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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. 

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 brenda.hall@dhbss.health.nz



What is the Framework

The Plan of Action


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.

The Plan of Action

First steps are underway, with information sharing with lead DHB groups including Directors of Nursing, Directors of Allied Health, Chief Medical Officers, Chief Operating Officers and General Managers Maori planned for July-September.