The workshop was led by DAP SVP for Programs Magdalena Mendoza as well as experts Dr. Tim Mau, Dr. Chung-an Chen, and Aurel Brudan.
Attributes of a leader
The workshop was conducted with the objective of providing a platform for discussing the necessary attributes of a leader to enhance productivity in a public sector organization. It also served as a venue for exchanging experiences and learning about the best practices from each participating country to enable the participants to come up with the key elements that will be used to develop a common public sector leadership framework.
The workshop recognized that leadership is a key factor in any organization’s success, especially in effecting productivity and efficiency, both in the public and private sector. It also established the indispensability of the public sector’s role in providing services to the citizenry, despite the recent trend to increase the private sector’s involvement in this area. This, along with the differences between the two sectors, makes it essential for the public sector to create its own leadership brand rather than merely adopting leadership competency models developed and used by the private sector.
“By exercising leadership, public sector managers can overcome the imperfections of the political system,” said Dr. Mau, stressing the role of leadership in overcoming constraints specific to the context of public sector organizations.
Lectures also discussed the context of public sector organizations, the link of leadership to productivity as well as the different leadership attributes such as vision, ethics and effective communication skills. This was to help the participants construct an effective public sector leadership model at the end of the workshop.
Aside from in-class lectures, participants also had the chance to learn from the Philippine experience through two public sector leaders that have led their organizations towards greater productivity.
Handling a major reform
Former Department of Education Secretary Bro. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, shared with the participants stories of how his department handled a major reform, the K-12 program, as well as the lessons that came with it. As told through stories of going to the grassroots, heading to conflict areas and facing opposing sectors, Luistro explained how “humility, compassion, and teamwork” are essential attributes of a public sector leader.
Workshop participants also had the chance to understand how Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi demonstrated his brand of leadership in action.
The city’s well-lauded “Single-Window Transaction” is a breakthrough innovation, exemplifying productivity in the public sector. Fresnedi stressed the importance of encouraging one’s employees to lead the way in presenting innovative ideas as well as the importance of leading by example, which he said was the secret to his local government’s increased productivity.
Center of Excellence
The Philippines, through the DAP, was designated in 2015 by the APO, a regional intergovernmental organization established in May 1961, as the Center of Excellence on Public Sector Productivity. The Philippines was only the third Asian country to be awarded such a distinction, earning it after Singapore, which was designated as the COE on Business Excellence in 2009, and the Republic of China, which was declared the COE on Green Productivity in 2013.
The workshop concluded with the participants crafting their leadership competency models based on their learnings. The output will be used in developing a common public sector leadership framework that will serve as primary document for APO member countries in enhancing productivity in the public sector through innovative leadership.