphones with a built-in microphone in order to limit background noise. 

System requirements: Click here for more detailed information on system requirements from Zoom.