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Talent and Leadership

The 20 District Health Boards are introducing a leadership framework that is changing how they identify and develop leaders and talented people from those at the beginning of their careers to their most senior levels. 

The framework is underpinned by the State Services Commission (SSC) Leadership and Talent Programme which has been established to create a common understanding of “what good looks like” for leadership at all levels across the core public sector.  This initiative is being undertaken in partnership with the SSC and Ministry of Health.

DHB Chairs and Chief Executives have endorsed the framework and welcome the opportunity to reach beyond the health sector, acknowledging the leadership qualities required to make a make a difference to the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders are not unique to health.  

For some, the framework is about helping people to perform well and excel in their current role.  For others, it may be to help them to broaden and expand their experience- identifying their potential, aspirations, and where they might move to next. 

A Shared Approach to Developing Our People

 Talent and Leadership Guide Cover2

The National DHB Talent Management and Leadership Development Group have developed a Guide to:

1. Provide a brief introduction to the New Zealand public sector Talent Management and Leadership Development Framework,
2. Introduce talent management tools developed by the State Service Commission (SSC),
3. Provide examples of some tools used in a variety of District Health Boards (DHBs) for adaptation.

Download A Shared Approach to Developing Our People


Leadership presentation thumbnail

An overview of the framework was presented by National Chair, DHB General Managers of Human Resources, Michael Frampton to the DHB Chairs and Chief Executives in June 2017.

Click here for the full presentation.

For further information, contact the Programme Manager Brenda Hall


What is the Framework

What is Talent Management? 

Tools and Templates 


The framework is based on:

    • A common platform for leadership development.
    • A shared approach and tools for identifying and developing leadership potential
    • Agreed mechanisms for enabling developing leaders to move to where they make the greatest impact.

Just as important as understanding what the framework is, is understanding what it’s not.  It’s not a leadership development programme, a one size fits all blueprint, a set of instructions or a centrally driven implementation.  And it’s not just for those at the most senior levels of DHB’s- or indeed just DHB’s as a shared approach includes developing potential across the whole of system workforce.

Implementing the framework is being led by the DHB General Managers of Human Resources under the governance of DHB Workforce Strategy Group.  DHBs, both individually and as regional collaborations, will work with and build on what already exists in their DHBs, starting where it makes best sense for them to do so. Where a nationally consistent approach is mandated, this is being guided by a national Implementation Group.




There have been a range of attempts over time to introduce a common talent management and leadership approach across the health sector, however there has not been universal buy-in.

The SSC codesigned the framework with agencies across the core public sector, building on what they share in common.  This has been successfully introduced to the wider public sector, with more than 36 organisations who employ almost 50,000 employees involved.

The common approach was initiated to not only develop leaders within agencies, but to also develop collective system leadership to work across organisations; dealing with complex problems that cannot be solved by one agency alone.

As the framework and supporting tools are reviewed over time, the health sector will contribute to their continuous improvement.

What is the Framework

At the heart of the framework is the Leadership Success Profile or LSP which incorporates five core dimensions based around the key questions that leaders need to answer:

  • Leadership Character
  • Strategic Leadership
  • System Leadership
  • Talent Management
  • Delivery or Operational Management.

Click here for an overview of the framework in a presentation by National Chair, DHB General Managers of Human Resources, Michael Frampton to the DHB Chairs and Chief Executives in June 2017.

These dimensions are underpinned by 16 capability areas which highlight those most critical to performance in leadership, management and professional roles.  The framework complements rather than seeks to replace professional/clinical frameworks and those specific to individual organisations' vision and values.

Tools and resources have been developed by the SSC, and these have been made available for the use of the DHBs.

What is Talent Management?

It’s about having the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs.

Talent Management is an intentional approach to matching our people to roles where they can have the greatest impact, grow their skills and follow their career aspirations.

Talent management is not an exclusive “club”. Rather it is available to all our employees, giving everyone the opportunity to reach their best. Offering the feedback and support that helps us move forward, talent management makes sure we are using our skills in the best way for ourselves and the organisation.

Senior leaders own the talent management strategy – it’s not an HR thing. Knowing the strengths and abilities of our people drives the right quality of services, keeps people feeling valued and motivated and enables change. At the operational level, talent management means managers having regular, honest conversations with their people about how they’re doing and what else they need to thrive and perform.

To make talent management work, there needs to be a common understanding of what good leadership looks like. Good leadership has common characteristics across all industries and sectors.

We are using the public sector Leadership Success Profile (LSP) to guide identification, development, assessment, appointment and support of leaders across the wider system, including the health sector.  This approach will assist us to  ensure we have a pool of people ready to fill critical roles as they arise. 

Tools and Templates