Topics covered in the Masters Certificate in Public Sector Leadership
Three Multi-Day Modules:
- Module 1 – Strategic Leadership: Understand and Respond Effectively to the Broader Context of Public Management
- Module 2 – Results Leadership: Deploy Cutting Edge Methods to Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes
- Module 3 – Executive Leadership: Transform Your Organization for Sustained Success as Your Leadership Legacy
- We have transitioned our full program online! Classes will run a combination of 9:00am – 12:00pm EST or 9:00am – 4:00 EST on scheduled days.
- The program will be delivered synchronously through zoom with supplemental asynchronous materials (attendance is mandatory).
- Please note our course format has changed to better function with a virtual delivery.
Module 1 – Strategic Leadership: Understand and Respond Effectively to the Broader Context of Public Management
|Global Trends in Public Sector Management||March 1, 2021|
|Stakeholder Relations||March 8-9, 2021|
|Strategic Mindset||March 22, 2021|
|Critical Thinking||April 7, 12 & 14, 2021|
Module 2 – Results Leadership: Deploy Cutting Edge Methods to Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes
|Leading in a Crisis||May 11, 12, 17, 18, 2021|
|Leading Innovation||May 31 & June 1, 2021|
|Financing Public Sector Projects||June 14 & 16, 2021|
Module 3 – Executive Leadership: Transform Your Organization for Sustained Success as Your Leadership Legacy
|Communicating with Impact||September 28, 2021|
|Leader’s Challenge Pt. 1||October 4, 2021|
|Leader’s Challenge Pt. 2||October 8, 2021|
|Leader’s Challenge Pt. 3||October 12, 2021|
|Leader’s Challenge Pt. 4||October 15, 2021|
|Leader’s Challenge Pt. 5||October 18, 2021|
Module 1 - Strategic Leadership
Global Trends in Public Sector Management – 1 Day
The public sector is under great pressure to change. The drivers and trends that propel these changes are global in nature. Drivers and trends are the factors that change the context in which government and other public sector organizations operate and serve their clients and customers as well as citizens at large. They include:
- demographic factors like an aging population, the growth of mega-cities, improvements in the social and economic situation of women, the east out-growing the west, and the rise of truly global citizens through mobility and knowledge transfer
- a host of economic factors ranging from fiscal stress to digital currencies to closed loop value chains to the growth of emerging markets.
- social factors, positive and negative, that stem largely from hyper-connected and digital lifestyles
- technological factors such as digital advances, robotics and artificial intelligence that are evolving connected systems that sense, monitor, and control human and physical environments
Governments and public sector organizations must develop innovative practices to adapt to these changes and deal with them effectively. Such adaptations will occur across all public sector domains: health care, education, law and justice, human services, culture and recreation, defence, transportation, energy and the environment, and more. Successful government and public sector organizations will evolve beyond service delivery into the realms of enabling solutions, distributed governance models, data-driven decision making, and funding models that go beyond taxation and fees.
- introduce the program and the participants
- understand the evolution of the public service in Canada
- obtain an overview and understanding of the global drivers and trends that propel changes in the public sector
- identify examples of innovative practices used by government and public sector organizations to deal effectively with these global drivers and trends.
Developing a Strategic Mindset – 1 Day
Focusing on strategy is a difficult challenge for many leaders. Within the government and the broader public sector, developing strategic focus is particularly challenging. For example, elections can create a revolving door effect among political leadership – and their appointees – that results in frequent changes of direction. External factors often force budget constraints without regard for the impact on the mission and vision of the organization. Media interpretation and sensationalism can encourage a short-term focus to solve the perceived problems of the moment. All of this happens within the context of increased accountability and expectations from the public, rapidly evolving technology and the increased need for partnering both internal and external to the organization.
Exceptional leaders recognize that only when strategy becomes a part of everyday working life will it strengthen their thinking about their options to position the organization effectively in the external environment in the future and make better informed decisions about the action to take today. It is not simply enough to develop and implement a strategic plan. Leaders must develop a strategic mindset and strategic thinking skills to fulfill organizational missions and visions.
- Clearly differentiate between the inter-dependent process of strategic thinking and strategic planning
- Challenge yourself to step outside of your current mindset and identify personal development goals to create new skills and habits
- Learn the 6 skills of being an adaptive strategic leader: ability to anticipate; ability to challenge; ability to interpret; ability to decide; ability to align and the ability to learn.
- Explore non-linear thinking techniques such as affinity mapping and mind mapping
- Learn techniques such as scenario planning to take thinking from being an implicit, unconscious process taking place in a single mind to being an explicit conscious process taking place in many minds
- Learn how to foster a strategic mindset in your employees – help them understand how strategic decisions impact areas outside their own functional area
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving – 1 Day
Success as a leader depends in a very real sense on one’s ability to examine issues and adopt the most appropriate response. Problems can be very different from one another, so there is no “one-size fits-all” approach to dealing with public sector issues. Rather, the ability to think critically about problems will lead to dealing with them successfully.
If you are stuck on a problem, it is probably safe to assume that you have not defined it correctly. A key skill in critical thinking and problem solving is to frame and then re-frame a question to arrive at a deeper understanding of the root causes of problems. Break down the problem into its component parts and seek opinions to challenge potentially faulty assumptions.
Great problem solving calls upon rationality and feelings in equal measure. Together they bring content and context into true focus. Unfortunately, emotions can take over, distorting reality and influencing us unduly. This is obviously the case with negative emotions like fear and anxiety, but can also result from our hopes and expectations. We need to be able to see both with our emotions and beyond them.
Problems differ in two important ways: uncertainty and complexity. As these two conditions increase we move from decisions to problems to dilemmas. We make decisions, solve problems and manage dilemmas. That may sound simple enough but the tough part is figuring out the nuances and implications in order to do a better job of diagnosing problems and managing them effectively. Critical thinking involves correctly understanding just what kind of issue you are facing. The you can deploy the methods that are most appropriate to addressing the issue. The sequence of steps for making decisions, solving problems and managing dilemmas is not identical, and leaders must learn and apply problem solving methods that fit the situation. The ability to size up the moment and assume the most appropriate problem solving stance is essential as situations shift. Becoming proficient at a variety of problem solving methods gives you the confidence to choose the right approach rather than going with
what feels natural and comfortable.
- Improve competence in anticipating and preventing problems before they occur
- Learn how to frame and re-frame questions to develop deeper insight into issues
- Determine the causes of problems using root cause analysis
- Classify issues as decisions, problems or dilemmas using analysis of complexity and uncertainty
- Develop different approaches to making decisions, solving problems and managing public policy dilemmas
Stakeholder Relations, Strategic Alliances and Political Acuity 2 Days)
Dealing with stakeholders has become a crucial issue in the public sector, and getting it right is the difference between success and failure. Despite the importance, there are few guidelines on how to identify, analyze and involve various groups in the policy process or program development and develop strategic alliances that will advance organizational goals. “Trial and error” have often resulted in conflict, delays and reputational damage. Building on the conceptual foundations of the previous workshop, this course will present the most up-to-date research and practice on stakeholder identification, analysis, engagement and communication, in order to equip participants with the latest and most effective tools.
Political acuity goes hand in hand with stakeholder relations. Political acuity is among the hardest concepts to teach. Traditional thinking suggests you either have it, or you don’t. New research and the real-life experiences of the workshop leader combine to provide a candid and insightful conversation about what it means to be politically astute – understanding both the formal and informal power structure, being sensitive to organizational climate and culture, understanding organizational politics not only within one’s own organization but also between the organization and other governments and public sector agencies, identifying and addressing both the Big P and Small P political issues.
- Learn a structured method for systematically collecting and analyzing stakeholder information to determine whose interests should be considered when developing policy or programs
- Apply a formal process of working with individuals and groups in the public policy process to implement policy and programs, or manage issues
- Understand strategic alliances as networks of people that you know and who know others that can become part of your network, both within your organization and among stakeholder groups
- Learn how to activate, build and maintain strategic alliances that will enable you to achieve the organization’s goals
- Understand and appreciate the political environment within the organization as well as utilizing the formal and informal channels of authority that wield influence and decision-making
- Develop strategies and techniques for raising political acuity, speaking truth to power and dealing with optics
Assessment tool: Political Acuity Self Assessment
Module 2 – Results Leadership
Performance Measurement and Program Evaluation (2 Days)
Continuing pressures for improved accountability and greater value for money performance have prompted governments at all levels as well as other public sector organizations to focus on results as well as resources. Management cannot be viewed simply in terms of financial stewardship and outputs. Rather, in managing public sector managers pay formal attention to outcomes for clients and customers and impacts on quality of life for citizens.
Results based management means that leaders must articulate the results that programs and services should achieve, it means that leaders must develop performance measures to plan and monitor success, and it means that programs and services must be evaluated periodically to discover ways of improving relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. This is much more than reporting past performance for accountability reporting purposes. Results based management focuses on continuous improvement. In these times of fiscal constraint we need to get it right the first time.
This course will show public sector leaders how to define key results and performance measures, and how to use performance information in a variety of decision making processes. It will also describe the methodologies of program evaluation focusing on improving performance. This is not an academic course, but rather is aimed at practicing managers and gives simple step by step guidance, in plain language, about how to develop and use performance metrics in planning, monitoring and evaluation. Participants are encouraged to apply the concepts and tools to their own programs and services right there in the workshop to develop a results management and performance measurement framework.
- Create a concise mission statement that links to organizational strategic priorities
- Develop a Simple Logic Model that articulates results, not just outputs but also client oriented outcomes and strategic impacts on society as a whole
- Select performance measures that are useful for management and meaningful for accountability reporting
- Use performance information in strategic planning, operational planning and control, budgeting and program evaluation
- Understand the principles of process evaluation to improve the efficiency of service delivery, and outcome evaluation to improve program relevance, effectiveness and financial sustainability
Leading Innovation (2 Days)
The ability to innovate to address constant change and solve increasingly complex problems has become a critical competency for leaders in the 21st century in every sector. Business as usual is not an option and leaders need to continuously find better, cheaper or faster solutions. Even though we all recognize we need innovation, encouraging and managing innovation is not a skill most of us learned in school.
There is a difference between creativity and innovation. Creativity is thinking new things. Innovation is doing new things. Innovation is about implementation, creating new ideas that add value, so in that sense innovation is a management function. Innovation can be about changing products, services and processes. But it can also be about changing business models and even policies and societal relationships.
Public sector agencies come under scrutiny much more than private sector organizations. Successes are rarely rewarded while failures attract a great deal of attention. This leads to a hesitancy to innovate. This workshop will offer practical advice and tools to manage the innovation process from idea generation to idea selection to idea implementation to idea diffusion. Using techniques of appreciative inquiry and building generative relationships, the workshop will provide learners with ways to identify the most appropriate orientation for managing innovation: cultivate, replicate, partner, network or open source. The workshop will also show how a public sector organization can structure itself to cultivate a discipline of innovation.
- Understand the language and the framing of effective innovation
- Develop generative relationships that deliver robust solutions
- Tap into the creativity of your team and stakeholders in developing and executing innovative approaches to complex challenges
Big Data, Disruptive Technologies and “Nudge” Techniques (1 Day)
Constrained budgets and a highly complex environment require the public sector to find creative new ways to address social issues. Utilizing big data and behavioural insights and embracing disruptive technologies can allow government and public sector organizations to mobilize non-traditional resources and methods to solve tough social problems.
More data has been created in the last two years than all prior human history combined. Leading organizations are using big data analytics to gain new insights on the needs and behaviors of citizens and clients, and subsequently create new products and services and more importantly new business models. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive computing, the goal is to create actionable insights from which to innovate.
Examples of innovations from disruptive technologies abound. Skype facilitates more international long distance calls than all the world’s major telecommunications companies combined. Uber is worth more than all North American cab companies put together. Airbnb has more accommodation than the largest hotel chain in the world. Technology enables these organizations to disrupt their respective industries, and it is re-inventing business models. Government and not-for-profit organizations must foresee and utilize disruptive technology, indeed they cannot avoid it, to deliver relevant services and effective governance for clients and citizens.
Nudge techniques offers an exciting new approach to encouraging citizens and clients to take new steps towards changing. Drawing on behavioral insights theory governments and not-for-profit organizations are finding new methods to encourage clients and citizens to act in ways that advance desired social outcomes. Moreover, nudge techniques are typically less intrusive and less costly than more traditional methods of persuasion, regulation and service delivery.
- Explore how insights from big data can drive new understanding
- Consider the implication of disruptors for efficiency, effectiveness and stakeholder engagement
- Recognize the potential of mobile technologies, social media and cloud computing to power collaborative problem solving
- Learn how nudge theory – positive reinforcement and indirect suggestion – can provide people and organizations with powerful incentives to change behavior in support of public good
- Apply new approaches and radical thinking to complex challenges
Module 3 – Executive Leadership
Leading Organizational Change (1 Day)
The reality is, even in the best of times, change isn’t easy. Research indicates that about ⅔ of all organizational change initiatives do not achieve the goals set at the outset of the change project or new initiative. In addition, employees at all levels feel worn down by the change experience. Staff is invariably anxious and overwhelmed; managers and directors are coping with trying to do more with less while maintaining morale and achieving productivity targets; and senior executives are struggling with strategic imperatives while keeping the system aligned.
To bring about significant organizational change, leaders must be able to identify what stage of transition employees are at, respond to the three major types of resistance to change, communicate difficult change news in a way that fosters “buy-in” and build a critical mass of energy and support early in the change. There are proven steps and sequencing of effective actions when implementing change, as well as actions to avoid which would be counter-productive to change success, and leaders need to be familiar with these “DO’s and DON’T’s”. Key to leading successful change is understanding what motivates employees and other stakeholder, as well as the benefits of change, so that the leader can adjust his/her own management style by “borrowing” from the motivational value system of others.
- Understand the strategic change framework for effectively planning, launching and implementing change
- Learn practical tools and templates for working through the difficult change issues
- Increase confidence in how to motivate others and more effectively respond to the people issues and concerns
- Reconciling the differing perspectives of those impacted by change, fostering inclusiveness, and delivering compelling communications
- Gain insights and actions for how to better manage actual workplace changes being planned or implemented
Communicating with Impact (1 Day)
Developing skills around influence and persuasion is one of the core components of leadership. What listeners think of a leader’s ideas, plans and the entire organization is affected by how they react to the leader’s style of interpersonal communication. Being able to influence and persuade people is an advantage that can help the leader achieve career goals as well as organizational objectives. In a very real sense, a leader’s success rests on the ability to engender trust in him or her as an individual.
In this course, leaders will learn and apply proven concepts and methods for how to craft and present compelling messages that appeal to different styles of decision-makers, peers, and staff. Participants will gain new insights about their style strengths and practice how to adapt their oral and written messages in ways that gain the awareness, interest, commitment, and action of others. Individual and team activities will challenge participants to demonstrate their learning in real-life scenarios and give and receive constructive feedback for improvement. Content highlights include:
- Style awareness of self and others
- Messaging in “Plain Language”
- Demonstrating empathy to build relationships
- Gaining buy-in and commitment
- Crafting written messages with impact
- Presenting ideas that engage others
Participants will complete an on-line communications style assessment and on-line survey prior to the session that the facilitator will use to tailor the learning to their needs.
- Acquire powerful presentation structures that gain attention and influence action
- Learn techniques for demonstrating empathy genuinely, especially when time is limited
- Learn how to get your message heard, understood and remembered
- Recognize and unleash personal communication strengths to increase impact
The Leader’s Challenge (2 Days)
In many respects the difference between management and leadership is that one performs and the other transforms. The public sector world today is a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous). Today’s environment requires public sector leaders with the courage and emotional intelligence to wade into and live with conflict and internal tension. Executives and managers in the public sector need to cultivate their talents to navigate the problems, issues and dilemmas they face to ensure that their organizations remain relevant, sustainable and effective.
Leadership in the VUCA world means transforming organizational culture, and the approach to culturally focused leadership is different from the traditional organizational behavior approach. Where the traditional approach defines team interdependencies, the cultural approach defines team boundaries. Where the traditional approach establishes goals and determines the decision making process, the cultural approach establishes trust and instills transformative engagement. In the traditional approach leaders provide clear and consistent feedback, whereas in the cultural approach leaders promote empowerment which includes the ability to challenge. In the traditional approach we aim to keep team membership stable, but the cultural approach we foster membership resilience. Traditionally a leader will focus the organization on a collective mission, but today the focus is on commitment to a vision – a vision which is not static but is more like a “movie” of the desired future. In the traditional approach we try to attract talent, while in the cultural approach we attract communication.
Participants will come to a greater of knowledge of themselves as leaders and with cutting edge approaches to leadership that affect their own behaviour, the performance of their teams, and the culture of their departments. The program brings participants face-to-face with psychologically relevant and operationally cogent methods of leadership to ensure that they achieve the greatest levels of performance for themselves and their teams in an environment that is increasingly uncertain and impermanent.
- Discuss the evolution of modern leadership concepts and recognize essence of true leadership
- Discuss ideal actions leaders should take in good times and in challenging times
- Analyze and discuss one’s own style in the face of ideals
- Identify strategies for enhanced team performance as well as strategies that can be employed when teams and colleagues are experiencing difficult times
- Commit to developing a personal leadership “brand” and an action plan for improvement
Assessment Tools: Genesys 360
15 FQ Plus Emotional Intelligence
Integrative Case Study and the Future of Public Management (1 Day)
The entire morning of the last day of the Masters Certificate in Public Management is given over to a major case study that requires participants to integrate the knowledge and skills they have gained in the program. The case study revolves around a real situation, a dilemma that is often faced by public sector managers. The case study is examined from multiple points of view including the public service, the Government, the Opposition and non-governmental stakeholder groups.
In the afternoon, participants will hear from guest speakers who are current or former very senior public servants in government and the not-for-profit sector. They will give their perspectives on the future of public management, as well as advice to participants on advancing their careers and contribution in public service.
A graduation ceremony will complete the day and the program.