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Operational Skills

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Operational Skills 

This teaching topic deals with a number of specific operational skills that are necessary, to one extent or another, for all successful public sector managers to possess. Key operational skills include the ability to set and meet deadlines, to brief superiors clearly and effectively, and the ability to motivate others.

Topic Learning Outcome: Upon learning this topic, students will developed an acquaintance with the essential operational skills required for success in public management careers. Students will likely not master these skills during their graduate education – many are developed and refined on the job. Instruction in this topic aims to help students understand the essential operational skills and to begin the process of developing them.  

Core Concepts Associated with this Topic:

Recommended Reading:

Neustadt, Richard E. (1971, April 12), Memorandum To Students in PP 240, John Fitzgerald Kennedy School Of Government. 

Retrieved from:,%20Richard%20Neustadt%20Class%20Memo,%20KSG,%201971.pdf 

Clark, Ian D. (2015, February 25), Professional Development Practicum: Top Ten Tips For Being Effective In Government Works, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto.

Retrieved from:,_Ian_Clark,_25_February_2015.pdf 

Clark, Ian D. (1987, September 25), What Good Public Servants Say About How to Be A Good Public Servant, Noted for remarks at the closing session of Executive Orientation Course, Touraine.

Retrieved from:,%20Clark%201987.pdf 

Sample Assessment Question:

1.) Identify three important operational skills, and explain why they are important for success in a public management career.

Page Created By: Ben Eisen, 18 April 2015


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School of Public Policy and Governance