Common core development
Headshot of Emma Gardner from Corrections wearing green, red, blue, and yellow scarf

The Leadership Development Centre (LDC) runs programmes to support leaders in a variety of stages in their career. In 2019, LDC began offering development for the system at three key points of transition, including transitioning to a leader of leaders role and senior system leader roles.

Emma Gardner, Director, Mental Health and Addiction Services at Corrections, completed the New Leader of Leaders training in 2021. Concurrently Emma entered the Public Sector Leaders Group and therefore was offered two structured conversations as part of the New Senior System Leader Development.

Emma reflected on her experience of the New Leader of Leader development: “I learnt so much in this programme, particularly that as a leader of leaders you are often asked to make decisions without having the same amount of detail that you did as a leader of a single team. Getting comfortable with this is all part of the leader of leaders journey.”

Emma’s New Leader of Leader cohort of 14 people engaged in eight months of development together.

“The group had a range of views, knowledge and experience. Being in a safe and trusting environment (which the facilitators created) allowed us to share diverse thoughts and learn from one another. I think that from the start to the end of the course, my thinking had shifted significantly – from wanting to be on the dance floor to being more comfortable viewing things from the balcony.”

Leadership development

Work that began in late 2019 has continued throughout this year on the development of a leadership strategy for the Public Service, which is a requirement of the Act. This has been designed in consultation with PSLT and shaped by input from senior leaders in Te Pae Turuki | Public Service Leaders Group (PSLG). The PSLG is a cohort of senior public servants in the most complex and influential leadership roles drawn from Public Service departments, departmental agencies, Police, New Zealand Defence Force and some large Crown agents. Members hold a special role leading across the Public Service, and their chief executives support their development and career progression.

 The development of the Public Service leadership strategy has involved taking steps to increase the capability of senior leaders to support the Crown in its relationships with Māori under te Tiriti, to engage with Māori and to understand Māori perspectives.

At a whole-of-Public Service level, key focus areas for this year have been:

  • building a greater sense of team connection in the PSLG, as an integral part of the leadership of the Public Service
  • lifting leadership capability across the Public Service by continuing to strengthen common development offerings, such as common core development and inclusive leadership
  • supporting leaders to manage in the context of COVID-19
  • strengthening the focus, underpinned by targets, on ensuring diverse leaders are profiled and have cross-agency development opportunities through the four Career Boards (Policy, Operations, Corporate and Auckland), led by chief executives and facilitated by the Commission’s senior leader development broker
  • improving visibility of public service needs and shifts, by strengthening systems and processes, for example, improving data collections.

The Leadership Development Centre (LDC) is the primary delivery vehicle for system-wide leadership development. LDC works with the Career Boards, agencies and individuals to deliver a range of products, programmes and services that support the development of current and future leaders.

LDC works in partnership with Public Service agencies to design and implement common core development. During 2020/2021, this work has expanded and now covers three key leadership transition points, new people leaders, new leaders of leaders and new senior system leaders. Leadership development specialists at LDC work collaboratively with leaders and agency human resource teams to develop high-quality learning materials for leaders and the support material needed to implement and deliver that development. Throughout 2020/2021, LDC has been adding to the resources available and strengthening existing development resources that support the Māori-Crown relationship, diversity and the inclusion capability we expect of Public Service leaders.

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