While we all play a part in the success of our organisations as students, academic and support staff members and leaders, we never do it alone. That is why effective teams and networks are a crucial component of any organisation, and the make or break of any change process. The sector is constantly transforming, facing new opportunities and challenges - from the Covid-19 pandemic to race equity, fighting harassment and improving mental health of staff and students.
2020 in particular, highlighted the need for formal and informal collective structures and for their leaders to be flexible, resilient and responsive to continuous change. That is why this theme explores the opportunities for and challenges in developing change agency as a core skill for collaborative working within and between teams, groups and networks.
This project aims to:
- Support our governance colleagues in small and specialist institutions, by teaming up with GuildHE and launching a network for supporting board diversity in small and specialist institutions.
- Support our colleagues who work to improve student outcomes for diverse student communities, be it lecturers, learning and teaching coordinators or student services colleagues.
- Support leaders and institutional change-makers by diving deep into the best examples and practice of managing change through building effective teams and networks.
Introductory Blog - Dom Jackson-Cole
In this introductory blog, Advance HE's Senior Adviser (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion), Dom Jackson-Cole outlines this member benefit theme in further detail.
Supporting Inclusive Boards: community in small and specialist institutions
The Supporting Inclusive Boards community will convene governance professionals from small and specialist institutions in a series of developmental, online sessions to enhance and share thinking, noting the importance of the role of the governance professional in implementing change. Invitations to join the community is offered in conjunction with GuildHE and has been sent to small and specialist institutions.
Kim Ansell, Senior Adviser at Advance HE is joined by Tesse Akpeki, Director of Tesse Akpeki Associates Ltd to discuss the value of this community and what participants can expect from being part of it. Advance HE members can access the podcast recording 'Supporting Inclusive Boards: an introduction to the community' below.
The Higher Education Board Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit
As part of the Collaborative Development Fund 2020-21, the Board Diversity Practice Project's Higher Education Board Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit has been created to assist governance professionals who are interested in tackling under-representation and aiming for inclusion at the Board level in the higher education sector.
This Toolkit was developed in partnership with Advance HE, Perrett Laver and the University of Gloucestershire and is available to Advance HE member institutions.
“The role of social capital in the success of Black, Asian and minority ethnic students.” – Interactive workshop
The old saying “it’s not what you know but who you know” has been widely researched by sociologists, economists, anthropologists, educators, business and management experts, and more. Who you know and can count on can be described as social capital, and is a key building block of official and unofficial networks which are essential to success – be it success of individuals, projects or even entire organisations. This interactive workshop, which took place on 24 November 2021, concentrated on the role of social capital and networks in improving student success and more importantly how institutions can help build them.
Building a successful team or network to transform institutions: a discussion panel with change experts
This panel discussion, which took place on 18 January 2022, supported institutional change-makers, project managers and leaders in better understanding how they can use the power of teams and networks to create successful institutional change and/or transformation. The panellists have a wealth of experience in successfully creating, using and managing teams and/or networks to drive cultural change within institutions that made a positive change in the lives of their staff and/or students. The speakers shared their stories, case studies, tips and best practices. The audience had an opportunity to ask their questions to the panellists.
A range of supporting guides for this member benefit theme can be found below.
The higher education board diversity and inclusion Toolkit
Developed in partnership with Advance HE, Perrett Laver and the University of Gloucestershire, this Toolkit is designed to help member institutions to improve the diversity and inclusivity of their governing bodies, whether as a Secretary, Chair of Governors, Governance and Nominations Committee member, or anyone interested in tackling under-representation and aiming for inclusion at the Board level in the higher education sector.
Co-operative leadership for higher education
The aim of this research was to assess the possibility of establishing co-operative leadership as a viable organisational form of governance and management for higher education.
The excellent and inclusive university: an institutional framework
The three institutions in this study are part of the PLuS Alliance, a grouping that aims to foreground service to society, while broadening conceptions of excellence.
Related resources, programmes and events
Below you will find information on Advance HE resources, programmes and events which relate to the leading change through teams and networks member benefit project.
The role of Governance in Equality in Higher Education
From the student awarding gap to the gender pay gap, there is much to address. At a minimum, Boards and committees must deliver assurance to ensure the organisation is meeting EDI related statutory and regulatory requirements. Key to this is building the confidence, knowledge and skills of individuals and groups in the governance system.
Advance HE Connect
Advance HE Connect our online network that is open to all those who work in HE providing a space where the sector can share, connect and collaborate in one place with 22,000 HE peers from 100 countries around the globe. The platform features special interest groups, events and collaborative projects.
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