Office for the Public Sector


Next Execs Program

Important Message

In response to the rapidly evolving situation surrounding COVID-19, we are deferring all South Australian Leadership Academy face-to-face programs and workshops indefinitely. We acknowledge that this is an unprecedented time for everyone and we appreciate your understanding.

We will update this page with tools, resources and a revised schedule once it has been established, and will be in contact with all currently enrolled participants directly when changes to program delivery occur.

In the meantime, click here if you would like to watch our brand new virtual ‘On the Couch’ series.  Or click here to access  to access a tool to help you lead during times of change.

Thank you

South Australian Leadership Academy team

The Next Execs Program is for high potential managers currently leading teams or projects (ASO7 or equivalent and above) to develop leadership capabilities required for higher level or more complex roles, in which they will be leading other managers and/or a division.

The program runs over a twelve month period where participants will be provided with a unique and exceptional experience tailored to a government context and delivered through a mix of ‘exposure’, ‘experience’ and ‘education’. This includes workshops, 360 degree assessment, one on one coaching, leader connect sessions and a leadership bootcamp.

2020 Next Execs – Program Brochure

2020 Next Execs – Agency Nomination Form



Program Overview


The orientation session will give participants an overview of the program and the expectations along their learning journey.  Participants will get to network with peers from across agencies and be inspired by keynote speakers and special guests.

360 Degree Assessment and 1:1 Coaching

Participants will have an opportunity to explore their leadership capabilities through a 360 degree leadership assessment tool called The Leadership Circle (TLC).

The Leadership Circle is a premium 360° feedback tool designed to accelerate leadership effectiveness beyond traditional competency-based approaches. The Leadership Circle Profile helps participants understand the relationship between how they habitually think, behave, and more importantly how all this impacts their leadership effectiveness. Participants will also receive individual debriefs and coaching sessions with independent trained coaches.


Participants will have access to carefully curated subject matter experts from outside and within the South Australian Public Sector to explore modern leadership concepts and practices.

Leading Self 

This workshop will take participants through a two day journey of self-discovery. Participants will delve into their Leadership Circle profiles and begin to explore the concepts of immunity to change, adaptive leadership, coaching others, and enhancing awareness and relevance to performance.

Primed to Learn, Primed to Lead

This workshop comprises of eight integrated mini-modules which examines many facets of executive capability.  They provide you with a range of lenses through which you can learn and reflect on your current roles.  It will help you explore the context in which you lead and invites you to think and work at a strategic level and within a collaborative environment.

Persuasion and Influence Masterclass

Participants will go through a half-day session on persuasion and influence.

Key concepts of this session include being able to:

  • Consistently influence thinking and behaviour
  • Draw on the creativity and innovation of people
  • Ethically get buy-in to value adding ideas
  • Plan and lead major change initiatives

The Speakers Edge

This workshop covers the crucial elements of speaking and valuable insight into the latest strategies used by exceptional speakers. It supports participants to further develop their authentic style and truly engage their audience. It will explore key speaking skills in relation to being confident, compelling and authentic as well as understanding the power of storytelling and structuring a presentation for maximum engagement.

Leading Managers

The Leading Managers two day workshop explores the challenges and opportunities involved in managing other managers. This workshop focuses on building trust, increasing the effectiveness of your team, collective leadership and driving a culture of public value and high performance.

Leading Public Problem Solving

This workshop integrates key features of strategy, systems thinking, design thinking and innovation into a single, coherent problem-solving approach that is developed and applied with participants over two days. Participants will explore ways to apply to a range of public problem types, and helps participant recognise strong similarities between methods attracting popular attention (e.g. design thinking and innovation).

Leader Connect Sessions

Leader Connect is an opportunity for participants to engage in small groups with South Australian Government deputy chief executives and executives.

The aim of these sessions is for participants to:

  • Develop a more complete understanding of the roles and key issues facing South Australian public sector executives. This can include strategic and systemic issues, challenges and opportunities for senior executives
  • Benefit from the opportunity to connect with senior executives
  • Gain a clearer sense of ways in which you can work across traditional departmental boundaries

Industry Site Visits

Participants will undertake a site visit to explore a leadership challenge facing the South Australian Public Sector. Further details of site visits will be discussed during the course of the program.

High Impact Leadership Challenges

Innovation in Action

The session will involve participants exploring critical issues impacting industries recently visited as part of the site visit.  As a group, participants will utilise skills and tools acquired from the program to date to generate innovative solutions to address these issues.

Leadership Bootcamp

The Leadership Bootcamp will allow participants to put into practice some of the key concepts they have learnt around design thinking, systems thinking, effective presentations, collective leadership and resilience. They will work in teams and undertake a range of tasks in a high-pressure, time-critical environment – similar to how executives often operate.

Program Close

This session is an opportunity for participants and Executives within the public sector to acknowledge and celebrate what you have achieved and to hear how your learning journey has impacted various aspects of your working and or personal life.

Target Audience

This program is for managers who have been identified as ready and capable to broaden their leadership impact and strategic influence across the system.

Suitable managers:

  • have at least 12 months people management experience and are ready to make a successful transition from leading a team to leading managers
  • are effective, reliable leaders
  • learn and adapt quickly
  • are engaged, committed and motivated to deliver for the people of South Australia
  • seek to embrace diversity and diversify their experience
  • are role models of the South Australian Public Sector Values.


Nominations for the 2020 Program are now open, and will close 13 March 2020.

Your agency Chief Executive needs to endorse your nomination.  Please speak to your line manager or HR representative about participating.

Time and Investment

This program runs for 12 months.

Investment is $10,000 plus GST per participant.

Investment includes:

  • Comprehensive learner guides, program aides and other learning tools accessible online
  • 360 degree assessment of tool (The Leadership Circle) with a personalised report
  • A debrief session on the assessment tool and two coaching sessions with an executive coach
  • Certificate of completion
  • Lunch and refreshments provided for all events

Participant Testimonial

“South Australian Leadership Academy…you got it right with the Next Execs Program.  I have participated in many other programs that would be considered comparable, and indeed complementary.  The point of difference for this program is that it was tailored for the public sector and the very context we operate within.  We were able to engage and learn from each other and experts with like minds, similar challenges and professional contexts, actual situations…it was REAL LEARNING.  This program has created a safe space, now and going forward…”

Jodie Gregg-Smith (2019 Next Execs Participant)

“Next Execs has provided me with the best PD experience in my 15 year career – that is a given.  It’s engaged me, stretched my thinking and challenged me.  My goal is to lead a happy, engaged, high performing team that adds value to the public sector – and that gets results…the best part of this whole program is the invaluable networks and relationships I’ve had the opportunity to create with amazing leaders…”

Tanya DiLorenzo (2019 Next Execs Participant)



We value your questions and feedback. Please direct any general enquiries to the Next Execs project team via email:

Surlinne Sims
Principal Leadership Development Consultant
(w) 8204 2276  (m) 0420 426 635  (e)

Jess Masters
Senior Project Officer Leadership Development
(w)  8204 2277  (e)

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