Towards Strategic Leadership

Australia and New Zealand School of Government

Australia and New Zealand School of Government


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Who should attend

  • Public sector executives, such as Directors and Branch Managers
  • Executives who have moved from an operational role to a strategic role

About the course

Make the leap to the next level Effective leaders have a defined sense of purpose, a strong sense of self and the ability to manage both urgent and important tasks.

The Towards Strategic Leadership Program (TSL) is a two-week residential program for experienced public sector managers who have moved from an operational to a strategic leadership role within government.

The program consists of two residential modules of five days each, in June and October. .

What will I learn?

Leadership framework

The TSL program helps public sector managers to better understand their personal leadership style, their role in an organisation, and the wider system.

The program emphasises the need for leaders to step back from operational tasks and consider a more strategic approach.

The non-traditional learning method includes extensive individual and group-based reflection, real-world case studies, experiential learning and access to exceptional leaders.

  • Reflection opportunities- participants explore significant personal leadership development work
  • Experiential learning – participants are introduced to concepts and ways of observing, intervening and experimenting with different approaches to leadership
  • Critical thinking – participants examine different ideas about leadership dilemmas, including their own experiences


At the end of the program, you will have:

  • Explored your background and the influences that shaped your appetite and potential for strategic leadership roles
  • Developed critical and reflective skills to clarify personal values and support your own and others' development as leaders
  • Gained insight into the systemic dynamics, which underpin strategic leadership, becoming more resilient and adaptive in the face of pressure and conflict
  • Understood and critically evaluated theories and concepts of leading change and innovation in public sector settings, to build your capacity to tackle ‘wicked’ problems

What does it involve?

Participants as contributors

Your contribution to the program – and that of your peers – is integral to its success. TSL harnesses the knowledge and experience of participants who, as professional peers, share a common language and a commitment to public service.

We encourage you to share your experiences within the context of themes and frameworks, creating a collaborative learning environment that allows you to draw on the expertise in the room.

You should expect to be an active contributor and will be asked to share your insights.


The first module explores the triangle of self, role and system within which strategic leadership takes place. You will examine – and then challenge – your assumptions about yourself, your organisation and the wider public sector.

The second module will encourage you to engage with change and increase the adaptive capacity of systems. In particular, the Live Case Study will move you from the abstract into the real world. You will tackle a real issue, experiencing the passion, purpose, innovation, confusion and avoidance that comes with managing a complex adaptive challenge.

Why choose the TSL Program?

Tailored for success

The TSL program provides opportunities for leaders to examine innovative and adaptive approaches to problems and situations where existing methods have not improved outcomes for stakeholders. Participants work together to explore possible responses that combine strong theoretical foundations with lessons from the real world experiences.

The program provides opportunities for participants to understand how they can influence situations even when they are not ‘in charge’. The program focuses on helping public sector managers to better understand their leadership style, their role within their organisation, and the wider public service environment.


Paul 't Hart

Paul 't Hart is a Professor of Public Administration at Utrecht University and Associate Dean of the Netherlands School of Public Administration in The Hague. He resumed both positions in mid-2011, after spending five years as Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. ...

Robbie Macpherson

For over 15 years Robbie Macpherson has been designing and delivering innovative, transformational leadership and talent development programs for a diverse range of organisations, sectors and environments. His passion is helping individuals and organisations develop the capacity to solve their ow...

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Towards Strategic Leadership at Australia and New Zealand School of Government

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.