This paper provides a new conceptualisation of high performance government for the public sector. Despite the concerted focus on performance management in both the public and private sectors, the performance puzzle remains. In part, we argue, this is because of a failure to recognise the complex interactions across the micro, meso, and macro levels of performance management that characterise such systems in the public sector. We consider the current attention on system-wide ‘high performance government’, review the existing literature on high performance organisations, and high performance individuals and groups, and then posit a further, and to date missing, level of analysis - high performance governance. The report is part of a multi-year collaborative research project between the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, the University of New South Wales and the Australian Public Service Commission as part of the Ahead of the Game blueprint for reform in the Australian public service.