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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 417. Updated Tuesday, 08 July 2014

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APSC issues new leadership guide

The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has released a revised strategy for the development of leadership and core skills across the Australian Public Service (APS).

The blueprint, APS Leadership and Core Skills: 2014-15 Refresh, maps out and prioritises the leadership practice, management expertise, core and foundation skills required for supporting government and citizens to the highest standard.

According to the strategy, the key factors influencing the APS are the tight fiscal environment, a drive to improve productivity, a requirement to rethink the role of government and the need for transformational change.

The APSC advises the APS to focus on being "highly efficient and effective, establishing innovative business models and getting the most out of every government program".

Strategy for innovative thinking

There is also need for each Agency to be a "highly agile institution, able to transform its business in anticipation of external change and by generating big ideas from within", according to the updated strategy.

"In today's environment, the APS is increasingly confronted by complex, adaptive challenges such as climate change or water allocations," the strategy says.

"These are challenges that have no clear answers, no easy solutions and often result in policy being highly contested," it says.

"The nature of today's work requires collaboration between multiple stakeholders with a range of expertise and experience."

As well as working as "One APS", the current working environment involves seeking solutions outside the APS by working with citizens, across governments and across sectors, the strategy said.

"The current agenda includes a particular emphasis on making progress on the challenge of Indigenous disadvantage," the strategy says.

It acknowledges that "learning and development/capability responses are not the sole means of achieving the institutional transformation demanded".

Addressing institutional transformation "requires a range of change levers to be pulled", such as "addressing organisational structure, culture, systems and processes, and human capital responses", according to the document.

The strategy establishes a program of work to develop the required capability and skills on the basis of business need and urgency, spanning 2014-15 and 2015-15, and includes the design and development of new and existing programs.

The strategy and its development priorities were endorsed by the Secretaries Board in May 2014, the APSC said.

The revised strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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