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Performance and sustainability in government: an interview with a leadership and strategy professional


Government organizations are on an ongoing journey towards excellence, continually developing performance measurement methodologies and incorporating sustainability into their major operations. This commitment to systematic improvement includes investing in professional development and training and ensuring that resources are distributed strategically to promote advancements in the public sector. How can these be accomplished?

In an interview with Performance Magazine, Turki Mohammad Alderaan, Technical Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) Trainer and Director of the Risk Department at Al-Jouf University in Saudi Arabia, shares his insights on how organizations can adapt to emerging trends, stay updated on the latest strategic planning practices and performance management frameworks, and prepare government talent and citizens for the future.

How important is strategy planning and performance management in your government agency, which is responsible for regulating and providing technical and vocational training in Saudi Arabia?

The TVTC supervises more than 283 organizations that belong to it and more than 1,100 training and development consulting private sector. To regulate this enormous number, we tend to involve the stakeholders’ leaders early to achieve their strategic goals. In 2021, the TVTC was ranked 9th according to knowledge indicators from The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation ( MBRF).

Could you provide us with an example of a successful initiative in your organization that has brought great value to the quality or efficiency of business planning and managing performance?

“Hidden Explorer” is a significant initiative that ensures organizations’ services meet regulations and are monitored for growth. A recent report measured 14 essential services offered by 60 institutions, showing an average improvement of 3.8 out of 5 compared to the previous year. This initiative enhances business planning efficiency and ensures continuous growth.

How does your organization adapt to trends and stay updated with the latest strategy planning practices and performance management frameworks?

Our organization uses statistics to measure performance, implement initiatives, and stay on track toward strategic and operational goals. It also uses dashboards to monitor tasks at all administrative levels, facilitating corrective measures and adaptations.


What are the key trends that have shaped the public sector in recent years?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) launched the National Transformation Program in 2016 to support government performance, digital transformation, private sector development, economic partnerships, community development, and resource sustainability. The program aims for a 92% transformation maturity rate by 2025.

What strategic approach would you advise governmental entities to take in order to counteract increased volatility and unpredictability?

Assuming that the future will be similar in terms of strategic planning is one of the most common mistakes, as technical management tools often require development. The optimal approach for the government sector is scenario planning, which focuses on identifying possibilities and their impact on operations, as well as potential scenarios that ensure goal achievement.

Per the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report 2023,” technology and digitalization are driving the decline of clerical and secretarial roles. What is the government’s role in developing future job skills for citizens?

The KSA’s Ministry of Human Resources adopted the National Transformation Program, sponsored by Vision 2030, to develop a human capacity development program which set 12 main goals and linked them to 24 indicators and 69 initiatives. The program aims for global competition by developing essential skills and knowledge for human resource development.

The public sector faces potential talent loss due to changing compensation and work setup preferences, as stated in a recent Forbes article. What can governments do to attract and retain talent?

Focusing on attracting talents rather than developing them from within can be a future problem. Therefore, some governments, such as Saudi Arabia and Singapore, have begun to provide training and development grants. Since the launch of the National Transformation Program, government agencies have secured 550,000 jobs between 2016 and 2020.

What role will governments play in the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution?

Governments must adopt AI technologies for digital transformation and ambitious decisions. Saudi Arabia adopted the “Global Summit on Artificial Intelligence,” and the NEOM CEO confirmed its importance. Reliant on AI, NEOM’s “LINE” project—a city that runs on 100% renewable energy— is the future. Governments must be forward-looking and ambitious in their plans to pursue this revolution.

Strategy and Performance Practices

What would you advise multilateral institutions to reach effectiveness and alignment in strategy planning and implementation?

Strategic planning enhances coordination and cohesion within an organization, providing clarity on goals and objectives. It is complex in multilateral environments and requires pre-analysis and consultation with all parties. A strategic planning framework ensures standardization and diversification while shaping objectives and indicators using a logical framework for results-based management.

What are the key success factors for governments to build consistency in strategy and performance management?

A comprehensive vision ensures the integration of goals and interests across all sectors, limiting capabilities and linking plans to strategic plans. A results-based management approach helps all sectors achieve a common vision perfectly, leading to a cohesive and effective organization.

What are the most common pitfalls in strategy and performance management in governmental institutions? What can be learned from it?

The performance measurement management process fails due to the lack of correct and accurate selection of performance measures. Many leaders believe that performance measurement is a simple and clear process, and this is a false belief. It requires leaders to be aware of the consequences of the performance measures they choose. There is a “dark side” to all measures. One of the crucial challenges government institutions face involves activating an integrated performance measurement department that is supported by competencies and adopting best practices.

What are the five characteristics of a high-performance government?

The following characteristics should be systematic to ensure a high-performance government:

  • Digital transformation (e-government)
  • Activating the integrated system for job performance planning and management
  • Continuous development of performance measurement methodologies in government organizations
  • Considering institutional sustainability in all activities of the organization
  • Allocating the necessary resources for continuous professional development and training

What is the key performance management tool used in your organization that drives decision-making? (Is it the strategy plan, the strategy map, the balanced scorecard, or an executive dashboard?)

All of what has been mentioned must be relied upon, but each in its own phase. As for the dashboard, it is the one that supports the speed of the decision-making process, as notes appear quickly.

If you could convey the essence of government performance in three indicators, what would those be?

  • The percentage of digital transformation in the services provided
  • The effectiveness of the performance measurement methodology
  • The number of development and training hours is based on each employee’s systematic criteria


Turki Mohammad Alderaan is an organizational development  expert in multiple governmental sectors, a leadership and strategy professional, an executive performance mentor, and a performance design and measurement specialist. To learn more about his professional credentials and perspectives in the field, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.
Strategy and performance management in government: top tools and best practices
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