Equipping Government Leaders with the skills and tools to lead their people effectively through reform

How a NSW Government Agency chose IECL to lead the way with their Leadership Clinic

The Challenge: Major government reform called for their people to change in both mindset and behaviours


Along with many other agencies in the NSW Public Sector, this agency has had to navigate the complex waters of change. In particular, the monumental impacts of the Government Sector Employment Reform of 2013.


The reform aimed to:

  • mobilise the government by reducing multiple layers of accountability.
  • lead to quicker decision-making and better management of budget.


However, with the reform, came a sense of disempowerment among Public Sector staff.


In tandem with the major restructures, the agency needed to also realign their strategy with new government priorities, including being:

  • held to account in a different way.
  • asked to operate more commercially.


In response the agency needed to:

  • Equip their leaders with skills and tools to help them lead their people effectively through ambiguity and changing expectations.
  • Change in how they do things.
  • Change in operating mindset.


The Partnership: IECL led the way for the agency’s Leadership Clinic


It was through an intensive tender process that IECL was invited to partner with the agency in the design and delivery of the fourth module of their ‘’Leading the Way’ program, known as the ‘Leadership Clinic’. The agency recognised that they needed to look to an external service provider, such as IECL, whose expertise is in coaching and leadership to deliver on this aspect of the program.


The Leadership Clinic aimed to:

  • be delivered using a coaching approach.
  • build the leaders’ capability to coach their teams and staff, and hence empower them to hone innovative solutions at work.


IECL’s approach to design and delivery

In the design phase, IECL spent time with the agency to:

  • ensure the landscape of the organisation was fully understood.
  • liaise with the lead deliverers of the previous three modules of the program to understand content and the reception of staff so far.


Key leaders who took part of the program were invited by IECL to form a working group to give us:

  • an insider’s perspective of their challenges as a leader.
  • how we can tailor the program to meet their needs.


The delivery of the Leadership Clinic comprised of:

  • a pilot program which was deemed successful.
  • a two-day face-to-face program focusing on the leaders’ capability to use communication as a powerful tool for influence through conversational skills of feedback, powerful questioning and listening, and communicating at high stakes.
  • a half-day session as a follow on to assist in embedding the learnings.
  • a roll out to 15 cohorts of a total of 185 participants across the state, across functional divisions and levels of leadership.


As a part of the program, participants chose a strategic project that they would like to work on and put into practice the skills learnt to face real life problems in their world, and to also present back their learnings to the group on the journey.


The Results


The three capabilities (based on the NSW Public Sector Capability Framework) that IECL sought to measure as a result of the Leadership Clinic were:

1. Displaying resilience and courage

2. Communicating effectively

3. Delivering results


We measured participants’ self-reported assessment on the three capabilities and the results show a positive shift in participants’ assessment of their own capability pre and post the program.



Our Evaluation Results

Ratings on participants’ reaction and experience of the program were also captured. Results are as below:

  • 94% of participants indicated they were very satisfied or satisfied with the content of the program.
  • 89% of participants indicated they were very satisfied or satisfied with the relevance of the program to their strategic project.
  • 90% of participants indicated that the program completely or mostly met their expectations of knowledge and skills given.
  • 97% of participants indicated their overall experience of the program as excellent or very good.