As I mentioned in a previous blog, Faculty Executive Board met for a second of our away-days in late April. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the ‘values’ that characterise SAgE. You might recall that we held an away-day in January where we focussed on the meaning of the various strategic objectives and goals in vision 2021. These can be thought of as the ‘formal controls’ that affect our workplace behaviour, such as striving for excellence in research by publishing 4* outputs, or by providing an outstanding student experience by continuously improving our teaching and assessment. There is however an ‘informal’ underlying process that is equally important in achieving our goals, namely our organisational culture. If this is not aligned to our goals, then any number of objectives will fail to take us to where we need to be, because we will only be paying lip service to them. Our organisational culture is in turn fashioned by our values, i.e. what we hold dear to our hearts, and determines our response to questions such as ‘what is really important to the organisation?’, ‘what is at the top of the agenda and what gets forgotten?’, ‘which activities get rewarded’, ‘what happens if I don’t do x, y or z?’ or ‘what does it take to enhance my career’, and so on. Based on questions such as these, we set ourselves the task of defining no more than six ‘values’ that we believe describe the type of organisation we need to be if we are to succeed. The result of our efforts is as follows:
- Excellence – we share an intrinsic desire to be the best
- Innovation – we reward individual and collective creativity
- Collaboration – we support synergic teams built on trust
- Respect – we value the diversity of contributions of our students & staff
- Accountability – we require responsibility for action and conduct
- Efficiency – we optimise resources to sustain the activities that depend on them
Thoughts anyone? Is this the kind of organisation you recognise?