Promoting Efficiency And Effectiveness In The Public Service


CSE is a small department with a big job to do. It is imperative that we work efficiently and effectively to ensure continued delivery of high quality services for Canada and Canadians. While some of the problems we are trying to tackle are so big we simply can’t do it on our own, others sometimes just need the ingenuity of a motivated person to coordinate a “fix”. Either way CSE seeks to foster a culture of innovation by empowering employees to experiment, collaborate and engage both internally and externally.

Providing regular feedback on employee performance

Talent Management

The Ingenia Talent Management Tool was launched in May 2016. This tool was created to consolidate learning management, performance management, talent management and succession planning. This year, CSE employees used Ingenia to capture their Performance Agreement. No longer a static, administrative document, with Ingenia Performance Agreements are dynamic, meaning that at any point in time we can add a goal, modify goals and even put them on hold as priorities shift to accurately reflect employee performance over the year.


Employee Recognition

Corporate Awards

CSE Corporate Awards honour and recognize CSE employees who have achieved outstanding results through their work while adhering to the vision and the values of the organization in an exemplary manner.

Instant Awards

Instant Awards celebrate employees who have gone above and beyond either in day-to-day activities or in their contributions to projects or initiatives.

Unofficial Shout-Outs and Ingenia Impressions

Employees regularly use CSE social media to thank or endorse the work of their colleagues informally.


Making it possible for public servants to experiment

Engineered Audacity

CSE launched Engineered Audacity, an initiative created to build a culture which supports innovative, audacious action across CSE and encourages employees to embrace and learn from failures through:

  • Epic Fail Week

  • Failure Report

  • Highlights and Lowlights

  • Audacity Gear

#GC2020 Story : “Audacity Gear” and “Fix One Thing”

Issue or Driver:

In order to keep up with the pace of our operations, we need to be creative, innovative and dedicated to continuous improvement. We also need to find efficiencies and reduce workplace stressors. However, getting good ideas off the ground can be daunting and sometimes very challenging, especially if your idea isn’t within the scope of your day-to-day work or there are conflicting priorities in the organization. We want to make sure that our employees, among Canada’s best and brightest, have the avenues and confidence to promote their audacious ideas for the benefit of the organization.


Following a very successful “Fail Week” in 2016, during which CSE employees from all levels showcased how they learned from failure, CSE launched the Engineered Audacity tile. This tile seeks to both inspire innovation and constructively embrace failure. As part of this effort, CSE recently introduced Audacity Gear, a tool designed to help give CSE employees the edge they need to pursue audacious ideas—big ideas requiring buy-in and longer-term commitment. Employees who are able to demonstrate the potential value of their idea are selected to receive the Audacity Gear kit which includes helpful reference material (and a dose of chocolate and caffeine should they require a boost!). Another employee-led initiative “Fix One Thing” set up a common space where ideas for day-to-day efficiencies and quick fixes could be registered. A few important successes were achieved; for example, one employee developed an algorithm to automate steps in CSE’s hiring process. The “fix” has been piloted with co-op student applications and has significantly reduced the time spent on matching candidates to potential areas of work within the organization. Work continues to find resources and cycles to address more of the ideas posted.


Both these ideas have strong endorsement from CSE’s executives for the way in which they have motivated employees to come forward and share their ideas with the CSE community. In December, Audacity Gear will be given out to four employees with promising ideas. The ideas range from refining a specific operational policy to create efficiencies, to fostering increased collaboration with partner departments in the S&I community, and to streamlining HR processes around transitioning to and from parental leave to reduce workplace stressors. We look forward to following the development of these projects.

Overall, these two examples confirm that CSE employees have great ideas and are motivated to find better ways of working. These ideasharing initiatives also serve to highlight some of the failures in our processes, both big and small, and allow us to take action accordingly. The struggle, however, remains with demand for fixes exceeding the number of available resources, dependencies on policy changes for success, and other competing priorities. Despite this, CSE’s community of innovators are resilient and continue to promote communitybased solutions. We are inspired by their ideas and their dogged determination to improve our workplace.


Making decision-making more efficient

Bill C-59

The proposed CSE Act will clarify how we are authorized to operate in cyber space, protecting Canadians at home and abroad from threats to our security, stability, and economic prosperity.

Policy Suite Reset

Taking action to streamline and consolidate CSE policies to enable efficient decision-making.

Take Me With You Campaign

Encouraging managers and senior leaders to include junior team members in meetings about issues and decisions of importance to CSE.

Ask Me Anything (AMA) Session

Creating conditions for open, honest conversations between employees and senior leaders.


Improving services to Canadians through innovation and user engagement


Vision 2020

CSE’s Strategic Vision, launched in 2016, is the product of an extensive CSE-wide collaborative effort built in part through a crowd-sourced environmental scan.

Craft Discovery

Craft Discovery is about creating a space for holistic and collaborative conversations to advance specific Crafts in the interest of achieving organizational goals and improved service delivery.



  • Cyber consultations,
    Participated in Twitter chats,
    Facebook Live event

  • Conducted public Opinion Research

  • Published the Democratic
    Institutions Report

  • Attracted 5000+ Twitter Followers

  • Increased participation
    in public forums


Be A Part Of Something Bigger

Through our CSE Community Outreach Program employees can volunteer their time in local schools and community organizations. Outreach gives employees the opportunity to put their unique talents and skills to use in the community. Employees can also have a positive impact on the community through the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaogn (GCWCC).



Issue or Driver:

We’ve all seen how cyber compromises result in significant financial losses, theft of intellectual property, large-scale privacy breaches and reputational damage. Today’s cyber threat actors include state actors, hacktivists, criminals and terrorists capable of a broad range of malicious activities, including disrupted services, ransomware and identity theft. As the Government of Canada’s centre of excellence for cyber defence and cyber operations, CSE provides advice, guidance and services to protect Canada’s most sensitive information and systems. With our unique mission and skills, CSE endeavours to be a trusted advisor in the cyber defence community, so that all Canadians can benefit from our expertise in defending against advanced cyber threats.


Enter Assemblyline—a malware detection and analysis tool developed by CSE’s Cyber Defence program. In October 2017, CSE publicly released the tool to the cybersecurity community. Assemblyline is designed to assist cyber defence teams to automate the analysis of files and to better use the time of security analysts. The tool recognizes when a large volume of files is received within the system, and can automatically rebalance its workload. The tool is designed to be customized by the user and provides a robust interface for security analysts. For example, users can add their own analytics in to Assemblyline, such as antivirus products or custom-built software. The automation that Assemblyline enables, allows malware security researchers to focus their efforts on creating new methods to detect malicious files and on strengthening Canadian networks.


Assemblyline has already garnered significant interest from the cyber security community. In just over a month, Assemblyline was:

  • installed nearly 3,000 times
  • installed over 400 times during Public Safety Canada’s Geek Week
  • installed over 200 times during COUNTERMEASURE 2017

The free release of Assemblyline to businesses, security researchers, industry, and academia is an opportunity for the cyber security community to come together to take what CSE has developed and build upon it collaboratively for the benefit of all Canadians.