Welcome to the autumn edition of Engage. As this is my first leader article allow me to introduce myself. I have worked in higher education for over 20 years - both nationally and internationally, in the fields of leadership, governance and management (LGM) development and organisational effectiveness at policy and operational levels. Before the Leadership Foundation I was head of policy for LGM at Hefce, where my first job 10 years ago, was to set up the Leadership Foundation. As the relationship manager for a number of years I therefore have a longstanding relationship with and a deep care for the Leadership Foundation.
My first task is to produce a new strategy for the board. I have spent the past eight weeks listening to as many colleagues as possible. Your feedback has been invaluable, with many positive messages about us as a valued organisation along with what we can do improve how we do things to provide better services for you. I am heartened that you see this as a great opportunity to reinvent and refresh. It is our aim to increase our reach in terms of range and depth, while building on our strengths.
In particular the feedback highlights a future with an increasingly diverse sector, where bespoke programmes are likely to become more important to you, and a more specialist ‘content rich’ offering will be needed. I am hearing that top teams are looking to do more development work themselves, and that you would like a clearer career development ladder from us. We will have one ready in the New Year. I also understand that many of you would like to see greater price differentiation across our services. Coming through strongly is that managing unpredictability, unknown futures and disruptive change is a major challenge, as one person said: ‘...being able to manage next week would be nice!’
Your feedback to me has been supported by two surveys, which also tell us amongst many things, how highly the LF’s research is valued, and that you would like us to capture international best practice as well as sharing the good work that is taking place in the UK. I am grateful to the work that Dr Mark Pegg, my predecessor, did in initiating these surveys.
Our members remain at the core of everything and we are very pleased to see that membership remains strong. We are delighted that you would like more engagement with us through contributing to our events, research and other activities. This of course is most welcome.
As we develop the new strategy for January 2015 we are keen to listen to your views as to what the LF needs to be doing to deliver top quality services, experiences and outcomes. Please contact me or any of the LF team. We look forward to hearing from you as we continue to support you in your work.
Alison Johns, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation