Nextier tasks professionals on better performance in public service

Public policy think-tank, the Nextier Group, will next week hold a policy discourse titled, “Getting Big Things Done: Improving the Effectiveness of Cross-Over Professionals in Government.”  

This discourse, which is based on a recent Nextier study, will present insights on the challenges faced by professionals who transition from non-public sector organisations to work in government and how best to improve their effectiveness.

The event is billed for June 23, 2021 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, in Abuja, with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
It is expected to feature about 200 participants selected from specific professional organisations, academia, civil society organisations, diaspora community, political parties, the National Assembly, international development agencies, and the public service.  Other participants would be invited to join the discussion via virtual platforms.

According to Founding Partner of Nextier, Patrick Okigbo III, “Nigeria is in a vortex of existential challenges that demand superior competencies from her public service.  

“Cross-over professionals (COPs) are critical, at least in the short run, to help upscale these capabilities. The key points from the discourse would be used to develop a Pocket Guide for improving COP Effectiveness. 

“Furthermore, Nextier would use the event to validate the need to create a ‘network’ that supports COPs interested in enhancing their effectiveness while in government.”

Okigbo further explained that “Nextier intends to use the discourse to trigger conversations that could improve COP effectiveness at national and sub-national levels. 

“The discourse will comprise of two-panel discussions.  The first panel discussion, which will focus on ‘Understanding the Public Service’, will explore the following issues:

“Understanding the role of a cross-over professional (COP)• Rationale for civil service rules and why they should not be violated in the search for results• Understanding the political economy, ideological terrain, and psychology of the civil service• Navigating the bureaucracy, demonstrating respect, and winning the support of the civil servants• Avoiding procurement pitfalls even while trying to achieve results• Navigating borderline corruption issues• Focusing on results and allowing the boss (and the civil servants) to take the glory for achieved results• Managing people, personalities and biases that follow the influence wielded by the COPs• Understanding the incentive differences between the public and non-public sectors
“The second panel discussion, which will focus on ‘Getting Big Things Done in Government’, will explore the following issues:

“Understanding principals, protocols, and institutional character• Setting, achieving, and ensuring sustainability of goals• Strategies for prioritise efforts• Make evidence-informed decisions in a system with significant data deficiencies• Winning broad-based support for reforms and securing champions in the public service• Understanding practical ways to improve COP effectiveness• Addressing the risk of an over-dependence on COPs and the neglect of public service capacity improvements.”

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