Reimagining the public sector

COVID-19 offers a glimpse of an innovative, collaborative, people-centred state, argues the CEO-elect of PA Consulting.

by Panos Kakoullis

The public sector has long talked of fundamental change and of better delivery, more accountability and enhanced capability. Now, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the sector has a unique opportunity to rethink the very notion of what it is and how it serves us all. It’s a chance to renew and become more purpose-led, more adaptive and more collaborative.

But with expectations high, any missteps could see the opportunity lost. To seize the moment, we’ve identified four key actions for public sector leaders:

1. Speak and act with greater impact

In recent months, more than 50 per cent of the British workforce has been in the pay of government as contracted workers or through the furlough scheme. There’s been a huge outpouring of support for the country’s National Health Service. These two examples make clear the public and state have never been more entwined, which has created an opportune moment to harness the sector’s purpose and deliver a positive human future with renewed impact.

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