Joint development and networks

The responsibility for preparing for the position lies primarily with the managers themselves and with the ministries and government agencies. This is the best way to take into account the diverse requirements for the managerial positions and the managers’ individual development paths. On the other hand, it is important that the basis for the management work and the management practices are sufficiently uniform as this enhances the quality of management in the entire central government. This requires joint development measures, including joint management training. From the viewpoint of both the benefits from coaching and the economical aspects, it is sensible to do common things together. 

The diverse competences required especially in the positions of the most senior civil servants are taken into account in career management. Career planning should be seen as generation of capacities for more demanding positions or positions with different professional requirements, not as a pathway that has been determined in advance. The guiding principle is that evidence of both results and development as a manager in general is required for progressing in a career as a manager. 

The Ministry of Finance supports the networking and preparation of senior managers in central govern-ment. The Ministry organises joint events and specific small group activity for the most senior civil servants. Together with HAUS, the Ministry organises the Uudistuja, Horizons and Tulevaisuuden johtajat (implementation so far 2008-2018) programmes for the most senior civil servants and other civil servants in demanding managerial positions. Joint events are also organised for the senior management. 

The Ministry’s tasks also include extensive cooperation with various development organisations both nationally and internationally. The central objective is to bring well-functioning models and practices to the development of management in Finland’s central government. 

Networks and small groups for managers in central government

The Ministry of Finance organises meetings for the management forum, i.e. the most senior civil servants in the ministries and government agencies. The purpose of these meetings is to increase interaction between the managers and open a discussion on both topical matters and issues related to development in the long term. In addition to external experts, representatives of the political leadership have participated in the events. 

Johdon päivä meetings are organised once or twice a year as half-day events and, if necessary, as longer ones. In addition, the Ministry of Finance invites the most senior civil servants to brief morning coffee events a few times a year, as necessary. In 2019, Julkisen johtamisen päivä was organised for the first time. In addition to the senior management from central government, municipal managers were invited to the event. The second event was held in February 2020.  Depending on the topic discussed, representatives of other parts of the management may also be invited to some of the events, for example those who have completed the Tulevaisuuden johtajat programme. 

Small groups operate among the most senior civil servants in central government with the aim of increasing their opportunities to learn to know each other and exchange experiences and supporting them in their management tasks. In 2019, the number of groups was four and a total of 40 managers were involved in their operation

Based on past experiences, the following operating principles have been considered good for the small groups:

  • The groups are informal peer support groups without a previously decided agenda. The groups agree on their operating practices and themes of discussion themselves. 
  • Existing groups will continue and, if necessary, new members will be added to them. 
  • New groups of eight to ten people will be established as necessary. The objective is that the members of the groups should diversely represent the different areas of responsibility in central government. 
  • The Ministry of Finance participates in the operation of the groups and thus promotes a dialogue between the senior management in central government and the Ministry, bringing up topical themes. If necessary, the Ministry's experts also support the activities of the groups in other respects. 

Furthermore, those who have completed different training programmes have formed different groups for the alumni.

Government HR Management Forum

The Government HR Management Forum was set up to strengthen cooperation and networking in human resources management and to share good practices across central government. The Forum engages in the formulation of HR policies and works closely with the Government HR Steering Group. The Forum's membership consists of the directors and heads of HR and personnel development in the ministries and agencies. The Forum meets regularly and holds an annual seminar. In addition, members work together at other times throughout the year. The chair of the Forum also works closely with the Public Governance Department of the Ministry of Finance.

Contact information
Senior Ministerial Adviser, head of unit
Mari Näätsaari
tel. +358 295 530090
firstname.lastname(a)vm.fi

Other networks
 

There are various developer networks in central government that conduct valuable development work on governance and management. These include the Kehikko network (ministries’ heads of development), the Viva network (agency heads of training) and the Kaiku network coordinated by the State Treasury. It is increasingly important, too, to link non-government participants to the networks, such as businesses, organisations and ordinary citizens.
Many projects also, to a greater or lesser extent, make use of development networks created on a volunteer basis. There is also a network consisting of those who have participated in jointly arranged training programmes for management in central government (e.g. the ‘Managers of the Future’ programme). They form a key resource that can be used in many different ways to jointly develop central government. The Ministry of Finance is also using an increasing number of online or virtual networks in LinkedIn and in Twitter.

Contact information

Ari Holopainen 
Senior Ministerial Adviser, Financial Affairs 
tel. +358 295 530 520 
[email protected]