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Public sector leadership – why it matters

two women looking at a notebook and talking

At Socitm, we are passionate about investing in the public sector workforce.

By Nadira Hussain, Director of Leadership Development & Research

We believe robust, responsive and reliable public services can only be delivered by enthusiastic, energetic people that are motivated to deliver better outcomes for the benefit of their organisations and their communities.

We know that we need to create opportunities to support and enable public sector leaders to realise promising solutions, to transform services and to improve people’s lives. We are committed to achieving this by attracting candidates from diverse backgrounds and upskilling employees at all levels. Our proposition is that, in the information age, public sector leaders risk finding solutions innovatively and failing to transform services because their workforce lacks diversity. The public sector can only be truly effective if its employees are as diverse as the communities they serve.

We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in leadership and workforce development; helping individuals realise their potential, the application and use of digital capability to improve service delivery and the importance of diversity and inclusivity as an inherent approach to creating services, functions and teams. At Socitm, we are passionate about harnessing and nurturing talent. We are committed to taking an active role in encouraging and empowering individuals to focus on their personal development and become the innovative, collaborative, bold and imaginative leaders the public sector needs to thrive in these disruptive times.

That’s why we created ‘Lead’, a growing community where members are afforded a pathway towards continuing development and personal growth. Lead has been designed to attract, develop and retain the talented people the sector needs within a framework that’s supportive, altruistic and authentic.

We are creating a new paradigm of leadership. One that values empathy, communication and collaboration. Public sector leaders need to be excellent communicators with a rich understanding of how listening, learning, sharing and challenging can improve lives and communities. Lead brings together a range of initiatives and opportunities designed to build confidence, develop resilience and inspire passion among a diverse talent pool with the ability to affect positive organisational and cultural change. We have an established Alumni community which is an extension of the ‘Socitm family’; a network that is sharing expertise, experience and promoting the benefits of belonging to a connected community.

As part of Lead, we offer development programmes through our unique, inhouse Leadership academy. Devised and delivered in partnership with QA Training, Empowering Women (EW), Top Talent (TT) and Senior Leaders are initiatives that develop people both personally and professionally. These specialist programmes are each CPD accredited and – together with regular webinar sessions – harness, stretch and promote the skills and talent essential to effective contemporary leadership.

Attracting talent into our sector is vital. It is one of the key aims of the Lead initiative. Before the pandemic, we piloted an EW programme for Year 13 girls in a school, which we now want to build on and make more widely available across London in the first instance, based on the extremely positive feedback. We see this as a valuable tool in bridging the gender gap in ICT roles and to help attract new talent to careers in the public sector. This initiative is also in line with our commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Given the change of circumstances due to the pandemic, we are in the process of planning our first virtual graduation ceremony for our Leadership academy cohorts 2019-20, due to take place on 16 July. We’re really excited at the prospect of celebrating the successful outcomes achieved by our graduates in a new and versatile way! Hope you can join us to support our colleagues and hear about the positive impact our leadership initiatives are delivering.