Dean Forbes




•    Leadership and management: six key principles

•    A policy framework for the urban environment

•    NGOs, CBOs, communities and public-private partnerships


What do we mean by leadership, or management? 

John Kotter, Professor of Leadership at the Harvard Business School, makes the following differentiation:

“…managers maintain the status quo through the functions of planning and budgeting, organizing and staffing, and controlling and problem solving…leaders promote organizational change through the processes of establishing direction through a corporate vision, aligning people by communicating with them, and motivating and inspiring workers” (Sarros and Moors 2001 p xi)


SPERLL: strategy, people, ethics, risk, logic, learning

Strategic thinking.  Understanding the past, analyzing the present, and imagining the future, and based on all three, deciding what you have to do to achieve the goal.

People, relationships and trust.  The core of both public and private sector success in leadership and management is a network of relationships that are established, nurtured and maintained.  Trust underpins these relationships.  It is the key mechanism.

Ethical practices are an essential underpinning of leadership and management, and that means fiduciary propriety, but it also means a full set of moral principles, such as good faith.

Risk management, which means an assessment of the risks involved in taking an initiative, the risks involved in doing nothing about something, and resolving how risks can be managed.

Logic, intuition and emotional intelligence.  We are trained to think logically, but this should not be to the exclusion of intuitive systems of thought.  Intuition and reason are not incompatible.  Capacity for intuitive thinking is sometimes called emotional intelligence.

Learning cultures bring about learning organizations and learning communities among the groups and networks with which we interact.


The model: three key sources of power in modern society:

•    Politics and the state.

  1.    The economy and the corporations

  2.    Civil society.  Humans organising themselves around social institutions (including environmental, religious etc). 

Governments are more effective in partnerships.

NGOs, CBOs, Communities

NGOs Non Governmental Organisations

CBOs Community Based Organisations

Why is community participation considered important?

•    Mobilise all available resources (both cash and in-kind)

•    Understand what communities require from the environment ie what priorities they have

•    Tap into local knowledge and expertise

•    A sense of ownership of activities and the local environment is an important dimension of sustainability.

Public Private Partnerships

Note the importance of privatisation as a solution to the management of environmental issues.  Examples have included:

•    Water supply management

•    Introduction of tradeable pollution permits.

These represent working relationships between government and companies to try and resolve difficult environmental issues.

What are the justifications for this type of action?

•    Evidence that governments operating on their own have not been able to cope with urban environmental problems.

•    The need to mobilise all the resources of a community, and this includes the expertise in private companies.


The framework developed by Mike Douglas and Ooi Giok Ling (see References)

An inventory of environmental problems.

What is at stake?

•    Health and well being

•    Environmental sustainability

•    Liveable cities

•    Environmental justice

The key drivers and directions in the policy framework

•    Local capacity building

•    Collaborative governance or the ability of the representatives of the state, civil society and business to work together.

•    Collaborative synergies

•    Intercity networks

An agenda.

•    Localisation and collaboration

•    Performance orientation


Douglass, Mike and Ooi Giok Ling 1999 “Industrialising cities and the environment in Pacific Asia: toward a policy framework and agenda for action” United States-Asia Environmental Partnership Framing Paper

Lindfield, Michael and Royston Brockman 2008 Managing Asian Cities, Asian Development Bank, Manila.  Chapter Six “Working Toward a Sustainable Evironment“ pp 225-247.