Lessons learned from the 2019 IPAC National Leadership Conference
Fifteen African Leaders of Tomorrow (ALT) scholars attended Institute of Public Administration of Canada’s (IPAC) National Leadership Conference February 11 – 12, 2019 in Toronto. The following are key takeaways for these future transformational leaders who will face the challenge of becoming change agents in public administration and public service delivery in Africa.
Impact of Transformational Leadership in Public Administration and Public Service Delivery
Transformational leadership can efficiently and effectively manage the needed disruption in the public sector by data-driven decisions, investing in problem-solving or innovative technology, and embracing support, collaboration, and rowing together.
“As transformational leaders, we need to utilize our institutions’ tangible (policies, systems, vision and mission, etc.) and intangible (unwritten rules, beliefs and assumptions, attitudes and feelings, etc.) resources to achieve the desired strategic change in how our continent delivers on public finances, policies, and administration.”
“Leaders must be positive and willing to take risks, experiment, and learn from other successful experiences and/or research findings. ‘There is more risk in doing nothing than doing something.’”
“Transformational leaders encourage employees to continuously question the way things are currently done, actively experiment with new ideas and practices, and view reasonable mistakes as a natural part of the learning process.”
ALT Scholars intend to apply transformational leadership in their home country institutions by creating and communicating goals that reflect the values and beliefs of stakeholders, developing required skills sets, and effectively responding to changing conditions in the internal and external environments of their institutions to achieve the desired strategic goals.
The impact of technology in the modern public administration
“Technology has become an important component of public service delivery; it’s an essential tool to provide efficient, accessible and cost-effective public services.”
Although technology is not an end in itself, leaders should encourage and support its use not just for efficient and effective service delivery, but for continuous development and re-skilling for organizations to remain relevant.
“Public sector managers need to ensure employees have the knowledge, skills and abilities to use the ever-changing technological spectrum in public organizational setting.”
Towards successful change
“Change is inevitable and the cost of doing nothing is higher than attempting to bring in something new to the system.”
Promoting efficient communication to build trust within an organization, staying consistent and encouraging transparency are some of the important factors which determine the success of change within an institution.
Incentives and rewards for change makers and those who dared to take the risk of bringing a positive change to the institution help to instill a culture of tolerance towards risk-taking.
Three elements of successful change: Name It, Negotiate It, Navigate It.
ALT Scholars at 2019 IPAC National Leadership Conference:
- University of British Columbia: Misrak Tekle, Catherine Tarimo, Adedoyin Luwaji, Solomon Atta, Beatrice Zano
- Simon Fraser University: Anointing Momoh
- Ryerson University: Elizabeth Kashala
- McMaster University: William Sulonkemelee, Jr.
- Carleton University: Doreen Kyasiimire
- École nationale d’administration publique: Hadiza Hachimou, Todote Tchenagni
- Dalhousie University: Talent Ndlovu, Abdou Kanteh, Michael Ngara
- Memorial University of Newfoundland: Clarisse Uwamahoro
The ALT Scholarship Program is funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada and by Mastercard Foundation. It is managed by CBIE in partnership with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and in collaboration with the African Association of Public Administration and Management and the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration.