Estimated reading time 2 min

Sitra's Public Leadership and Management Programme is launched − The public sector deserves better leadership and management

Does the public sector, with a total of 645,000 employees, really have the potential, competence and enthusiasm to change the working methods of the sector, or is it so that the public sector is ineffective, bureaucratic and does not listen to the views of the citizens?

Published

Does the public sector, with a total of 645,000 employees, really have the potential, competence and enthusiasm to change the working methods of the sector, or is it so that the public sector is ineffective, bureaucratic and does not listen to the views of the citizens? Sitra aims to promote systemic renewal of Finnish society, and takes on the challenge by launching the four-year Public Leadership and Management Programme. The objective is to have a human-oriented, well-functioning and efficient public sector, an essential factor for future success in Finland.

According to Sitra, preserving and developing the existing well-being services requires a radical renewal both in municipalities and in the state. A successfully operating, human-oriented and efficient public sector is an important factor that increases Finland’s well-being, sustainable development and success.

“The aim of the programme launched now is to promote extensive and in-depth changes in the leadership and management of the public sector so that its service offering would better meet citizens’ needs, while the service production would be more diverse and effective. Moreover, the programme will develop the public sector as an employer, that is, working for an interesting and competitive employer is regarded as meaningful and rewarding,” says Juha Kostiainen, Executive Director of the Public Leadership and Management Programme.

The public sector faces a storm of pressures

The Finnish well-being model, built on a high level of education, technology-based export and a strong consensus, does no longer function. It faces both national and global challenges: The Finnish population is retiring at a record-breaking pace, public debt is growing fast, the export-driven national economy is in trouble, and climate change demands readjustment. On the other hand, Finns as service users demand services which are of an increasingly high quality and better cater to their needs.

Leadership at many levels

The development of public sector leadership and management aims at a human-oriented and effective approach. It is also essential to establish multi-provider models which improve productivity and create new business, as well as to reinforce cooperation across different fields in the public sector.

The public sector’s 645,000 employees’ innovative potential and enthusiasm for developing their work is regarded as a key force of change. The programme will also involve end-users in the developmental work.

“The programme will help both municipalities and the state with leadership and management challenges. In practice, new leadership and operational models will be developed for public administration, concrete development projects will be implemented and information on best practices will be distributed for others to utilise,” says Juha Kostiainen, outlining the programme’s four years of activity.

According to the Nordic model, Finland has a large public sector responsible for providing citizens with basic services. The expenditure of the public sector amounts to about 55% of Finnish GDP.

Operational views of the Public Leadership and Management Programme (2010−2013)

  • Customers: new methods will be created for involving citizens in service development and for utilising their knowledge and views.
  • Renewal: Preconditions will be found for unleashing the innovative potential of the 645,000 people working in the public sector, and they will be encouraged to develop their work.
  • Operational models: The public sector’s processes and structures will be developed so that they will improve the efficiency of decision-making and establish multi-provider models based on a new kind of thinking – in the models, public, private and third-sector service offerings operate in a competing environment by producing quality and cost-effectiveness.
  • Leadership: Such leadership and leadership competence will be developed, with which citizens, the staff and external service providers can each contribute to reforming Finnish society.

For more information:

Juha Kostiainen, Executive Director, Public Leadership and Management Programme Tel. +358 9 6189 9473, firstname.surname@sitra.fi

Kirsi Mäki, Communications Manager Tel. +358 400 978 578, firstname.surname@sitra.fiPublic Leadership and Management Programme

Published