It is overwhelmingly apparent that modern public sector leaders are facing more diverse challenges than ever before.
While there is perhaps little to no change in a leader’s obligation to deliver services and accomplish goals, leaders now have to constantly adapt their approach to leadership as their workforce becomes more diverse and geographically dispersed. Not to mention tackling additional pressures caused by new technologies and cyber-related disruptions.…a clear line of sight about what might be getting in the way…
But what do you do when you don’t know what to do?
“As leaders, we have previously faced situations in which we know what to do. These are technical challenges and day-to-day challenges that we know how to solve. Today the challenges are different. They are more adaptive and leaders often are not properly equipped to overcome them,” says Antony Maxwell, Director of Learning and Development at the Australian School of Applied Management.
Charting a course
Maxwell identifies that not only do leaders need to recognise adaptive challenges when they arise, but they often need to navigate through these challenges without any prior understanding of how they can be resolved.
“Leaders have to find different ways of connecting with their teams and seeing things from different perspectives. Adaptive leadership is about thought, connection, focus, collaboration and compromise. There is always new work to be done in today’s post-modern technological world.”
Indeed, if leadership involves the alignment of outputs to achieve organisational visions while establishing and supporting values-based behaviour and also developing individuals and teams, then the concept of e-leadership is a significant adaptive challenge that we all must overcome.
Public sector leaders converge
Maxwell will be facilitating the National Public Sector Managers and Leaders Conference 2018 in Melbourne in March, where there will be a strong focus on e-leadership, particularly on how public sector leaders can keep up with the pace of technological change and create a sustainable culture of forward-thinking vision and adaptive decision-making.
Featuring an impressive line-up of well-known senior public sector leaders, the conference will explore the differences between adaptive and technical challenges while providing a progressive and collaborative forum to share ideas and insights around strategic leadership.
The conference speakers will include:
- Hon John Lloyd PSM, Australian Public Service Commissioner: The Future of Work – What it could mean for the APS
- Kerri Hartland, Secretary, Department of Employment: What a career in the modern public service means to me: Insights from a public sector leader
- Vice-Admiral Tim Barrett AO, CSC, RAN, Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy: Using technology and innovation to lead tomorrow’s navy and nation
- Margaret Stone, Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Practical and principled leadership
- Colin Jensen, CEO, Brisbane City Council: Authentic leadership
- Sandra Ragg, Assistant Secretary, Cyber Policy, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet: Panel Discussion: Cyber resilience: change and adapting as leaders
- Adam Fennessy, Partner – Advisory, Government and Public Sector, EY: E-leadership ThinkTank
- Dr Maria Milosavljevic, NSW Government Chief Information Security Officer, NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation: Topic TBA
Conference participants will explore ways in which their departments and agencies can adapt, and they will leave the event with a clear line of sight about what might be getting in the way in their workplace.
“I am going to invite people to get off the dancefloor and onto the balcony across the two days,” says Maxwell. “They will have the opportunity to look at the work they are doing with like-minded people, and with the knowledge and experience of the people in the room, they will consider things with a fresh lens and face their challenges from a different perspective.”
The National Public Sector Managers and Leaders Conference 2018
Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd March, 2018
RACV City Club, 501 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Registrations for the conference are now open, and a special pre-Christmas rate is available.
For full details, visit the official conference website.