As the APS Review emerges and we look to the future and the skills of leaders required to take us there, should we be inspired by the frameworks that have developed the APS of today?
The Leadership Shadow has been a popular and useful perspective to help leaders come to grips with how aspects of their behaviour affect others and achieve impact, particularly in diversity challenges.
However, by diving deeper and examining what we do, what we prioritise, say and measure as aligned to a capability framework, the impact we have can become much clearer. In this respect the 360-feedback tool is often undervalued.
The Executive Leadership Profile (ELP), a profile crafted to facilitate insights into the development needs of APS personnel at the Executive Level 1 and 2 (EL1 and 2) against the Integrated Leadership System (ILS), has been in its current format since 2006.
With data gathered through the use of a 360-feedback tool aligned to this profile and measured against 8,095 leaders and more than 42,000 ‘other’ raters, there is a wealth of behavioural insight that can be drawn across teams, cohorts, departments and perhaps most interestingly across the entire APS El 1 and 2 cohort.
Interestingly, the 360 data gathered to date indicates that leaders demonstrate the greatest difficulty in the ‘Shapes strategic thinking’ capability cluster and the best results in the ‘Exemplifies personal drive and integrity’ capability cluster.
However, ‘self’ scoring patterns are consistently lower than that contributed by the ‘other’ raters. A lack of confidence, or a lack of being able to predict and influence political masters?
Regardless, if we at least acknowledge that we have doubt in our shadow, our personal development paths become clearer. Other low confidence scores demonstrated by the data include low averages in:
- Guides, mentors and develops people,
- Demonstrates self awareness and commitment to personal development,
- Harnesses information and opportunities,
- Adapts to an audience, and
- Steers and implements change and deals with uncertainty.
As noted in the IPAA Secretaries address from Dr Martin Parkinson, both David Thodey and Peter Shergold both report a ‘crisis of confidence’ in the APS and the APS review has reiterated this. The advantage of the 360 review as a development tool, is that we can acknowledge our weaknesses and work to build more confident and adaptive leaders.
The good news is that female leaders score higher than their male counterpart and that if we consider the ILS a capability framework that is building a better APS, then overall results suggest that over the eleven year period between 2006 to 2017, there is a statistically significant trending towards improved leadership.
For further insights into the ELP and 360 tools aligned to the APS or other public sector leadership development frameworks, the Centre for Public Management (CPM) and AIM Public Sector continue to engage at the most senior level on their proper use and analysis. You can find out more here or read more about 360s here and here.