The Public Sector Consortium has been in existence as the Community of Practice since 1995 and now functions as a nonprofit. Our goal is to translate the management and leadership practices from the best schools and learning institutions in the world into relevant tools for public sector leaders. We are committed to making these tools available in a timely and affordable manner.
Our purpose is to support leaders in their efforts to create and sustain high performing public organizations that serve the public good. Societies flourish when there are mutually beneficial interactions between all sectors: public, for profit, and nonprofit. Each sector depends on the others and provides value to the citizens. For the public sector to benefit, we must have vibrant leaders who add value to these collaborations and serve the public good.
The Public Sector Consortium is also committed to increasing the value our society places on quality public sector leadership. We see it as a profession that requires people to be seasoned and accomplished in their work. We believe there is much that can be learned toward this end from all levels of government working together and partnering with the private sector and foreign governments.
Our efforts are focused on developing leaders and managers who have the capacity to effectively manage and lead large complex public institutions that serve the public good. To that end we want to support the leaders who are interested in learning how to create workplaces where employees want to work and learn, where they produce quality products and services for the public good, and where the public institutions themselves are worthy of the highest aspirations of the citizenry.
Specific Objectives And Accompanying Strategies
1. Developing Leaders for the Public Good through Quality Learning Opportunities
We have combined our collective years of public service experience with an outstanding virtual faculty to produce an excellent curriculum. It is relevant to the public sector and based on training available to leaders in some of our best business schools and Fortune 500 companies.
The Formal Learning Programs develop personal mastery and provide tools that support high performing public institutions. The learning sessions have been developed and tested with leaders in public sector organizations over a twenty-year period. Our hope is to provide the essential skills for a new model of public leadership. The curriculum is rich and diverse. Some of the essentials include Systems Thinking, which helps leaders to think critically and plan for both the intended and unintended consequences of their decisions, and Strategies for Facilitative Leaders, which builds capacity to engage diverse populations and assists them in decision making, conflict resolution and performance.
2. Research and Improvement Models
We are currently involved with two research projects. The “Transitions” project is on a fast track, focusing on the essential but often-overlooked skills of career and newly elected/appointed leaders’ ability to forge early and successful partnerships. Our goal with this initiative is to expand the relevant portion of a larger learning curriculum and focus on the leadership practices that are critical to successful leadership transitions. The transition skills required for both the political Senior Executive appointees and the career Senior Executive Service are critical to the management of both the short and long term goals of our public institutions. These skills are critical after elections and are also part of an ongoing process of leadership transitions that occur routinely throughout a leader’s career.
The “Sustainable Leadership Practices” project digs deeper into the core competencies and shared vocabulary essential to sustainable leadership. Public sector leaders must have the capacity to serve both their organizational missions as well as the larger mission we all share: preserving global resources (human, natural and economic) for future generations. This will require a redefinition of how we measure successful leaders, the application of interdisciplinary skills, and the willingness of leaders to expand their sphere of influence beyond the home agency or geographic boundary. The outcome of this initiative will be a descriptive model of such sustainable leadership practices plus a credible series of learning opportunities to acquire the necessary skills
3. The Community of Practice
For over six years we have provided a monthly open forum of continuous learning for public sector professionals to share their practical leadership experiences from the workplace. As a result, we are creating an even larger learning organization that discovers together and shares learning resources and best practices. The Community of Practice is also designed to help participants from the formal learning programs continue their learning at no additional cost.
4. Affiliation and Shared Learning
Informed by the work of Jane Wei-Skillern at the Harvard Business School, our goal is to create social value through formal affiliations with organizations that share our values and purpose. Through her case studies Professor Skillern has revealed a new model of creating social value through partnerships between not-for-profit organizations. Our strategic approach will be to follow this model. We are committed to participating in forums and conferences where we can share our work and learn from the successes and failures of other governments throughout the world.
We invite you to support the Public Sector Consortium in these efforts. We believe the health of our democracies, our public education systems, and the thousands of services we rely on from our public institutions depend on our collective commitment.