Leadership for government

Research and development for senior government decision makers

Congratulations Mayor Khan – now it’s time to start governing

, 9 May 2016

As we’ve noted previously, the skills politicians need to govern effectively are very different to those needed on the campaign trail. Khan, who has the experience of being Communities Minister and then Transport Minister in Gordon Brown’s government to draw from, has pledged to tackle London’s housing crisis, freeze transport fares and develop the London...

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Why, what and how: modernising Defra

, 3 February 2016

People beyond ‘the world of Whitehall-watching’ should care about reform in government, Liz Truss told an audience at a recent Institute for Government event, because ‘the how’ is inextricably linked to the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ – the mission a country has. For Liz Truss, the Government’s mission is ‘to build Britain’s economy and...

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100 days of solitude

, 14 August 2015

Before he departed for Cornwall on holiday, David Cameron spoke enthusiastically about the achievements of his government in its first 80 days. Highlighting George Osborne’s budget as the greatest achievement so far, he noted to his government’s renewed energy. “We haven’t wasted a day”, he said. He pointed to the focus he and his...

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Diversité a la canadienne

, 15 July 2015

Janice Charette is Canada’s Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, the most senior Canadian public official and already the second woman to hold that role. In conversation with Melanie Dawes, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government and Diversity Champion, Charette talked about the role of women...

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Three former health secretaries offer their diagnosis on how to be an effective minister

, 6 July 2015

The book contains insights from ten former health secretaries. Three of these – Stephen Dorrell (1995-97), Alan Milburn (1999-03), and Patricia Hewitt (2005-07) – joined Hunt to discuss how to be effective in the job. The panel emphasised the unique qualities of the health portfolio, but also highlighted the common challenges faced in any ministerial brief....

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Supporting politicians to lead in government

, 2 July 2015

Being a politician is hard work, but becoming a minister and getting to grips with Whitehall is a whole other challenge. Yet there is remarkably little support and advice in place to help them manage this transition. Nehal Davison shares some insights from a new Institute for Government report that outlines what works when it...

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Meeting the mentors

, 4 March 2015

This week’s Women Leaders event explored the value of mentoring in addressing gender inequality – and concluded that all kinds of people could benefit. Nehal Panchamia listened in.

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Captain overboard: Can Tony Abbott survive flawed judgement calls?

, 6 February 2015

British audiences love Aussie soaps. And a classic one is playing out down under right now as Prime Minister Tony Abbott attempts to fend off a leadership challenge triggered by the impact of some disastrous ‘captain’s calls’ which underline the importance of getting prime ministerial style right.

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‘Blue’ January for women and politics

, 23 January 2014

‘Blue’ Monday was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. And for aspiring women leaders in politics and government it certainly was. The news reminded us that we are no closer to furthering the cause of women leaders in 2014. Four stories were guaranteed to put the most ambitious women off...

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Leadership contest – Gladstone, Disraeli and the modern premiership

, 12 December 2013

For William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli, often compared (not least in Dick Leonard’s recent joint biography of them), the factors that made them successful during their multiple premierships in the late 19th century were wildly different. Gladstone was a details man, Disraeli a schemer. Gladstone was a workaholic, his large team of aides and...

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