Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PNLC Faculty Teaching and Learning in New Zealand

New Zealand is a maritime country about the size of Minnesota with a somewhat smaller population. Māori people make up about 15% of the population but their influence is evident in language, public art, and politics. (Last night I watched a Māori television channel.) The influence of British colonization also is still strong, but waves of immigration from Asian, African, and other European countries also have shaped this independent land. New Zealand is in the process of accepting several hundred Syrian refugees.

John Bryson and I are guests this week of the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington where we are giving talks about leadership, strategic planning, and cross-sector collaboration. The school has the great advantage of being just across the street from parliament and in the midst of multiple national government buildings. It’s commencement time here as it is at the University of Minnesota, and Tuesday, as I was preparing to give a talk, I walked through a throng of robed graduates who were waiting to parade through the streets of Wellington accompanied by a brass band and bagpipers. I really like the idea of closing down the streets to celebrate academic achievement!

New Zealand’s government is a very centralized system in which the national government exerts considerable authority at the local level. It has been a bastion of the results-oriented New Public Management (NPM) reforms championed by folks like Minnesota’s Public Strategies Group. However, as John and I have consulted with academics and government researchers here, we also hear desires to overcome the tendency of NPM to hamper collaboration among government agencies and with non-governmental organizations. Recently the government has begun the Better Public Services Results program that has rewarded government officials for collaborating across agency lines, and has made substantial improvements in achieving outcomes like greater participation in early childhood education and increased immunization.

Tomorrow John and I will lead a session explaining the potential of collaboration to create public value and showing how the Visual Strategy Mapping method can be used to help people from multiple sectors – government, nonprofit, and business – advantageously collaborate in tackling shared problems. Who knows: Before long, New Zealanders will join the fine Humphrey School tradition of plastering walls with inter-linked yellow ovals or PostIt notes to strategize about important issues.

By: Barbara Crosby
Barbara C. Crosby is associate professor at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and former academic co-director of the Center for Integrative Leadership at the University of Minnesota. She has taught and written extensively about leadership and public policy, integrative leadership, cross-sector collaboration, women in leadership, media and public policy, and strategic planning. She is the author of Leadership for Global Citizenship (1999) and co-author with John M. Bryson of (Leadership for the Common Good: Tackling Public Problems in a Shared-Power World 2d. ed. 2005).

1 comment:

  1. That was a wonderful festival, thanks for sharing the information about it here because in another case I'd probably didn't hear about it and probably missed it accordingly. I liked the most that part where John was talking about the dissertation services by BestEssayEducation, which was very useful for me as a student. I've spent time with pleasure there, so I'm looking forward to hearing the news about the next similar festivals.