Merging the management mindset

By Drew Baker*

The Australian public sector can now access enhanced management and leadership development capabilities to meet current and future challenges, thanks to the new partnership between the Australian Institute of Management NSW & ACT (AIM) and Centre of Public Management Pty Ltd (CPM).

CPM has been building management and leadership capability for middle to senior level managers within the public sector for over 20 years and I’m extremely excited about the opportunities that our collaboration presents to the public sector.

Our partner, AIM, is Australia’s leading management organisation and has traditionally provided business and management training to new and middle managers across both the public and private sectors.

Clearly, there are strong synergies between our two organisations and by joining forces, the public sector stands to gain a broader range of management and leadership development offerings. It also means that those in the public sector seeking to expand their management and leadership skills can now have more of their development needs met by a single organisation.

CPM will continue to provide its existing range of management and leadership development programs to public sector clients. Public sector clients will, however, benefit from CPM tapping into AIM’s existing learning and development business, as well as AIM’s other services which include events and seminars and research and business publications.

We will continue to operate as a “stand alone” entity while leveraging off AIM’s significant resources including its state-ofthe- art 14 Childers Street training facility and offices in the ACT.

Our clients can also access AIM’s knowledge centre and library, as well as membership options at reduced rates. We’re also exploring new approaches to executive coaching through an expanded coaching practice and a range of additional new offerings are under discussion.

While our initial focus will remain on Canberra, our partnership will ensure that we can expand our focus in the future.

The partnership is timely given the renewed focus on public sector leadership, as highlighted in the Australian Public Service Commission’s Leadership Development Strategy.

CPM is working closely with a wide range of public sector departments and agencies in implementing key aspects of the leadership strategy outlined by the APSC to facilitate a high performing public service.

The combined program offerings of CPM and AIM ensures that we are helping to create future managers and leaders who are people focused, adaptable, and innovative in order to meet the challenges of a changing public sector.

There are a number of significant challenges facing the public sector, including the current tough fiscal climate, increasing expectations of the services provided by government, generational change within the leadership cohort and the need for public sector organisations to operate in a more collaborative manner. Strong management and leadership development is a key aspect of the public sector meeting these challenges now and in the future.

Increasing numbers of younger workers are moving into more senior roles across the public and private sector.

In our experience more often than not top performers are the ones asked to be managers and lead a team. Sometimes they are selected for their technical merit, while their people management skills and capacity to lead and motivate a team are still somewhat under developed. This is where a development program can be of greatest benefit.

An organisation’s success ultimately comes down to the capabilities of its leaders. In a tight talent market losing skilled workers because of a lack of leadership know-how is not an option.

Instead, more emphasis needs to be placed on developing leadership skills which will reap results across the organisation. CPM’s comprehensive training programs and enhanced offering through our partnership with AIM ensures that we will continue to deliver the best possible management and leadership development to public sector employees.

*Drew Baker is the General Manager of CPM and an experienced facilitator in public sector leadership development. He was formerly a senior executive in several Departments in the Commonwealth public sector.

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