What is the core content of the Leadership Development Programme (LDP)?
Based on an in-depth learning needs assessment involving all twelve participating countries, and the experiences and suggestions from the alumni of the first three LDP cohorts, the following core content elements will be “woven” throughout the programme:
- PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP: Public service leaders at all management levels need to show leadership in the interface between the political directorate and the operations of their organisations. They must provide principled leadership which demonstrates accountability and responsibility, understanding the dynamic exchange between the various leadership roles and how each function is placed within the regulatory frameworks/structures of their country;
- LEADING THROUGH OTHERS: This means that public service leaders must be more than “ideas” people, technical “specialists” or “directors” who issue commands. They must have highly developed communication and managerial skills and an excellent grasp of what motivates people, including managers, peers, staff and stakeholders in order to get the work done through and with others;
- LEADING RESPONSIVE ORGANISATIONS: Public service leaders must be skillful at creating working environments where people excel by carrying out their duties in a responsive way, by being effective, efficient, and innovative. They must be able to align vision with strategy and link plans with execution and operational deliverables. They provide policy advice with confidence and courage and work with senior officials towards the organization’s purpose and mission. This means understanding what effective organisational behaviour really looks like, and being willing to take some risks in creating the kind of public service organisations that are needed today;
- LEADING ACROSS GOVERNMENT: This means “heads up” leadership, or a system-wide perspective, in which senior leaders are not only attending to the business of their specific ministries and departments, they are constantly checking to see how their actions will affect other parts of government, developing supporting relationships and networks and coordinating their actions with colleagues in a planned way;
- LEADING IN A POLITICAL CONTEXT: Public service leaders must understand the political context (minority, majority and multi-party dynamics), and the public service/political interface. This means being aware of the shifts in democratic participation, and a deeper understanding of the political economies and how that will affect the priorities of their departments/ministries, the whole of government, and the region overall;
- LEADING WITH SENSITIVITY TO PUBLIC AND STAKEHOLDER INTERESTS: In today’s networked world, public service leaders must understand the importance of strong and continuous relationship with a wide variety of “publics” and “stakeholders” and develop the skills to effectively communicate utilizing all available channels including social media and virtual technology. They must have an accurate read on the public interest in the local, regional and global context. They are required to understand and appreciate that today’s complexity and interconnected world requires leaders to be flexible and resilient in their thinking and in their orientation to action;
- LEADING IN A REGIONAL AND GLOBAL CONTEXT: Public service leaders need to think beyond their current roles and goals. They need to be familiar with the regional and global trends and dynamics that will affect their country generally as well as governments and ministries/departments specifically. This requires practice in the examination and analysis of unfolding developments on the regional and global stage and building networks with experts and peers across the region. Part of the new context also is the emergence of social media as a primary channel for communication, demanding leaders to develop new skills in working online and across traditional structures;
- AUTHORING YOUR OWN LEADERSHIP STYLE: Responsive public service leaders hone and deploy their own unique strengths while managing the inherent tensions at the heart of successful leadership. They need to be authentic, develop a deep understanding of who they are and what their values and beliefs are, align ‘being ‘with ‘doing’, develop effective and healthy relationships with their staff and colleagues, and maintain their individuality while conforming to the requirements of the position.
In addition to the foregoing, the LDP addresses environmental sustainability, gender equality and diversity, economic development, health and wellness, regional integration and good governance as Cross-Cutting Themes (CCTs).
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