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Boost in public sector performance dependent on leadership

Report: Boost in public sector performance dependent on leadership development

A report has found that leadership development now needs to be a major focus if New Zealand is to have great public institutions.

State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today released the report “Getting to Great: Your map to navigating the straits of internal leadership.” This builds on a previous Getting to Great report which found that New Zealand has good public institutions that hold themselves to high standards of integrity, are adept at managing immediate issues, transactional stakeholder relationships and the priorities of governments of the day.

The new report contains tips from chief executives of agencies who did well on internal leadership in their Performance Improvement Framework* (PIF) reviews. It explores how and why they have been successful so other leaders across the State Services can draw on their experiences and learn from them.

The Getting to Great report has found that the best performing agencies value authentic leadership, create alignment between role, purpose, and organisational culture, embed workforce analytics, provide meaningful and timely feedback, and reach for higher staff engagement.

“Effective and skilled leadership is essential for boosting State sector performance and delivering better public services now and into the future,” Mr Rennie said.

The second in the Getting to Great series, the report analysed findings on Internal Leadership in all the 29 agency PIF reviews conducted so far to identify best practices and share them across the State sector.

The report also includes advice on building a high performance culture from 2013 New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year and Xero Chief Executive Rod Drury. The report also draws insights from Public Service Association National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“Knowing the key role of internal leadership in the transformation of the State sector, I wanted to identify successful approaches that could be shared with current leaders and aspiring leaders across the public sector. I wanted to see specific examples of what can be achieved with proven authentic leadership strongly focussed on building high performing public institutions,” Mr Rennie said.

“We need to lead people better. Many of the nation’s brightest graduates and best thinkers are attracted to the idea of public service. This reservoir of talent and professional commitment has immense opportunity,” the report found.

A full copy of the report is available at http://www.ssc.govt.nz/getting-to-great-internal-leadership.


* Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) is a review of an agency's fitness-for-purpose today and for the future. Using the PIF Agency Model, a PIF Review looks at the current state of an agency and how well placed it is to deal with the issues that confront it in the medium-term future. It then proposes areas where the agency needs to do the most work to make itself fit-for-purpose and fit-for-the-future.

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