Strategy into action

As I mentioned in my first blog , we organised an away day in January with the Faculty Executive Team entitled ‘Strategy into Action’ . The purpose was to clarify exactly what we mean by the grand statements in Vision 2021, and to plan a series of actions to enable us to realise these ambitions. There are a number of generic faculty objectives in Vision 2021, in addition to those specific to SAgE – at the away-day we focussed on the first three generic objectives, namely:

  • To achieve and sustain research excellence
  • To deliver a high quality student experience on all programmes
  • To embed the drive, ambition and capabilities needed to excel in both teaching and research

The rationale for this was first that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and second that these are key deliverables that we absolutely must get right – unless we can tick the boxes against these it will be very difficult to achieve the remainder.

So what did we conclude from our deliberations? For each of the three objectives listed above, our task was to identify three key actions – one short term (1-6 months), one medium term (6-12 months) and one long term (in excess of 12 months). You can find these actions listed here. These will likely present no surprises to anyone – this is after all quite basic stuff.  Indeed the short-term objectives were deliberately chosen to represent ‘low hanging fruit’ that we can achieve relatively easily and with little resource, to give us early confidence. Some of the medium and long-term objectives will be more challenging, and indeed some are deliberately terse because we are planning more work on them. For example,  improving the ‘staff experience’ will be the subject of a second away-day in April. You will certainly hear more about the above actions over the next few months from your school management teams and in future blogs.

At the risk of boringly repeating myself, unless we take action to deliver on our strategy, it will remain a lifeless document. I hope therefore that these actions will provide a focus over the next 12 months or so as we progress towards  Vision 2021.


About stevehomans

Professor Steve Homans is a structural biologist with an international reputation in the study of biomolecular interactions. He obtained his first degree and DPhil in Biochemistry at Oxford University, and secured his first academic position as Lecturer at the University of Dundee. In 1998 he received the Zeneca award from the Biochemical Society and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Prior to his current appointment he was Dean of the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds. Professor Homans brings extensive expertise of academic leadership and management, with a particular emphasis on organisational change.
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