Strategy Skills for Local Government Managers

Strategy Skills for Local Government is an intensive short course for senior and mid-tier local government managers to learn strategy and strategic planning fundamentals.

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Level up your leadership

Strategic leaders are goal-oriented and make consistent choices that move them in the right direction.

Banish busy work

Strategic leaders rise above operational overwhelm and make progress on the most important stuff.

Maximise your development

Strategic skills deliver a higher return on learning and development investment than communication, tactical and people skills.

Who Strategy Skills for Local Government is for

Strategy Skills for Local Government is an intensive short course for senior and mid-tier local government leaders.

This course helps local government leaders who are:

  • Overwhelmed by tasks, projects, and priorities.
  • Caught in a reactive cycle of responding to ad-hoc problems instead of progressing key strategic projects.
  • Feeling defensive and frustrated when interacting with elected members.
  • Discouraged at all the strategies, plans, and documents on the shelf.
  • Having difficulty building engagement, purpose, and ownership with your team.

If you're a Change Lead or Learning and Development Manager, this is the programme you've been looking for.


How Strategy Skills for Local Government will help

Local government managers are trying to do more than ever. The number of initiatives, scope of responsibilities, and cost burdens shifted to local government are increasing – as is the complexity of those requirements.

You have an ambitious work programme to deliver and limited resources to do it with. Add community issues, government consultations and media attention into the mix (before we talk about ever-changing Councillor requests), and it can feel impossible to move forward.

Local government managers need new skills to manage in this complex, shifting, politically-charged, resource-constrained environment.

With Strategy Skills for Local Government, managers will build a new toolkit, so they can:

  • Stay on course when things change.
  • Manage competing priorities.
  • Move from talking to doing.
  • Keep stakeholders happy.
  • Find space for strategy.
  • Make tricky trade-offs.
  • Take calculated risks.
  • Do things differently.
  • Let things go.

Return on public investment

Local government managers are in charge of delivering on Council's strategic direction to provide outcomes for the community. 

In Council, delivering those outcomes requires connecting to context, innovating within resource constraints, building relationships and adapting to change and disruption.

Without the skills to plan, prioritise and adapt to change, projects stagnate, wheels spin, and public value declines. This is why investing in strategic skills for leaders is an organisational and community investment.

SPL Value Ladder

Strategy Skills for Local Government learning outcomes

In this two-day rapid intensive, get a grounding in core principles of strategic leadership for local government, along with a suite of practical tools and strategies you can apply for immediate progress.

Alicia’s training workshops are at the cutting edge of thinking for senior public leaders. Both inspiring and pragmatic, this training is designed to tackle limiting habits and behaviours while embedding practical skills.

Strategic planning

Demystifying strategic thinking and planning frameworks, using Plain English.

Managers learn to apply the big picture to daily operations in an aligned and helpful way.



Teaching the skills for strategic focus and trade-offs in a local government environment.

Managers learn to prioritise never-ending project wish lists with clarity and confidence.

Decision making

Unpacking the science behind planning, making, and evaluating quality decisions.

Managers learn to make better, faster decisions,  in collaboration with their teams.

Problem solving

Using systems thinking to untangle tricky problems in complex organisations and communities.

Managers learn to find the root cause of issues and frustrations for sustainable change.

Strategic communication

Elevating operational issues to strategic conversations with tried and tested communication skills.

Managers learn to have bigger, better conversations with colleagues and Councillors. 

Role clarity

Delineating the core differences between the governance, management and delivery arms of Council.

Managers learn to draw boundaries, hold leaders accountable and empower others.


Workshop structure and style

Alicia’s training style is open, fun, and challenging. You will benefit from:

  • Practical examples and case studies.
  • Access to exclusive resources and templates.
  • Best-practice strategic leadership frameworks.


This programme has been structured carefully to deliver on key criteria:

  • Learning practical skills and tools.
  • Developing awareness and leadership insight.
  • Sharing a fresh perspective on public leadership.
  • Building insight into the complexity of local government.

Time and agenda

Each workshop day runs from 9am - 3pm. We break for morning tea at 10.30am and lunch at 12.30pm.

Workshops include interactive exercises, individual work to apply your learning to real-life challenges and lively group discussion.


Strategy Skills for Local Government pricing

Councils across New Zealand and Australia choose to offer this programme as a learning and development opportunity for their leaders and managers.

In-house training costs $29,000 NZD / $27,000 AUD for up to 50 leaders for the two-day workshop.

The client must provide the venue, AV, workshop equipment, and catering. Workshop materials are supplied. 



Greater Wellington Regional Council Strategic Skills Training
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“I have to use that overused word: "transformative"! This programme clarified and validated a lot of hazy thoughts I had regarding strategic thinking and leadership. It also has given me a lot of practical info, which I'm looking forward to applying to work.”


“Alicia showed us you have to align a number of things to make a good decision, and involving the right people is a skill unto itself. We’ve reflected on that and used that framework to make some difficult decisions.” 


“Alicia’s style is excellent, high energy, clear and direct.”


"Alicia opened my eyes to how strategy can be achieved without falling asleep. It was worthwhile and engaging. Her presentation was dynamic and interactive and not dull and lecture-like.”

Untitled design (81)

“The course completely removed me from the day-to-day noise and gave me tools to focus on what will make a difference. It took me out of my ego; it's not about me delivering more/better/bigger; it's about having an impact and doing it in a way that works for the people impacted. Very grateful for GWRC making this investment.”


“I’ll be doing things differently from now on – framing questions, discussions with Councillors on roles, discussions with staff, and using common frameworks. Alicia McKay was brilliant.”

city of darwin

Fantastic - I loved Alicia's ability to engage with everyone regardless of age/ background/ experience, her knowledge of the sector and the common issues, her ability to distil complex issues, and her incredible energy! Thanks - we will be a better Council because of you and this workshop.”

Book a Strategy Skills for Local Government workshop

We'd love to work with you and your Council to level up your leaders. Dates are limited, and spaces book up quickly, so the more notice you can give us, the better!

Send an enquiry here, with your target dates included, or book a meeting with Beren now.