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Case Studies

Case Study A3: DOTARS LEADS - Implementing a leadership development strategy

In 2006-07 a strategy to build leadership capability across the Department was developed and launched.

The LEADS Strategy includes a number of internal and external initiatives aimed at building current and future leadership capability and by encouraging a collegiate leadership cohort.

LEADS stands for Leadership Excellence through Action, Development and Seminars.

The LEADS "Action" component provides a framework for facilitating learning in the workplace. Driven primarily by outcomes from the Focus on Results workshop, initiatives include:

  • the establishment of: LEADS taskforces with senior executives leading a small team on strategic issues such as climate change and its impact on the work of the Department;
  • LEADS tutorials drawing on expertise within the Department to assist build relevant skills including writing cabinet submissions; and
  • LEADS mentoring, providing opportunities for staff to become mentors and mentorees, building leadership capability and fostering career development.

The key initiative in the Development element is Focus on Results, a 17 week structured learning programme consisting of:

  • pre-and-post workshop briefings
  • 360° Feedback and Occupational Personality Questionnaires
  • one-on-one coaching sessions
  • three day residential workshop
Leads by example poster

The programme draws heavily on the experience of senior leaders in the Department including insights from the Secretary and Deputy Secretaries, and practical examples of leadership in action from business divisions. Over 200 executive level staff completed the Focus on Results programme in 2007 each identifying personal strengths and areas for further development, and implementing action plans to improve outcomes in the workplace.

Dr Peter Shergold AO launched the LEADS strategy in February 2007. He presented the first seminar in the Seminar Series, sharing his insights on the critical challenges for public sector leaders.

The monthly seminars, available for staff at all levels have included presentations from a range of senior leaders in the Department and the APS on operational and strategic issues relevant to the Department.

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