McKinsey and the Partnership for Public Service have teamed up to look at the SES problem. They've published their findings in a new report, Building the Leadership Bench. Nora Gardner is a partner at McKinsey and their federal government human capital expert.
She told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that this leadership gap will be a huge problem if the government doesn't address the issue now.
"It takes years to develop a leader. Therefore agencies need to develop a strategic and comprehensive approach to leadership development. Agencies need to start planning and forecasting their needs before they happen. It also requires a sustained effort overtime," said Gardner.
McKinsey and PPS talked to more than 22 agencies to suss out best practices.
Pocket of excellence: Veterans Affairs
"The VA has done a few things right to really improve the SES at their agency," said Gardner.
"What this does is allow for more external candidates to apply for the positions. This whole system puts more visibility on aspiring executives from a senior perspective," said Gardner.
And it's working:
The original idea behind the SES was to have senior exec move around the government, to different agencies and roles. But that is rarely the case now. "The rationale behind the mobility is that the complexity of the challenges the government is facing are impossible for a single agency or leader to solve without a broader more enterprise wide perspective. Therefore it is essential that leaders throughout their development get exposure to different sectors, build their networks and learn different ways of working," said Gardner.
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