Watch: Mike Baird says reform must come from public service, too

By Harley Dennett

October 15, 2015

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird delivered the 2015 Garran Oration at the 2015 IPAA national conference in Sydney on Wednesday night.

The public service can view federation reform as an area that belong only to politicians, Baird said: “No, you are leaders too.”

He used the oration to offer a pep-talk, advising the public service to not sit back in frustration at political gridlock.

“Believe in yourself. That’s my excitement. The skills I’ve seen across the public service, you are just as much the leaders. You’re effective leaders.”

He had four messages for public service leaders:

  1. Use your passion. If you’re passionate, you can go far. Opportunity becomes more than just the grief I have to deal with right now.
  2. Take risks. I understand desire to not take risks. Ministers want to blame someone. I’m prepared to fail.
  3. Have the right people. Use tools like performance management & recruitment. We’re at war for talent. In NSW, we have the Leadership Academy for public service executives. This year we will have 100 executives go through the academy. Invest in your people. Find from outside the public service if you have to.
  4. Encouragement. Believing in yourself. Understand the power of your opportunity. United in sense of deep public service. Looking back this will be your regret: I wish I had done more.
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