24 June 2013
The Leadership Foundation’s programme Research Team Leadership 50th run took place recently at Cardiff University. The programme is a pragmatic mix of key leadership principles, group discussions, thinking sessions, practical exercises and one-to-one consultations. Devised for those in roles at the crux of the academic and administrative cornerstone in universities and higher education colleges, the programme encourages and engages participants to think about their roles as leaders in a compelling way.
The programme has a strong emphasis on participation, a feature that is regularly cited in feedback as making the programme really special.
Participant on the 50th run, Professor Tess Fitzpatrick said of Research Team Leadership: 'The programme provided us with a valuable combination of meta-awareness of leadership and practical tools for enhancing our performance as leaders. The programme leaders are aware of the contexts and constraints of working in an academic environment.'
Designed around the principles of John Adair’s Action Centred Leadership (ACL) and Nancy Kline’s Thinking Environment, Research Team Leadership is delivered by an experienced team of Leadership Foundation associates who are professional trainers and research academics. Delegates work in teams of six and each programme consists of two teams, although larger runs of the programme have taken place since the programme began in 2006. Pre-work consists of two questionnaires; the
first concerns delegate’s personal vision as a Research Team Leader; the second is a leadership questionnaire based on ACL which is used to generate a personal leadership report and profile for each delegate.
Research Team Leadership started as an open programme and was first delivered in September 2006; it ran successfully in this format for three and a half years. July 2007 saw the delivery of the first in-house run at Cardiff University. Although not currently available as an open programme, it has run continuously for the last seven years and has been delivered across the UK and abroad; including a run in Saudi Arabia.
The programme was developed and designed by programme director, Dr David Faraday, an associate of the Leadership Foundation, with the assistance of Professor Karen Kirkby, an associate dean at the University of Surrey. Although originally designed for new principal investigators, the robust course design has proven suitable for delegates from post-doc level through to PVC Research.
So far in 2013 and in addition to Cardiff University, the universities of Nottingham, Queen’s Belfast, and Birmingham have undertaken the programme in-house.
The Leadership Foundation’s director of consultancy Tom Irvine said: ‘A great team needs to be well-led and the RTL programme helps to find ways to bring out the very best in each team member. The skills learned in this programme are the foundation of the skills of change leadership which are needed as careers progress – where you will be tasked with leading other academics through organisational change. We see RTL as a career-enhancing programme that gives many of the tools and techniques that are needed throughout any academic career.’
If you would like to have your own Research Team Leadership programme at your university or higher education college please contact Sweta Purhoit, Consultancy Business Manager firstname.lastname@example.org