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Leadership at all levels

Leading public-sector organisations in an age of austerity



Purpose /background

This is the second in a series of papers that we are launching leading up to the next general election, exploring the theme of ‘agility in an age of austerity’.

This research is relevant for all public-sector leaders, including HR directors and those leading on strategy and transformation. It combines perspectives from several clients with our own experience of building leadership in public-sector organisations.

Key findings

The report highlights the increasing financial and delivery pressures on the public sector and explores how leaders might respond. It outlines the importance of leadership in the current age of austerity and warns of the challenges and difficult questions that public-sector organisations need to address. For example:

  • Is there a leadership programme in place that is integrated into the overall transformation plan?
  • Are governance and control processes simple, understood and effective?
  • Is there a brief, compelling message of change, framed appropriately to connect with staff?


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