Our Ministerial Development Programme is rooted in experience that is both practical and relevant and informed by ministers. It is informed by our work with ministers and those who support them, which includes our new report on ministerial effectiveness.
The Institute for Government's Ministerial Development Programme is a carefully tailored programme for ministers including secretaries of state.
The role of secretary of state is constitutionally pivotal and intensely demanding. Depending on the individual and department, it spans a leadership role ranging from the highly political to the motivating, guiding and management of massive organisations and budgets.
The Institute's programme addresses the requirements and skills needed in these roles. It will focus on what is needed to lead and manage a government department, including the opportunity to reflect on how you want to lead. It is a flexible programme that takes into account the level of the minister concerned and will be adapted to suit their role.
Our ministerial programme consists of a series of modules which ministers can adapt to their own needs. Whilst secretaries of state may wish to attend many of the activities in the Ministerial Programme, some elements can be adapted to the particular needs of more senior ministers.
Our guide, Taking the helm: Thoughts for secretaries of state taking over a department (PDF, 6.2MB), reflects some of key challenges facing new ministers.
Activities are structured around ministerial groups and tailored for specific individual ministerial requests. Depending on the requirements, this normally includes a mixture of:
- executive sessions
- expert seminars
- gathering non-attributable 360° feedback followed by a confidential feedback session
- individual mentoring
- leadership coaching.
Monthly breakfast and dinner seminars
These will explore key issues such as government finances and driving transformation. The format will allow time for ministers to discuss and compare challenges they themselves are experiencing.
Institute report on ministerial effectiveness
On 24 May 2011 we launched our report The Challenge of Being a Minister: Defining and developing ministerial effectiveness at an event featuring former ministers Lords Heseltine, Sainsbury and Adonis. The report is based on interviews with more than 50 current and former ministers, civil servants and outsiders who work with government. It provides 14 recommendations for how ministerial performance could be improved.
On 19 May 2011 we published Ministerial effectiveness: Literature review (PDF, 5.4MB). This review, authored by Sam Drabble, provides a summary of the literature to date on ministerial effectiveness in the UK. It forms a companion piece to the Institute for Government's report The Challenge of Being a Minister.
We asked Hertie school professor of government, Jobst Fiedler, to comment on the differences between Germany and the UK on policy making and on ministers (YouTube, 10m:16s). In Germany, the policy making system is: strong on checks, with multiple "veto players" long on expertise and with political appointments at the higher levels of the civil service better aligned to ministers’ policy agendas. However those strengths mean it is weaker at innovation, with silos both between and within ministries. The word "reshuffle" barely exists in German – ministers are brought in for their subject knowledge, often with long previous experience in regional government – and the public expectation is that they will stay in post.