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Joanne kelly

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Joanne kelly

  1. 1. Strategic government requires a strategic centre: and a note on program review L21 Public Sector Conference 13 May, 2010 Associate Professor Joanne Kelly Director, ANZSOG (NSW) University of Sydney
  2. 2. <ul><li>Strategic government requires </li></ul><ul><li>a strategic centre </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>At present, the centre is not strategic </li></ul><ul><li>In response, the centre is reverting to deliberative control-based approaches to strategy making; this approach will not succeed. </li></ul><ul><li>A strategic centre must </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A) Perform the role of facilitator, co-ordinator and network manager across and within these domains. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>B) operate within three distinct (often competing) strategic domains of political, policy and operational; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C) recognise differences in logic, mandate, span & capacity within each domain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D) ensure domain are internally robust to ensure capacity and balance between domains (program review is one such tool). </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Not a strategic centre…. <ul><li>At present, the centre is a loose conglomeration of agencies; most suffering institutional identity crisis; mistaking power & muscle for strategy; highly competitive; often cause more harm than good; undermine line agencies. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Common structures, evolved historically
  6. 6. Built to perform 5 key functions; clustered differently
  7. 7. Variation in relative size & composition of centre
  8. 8. <ul><li>Historically derived conglomeration of agencies that perform five functions of varying importance </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>What are the three key strategic challenges facing your organisation over the next 5 years? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Strategic challenges facing your organisation?
  11. 11. Neither a strategic centre... <ul><li>Suffering an identity crisis ….unsure of mandate or operational or political capacity </li></ul><ul><li>a collection of loose affiliates rather than a cohesive whole with a unifying purpose and set of organising principles </li></ul><ul><li>result is vagueness, tension and conflict around roles, responsibilities and organisational boundaries. </li></ul><ul><li>rather than pulling together in pursuit of a common set of objectives, too much energy is spent on power games, managing personalities and sheer duplication of effort. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Nor a ‘strategic’ vision? . Political Policy Operational
  13. 14. <ul><li>The notion of a strategic centre is appealing…. </li></ul><ul><li>It suggests an ethos that is selective, creative, responsive, future-directed, and provides the basis for “whole-of-government” direction and policy making... </li></ul><ul><li>...and governments are trying to move in this direction </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>“… . o ne of the biggest challenges for the three central agencies in this place is the fact that we have lost the sense of what our responsibilities are ”. </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>“ we can issue guidelines and we can do tool kits but we’re only ever going to change behaviour …if we come up with a different form of relationship between our agencies and the central agency. </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>The really challenging thing within government is to work to forward plan… to predict as far in advance as possible the demands on government and then to adjust one’s priorities and activities to meet those changing expectations. </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>But the centre should not formulate </li></ul><ul><li>“ the strategy” because... </li></ul>
  18. 20. Three preconditions for deliberative strategy <ul><li>neutral internal political environment; </li></ul><ul><li>a knowable and stable external environment; and </li></ul><ul><li>highly centralised and uncontested power structure, typically a single person running a simple organisational unit. </li></ul>
  19. 21. <ul><li>Strategy is viewed as an ongoing process of constant learning experimentation and risk taking. It is an adaptive incremental and complex learning process in which the ends and means are combined and often specified simultaneously </li></ul>
  20. 22. And government operates across different strategic domains
  21. 23. Central paradox is that… <ul><li>....centre agencies must operate simultaneously across different strategic domains but cannot become maker of the strategy or adopt a top down deliberate approach... </li></ul>
  22. 24. What to do? <ul><li>A strategic centre must organise itself to operate in three strategic domains: political, policy and operational </li></ul>
  23. 25. Defining role & mandate of the strategic centre <ul><li>The three strategic domains reflect the functional groupings that already exist within the centre, albeit across different organisational structures. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore existing structures provide the basis for moving toward a ‘strategic centre’ through evolutionary reform & adaptation within the specifics of different jurisdictions. </li></ul>
  24. 26. Aligning organisational form and strategic function
  25. 27. What to do? <ul><li>A strategic centre must organise itself to operate in three strategic domains: political, policy and operational </li></ul><ul><li>Domains have different logics/actors, timeframes... so must be sufficiently robust to ensure internal capacity and balance between domains. </li></ul>
  26. 28. Current emphasis? Political Policy Operational
  27. 29. Current emphasis?
  28. 30. What to do? <ul><li>A strategic centre must organise itself to operate in three strategic domains: political, policy and operational </li></ul><ul><li>Domains have different logics/actors, timeframes... so must be sufficiently robust to ensure internal capacity and balance between domains. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop new instruments & tools; skills; and employ different staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The role of the centre is less about analysis & control; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more about facilitation, co-ordination & synthesis; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relationship & network management skills increasingly important. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 31. Traditional tools of central agency coordination <ul><li>Political domain: cabinet process v ad hoc intervention; </li></ul><ul><li>Operational domain: budget process (finance); direct delivery v regulatory (HR) </li></ul><ul><li>Policy domain: either professional expertise (Economics); personal patronage/power; hand of </li></ul>www.anzsog.edu.au
  30. 32. <ul><li>Hollowing out’ refers… to the way the state has been eaten away and fragmented by the consolidation of market-style policies initiated in the 1980s: privatisation, the contracting out of services and the setting up of qangos and quasi-markets. </li></ul>
  31. 33. Network management www.anzsog.edu.au Dimensions of network management Elements of each dimension Game Management: managing interactions within the existing network Network activation Network arranging Brokerage: someone in the network has to bring together participants, problems and solutions. Requires political entrepreneurship. Mediation, arbitration and facilitation Network Restructuring: building and changing the institutional arrangements of a network <ul><li>network analysis: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>understand existing network structures within the policy area/domain and how they shape the capacity to deliver programs; and or the paradigms within which policy solutions are developed and understood. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>network re-organisation: the changing resources, relations and rules that govern the network </li></ul><ul><li>network reshaping: changing culture, perceptions & behaviour of participants (influencing; narrative) </li></ul>
  32. 34. Program Review is part of the answer <ul><li>Re-defines “policy” work away from “new policy” development to include questions of policy implementation, evaluation & adaptation; </li></ul><ul><li>Provides a mechanism to link the three strategic domains of government: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues and priorities defined in the political domain; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the current policy setting right? Are they achieving their desired ends? Who is/should be responsible? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are delivery agents sufficiently resourced to perform these mandate – money, people, technology... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real answer... put a moratorium on all “new policy” for the next five years… </li></ul>
  33. 35. Conclusions <ul><li>Strategic government requires a strategic centre </li></ul><ul><li>At present, the centre is not strategic </li></ul><ul><li>… .trying to tame the ‘strategy’ problem by adopting deliberative models of strategy making (tactical & ad hoc interventions; imposing strategic plans etc). Basically a return to command and control…. </li></ul><ul><li>But the complexity of government – organisationally & in policy terms – means this approach will not succeed </li></ul>
  34. 36. What to do? <ul><li>A strategic centre must organise itself to operate in three strategic domains: political, policy and operational </li></ul><ul><li>Domains have different logics/actors, timeframes... so must be sufficiently robust to ensure internal capacity and balance between domains. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop new instruments & tools; skills; and employ different staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The role of the centre is less about analysis & control; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>more about facilitation, co-ordination & synthesis; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relationship & network management skills increasingly important. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Program review is a co-ordinating mechanism that enables the centre to operate strategically rather than incrementally, and to link the three strategic domains. </li></ul>

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