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What’s new in this section

Review new pandemic systems maps →

Public Leadership Practices During a Public Health Crisis

Much of what you are doing differently to adapt to this public health crisis will take root as ongoing practices in your workplaces long after this current crisis passes. As leaders it is important to help your employees and work colleagues keep a perspective on how we have met these challenges in the past and how they have given rise to innovation and long-term lessons that helped us become more effective and prepare for future challenges.

Tips for Facilitating Conference Calls

Begin by sending out the electronic version of the meeting design template to all attendees which should include: the purpose statement, length of call, pre-reading, attendees, areas requiring a decision, time for each segment and the desired outcomes. This is not an agenda but rather a meeting design that will achieve the purpose statement and articulated outcomes. Share the design in advance so people can come prepared. Include the recommended ground rules for discussion and acceptance by the conference call attendees. Click here to read more tips for facilitating conference calls.

Workforce Sustainability Strategies for Public Leaders

The following document provides some practices and perspectives that may help you sustain continuity of services, work with unions and other leaders, and to effect innovative and sustainable policy changes to support you work during the Coronavirus Public Health crisis. Click here to read more workforce sustainability strategies for Public Leaders.


Download the complete Public Sector Consortium Bibliography here (Excel).

The bibliography has been compiled over a period of years and is updated biannually by the Public Sector Consortium. It was designed to support the continuous learning of Public Leaders throughout their careers.

The reading list has been liberally sorted using the categories below to help readers target their areas of interest.
The reading list has also been sorted by publication date and author. The bibliography is categorized using the following topics:

  • American Leadership History
  • Coaching
  • Diversity
  • Ethics
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Neuroscience & Leadership
  • Organizational Learning
  • Personal Mastery
  • Productive Conversations
  • Strategic Alignment
  • Sustainable Leadership
  • Systems Thinking
  • Team Results and Performance
  • Organizational Development

Leadership Transition Tips

Click here to review our Leadership Transition Tips

The success of Leadership Transition effects the capacity of the new leader to become a successful steward and partner with the organization. The productivity and morale of our public organizations are effected by how well these leadership transitions take place. Responsibility for successful transitions rests with both the new leader and the welcoming employees.

Reports & Articles

Brian Friel: The Systems Thinking Approach

The Big Picture, an article by Brian Friel in in Government Executive (October, 2003) provides an overview of system thinkers, a group of people who see the world in a series of loops, where most see straight lines. Using real world examples from the science of firefighting, NASA, the Army, the Veterans Health Administration and the National Cancer Institute, Friel examines how revolutionary and effective a systems thinking approach can be. The article also discusses the contributions of The High Performing Federal Agencies Community of Practice (now The Public Sector Consortium’s Community of Practice), a group of systems thinkers from a variety of governmental agencies working to apply systems thinking to their daily work challenges. Click here to download “The Big Picture” article.

A Learning-Based Approach to Leading Change

Publication Grant, Price Waterhouse Cooper Endowment for the Business of Government (December, 2000). Download “A Learning-Based Approach to Leading Change” here.

Greg Merten: Leadership as a Commitment to Personal Development

At the request of the Public Sector Consortium, Greg Merten, Vice President and General Manager at Hewlett Packard who led worldwide operations for Inkjet supplies, was the keynote speaker at a number of leadership conferences. At the time Greg was assisting the company in effectively integrating Hewlett Packard with Compaq. In that effort he helped HP develop a leadership culture for the future while preserving the best of the past. Greg shared his own leadership journey over the twenty years as he was forced to make changes in his style. You can download a copy of Greg Merten’s speech at the Dimensions of Leadership Conference and a copy of Greg Merten’s Personal Reading List.

Service Integration in Colorado

Connecting Programs to Provide Better Services in Mesa and El Paso Counties is a report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government for the Casey Strategic Consulting Group Mark Ragan / Nov, 2002. Check out this summary created by the Public Sector Consortium and used with permission of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, In Colorado, administration of human service programs is the responsibility of the counties. In two of these counties, Mesa and El Paso, progressive leadership and collaboration between agency managers, local service providers, and community organizations — with strong support from the county commissioners — have resulted in significant efforts to integrate the delivery of services. In Mesa and El Paso counties, local leaders of human service programs have taken advantage of the flexibility and autonomy provided by the state to develop client-centered and integrated service delivery systems. Click here to download a copy of this report.

Systems Maps State and Municipal

Click here to review helpful “why” questions and their corresponding system maps from the Leadership Matters program.

The maps which appear on our website were created by public sector leaders in response to a workplace issue. The maps were created by groups of people who are getting results they would like to improve or change. Building the systems map together  helped the leaders better understand how the current system is working from multiple perspectives before making assumptions about what needs to be fixed or changed.

The variables which appear on a map are dynamic; they are always going up or down, increasing or decreasing.  It is advisable when creating a systems map to describe the variables in a neutral way (for example, level of conflict versus positive or negative conflict).  This makes it easy to interpret the map over time since a change in one of the variables can cause the other variables to move dynamically in the opposite direction. The highest point of leverage is the variable the group selects after analysis as the best place in the systems map to take action and invest resources. The goal is generally to change the outcomes the system is currently producing. Working as a group to build the systems map helps the team to better understand why they are getting the results they are getting. This strategic process encourages the group to identify the highest point of leverage for change in the system and invest resources at that point to achieve the desired outcomes.