Management programme for the public sector

Towards new leadership. Momentum for renewal.



Finland: Employee-driven productivity enhancement proves beneficial for municipalities


How can we achieve a strategic and agile government?


Employee-driven approach to productivity improvement brings major benefits to municipalities


Inno-Vointi – redefining innovation

Maisema Helsingistä

Helsinki Region Infoshare awarded Euro prize for innovation

Työelämäpalkinnon jako 15.1.2013

Finnish National Prize for Innovative Practices in Employment and Social Policy goes to Berner Oy


Closed programme

New leadership challenges

According to Sitra’s Public leadership barometer, improving productivity and managing scarcity are considered to be the greatest challenges for public sector managers. Ageing, incentive systems and well-being at work also emerge as major issues. Renewing public administration requires the renewal of leadership methods. Good public administration presupposes better cooperation between administrative sectors and levels as well as increased interaction with various interest groups, and the development of a more open and innovative operating culture.

Sitra will seek development paths for new leadership together with local authorities and the state administration. Since organisations, their tasks and legacies differ from one another, there is no single model of new leadership that fits them all. We will look at leadership from the perspectives of people, the workplace community and management at all levels of public administration.

The focus will be on the operating culture, management systems and the operating conditions of an individual as part of an organisation. The goal is to promote systemic changes at the system level without compromising existing strengths. This change requires realising the full expertise and development potential of competent, professional and well-educated public sector staff.

Extensive and open collaboration when providing services

In developing public services, we have also focused on the human-centric operating method, whereby people, cities, companies, organisations and communities create services together. Service development aims at better results with less effort. There will be more freedom of choice (for example, the Village in a City project in Hämeenlinna). Services may also be produced together, like a modern village community, as in the New Old Village community project in Lahti.

Opening up public data is one approach to service production. Data produced using public funding is made available to all freely and with no charge. This will promote innovation and research and make citizens more active. Helsinki Region Infoshare is an extensive project in which data is opened locally. The aim is to take the model to the rest of Finland and abroad.

Corporate steering model boosts cooperation

One approach to the development of state administration and local government is based on the corporate steering model, which in practice means management between the government and the various administrative levels. State corporate steering is a tool for the prime minister and the government to achieve the political-strategic objectives. The steering model includes processes, structures and a management model. The government is able to use these tools to implement, assess and update its programme as well as the objectives and measures that enhance it.

The challenges of the public economy and the diverse needs of the population require input from a number of public authorities and administrative sectors. Many issues could be processed and many policies implemented in a consistent and focused manner, a development which would benefit all parties. But there have been no shared written principles or strategies for Finnish corporate steering, a fact noted in the OECD’s evaluation of Finnish public administration. Attempts have been made to manage coordination issues through policy programmes, but more capacity to make decisions across ministry borders is necessary.

Corporate operations have already been developed in state administration, and will be developed further. Since 2010, we have searched for opportunities to promote this development and to create the proper prerequisites for stronger cross-boundary cooperation and decision-making in public administration.


Antti Kivelä
Mervi Porevuo
Kirsti Kaustara
Kirsi Suomalainen
Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs

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