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Program

What’s on your VC’s mind?

One of your existing skills is that you have  demonstrated the capacity to come up with answers to tough questions.  Now lets reverse the process and challenge you to come up with a list of questions: What are the opportunities and challenges on your Vice Chancellor’s (VC’s) mind? What are the strategic prospects for your own university and all of higher education? At the same time, what are the current threats to your institution’s reputation that must be managed to realize the VC’s vision for the future?]

And where does Information Technology (IT) fit in all this? What do effective IT leaders do to ensure that they are “part of the solution,” and not the problem? And what skill sets support their success?

This session will provide a higher-level strategic awareness of a broad spectrum of higher education issues, trends and institutional decision-making drivers. Participants will learn about IT’s relationship to the overall institution and sector while becoming acquainted with competencies of IT leaders in higher education.

Your Communication Style

The single most costly “breakdown” that occurs in today’s workplace is a breakdown in communication.  When people communicate poorly in the workplace, they waste time, squander resources, fail to accomplish goals and damage working relationships.

Keys to effective communication include: recognising the communication context, understanding personal communication behavioural styles, learning to diagnose the communication needs of others and mastering the art of communication with others in ways that are sensitive to those needs.

This session will examine these key elements, with a particular focus on communication behavioural styles, with the aim of making each participant more aware of how she/he perceives and is perceived by others in the communication process. Participants will also learn “tricks of the trade” to overcome nervousness and to present themselves with confidence.

Leading Change to Triumph

If you reflect back over the last few years, much has changed in the world - technology innovations, major political shifts, death of rock legends, the birth of a new generation of Thunderbirds fans, great sporting successes and tragic ecological disasters – change is a natural part of life.

In spite of this, it is interesting that, for many of us, embracing change seems incredibly hard. More difficult still is the role of the leader in steering the ship through the choppy, and sometimes troubled, waters of change.  This session recognises that innovation requires leaders to be nimble and agile in the face of many competing demands and high expectations. To be at the leading edge, or even just to keep up requires change after change – to our practice, services, delivery models, structures and thinking. The reality is that we are in a constant state of flux and we must determine the best way to take advantage of change to triumph.

Transition through changes needs careful management and benefits from some scaffolding through the use of best practice tools such as PROSCI.  This session will explore some real examples of change and its management. The experiences that Sarah and Jill share aim to help you to overcome challenges in order to become a positive  agent of  change.

*New Strategy, Culture & Politics

Senior leadership roles require the complex array of skills that allow them to navigate their way through political minefields, craft positive culture and develop new strategic direction.  This session touches upon the interrelationships between strategy, politics and culture and provides tools, frameworks and examples in order to provide a foundation for ongoing development in one of the most important areas to get right.  Developing a great strategy that will help the organisation achieve its goals is only the beginning.  Strategic success requires the support of Executives and peers whose goals and motives can be complicated and opaque.  Executing upon an agreed strategy also relies on a culture of ‘one team’ with support across the organisation. Stepping out from leading a team into organisational leadership requires a significant shift in mindset and this session will help you get started.

Decision-Making in Ambiguity

Organisations and their leaders often work in an environment that has more ambiguity than clarity, due to increasingly complex and rapidly changing political and economic environments, technological capabilities, and competition, as well as the needs and priorities of a variety of internal and external stakeholders. More than ever, decisions are made with overwhelming levels of information and yet, greater uncertainty.  Senior leaders need to help their organisations make sound decisions even when the future path is not clear.

This session will explore some of the fundamental issues surrounding effective decision-making, such as power and authority, organisational culture, and strategies for influence. It will also consider the interrelationships between organisational structures, culture and strategy in the decision-making process.

Participants will also gain an understanding of their leadership role in sense-making and resolving ambiguous situations.

High-Impact Communications

In the long run, professional success depends on your ability to make connections that reach up, across and outside your own organisation. 

This session will explore strategies for crucial conversations – including negotiation, difficult communications, executive communications, and other sensitive communications. 

There will be techniques for preparing for executive communications, making a short executive pitch, communicating a difficult or highly charged message, speaking to media, and the best use of different media formats for different situations.

Leading with Emotional Intelligence

One of the most positive characteristics of a good leader is the ability to effectively manage relationships with people connected to his or her work.  Professional relationships are built upon many commonly recognised factors, but they are also affected by our own emotions and the emotions of others within the workplace.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) describes the ability of a leader to understand and manage their emotions in order to create better outcomes.  The key concepts of EI include understanding our own capabilities, self-worth, and emotional state (self-awareness), managing our emotions and controlling our actions (self-management), understanding our interpersonal connections with others (social awareness), and ultimately understanding how these all contribute to productive positive relationships (relationship management). Mastery of EI is essential to successful business relationships and delivering outstanding performance.

This session will examine the key elements of Emotional Intelligence, with a particular focus on the awareness, skills, and emotional maturity required of senior leaders.  The session will help provide a framework with which to improve our understanding of various situations and the ways we engage other people, including those we manage and those to whom we report.

Moving Up

You possess an ambition and talent for advancement, but does your experience cut it when it’s time to apply for executive leadership roles? Planning, goal setting, strategic and tactical actions and assessment are necessary ingredients for success in career management.

Preparation for the executive recruitment process is much more than an interview. In the contemporary world, you will be required to demonstrate a proven track record of transformative leadership, performance outcomes and stamina across a range of situations.

This session will provide participants with insight to key points of difference in moving between management roles to that of an executive; what it takes to create a high level and diverse portfolio of experience, demonstrating impactful leadership. There will be time for authentic reflection on priority development areas for advancement.

Resilient Leadership

By truly understanding the reasons “why” behind our work we can inspire teams to coalesce around a common deeply held mission.  You can become a stronger leader and your teams will deliver more meaningful and sustained results.

This session will cover leading with why and how you can better understand and share the mission behind your organization.

A related concept we will cover is to develop close alignment of your personal values and your role as a leader. This will help you be a more authentic and resilient leader.

Understanding yourself (through introspection), your motives and values, and your unique capacity to contribute to the world and to your organisation will help you and your organisation make it through difficult times.   Courage and resilience start with an honest examination of yourself and why you do the work you do.

Executive Insight

The Higher Education Landscape influences decisions our institutions take, and hence the scope and extent of activities we undertake.  Understanding leadership in the Higher Education landscape and its impact on our institution’s strategies provides us with context for our planning.

This session will incorporate input from a keynote speaker and from you.  The keynote speaker will present insights into leadership within the higher education sector and how information technology can be used to advance an institution’s leadership strategies. Following the keynote remarks the you will have the opportunity to pose questions to them for further exploration and insights into leadership, more broadly.

One-on-One Mentoring

Throughout the week you will have many opportunities to participate in individual mentoring sessions with all of the Faculty members.  These sessions are an invaluable tool for you and you are free to initiate and drive the content of the discussion to suit your needs.

Case Study

Over the course of the week, participants will work together in teams on a Case Study problem that will allow them to apply the concepts and principles discussed at the Institute in consideration of a real-world problem that might occur in any of our institutions.  On Friday, each group will present its case study solution to the faculty and fellow participants as a capstone event that is intended to be both informative and entertaining.  

Belbin Team Profiling Tool

Using the Belbin profiling tool will bring a range of benefits to the individual, the team and the organisation as a great awareness of behavioural strengths and allowable weaknesses are identified.