About Us

Butterfly emergesThis blog features short articles from Dr Simon Black, an organisational development professional at the University of Kent, who has worked in industrial, commercial and third sector organisations across the globe. There are also supporting articles from invited guests who have been invovled in change programmes in organisations large and small in recent years. The articles are designed to support learning, provoke thought and offer guidance.

The blog brings thoughts and experiences in short but informative packages which reference some of the most interesting sources of knowledge on work, management, people and organisations.

This blog arose from the 2011 Change Academy project in Social Sciences at the University of Kent. The aim of that project was to devise means to engage all academic and administrative staff in the Faculty of Social Sciences in supporting our students’ learning experience. The original project focused on:

  1. Transformation of  attitudes and values towards a student-focus;
  2. Transformation of culture to embrace student learning as well as staff research;
  3. Effective use of resources through collaboration, to deliver a quality student experience.

The imperative to undertake this project arose from high levels of expansion at Kent in recent years (more campuses, staff and students), yet a wish to promote the values of student support, community and collegiality that were the norm as a smaller institution.  The challenge was to create a ‘virtuous triangle’ between academic and administrative staff and students, within the individualised academic culture, where motivations frequently stem from research-focus.

Whilst the 2011 Change Academy project initiated the early stages of development at Kent, through the support of other initiatives and opportunities, we have since seen a significant groundswell of activity and good practice across the  University to date.

This blog is an informal resource for everyone in networks currently supporting development of the University. We encourage continued improvements in learning and teaching, research management, service, collaboration and leadership to share and support better ways of working.

 

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