Globally, governments are coming under increased pressure to adopt new technological advances, become more efficient and respond to more diverse demands. These pressures are fundamentally shifting the way that governments engage with citizens, deliver services and collect revenue.

The NSW Government will continue to focus on becoming more agile, especially by increasing collaboration across all levels of government, and across the private and public sectors. It will also take a more proactive and preventive approach to  government interventions and policies.

The future focus of the public sector

In response to this radically reshaped role of government in society, there are two frameworks that you can consider as a senior executive:

  • Mark Moore’s ‘strategic triangle’ framework which guides effective strategic decision making
  • Jocelyne Bourgon’s theory on ‘a new synthesis of public administration’, which highlights what governments should focus on as they re-position themselves in this evolving environment.

Responding to global trends, there are four imperatives the NSW government will need to act on.

Serving in an expanded public space, Serving beyond the predictable, Improving adaptive capacityBuilding proactive interventions

Serving in an expanded public space

Citizens are asking more of their government, particularly around citizen's level of involvement in designing  and providing services. As a senior executive your should encourage ongoing review of  the services your  team offers to help align them with citizens’ expectations. This will include exploring different platforms and technologies for delivering work within your team or agency.

Trends: Enabling technologies; individual, distributed governance; increased use of digital channels; less reliance on face-to-face interactions.

Serving beyond the predictable

There is an increasing expectation that governments will be able to predict and respond immediately to natural disasters and crises, while at the same time using strategic foresight to prepare for longer-term sustainability. By restructuring the amount of responsibility and accountability  shared among all roles, governments will be better equipped to respond to emerging priorities.

Trends: Climate change; limited resources; increased complexity with fewer resources.

Building proactive interventions

There is also an expectation that governments will be able to:

  • facilitate cross-boundary collaboration - within and outside the government sphere
  • use collective power to combine knowledge, know-how, capacity and resources, increasing their ability to respond to complex problems.

As a leader, you should aim to create cross-department conversations fostering a collaborative approach to solving whole-of-government challenges.

Trends: Data-smart government; just-in-time civil services; targeted service delivery.

Improving adaptive capacity

Strong communities are central to society's adaptive capacity. In this environment, governments must work with communities to build their skills, resilience and self-reliance.

Trends: Focus on the individual; access to government across channels.

Further information