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Creating and sustaining high performance in the public sector

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The public service comprises people passionate about serving their nation and community. Yet consistently turning passion into high performance for a collective purpose is a unique organisational challenge, one that requires disciplined management techniques.

COVID-19 and other recent emergencies represent a powerfully instructive example of how to address this challenge. The Australian Public Service (APS) rapidly organised and aligned in response to a clear call to arms, delivering extraordinary outcomes such as on-boarding thousands of staff into Services Australia and clearing a million new JobSeeker claims within six weeks, and the NSW Government’s launch of its border control apps in a matter of days.

With a clear goal and direction, combined with the passionate commitment of so many staff, the APS showed itself and Australia what high performance looks like. The challenge now is to capture and replicate that learning consistently – to mobilise that passion in the same direction sustainably – not just in a crisis.

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Source: The Mandarin

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About the authors

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Aldous Mitchell

Aldous has 20 years’ experience in policy, organisational effectiveness and operational improvement. He has advised governments across Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East on matters of infrastructure, transport, treasury, justice, human services, defence, law enforcement, housing and health. 


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Ben Thompson

Ben has 20 years’ experience in strategy, transformation and operational improvement. He has extensive experience in government, information technology, education, entertainment and financial services across Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Asia.