Political Acuity

April 16 2018 - September 27 2018

Upcoming Sessions:

2018 Schedule

Ottawa April 16 | Sault Ste Marie April 18

Goderich September 27

Register Now


In today’s increasingly complex governance environment, public servants maintain the time-honored tradition of being non-partisan in the advice they provide to both their internal decision makers and political leaders.

At the same time, being politically astute and knowledgeable about the public and political interface, attendant relationships, protocols and practices, can produce better policy and strategic advice. We call this “connecting the dots”.

Political acuity is about judgment; understanding an issue, its origins, and the players, developing an approach, and knowing when to act.  This know-how and timing is particularly important in the context of the relationship between public servants, their internal environments and Council and other orders of government. Staff who work in Social Service are often answering to several orders of government at the same time. This can be very challenging and requires well-developed political acuity.

Course Description:

This one-day course will introduce you to the skills and abilities for understanding and cultivating your political acuity. Learn how to recognize and work with formal and informal systems, practices, relationships and cultures so that you can identify impacts, influence decisions and achieve organizational objectives. Practical examples will be used to illustrate these skills and learning will occur through individual and group exercises, case studies and discussions.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • Your professional ethical responsibilities to yourself and others;
  • To understand what political acuity is and why developing it will help you have a brilliant career as a public servant;
  • To identify and explore how to build and strengthen key relationships;
  • To understand the current environment and its implications for your work;
  • To strengthen your ability to provide strategic advice and direction.

Who should participate in this course?

This course will be of interest to Social Service staff who make key decisions and especially to those that write reports for council and other levels of government.

In your jobs you must consult and liaise across departments, levels and interests and this course will give you some helpful, perspectives and strategies. Learning how to navigate the tensions that exist inside and outside your organization will serve you well.

Facilitator Information:

Ronna Hope Warsh has a depth of experience in human services in a variety of leadership roles. She has worked in non-profit agencies and in both front-line and senior management roles at the municipal and provincial levels of government. 

Ronna held the position of Community Development and Health Commissioner for the City of Windsor and recieved a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association and a Community Service Award from Community Living Windsor. 

Ronna has a coaching certificate from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching and she provides coaching to people on an individual basis, enabling them to move forward toward attaining their leadership goals. She also runs a successful consulting business where she helps organizations improve through her well received workshops, robust strategic planning process and by providing excellent strategic advice.

Location Details :

Ottawa - City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave W, Councillor’s Lounge, 2nd Floor, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1

Accommodation Details :

The following hotels are close to the training location.  OMSSA does not have rooms blocked at any of these locations.  It is each person's responsibility to book their own accommodation.

Lord Elgin Hotel

100 Elgin Street, 

Ottawa, ON K1P 5K8

Residence Inn Ottawa Downtown

161 Laurier Avenue West, 

Ottawa, ON K1P 5J2

Capital Hill Hotel & Suites

88 Albert Street, 

Ottawa, ON K1P 5E9

Cancellation and Sharing Policies :

Cancellation and Sharing Policies: Requests for refunds will be honoured, less a $50.00 administration fee, provided a written notice of cancellation and request for refund is received more than ten (10) business days prior to the event. When cancellation is received ten (10) business days or less prior to the event, no monies will be refunded. Substitutions will be accepted up to and including the first day of the event. Registrants are responsible for full payment of all course fees. OMSSA reserves the right to cancel the program due to insufficient registrations and will be responsible for refunding the registration fee only.