Sauder School of Business

Governance and Political Acumen

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About the course

Strategies for Bridging the Political/Administrative Interface

To successfully navigate the political/administrative interface, public service leaders must exercise a unique set of competencies not required of their private sector counterparts.

This course describes the concepts and practices of effective public service governance, organizational dynamics and personal leadership. Discover strategies for enhancing the political/administrative relationship in your organization. Outfit governance in ways that minimize misunderstandings. Enhance your political astuteness. Make a leadership difference at all levels in your organization.

What you will learn

  • Help others to clarify political and administrative roles
  • Facilitate shared expectations for good governance and administrative processes
  • Use diagnostic tools to assess organizational and governance effectiveness
  • Apply strategies to align the political and administrative interface
  • Lead collaborative efforts to synchronize political and operational strategies
  • Sharpen your political and public service leadership abilities

Program content

  • The current public service landscape: the impact of societal perspectives and external influences, key trends, internal dynamics and actors, legal aspects, the influence of governance on public service effectiveness
  • Role clarity: clarifying the roles of political officials, bodies and executives, aligning administrative roles to achieve political directions, developing communication protocols between political and administrative actors
  • Establishing a shared roadmap for collaboration: creating a joint vision for the future of constituents and communities, identifying strategic priorities, monitoring and adjusting progress
  • Enriching political/administrative relations: crafting shared interface objectives, assessing current realities, formulating alignment strategies for governance and administrative excellence
  • Enhancing leadership capacity in a public service environment: building core leadership competencies, setting behavioral standards for ethics and civility, preparing your personal action plan

Special Features

In advance of the program, you will identify political/administrative interface issues you are facing. You will then lead an in-class “from issue to solution options” process for addressing it. You will receive personalized feedback on your facilitation and presentation efforts, to enhance your chances of future success.

Who should attend

This program is for senior managers and elected or appointed officials in federal, provincial, local, regional and First Nation government agencies. It is also for anyone in a non-government organization who wants to enhance governance excellence.

Trust the experts

Gordon McIntosh

Gordon McIntosh has 37 years of management, educator and consultancy roles with local government. As President of the Local Government Leadership (LGL) Institute, he provides governance development, strategic facilitation and leadership training services. He has conducted 1,200 workshops involv...


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