Public sector leadership



Addressing complex and cross-boundary challenges in government: the value of strategy mapping

Other authors
Bill Barberg, Anne Carroll, Colin Eden, Bert George, Jose J. Gonzalez, Jessica Rochester, Laure Vandersmissen, Bishoy Zaki
This report builds on the IBM Center’s long-standing research into leveraging new tools and approaches to governance that better position government agencies to address complex challenges that cross or transcend traditional agency boundaries. The report provides practical recommendations on how governments can work with each...

Raising the bar: managing climate change risk in public authorities

This report recommends clear, transparent policy direction for public authority directors. This will hopefully enable public authorities to contribute to a whole-of-government picture of climate risk that meets and raises the standards that apply to all organisations, public and private, in discovering, disclosing and addressing...

Accelerating government innovation with leadership and stimulus funding

This report explores various ways that executives can leverage stimulus funding to incentivise success across multiple innovation and data roles, and drive forward work from those roles into digital service development and delivery. The author also develops a framework with specific recommendations for how leaders...

Australian Public Service Hierarchy and Classification Review

The Australian Public Service (APS) exists to serve the people of Australia - through the government of the day. Therefore, it is imperative the APS is structured, skilled and resourced to meet the demands, challenges and opportunities that Australia will face in the decades ahead...

Reforming public appointments

Ministers make appointments to powerful roles across the public sector. These can be controversial, so ensuring a high calibre of appointees is important. This report responds to concerns about the appointments process – and standards in public life generally – by proposing reforms to restore...

The chair in government: profiling the chair of an arm’s-length body

This report aims to enhance understanding of the chair's role in arm’s-length bodies (ALBs) and shows how defining best practice can encourage great candidates to take on these essential leadership roles.

After Boris Johnson: what now for the civil service?

This report recognises the UK civil service’s vital role, but warns that it has been weakened by high-profile policy and operational failures, like the Kabul evacuation and pandemic contingency plans, and damaged by the Downing Street 'partygate' fallout.

Review of culture and accountability in the Queensland public sector: final report

This review aspires to influence a cultural shift, which encourages openness from the top, starting with Cabinet processes and a resulting shared focus on identifying and dealing with the challenges Queensland faces.

Top of mind: 2022 summary report

This summary report represents a sample of the rich insights and views of Canada’s senior public servants on their work and their institutions. Readers and researchers are well advised to take the time and review the detailed reports more closely, to draw additional lessons and...

Fixing Whitehall’s broken policy machine

In this report, Jonathan Slater, who was the most senior civil servant in the Department for Education (UK) from 2016 to 2020, writes that while public engagement is a core part of the role of local government policy-makers, it is not seen as important for...

Licence to lead: lessons for public bodies from the pandemic response in health

The COVID-19 crisis threw public bodies to the forefront of the government’s pandemic response. There were notable successes, but politicians, civil servants and public body leaders have much to learn from their experience of working together under pressure. This report offers nine key lessons that...

Living in the exponential age: making democracy work

The more divergence between the interests of different groups within society, the harder it is to sustain consensual policy making within a democratic society. This paper looks at the vast scope of the change we are living through, and the way in which that change...

Tools at the centre of government: research and practitioners' insight

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role not just of government generally, but in particular the essential role the 'centre of government' must play to coordinate, communicate with the public, and navigate new problems. This paper looks at how public servants can add value...

Highly capable, future-ready: APS learning and development strategy

This strategy document highlights the need for a one-Australian Public Service (APS) approach to lifting the skills and capability of their workforce to ensure a high performing, driven and trusted APS.

Australia Post

This inquiry was established to investigate the events relating to the resignation of former Australia Post CEO, Christine Holgate, and to examine issues related to the secret Boston Consulting Group review and the future of Australia Post's service delivery obligations.

Australian Leadership Index: 2020 national survey report

The Australian Leadership Index is a national survey that provides a comprehensive picture of leadership for the greater good in Australia. This report reflects the views of 4,000 Australians surveyed throughout 2020.

Responding to shocks: 10 lessons for government

As the United Kingdom hits the anniversary of the first national lockdown, this report sets out 10 lessons that government should learn from its handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
Discussion paper

Ways to reconcile and heal America

At a critical time in the United States' history, this paper examines how polarised discussions on race, ethnicity, religion, immigration and gender stem from years of income inequality, geographic disparities, systemic racism and the rise of digital technology. The authors also propose policy solutions to...

Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Victorian government’s response have rapidly evolved over the course of this inquiry. This second inquiry report reflects the impact of the second wave of the pandemic, as well as the subsequent actions taken by the government to manage it up...

Management of the Australian Public Service’s workforce response to COVID-19

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, the Australian Public Service (APS) workforce had to adapt within a short timeframe to a new operating environment and position itself to handle a surge in demand for government services. The audit objective was to assess...

Moving out: making a success of civil service relocation

This report argues that relocations, particularly for public policy and other specialist roles, should focus on improving the capacity of the civil service by widening the pool of highly skilled workers available to it.
Working paper

Leadership for a high performing civil service: towards a senior civil service systems in OECD countries

Public service leaders are at the heart of government effectiveness. They translate political direction into the policies and programmes. In order to do so, they need to have both the right skills and institutional support to deploy them effectively. This paper summarises insights from a...

Growth through transformation: an investment vision guide for climate and development

As countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to unlock investment is even more acute. This guide presents a theoretical framework to complement efforts by countries to implement the long-term strategies developed under the Paris Agreement.

How to fail (forward): a framework for fostering innovation in the public sector

The work in this report was conducted prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. But if ever there was a time when the public sector needed to foster innovation, it is now. As we have seen first-hand, governments must serve proactively and more nimbly...

Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic: interim report

In April 2020, the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee commenced an inquiry into the Victorian Government’s response to the COVID‑19 pandemic. This interim report outlines the committee's preliminary findings.