"There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important. To manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. Leading is influencing, guiding in a direction, course, action, opinion. The distinction is crucial" (Bennis)
Specific audits have highlighted a number of other factors that are worthy of agencies’ attention:
1. Know your organisational responsibilities in a joined-up world
In today’s world, where achieving better outcomes relies on more effective relationships between the Commonwealth and the States/Territories, central agencies and line agencies, and central and regional offices, it is critical to know ‘who is responsible for what’.
It is also important to understand where the chickens will come home to roost if risks aren’t managed effectively by one of your ‘partners’. This might be called contingency planning, and increasingly for politically sensitive programs, it is a wise investment for public sector agencies.
It is critical that managers (read managers and leaders) have ownership of their responsibilities, and are actively involved in risk management from the design of the proposal for a policy measure through to its implementation. This includes being aware of leading indicators of issues arising and guiding any extraordinary action. We have noticed in more than one recent audit that senior management considered their responsibilities had been discharged by offering extra support as required, but not really understanding a range of matters that suggested the program was far from being on track.
If the task is important enough, get the right people, and enough of them, to get the job done. As highlighted by Jim Collins in his best-selling management book ‘Good to Great’, people are not your greatest asset; the right people are.
How to have the right people doing the right thing
evidence that a high value in the public sector is placed on the values of society and satisfaction is related to the nature of the work itself (Georgellis, et al)
Australian research (Pocock) finds that 60% of people would enjoy having a job even if they didn’t need the money. But professional and managerial workers had different motivational priorities to other workers.
Gen X and Y 1.Room to grow. Offer Gen X employees clear statements of goals, but allow them reasonable latitude on how to achieve those goals. Build on their interest in gaining new skills and knowledge by providing opportunities to grow on the job. Gen Xers tend to have a "work hard, play hard" mentality. 2.Opportunities to make choices. Since this generation has become accustomed to "fending for themselves," provide options--options for task selection, options for challenges, options to formulate new processes, and options to develop creative yet appropriate conclusions. You also want to allow them the freedom to use their own resourcefulness and creativity to achieve success. 3.Mentoring. Strong, relationship-oriented mentorships are a great value for young employees. Be careful not to micro-manage them or suggest rigid guidelines for completing projects.
1.Multi-tasking. Provide more than one task to accomplish at a time, but without overwhelming them. They are accustomed to multitasking and can most likely sort out what has to be done and when. What's more, they look forward to the challenges of having several tasks to perform at once.
2.Collaboration. Create work teams or partners to work with, where appropriate. They are accustomed to working in tandem with others.
3.Structure. Provide structure and clear guidelines, and at times, specific processes or approaches for achieving goals. While they appear confident, they still need input from management.
4.Technology. Encourage and allow them to use the latest technology in the work setting.
5.Challenges. Positively challenge their interests, abilities and achievements.
6.Relationship building. Create a bonding relationship with them so that they feel comfortable asking for input and direction and know they can rely on you as the authority figure when the need arises.
7.Positive reinforcement. Reward them frequently with positive feedback and citations for successful accomplishments and milestones on the road to longer-term achievements.
8.Engaged leadership. Set up specific and regular times to meet with and supervise them. Demonstrate your sincere interest in their professional growth and success.
9.Communication. Understand that they prefer using electronic means to communicate with you as opposed to face-to-face meetings. This generation is far more fluent and comfortable with technology than any other group.
Remember there is a little bit of all generational stereotypes in all of us
And think about whether our organisations fit generational stereotypes
consider Virgin vs Qantas
One final point on motivation Role of leaders to keep staff engaged “eyes open” staff and to either motivate to engage or move on those with their “eyes shut” – a view from young librarians Challenge session, ALIA biennial conference
Georgellis, Y., Iossa, E., and Tabvuma, V. "Crowding out intrinsic motivation in the public sector". Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 2011,
Henry, Avril. “Generation Y be a public servant?”. Canberra Times (Informant). 1/9/2009 p. 25
Javitch, by David G. “Motivating Gen X, Gen Y Workers”. India tribune http://www.indiatribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5599:-motivating-gen-x-gen-y-workers&catid=114:youth&Itemid=478
Management Advisory Committee. Empowering change: fostering innovation in the Australian public service. Canberra, MAC, 2010. http://www.apsc.gov.au/mac/empoweringchange.pdf
McPhee, Ian. Risk is all around. Paper presented to Risk Management Institution of Australasia - ACT Chapter Conference 'Building on Experience‘ 24 September 2010, Canberra http://www.anao.gov.au/~/media/Uploads/Documents/risk_is_all_around.pdf
Pocock, Barbara. “Meaningful work in the 21st century”. Adelaide, Centre for Work + Life, University of Adelaide, 2009.
Schreiber, Becky and Shannon, John. Leading from Any Position: Influencing Library Effectiveness and Responsiveness . http://infopeople.org/training/leading-from
TMS Global. The concept: work preferences http://www.tms.com.au/tms07.html
Varlejs, Jana and Walton, Graham. Strategies for regenerating the library and information professions : Eighth World Conference on Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning for the Library and Information Professions, 18-20 August 2009, Bologna, Italy . Munchen : K.G. Saur, 2009.