marketing & social media strategy consultant and trainer focused primarily on helping public sector organizations achieve their objectives more efficiently and effectively

international keynote speaker on the topics of strategic marketing, new media, modern communications, social media engagement and government 2.0

Public Sector Marketing 2.0 - Mike Kujawski's blog on government, association and non-profit marketing in a Web 2.0 world

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December 23, 2011

Bring back the Jester!

Since this will likely be my last post for 2011, I have decided to write it in the form of a wish for 2012; The Jester is due for a comeback.

What is a Jester?

“In ancient times courts employed fools and by the Middle Ages the jester was a familiar figure. In Renaissance times, aristocratic households in Britain employed licensed fools or jesters, who sometimes dressed as other servants were dressed, but generally wore a motley coat, hood with ass’s (i.e. donkey) ears or a red-flannel coxcomb and bells. Regarded as pets or mascots, they served not simply to amuse but to criticise their master or mistress and their guests. Queen Elizabeth (reigned 1558-1603) is said to have rebuked one of her fools for being insufficiently severe with her.” -Wikipedia

Where should the Jester work?

Specifically I think Jester’s should be employed by all senior public servants

Why do we need to bring back the Jester?

  1. There is far too much ego in the senior cadres of the public service
  2. Rank is taken far too seriously in the public service in general. Senior leaders are humans. They go home at night to their families.
  3. The most senior ranking public servant in the room is almost never challenged (this problem occurs at every level)
  4. “Group think” is dangerous. Someone needs to be hired whose job it is to  play devil’s advocate in a senior leader’s office, full-time.
Now we just need to come up with a standardized #goc classification (i.e. JS-1, JS-2), salary, benefits and job description, any volunteers?