Information society and quickly developing technology set new demands for civil service leaders. Problems are getting more diverse and multifaceted, while solving them is not possible anymore within single organizations, areas of government or even national governments. Several problems faced by governments are with global reach. As the public sector challenges are increasingly complex and intertwined, they set high expectations for changing public management logic and competencies required to solve them.

Leaders have to find alternatives for rigid and hierarchical structures and linear work logic. Therefore the key idea used throughout the training program is design thinking that puts the user with its needs in the central stage of the organizational development and policy design. Answering these challenges implies completely new ideas for development, inspiring leaders, effective management models and capable organizations. Public sector innovation capacity has become the main prerequisite for the competitiveness of both national governments and whole regions.

To deal with these challenges, the Government Office of Estonia has initiated a civil service top management succession program Newton which is carried out by Praxis in cooperation with the Estonian Design Centre. In addition to that, the program involves world class experts from other Estonian and international organizations, e.g. Policy Lab (UK), Sitra (Finland), Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance (Tallinn University of Technology) etc.

The program consists of four modules covering 160 hours and takes place from January to December 2016 in Tallinn, Helsinki and London. The training combines systematic base knowledge with practical skills that are needed in top executive role in these areas:

  • 1st module helps to define global mega-trends that will have an impact for everyday work of a civil service leader in coming decades and try to find answers for them in the Estonian context.
  • 2nd module translates global trends into manageable activities within public sector limitations – legal environment, resources and managerial procedures.
  • 3rd module looks at how to implement the plans formulated in the first two modules through self, people and process management.
  • 4th module focuses on cooperation and communication.