Background

StrategyNZ is a McGuinness Institute project.

This project has two parts which together look at how New Zealand can improve long-term strategic thinking and strategy stewardship.

Part One: Exploring a national sustainable development strategy for New Zealand
This work began in 2006 and focuses on the possibilities and challenges of creating and implementing a broad, future-focused instrument such as a National Sustainable Development Strategy [NSDS] for New Zealand. This part of the project aims to encourage a conversation about New Zealand’s long-term future and asks ‘where do we want New Zealand to go?’ The investigation into the shape and effectiveness of NSDSs resulted in five reports published in 2007 and 2008.

Based on this background, the Institute hosted a workshop in March 2011 called StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future. This workshop saw over 100 New Zealanders discuss the nation’s long-term direction. Sir Paul Callaghan was the keynote speaker and in seven words he outlined his fundamental mission statement for this country – ‘a place where talent wants to live’. You can watch Sir Paul Callaghan’s address here. This also led to a separate but connected project, TalentNZ, which continues to explore how to implement his vision. It also led to Part 2 of the project, which explores more specifically how strategy is developed in the public service. If New Zealanders wish to have a sustainable future (economically, environmentally, culturally and socially), the public service will need to consider tensions, develop foresight and implement effective strategy.

Part Two: Exploring strategy stewardship in the New Zealand public service
This work began in 2011 and focuses on strategy stewardship in the public sector. It aims to explore strategy formation, implementation and integration in the public sector in order to understand how we might design and implement strategies more effectively going forward. In particular this part of the project takes a closer look at government department strategies (GDSs) in operation. The Institute created a list of all GDSs from 1994 then analysed operational GDSs using a scorecard. Learn more about the GDS Index and the resulting scorecard here. The Institute will publish the Index annually so that GDSs can be tracked and measured over time.

Reviewing strategy stewardship also forms the focus of the upcoming Report 15 – Strengthening Strategy Stewardship in the Public Service. This report will be published in 2017 and seeks to investigate how strategy stewardship can be strengthened in the public service so that GDSs (and potentially an NSDS-type instrument) can become more effective, transparent, measurable, empowering and durable.

To complement the work undertaken for Report 15, a one-day StrategyNZ workshop for the public service was held on 14 July 2016. More information is available here.

Publications
All reports, working papers, presentations and background papers can be found on the McGuinness Institute publications page. If you would like to learn more about our work, please do not hesitate to contact us; we welcome your feedback and invitations to collaborate. We believe this is an important area of study and look forward to working with others interested in pursuing similar outcomes.