Associate Members

The Public Sector Leader

Our Political Acumen Master Class is a unique online mentoring program designed to explore the unwritten protocols and grey areas that leaders in today’s public service need to navigate in an environment of increasingly centralized decision making, a stronger political service, permanent campaigning, big data and a 24/7 news cycle. This is the practical wisdom at the heart of Political Acumen.

The IPSL Master Mentor faculty come from a distinguished cadre of former Canadian provincial, national and municipal  politicians and bureaucrats,  who are excited to ‘pay-it-forward’ and share their experience and hard won lessons. They are joined by top academic and media experts sharing their knowledge and perspectives on what it takes to succeed in government today.

JUST WHAT IS  POLITICAL ACUMEN? 

Dr. Jared Wesley’s definition of Political Acumen from his book: The Public Servant’s Guide to Government in Canada says that Political Acumen encompasses:
  • Broad knowledge of internal and external power structures, both within and across government;
  • Refined situational awareness when it comes to the political, economic and social environment
  • Soft skills in diplomacy, including strong emotional and social intelligence, and skill in persuasion and collaborative negotiations; and
  • A firm ethical foundation, grounded in the value of the public service.
 Dr. Peter Constantinou, professor at York University, describes Political Acuity as . . . “an understanding and knowing that means you can anticipate future events and individual behaviours in a nuanced context.”

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Everything a public servant does has an impact.  The more effectively the public service operates, the better it can serve the public.  There is always a need to improve confidence and trust between public sector entities and with the public.