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New insights and new possibilities for public service leadership

New insights and new possibilities for public service leadership This paper introduces the findings of an unusual international endeavour that combines action research with leadership development for 40 senior officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The four nation Leadership Across Borders programme, co‐delivered by the governments' business schools of each country, set out to explore and understand some of the most significant facets of public service ranging from citizen engagement to whole‐of‐government complexity, and from the economic downturn to crisis management. Over the 10 months of the programme, the senior group engaged with heads of the public service, leading academics, delivery experts, leaders of civic society and scores of street level service users. This paper highlights the critical importance of understanding complexity and the role of ‘systems thinking’ in dealing with modern problems. But it also points to a new order of innovation required of leaders if they are to bring value to problems such as deprivation and global financial crises, and if they are to successfully bring about citizen‐centred services in increasingly complex societies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services Emerald Publishing

New insights and new possibilities for public service leadership

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1747-9886
DOI
10.5042/ijlps.2010.0107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper introduces the findings of an unusual international endeavour that combines action research with leadership development for 40 senior officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. The four nation Leadership Across Borders programme, co‐delivered by the governments' business schools of each country, set out to explore and understand some of the most significant facets of public service ranging from citizen engagement to whole‐of‐government complexity, and from the economic downturn to crisis management. Over the 10 months of the programme, the senior group engaged with heads of the public service, leading academics, delivery experts, leaders of civic society and scores of street level service users. This paper highlights the critical importance of understanding complexity and the role of ‘systems thinking’ in dealing with modern problems. But it also points to a new order of innovation required of leaders if they are to bring value to problems such as deprivation and global financial crises, and if they are to successfully bring about citizen‐centred services in increasingly complex societies.

Journal

The International Journal of Leadership in Public ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 23, 2010

Keywords: Leadership; Complexity; Systems thinking; Citizen centricity; Crisis; Inquiry

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