Global Government Leaders’ Forum

21 January 2021
Singapore

Bringing civil service leaders from around the world to Singapore for debates on organisational change, policymaking and service delivery, the Global Government Leaders’ Forum is a free conference for civil service managers

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About the event

Around the globe, civil service leaders recognise that leadership styles must change.

Traditional approaches to civil service leadership have encouraged a hierarchical, top-down management style. They’ve focused on vertical accountabilities, rather than looking outwards to other departments and into the community. They’ve prioritised policymaking and ‘generalist’ management skills over specialist professional expertise. And they’ve expected civil servants to make key decisions internally, drawing on formal consultation processes, rather than involving key stakeholders and the wider public directly in developing new policies and services.

But in the modern world, this approach is no longer effective.

The economic, social and environmental problems faced by governments demand close partnership working by officials, reaching across departmental boundaries. The new tools available to civil servants – notably digital technologies and ‘big data’ – require collaborative, iterative approaches to project development that sit awkwardly with established processes. The innovation necessary to adapt to an ever faster-moving environment calls for both fresh approaches to risk, and new forms of public engagement. And these days, talented employees want the autonomy and authority to make a real difference in their working lives: to get results, leaders must empower rather than direct them.

So civil service leaders are developing new approaches to management, working towards a more connected, collaborative and innovative civil service. This event will identify the personal characteristics, working methods and management styles that civil service leaders will require during the 2020s – and explore how they can be developed.

Featuring speeches and panel debates by senior leaders from Singapore and overseas, the Forum will comprise two main sessions along with time for networking. The first session will focus on managing the digital transformation of public bodies and services, and the second on leading policymaking and implementation in the field of environmental sustainability.

The Forum is free to all civil service managers, from Singapore and overseas. 

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21 January 2021, Singapore