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Joint development and events 

The development of central government leadership relies on the understanding that the central government’s range of tasks is extensive. Joint development is based on the premise that diverse management tasks are supported by a variety of means, taking into account the different needs of the operating units. On the other hand, it is important that the basis for management work and the management practices in central government are sufficiently uniform. This promotes good management throughout the administration. This requires joint development measures, including joint management training. From the viewpoint of both the benefits from coaching and the economic aspects, it is sensible to do common things together.

The Ministry of Finance supports the networking and preparation of senior managers in central government. The Ministry organises joint events and specific small group activity for the most senior civil servants and together with HAUS provides appropriate training programmes for central government leadership at different point in their careers. 

The Ministry’s tasks also include extensive cooperation with various development organisations both nationally and internationally. Cooperation between central government and Finland’s municipalities is particularly important in the development of public service leadership. Municipal managers have participated in, for example, the Uudistuja programme organised by the ministry and the public service leadership event.

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. The Ministry also invites senior management to short morning coffee meetings 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 2020, 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

Numerous development networks operate in central government. Their activities are valuable for the development of administration and management. These include Kehikko the framework formed by the ministries' development managers and the Viva network of the education managers of the agencies. It is becoming increasingly topical to include parties outside the government, i.e., companies, associations and ordinary citizens to these networks.

Current projects utilise development networks that have been formed more or less on a volunteer basis. One network comprises the participants of joint coaching programmes directed at the man-agement of central government (e.g., Tulevaisuuden johtajat programme). They are also an important resource that can be utilised in different ways in the joint development of central government. The Ministry of Finance has also introduced a growing number of electronic or virtual networks and is also present in social media, including LinkedIn and Twitter.  


Projects and working groups

Public Service Leadership cooperation group (in Finnish)
Leadership for the common good - a development project for central government management (in Finnis)

Contact information

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

Markus Siltanen
Senior Ministerial Adviser, Financial Affairs 
tel. +358 295 530 263 
[email protected]