Being a head of department is a significant step on the leadership career ladder but it does come with the additional day to day challenges associated with the leadership of front line academic and professional departments.
Developing and supporting new heads of department
Leaders of departments in HE institutions are often challenged by the need to achieve action by influencing those in senior positions in their institution. They must find ways to overcome resistance and encourage commitment in a positive way. Leading Departments will engage, support and develop new Heads of Department or Schools to meet the operational challenges of leading and managing academic or support teams. This innovative programme takes a practical hands-on approach to learning new skills and behaviours necessary for successful Department or School leadership. The core feature of the programme is a continuous and progressing simulation, which allows participants to experience the realities of leadership as a Head of Department or School in a risk-free environment.
This programme is unlike any other i have experienced. The opportunity to learn a technique, practice it in a very realistic scenario, receive instant feedback, and refine until you are confident with it is like gold-dust."
Jennifer Stergiou, Head of Research Operations and Reporting, University of Leeds.
Who is Leading Departments for?
The programme is designed for Heads of Department, Heads of Service, Heads of School.
You will be at an early stage in your role as head of department, service or school, but may have had previous experience of leading or managing teams or units. You will either have an academic background and be leading a teaching, research or knowledge transfer department or have a professional service background and be leading an administrative or a professional service, for example, student support services, information technology service, marketing, or campus services.
How is the programme delivered
Taking place over four months, Leading Departments consists of:
• A two-day residential module focused on people and power, including addressing challenging issues such as performance, conflict resolution and self-positioning as a leader as well as a colleague
• 360-degree diagnostic to identify personal strengths and development goals
• A two-day residential module on ‘Managing up’, influencing outside the line management relationship and succession planning
What are the programme outcomes
Participants benefit from the opportunity to explore the use and balance of intellectual, emotional and political intelligences in facing day-to-day challenges. They also have the chance to identify their own leadership styles and preferences, and consider the implications of these for the leadership of performance. Participants will also benefit from the ability to reflect on their 360-degree feedback and apply the insights gained to focus their own plans for personal development.
The simulated environments approach used on the programme is incredibly powerful and impactful. These environments challenge participants to confront complex, highly interwoven performance management and operational issues and explore motivation as a way of achieving their own and others’ high performance.