Strategic Thinking for Public Sector Leaders

Strategic thinking is increasingly important in the development and implementation of Government policy and programs. Strategic thinking is one of the four leadership competencies for executives in the Public Service.

The Program

The two-day course provides a set of practical tools designed to sharpen participants’ strategic thinking skills. The course will cover the attributes of a strategic thinker, and through a series of hands-on exercises demonstrate the use of strategic thinking in the public policy processes.

Who Should Attend

The course is for individuals interested in strategic analysis, policy advisors and public service managers as well as for those dealing with governments looking to increase their capacity to manage strategically in a public policy environment.

Covered in the Course

  • Characteristics of strategic thinkers;
  • Frameworks for integrating complexity, systems, and time span into policy perspectives;
  • Strategic questioning and idea mapping;
  • Concepts and tools to develop a strategic approach in policy work;
  • Scanning for trends and drivers;
  • Developing narratives and exploring plausible future states;
  • Connecting strategic thinking to policy development.

The course will also provide web based resources so that participants will know where to find support when they are back on the job.


The program is delivered by two experienced practitioners:


Greg Fyffe, Adjunct Research Professor, Centre for Public Management and Policy,University of Ottawa and former Executive Director, International Assessment Staff, Privy Council Office.


Thomas Townsend, Former Executive Head of the Policy Research Initiative; he led the Applied Research Branch, HRSDC and was Canada's representative for Health and Social Affairs to the European Union.

Date next offered

Date: October 11-12, 2018


Centre on Public Management and Policy
University of Ottawa
Odell House, 180 Waller Street South
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9B9


$1,200 + HST

Included in the fee are: course materials, meals and coffee/tea during the day and parking on campus.

The course will be offered in English and is limited to a maximum of 16 participants.

To Register


If you have questions regarding the registration process, please contact Guylaine Morin-Cléroux at, phone: 613-796-6100

Please read our cancellation policy.

For further information on the course

Please contact:

Greg Fyffe at or
Thomas Townsend at

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