Telfer School of Management

Strategic Thinking for Public Sector

Available dates

Mar 23—24, 2020
2 days
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
CAD 1450 ≈USD 1133
CAD 725 per day


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About the course

Strategic thinking is increasingly important in the development and implementation of government policy and programs. It is also a critical leadership competency for executives in the Public Service; they must be able to assess an issue in depth and from multiple perspectives. This two-day program focuses on enabling participants to apply strategic thinking principles to public sector issues. It provides practical tools for public servants leading a strategy-building team. The program will focus on highlighting the attributes of a strategic thinker, strategic thinking tools, and demonstrating the use of strategic thinking in public policy processes – all illustrated through discussions, exercises, and real-life examples.

As part of this program, participants will use a real-life strategic issue that they are currently working on to explore the potential of specific strategic thinking tools to refine their issue during the course. The tools taught are immediately transferable to the workplace.

The facilitators bring many years of experience in applying strategic thinking to public service and political issues, and have taught this course to hundreds of federal and provincial public servants. This program has been recommended to provincial public servants by the Government of Ontario as the program of choice for strategic thinking skills for the past eight years.


  • Leading with strategic thinking
  • The many dimensions of strategy
  • Questioning, mapping, framing, and seeing plausible futures
  • Dealing with complexity
  • Connecting strategic thinking to policy development


You will acquire new skills to enable you to:

  • Become a strategic thinker and strong leader
  • Use practical tools to expand your horizons and improve your strategy
  • Become a 360 degree thinker
  • Enhance a core leadership skill

Who should attend

The course is for policy advisors, public service managers, individuals interested in strategic analysis, as well as those dealing with governments looking to increase their capacity to manage strategically in a public policy environment.

Trust the experts

Greg Fyffe

Greg Fyffe served in ADM positions in Solicitor General, Citizenship and Immigration, and the Privy Council Office, where he was Executive Director of the Intelligence Assessment Secretariat (2000-2008). After retiring from the Public Service he was a senior fellow with the Advanced Leadership Pr...


Thomas Townsend

Thomas Townsend served in Senior positions in Employment and Social Development Canada (Applied Research, Learning Branch) Correctional Services (Offender Programs, CORCAN). He was Executive Head of the Policy Research Initiative (Now Horizons Canada) and was Canada's representative for Health an...


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