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Frequently asked questions

Public sector leaders have always needed to think creatively to solve complex problems and deliver public value to their communities. Now, as governments work through the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in an increasingly ambiguous environment, it is even more important for you as an emerging public sector leader to have the knowledge, creativity and confidence required to provide informed and timely advice, and lead others through change. To do this, you need to understand the broader context of the environment you are working in, strengthen your capacity to tackle complex problems and be prepared to think strategically about the future.

ANZSOG’s Future public sector leaders’ series (FPSL) will inspire and educate hard-working and passionate emerging leaders, providing an invaluable opportunity for self-reflection and professional growth. The FPSL is a ‘choose-your-own adventure’ style series which puts you in control of your online learning experience. Choose from various packages which feature highly engaging masterclasses classes from the successful inaugural series in 2020/21 and new masterclasses led by domestic and international thinkers on public management and leadership.

Previous FPSL participants said:

  • 90% agreed topics were contemporary and relevant to their work
  • 85% agreed that the packages provided the flexibility they were looking for

What will I learn?

The Future public sector leaders' series will inspire you to reimagine your role in the public sector and become the leader you want to be – talented, creative innovative - for the challenges of today with an eye on the problems of tomorrow.

You can expect to find the inspiration and practical tools needed to succeed in volatile and uncertain times from current and former CEOs and senior public administrators, premiers, politicians and academics and presenters in ANZSOG’s renowned Executive Master of Public Administration and Executive Fellows Program, exploring topics such as: integrity, diversity, Treaty, digital governance and agility, systems thinking and leadership, and policy capability, creation and implementation.

The short and engaging online masterclasses have been purposely designed to fit around your busy workday and to provide a forum to discuss the future challenges of the public service, how they affect your role, your agency and the communities you serve.

Challenge yourself to grapple with new concepts and learn approaches that you will be able to apply right away to problems in your everyday work.

See individual masterclasses for specific learning outcomes.

Who is the series for?

The series has been tailor-made for emerging public sector leaders working in Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand. The ideal participant will be new to management or identified as a future leader within their agency – an emerging public sector leader, with strong leadership aspirations and long-term career plans.

For example, Tier 3-4 leaders in Aotearoa-New Zealand, SES 1, EL 1-2 in the APS and VPS 5-6 and E03 will find the masterclass series particularly beneficial. It will also suit established leaders seeking inspiration and wanting to upskill and engage in thought-provoking discussion on topics with a contemporary focus.

You will be interested in big picture leadership, strategy and systems thinking, managing change, innovating, working with stakeholders, developing people and improving your emotional intelligence and resilience.

The series will also suit established leaders seeking to refresh their approach and engage in thought-provoking discussion on topics of immediate relevance as they work through the challenges of the constantly and rapidly changing environment. Established leaders looking to take their leadership to the next level, should also consider ANZSOG’s esteemed Executive Fellows Program and Towards Strategic Leadership.

We encourage registrations from Māori and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Why should I choose the series?


The series has been designed to provide you with the flexibility to choose to ensure you get the most out of your ANZSOG experience. Select a package, then choose the masterclasses which will help you strengthen the areas of most relevance to you. See the package and masterclass details below.

Work/life balance

The masterclasses are online and limited to two hours to positively impact your work/life balance. 

Network building

The Future public sector leaders' series, like all ANZSOG programs, will put you in the (virtual) room with other colleagues from across agencies and jurisdictions, strengthening your network and broadening your horizons. You can expect to learn as much from others as you will from our expert masterclass leads. Each masterclass generally includes half an hour of breakout room discussion to provide the opportunity for an engagement with your fellow learners.

Highly engaging

Masterclass numbers are strictly limited to foster an intimate and highly interactive environment, which focuses specifically on challenges of direct relevance to public servants in Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand today and into the future.

Highly reputable

ANZSOG is not just any education provider. We are owned by and work for the governments of Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand, and develop our programs in close consultation with our government owners and university partners. Everything we do is aimed at strengthening and enriching public sector leadership, and inspiring and connecting public sector leaders.

What are the series details?

The Future public sector leaders' series begins in September 2021 and features 11 masterclasses which are two-hour classes. Many of these will feature Q&A, zoom breakout rooms and networking opportunities. You can pick any masterclass to complete a package. You can register for masterclasses even after the series begins in late September.

To view the details of the masterclasses, please click on the sliders below:

Masterclass 1: Leading with Integrity with Dana Born

  • Thursday 23 September 2021
  • 10am-12pm


As a leader in the public sector, it is important to define your values and your ethical principles and recognise the significant role they play in driving your leadership style, particularly as you experience the pressures of leading during the COVID-19 crisis amongst the usual tension of work-life integration.

Harvard University’s Professor Dana Born will lead deep reflection on your life-story, personal values, work styles and workplace context, to help optimise your unique leadership strengths and identify opportunities for your personal and professional development and influence.   

On completion of this masterclass, participants will be able to:

  • define your personal values and ethical principles by exploring your distinctive life story and ethical principles
  • unlock your leadership potential by enhancing decision-making capabilities, increasing capacity to influence, and ensuring your actions are guided by a clear sense of purpose
  • explore the practice of values-led leadership and how drawing on your personal values and principles can improve your effectiveness as a leader
  • bring authenticity and adaptability to improve your decision-making processes and your ability to generate trust with stakeholders. 

Masterclass 2: Applying systems thinking to public problems with Nick Fleming

  • Monday 4 October 2021
  • 10am-12pm 


Systems thinking is an essential skill for transcending idealised notions of how systems should work to how systems actually work. It is the basis for crafting and implementing public policy that delivers real benefits to society.

Dr Nick Fleming - ANZSOG presenter and founder of strategic advisory firm Innergise, will use real-world examples from the public and private sectors to provide insights into the crucial role of systems thinking in tackling real-world public problems and setting up agencies, their programs and leaders for success.

Dr Fleming will reveal some of the big traps and blind spots contributing to persistence of public problems which will be of particular benefit to those responsible for public policy formulation and implementation. This masterclass is ideal for leaders at all levels of the public service who want to make genuine progress in tackling complex public problems.

On completion of this masterclass, you will be able to:

  • Discern the difference between normal (day-to-day) styles of thinking and systems thinking
  • Explain why systems thinking is essential to productive and problem solving in the public sector
  • Apply one of a suite of systems thinking tools
  • Understand that systems as social constructs with important implications for understanding and resolving public problems (including policy formulation and implementation)
  • Recognise that the aim and value of systems thinking is doing less work with better results
  • Immediately start applying systems thinking to your work.

Optional pre-reading: Focusing on people, not technology – how the public sector can work better to solve problems

Masterclass 3: Building policy capability – an infrastructure approach with Sally Washington

  • Tuesday 19 October 2021
  • 10am-12pm


Good policy advice is critical for supporting good government decision making. Great policy advice rests on an infrastructure that includes effective policy design and development processes, a modern methods toolkit, and skilled people who can collaborate across government and beyond.

Public service leaders need to be able to meet the demands of current decision-makers while building capability and the knowledge base to serve future governments. They need to be able to understand the supply and demand sides of the policy equation. In this masterclass, Sally Washington, ANZSOG Director, Aoteara-New Zealand, who designed and led the Aotearoa-New Zealand government programme - the Policy Project - to improve policy quality and capability, will examine the complex public management challenge of how to build an effective policy infrastructure.

Participants will have to opportunity to share their own challenges and gain insights and tools required to be a more effective leader. This masterclass is ideal for public sector executives, senior managers, aspiring leaders, policy officers, or anyone involved in the policy process or delivering advice to decision makers or any manager or aspiring leader working in a non-policy role who interacts with policy colleagues and wants a better understanding of how policy works and how they can have more input and impact.

On completion of this masterclass, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the key components of the policy infrastructure and how they can be mutually reinforcing
  • Diagnose the capability of their team or organisation to meet current and future demands for advice to support good government decision making
  • Design a trajectory for improving policy quality and capability based on the latest thinking on methods and approaches, and on local and international experience.

Optional pre-reading: What is the ‘policy problem’ and what’s to be done about it? Building an infrastructure for great policy by Sally Washington | The Mandarin

Masterclass 4: Using adaptive leadership in the face of adversity with Robin Ryde

  • Wednesday 3 November 2021
  • 10am-12pm 


How do you lead in uncertain times - when driving adaptation in your team and across your agency is vital? Robin Ryde - business author, leadership and organisational development expert, former CEO of the UK National School of Government and co-director of ANZSOG's Executive Fellows Program - will focus on the mindset and capabilities needed to confidently adapt your leadership for the modern operating environment; one that is characterised by unpredictability, ambiguity and rapid change – a vital skill for any effective public manager, but of particular importance as we grapple with the shifting environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On completion of this masterclass, participants will be able to:

  • A firm grounding in the core concepts and work associated with the practice of Adaptive Leadership
  • A common language to explore adaptive challenges
  • Practice in framing questions relating to complex problems
  • Enhanced skill in reading and responding to changes in the operating environment

Masterclass 5: Forming public policy in a complex, crisis driven authorising environment with David Bartlett

  • Tuesday 16 November 2021
  • 10am-12pm 


It has been said that just as organisational culture constrains strategy, so too politics constrains good public policy. Over the last two decades we have seen increasing complexity in the authorising environment, including:

  • large departments reporting to multiple ministers
  • increasing political influence in heads of agency appointments
  • the 24-hour news cycle increasing the intensity of political scrutiny encouraging to a risk averse approach to innovation
  • And more recently, jurisdictions implementing emergency protocols and making public policy decisions more rapidly than ever before.

These complexities challenge the public sector role of system stewardship and potentially curtail our ability to deliver frank and fearless advice. Former Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett will explore what impacts these trends will have in the short and medium-term and offer some antidotes and insights to help you overcome them.

On completion of this masterclass, participants will be able to:

  • Further understand the complexities of the authorising environment
  • Better deliver public policy outcomes in the current challenging environment

Masterclass 6: Bridging the gap between policy and implementation with Anne Tiernan

  • Wednesday 19 January 2022
  • 10am-12pm 


Policy implementation remains a stubborn problem for governments around the world. A litany of reviews and inquiries has revealed that too often, there is a gap: between promise and delivery, expectations and impact; and policy intent and practical realities. Policy failure can undermine public confidence and trust, as has been revealed during the COVID-19 crisis. In Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand, the pandemic has highlighted the imperative to draw on information, expertise, skills and resources across government, industry and community networks, and to mobilise them towards a shared purpose. It has also exposed the interdependencies at the heart of the public service and the urgent need to strengthen the nexus between policy, implementation and delivery.

Professor Anne Tiernan - Professor of Politics and Dean of Engagement for the Griffith Business School, Griffith University – will draw on concepts, cases and lessons learned through practical experience in different policy settings, to bridge the implementation gap. You will consider implementation and opportunities the pandemic presents to systemically reimagine the work of policy and to build sustained connections to knowledge and insights to inform policy design, at the local service system and place level.

On completion of this masterclass, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and use concepts from the policy implementation and related literatures that can animate a more contemporary approach to policy capacity and the craft of public administration.
  • Identify practical strategies for bridging the implementation gap in your own jurisdictional and policy context through interactive case-based analysis and discussion with other participants.

Masterclass 7: Strengthening Indigenous partnerships with the Crown – an opportunity for public servants with Lil Anderson

  • Wednesday 9 February 2022
  • 2pm-4pm


Treaty based or not, it is becoming even more evident to public servants that the very communities that often suffer the worst social and economic statistics, are now becoming very clearly the most important stakeholders as Government attempts to solve problems differently. For years, decades even, we have based much of our policy responses on ‘data’ gathered across different age groups, decile levels, and communities. This has often been ‘instead of’ engagement with those communities themselves or late engagement in the policy process, often when solutions have already been created in response to the data. It is clear that this approach doesn’t work. Statistics continue to go the wrong way.

In Aotearoa-New Zealand, Māori very clearly look to exercise rangatiratanga, promised under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. In Australia, communities continue to seek engagement and involvement in addressing these issues. Both instances and the fact that approaches to date have not worked, encourage public servants to work differently. But where do you start? What might a new approach look like?

Lil Anderson - Chief Executive – Office for Maori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti - will discuss what this engagement should look like, what changes are required within organisations and at public service system levels and the features of true partnership that are starting to emerge as we work differently with our communities. You will hear first-hand of Aotearoa-New Zealand’s journey from historical grievance to the glimmer of hope that partnership provides. They will hear about how to practically make system changes within organisations and across the public service to enable a more realistic chance of working in partnership with our Māori/indigenous communities.

This masterclass will benefit agency leaders, senior staff and anyone who has a public facing leadership role or working towards one, particularly if these roles involve Indigenous populations and/or the issues that face these communities, as well as those interested in learning about new engagement and partnership approaches and/or approaches to policy work or large reform processes.

On completion of this masterclass, you will be able to:

  • Understand the Aotearoa-New Zealand Treaty context for partnership

  • Define the features of great community engagement

  • Understand the capabilities required to work with indigenous populations and some of the system changes required to support this work

  • Study examples of partnership

  • Identify tools and examples that can be used in their everyday work

Masterclass 8: Creating change through systems leadership with Michael Hogan

  • Wednesday 23 February 2022
  • 10am-12pm


Systems leadership is often practiced, it is not yet widely supported by shared understandings, frames, tools and behaviours which are valuable for leaders addressing the complexity, dynamism and scale of the multi-dimensional challenges we face.

Adjunct Professor Michael Hogan (Queensland University of Technology) will provide useful insights on concepts, frames, tools and behaviours relating to systems leadership and systemic change, exploring the opportunities and challenges for leaders working collaboratively and dealing with complexity; and how to relate this to the foundational concepts of public purpose and public value, and to real world experiences.

This masterclass is ideal for public sector leaders – from team leaders through to executives - working on complex public issues, in multi-agency and multi-sectoral contexts – perfect for those who want to be part of the new generation of leaders leading and facilitating effective systems as well as their teams and organisations.

On completion of this masterclass, you will be able to:

  • understand key concepts, frames, tools, and behaviours regarding systems leadership and systemic change
  • relate these concepts, frames, tools and behaviours to their own and other real world experiences
  • source further information on systems leadership and systemic change

Some pre-reading material will be provided in advance to registrants.

Masterclass 9: Building integrity: the foundation of a trusted public service with Nik Kirby and Simone Webb

  • Tuesday 8 March 2022
  • 10am-12pm 


This session, led by Dr Nikolas Kirby and Simone Webb, will aim to define integrity means for the public service, and how to promote it leveraging case studies in the Australian sector.

Masterclass 10: Managing public sector diversity with Victor Sojo

  • Tuesday 22 March 2022
  • 10am-12pm 


Short-sighted leadership, poorly-planned reforms, and economic imperatives have resulted in a piecemeal approach to diversity management in the public sector – despite the sector being comprised of people from all walks of life. The consequences of this precarious approach to people management are exacerbated by populist discourse and the so-called “culture wars” happening in the broader society. This situation is of particular concern for the public sector, which is expected to represent the communities they serve, and to act as model institutions.

Dr Victor Sojo, senior lecturer (Leadership) at University of Melbourne uses scientific research to inform and present a strategic, whole-of-organisation approach to diversity management. Mixing insights from cognitive and social psychology, public sector management, and behavioural economics, Dr Sojo uses scenarios and participants’ perspectives to analyse old-fashioned and contemporary notions of workplace diversity, and dimensions to consider in a strategic approach to workplace diversity management.

This masterclass is ideal for team leaders through to executives who want to have a whole-of-organisation, forward-thinking approach to public sector workplace diversity management.

On completion of this masterclass, you will be able to:

  • Define workplace diversity and inclusion, their dimensions and differences.
  • Describe areas and levels of action to apply a strategic approach to workplace diversity management

Masterclass 11: Understanding agile governance in the digital age with Ines Mergel

  • Tuesday 12 April 2022

  • 3pm-5pm


“Every single project in government is now digital. Public managers therefore need a different mindset to question the hypotheses they made while transforming government for the digital era.” – Professor Mergel.

Governments are swiftly moving into transforming their internal processes and public services from paper-based to digital modes. Traditional project management approaches are focused on phased steps with a set timeframe, tasks and budgets. These approaches are useful when the outcomes are clearly defined and no changes to the initial plan can be introduced but in the digital era, tasks have become much more complex and requirements can change on the spot especially when designing digital products and processes.

Dr Ines Mergel, Professor of Digital Governance, Digital Governance Lab, University of Konstanz, Germany will introduce you to the practices of the digital era to which rapidly and continually improve government services and policies.

You will learn to understand the differences between these approaches, how to apply new methods to your digital projects, how to iterate while taking into account changing user preferences, question existing hypotheses and using evidence-based information.

Senior and junior public managers are encouraged to attend and to bring a current digital project for discussion. Learn how to ask the right questions when participating in or leading digital teams, negotiating contracts and requirements with IT service providers and contractors.

On completion of this masterclass, you will be able to:

Part I: Agile governance as an alternative project management approach

  • Objective 1: Differentiate at least two approaches to project management used by governments

  • Objective 2: Explain what iterative approaches to project management are, and describe their origins

Part II: User-centricity and iteration

  • Objective 3: Learn why public servants need to be focused on users and their needs.

  • Objective 4: Understand how human-centered design can be useful in a public policy context.

  • Objective 5: Apply a basic design exercise to develop a better understanding of a problem

How much does the series cost?

The Future public sector leaders' series has been designed to build the skills that every 21st-century public sector leader needs but we understand that it might not be possible to commit to too much time away from your work and other personal commitments which is why we have designed the series as a ‘choose-your-own adventure’ style series which puts you in control of your online learning experience.

Choose from various packages which feature highly engaging masterclasses classes from the successful inaugural series in 2020/21 and new masterclasses led by domestic and international thinkers on public management and leadership. 

To provide you with the choice you need, we’ve designed three packages:

Gold leadership package

Cost: $2,950 AUD incl. GST ($2,681.82 excl.)

What you get: 10 x masterclasses

Early bird offer: Bonus 11th masterclass option for gold package if you book before 22 September 2021.

Silver leadership package

Cost: $2,200 AUD incl. GST ($2,000 excl.)

What you get: 5 x masterclasses

Individual masterclass

Cost: $695 AUD incl. GST ($632 excl.)

What you get:1 x masterclass

Register here

Want to attend with your colleagues?

Contact us if you are seeking help with a group booking. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ANZSOG Alumni discount

Apply for the 15% ANZSOG alumni discount. Every person that completes ANZSOG’s Executive Master of Public Administration, Executive Fellows Program, Towards Strategic Leadership or an international program becomes part of our alumni. Find out more about our alumni community. 

How do I register?

Registration is simple. Just follow the five steps below.

  1. Click the register button below
  2. Enter your details
  3. Select your series package
  4. Choose the masterclasses you wish to attend
  5. Finalise payment and you're done.

Register here

Registrants will receive a confirmation email upon finalising their registration.

Registrants will receive a Zoom link 24 hours before the masterclass or keynote.

Find out more about our Cancellation policy here.

Platform and delivery

The Future public sector leaders' series will be delivered via Zoom providing a platform for inspiring delivery, engaging breakout rooms and live polling. Participants are encouraged to utilise a personal device if Zoom is unable to be accessed via work servers.

Information for managers

Now more than ever communities are turning to government for advice and leadership, and ongoing investment in public sector leadership is vital. Public sector leaders have been thrust into the spotlight, working tirelessly to deal with a fast-changing global crisis and making difficult decisions. ANZSOG is owned by, and works for, the Commonwealth, state and territory governments of Australia and the central government of Aotearoa-New Zealand. The Future public sector leaders' series has been specifically designed to strengthen your current and future leaders’ abilities to make decisions under pressure, build confidence in their leadership style and provide them with the practical tools they need to succeed. The series has purposefully been limited to short and sharp delivery options to ensure the impact on day-to-day operations is minimised. See the section below if you would like more information.

Find out more

Owned by and working for the governments of Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand, ANZSOG creates and delivers education programs tailored to meet the needs of public sector leaders who are currently facing distinct challenges. Our programs are designed with significant government input, for government, and led by renowned academics and respected practitioners. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Future public sector leaders’ series Frequently Asked Questions webpage