7 Skills for 21st Century Public Leaders


Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Public Policy (GSPP) organized the Guest Lecture on “7 Skills for 21st Century Public Leaders”.

Increasingly, public managers operate in a VUCA world – characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Leaders are answerable to multiple stakeholders, including their own organizations, parent and sister agencies, private companies, citizens, and civil society groups, as well as international actors and organizations. At the same time, if they manage to leverage the strengths and expertise offered by stakeholders and harness the benefits of technologies, they may be able to create more value at lower costs. In short: 21st century challenges can be turned into immense opportunities. But how should they tackle this? Clearly, business as usual is not an option. Developing competencies in areas such as strategic planning, operational control, and financial forecasting are no longer sufficient. New skills, competencies, and values will have to be added to existing ones. But which will be most important, and how can managers and their agencies acquire and nurture these skills, competencies, and values? Prof Prof Zeger Van Der Wal provided cutting-edge insights on complexity, diversity, and resilience in preparation for a VUCA world.