SAI Young Leaders Update

12 June 2019

IDI held the first international interaction of the second round of the SYL initiative in Cape Town 13-24 May 2019. 

The objective of this workshop was for selected SAI Young Leaders from across the INTOSAI community and their SAI coaches to interact with experts in leadership development, SAI leaders from the INTOSAI community and leaders from other walks of life. IDI had selected 25 young leaders from 70 nominations through a two-stage selection process.

When arriving in Cape Town one cannot help but think of Nelson Mandela, the airport proudly displays quotes, tours to Robben Island are advertised and we have all heard of this inspiring leader. Nelson Mandela talked a lot about the importance of education and of leadership.

There were a few images that really resonated with the SYLs in Cape Town; one of these was of Nelson Mandela’s garden- a picture of the great man preparing the soil, throwing the seeds on the ground and tending them as they grow and blossom.

This image resonated with the SYLs as they felt themselves to be thrown onto fertile ground and given the opportunity to grow. It resonated with the IDI team and the resource people working with the SYLs as we saw them change and grow before us.

The lDI created an environment for growth by bringing together 25 young leaders from 19 SAIs, every INTOSAI region was represented. This diverse community enabled an exchange of ideas and cultures. The SYLs formed study groups relating to the change strategies that they are implementing and were able to identify common concerns in very different SAIs.

IDI tended the growing SYLs by providing inputs for growth based around four main dimensions-discovering self, discovering the universe, growing people and creating value.

IDI addressed ‘discovering self and growing people’ with a three-day workshop on emotional intelligence and coaching skills. The SYLs were given the opportunity to discover more about the four aspects of emotional intelligence, to develop and to practice coaching skills. Many of the SYLs commented on how useful they found this and their plans to replicate some of the skills developed in their own SAI.

IDI was supported by the INTOSAI community in the ‘discover universe’ part of the interaction. IDI hosted panel discussions on INTOSAI Bodies, INTOSAI Regions and ‘SheLeads’. The SYLs were also invited to attend the INTOSAI Regional Coordination Platform where they were able to contribute to discussions on SAI leadership. The SYLs were introduced to a number of leaders within the SAI community as established leaders shared personal stories of their leadership journeys. These leaders included no less than three auditor generals demonstrating the importance of leadership to the SAI community.
IDI emphasises the importance of creating value throughout the SYL initiative with SYLs implementing a change strategy within their SAIs. IDI tended this area of growth with inputs on strategy (including writing indicators and change management models) as well as inputs relating to stakeholder management and communication.

In the final few days of the interaction, SYLS were given the opportunity to practice some of the things that they had learned during the time. SYLs prepared presentations on their developing strategies and coached each other to improve.

Several graduates from the previous SYL initiative were able to join us in Cape Town and provide inputs for our new garden, either as resource people or coaches. The IDI team were able to feel really proud of the young leaders who had grown and blossomed during the first initiative to be a true asset to the SYL community.



For more information on the SAI Young Leaders Programme click on the logo.