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Thought Leadership

If you can bridge the gap in government silos, you might be a boundary spanner. Here are the seven skills you need to collaborate in government
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If you can bridge the gap in government silos, you might be a boundary spanner. Here are the seven skills you need to collaborate in government

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While the case for joined-up-government and cross-sectoral partnerships appears to have been convincingly made, the question of how to make this happen effectively still looms large. Many articles and studies focus on the institutional barriers that make it hard for governments to work collaboratively. However, while that is certainly important, Thea Snow focuses on a piece of the puzzle that is often neglected: the role of individuals in supporting collaboration to succeed.

Most social media platforms weren’t designed for public engagement on policy. How to create media platforms that can ride democracy’s digital highway
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Most social media platforms weren’t designed for public engagement on policy. How to create media platforms that can ride democracy’s digital highway

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Despite the sheer scalability, connectivity, and use as highways for political messaging and public debate, most social media platforms were not designed with the purpose of engagement on policy issues . The repercussions for governments are not to be taken lightly. So, where do governments begin? Audrey Lobo-Pulo shows the way.

We created the system, and therefore we can reinvent the system: the urgency behind public sector reform

We created the system, and therefore we can reinvent the system: the urgency behind public sector reform

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Even if people are motivated to understand something fundamentally new to their worldview, it doesn’t necessarily translate into how they behave. It is easier to improve something than change it. Pia Andrews provides some food for thought to encourage greater collective urgency for reforming the public sector to reflect the changing world and what sort of future we need and want as a society.

Speaking truth to power: Shergold’s final speech touts importance of professional public servants in a world of weakened democracy
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Speaking truth to power: Shergold’s final speech touts importance of professional public servants in a world of weakened democracy

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Following 'Shergie's farewell tour' last year, Peter Shergold gave his final performance as outgoing IPAA National president at the association's conference in Darwin last week. He reflected on the public service's ability to moderate the damaging impulses of politicians and the importance of non-partisan actors in democratic government.

Confronting the challenge of collaboration in a world obsessed with being in opposition

Confronting the challenge of collaboration in a world obsessed with being in opposition

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Rather than processes, it may be the clashing of values that has reduced our tolerance for engaging alternative perspectives. Social capital, the once-lauded holy grail of community, is crumbling and being replaced by suspicion, hubris and barefaced lies. Cross-sectoral leadership is the art of reaching across this tribalism to engage competing values and ‘learn’ our way to solutions. 

Transform support functions for the digital age. Capitalising on the potential for faster, leaner reporting means letting go of the old ways and welcoming the new
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Transform support functions for the digital age. Capitalising on the potential for faster, leaner reporting means letting go of the old ways and welcoming the new

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The digital future of support functions will be exciting. As traditional, time-intensive tasks like forecasting, reporting, and distributing information get handled through smart digital tools, people can focus on asking the right questions, running and interpreting analyses, drawing conclusions, managing trade-offs, and generating insights that help business units create new value. Capitalising on this potential, however, requires putting the right organisational structure in place. 

Setting up a social impact bond requires thinking through many barriers around data and measuring success. Amy Auster is stewarding two rollouts with an eye to early intervention
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Setting up a social impact bond requires thinking through many barriers around data and measuring success. Amy Auster is stewarding two rollouts with an eye to early intervention

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"Early intervention is a bit of a nirvana," says Amy Auster, deputy secretary economic at the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance. Hard, but the Victorian government is still trying. It has contracted for two social impact bonds — service partnerships delivered by external providers and funded by investors, where government will pay a profit if the provider is able to achieve certain agreed targets.

Learn to live with uncertainty, and other tips on public sector governance and leadership. Sometimes you have to push back and take a stand for due process, but it’s getting harder
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Learn to live with uncertainty, and other tips on public sector governance and leadership. Sometimes you have to push back and take a stand for due process, but it’s getting harder

Special Feature

Governments don’t govern alone. The shared responsibilities of public sector governance fall broadly into two categories – performance and conformance – and a lot of them land on public servants. Discharging these solemn duties can be a challenge when time is of the essence and process becomes a dirty word. Public service leaders should expect […]