Finnish & Estonian Public Service Top Executives Boot Camp at Urban Mill: Innovation needs government – Government needs innovation

Finnish and Estonian public sector leaders workshopped intensively in a two day boot camp held 3-4 March at Urban Mill in Aalto University Campus area in the heart of Espoo Innovation Garden.


Virpi Einola-Pekkinen, Head of development of Ministry of Finance in Finland blogs here about the ongoining cross border co-operation in management development between Finland and Estonia:

The idea of a joint development program for Public Service Top Executives derived from a situation where Estonian and Finnish government institutions responsible for executive development recognized the similarities in the core challenges their Top Executives were facing as well as the expectations they had to meet. In a context where we are facing the challenges of the “New Normal” characterised by slow economic growth, high unemployment, higher volatility and level of uncertainty, Estonia and Finland need to prepare for new challenges by maximising their limited human and financial resources and accelerating innovation in public service.

Whole-of-Government Approach is needed in both countries

According to the OECD public governance reviews of Estonia (2011) and Finland (2010), one of the key challenges for public administration of both countries is to achieve a single government approach and work together with a society as a whole. The future success depends largely on the ability to tackle cross-ministerial challenges. Hence, strategic planning and finding innovative approaches in everyday work should cross the areas of responsibility.

WP_20150303_001However, cutting the traditional administrative and sectorial boundaries and replacing them with collaborative bridges with other organisations, requires a change in organisational culture and guides the leaders of public administration to work in new ways. A whole-of-government approach requires a new level of cooperation and collaboration across the public administration as well as between other stakeholders. Public sector needs its leaders to initiate the desired changes, come up with new ways of cooperation and together create a culture that would make innovation happen. As the whole-of-government approach is set as a priority both in Estonia and Finland, also the current development program aims to encourage the horizontal co-ordination and collaborative leadership in the process of innovative policy design and implementation.

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