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									Today‘s Challenge, Tomorrow‘s Promise

Importance of Strategic Leadership

Simon Donoghue
Head of the Strategy Project Group
University of Leeds
1.   The strategic context
A large complex traditional university ….
                               Established 102 years ago
                               Research intensive major civic
                               ―Traditional‖ in its approach
                               £367m turnover
                               7,500 staff
                               32,000 students (with an
                                additional 32,000 on short
                                courses) (major expansion)
A challenging and change
resistant ―culture‖…
                               Citizenship and allegiances
 Academic freedom
 Independence
 Questioning / suspicion of     dept   me   Research
authority                                    community

 Collegiate                                   subject

Highly unionised – and
active during period

Comfortable with Debate –
less comfortable with Action
In a rapidly changing sector ….

                              Universities previously viewed
                               around social engagement and
                              UK government investment now
                               around Universities as drivers of
                               21st Century economy
                              Full economic costing
                              Funding by outputs (quantity and
                              Student fees paving way to real
                               competitive market
                              Specific drivers (enterprise,
                               knowledge transfer)
                              Closure is possible
But a sector with low
expectations of strategy….
 Low expectations of
 Suspicion
 ―VC vanity documents‖
 Funding Council requirement

 Little history of actual follow

    ―I‘ve got a dragon and I‘m
          prepared to use it‖
Our starting point

 Three previous, relatively long-
  serving VCs - most recent an
  internal appointment
 Bred a culture of slight
  introspection ?
 Denial : League tables – just plain
 Comforting reinterpretation : RAE –
  we did well in terms of ―research
  power‖ (grade × volume) so we
  must have done OK
 Falling in peer group
 Some long-lived complex problems
 New VC needed to bring sense of
  ―reality check‖ but ―blame free‖
2.   The transformation agenda
University of Leeds : 2015

   A leading world class

   A global reputation for
         research and

    An excellent „student

  In the top echelon of UK
Why strategies fail….

    ―Less than 10% of strategies
      effectively formulated are
        effectively executed.‖
            – Fortune

                                                  ―In the majority of cases—we
                                                   estimate 70 percent—the real
                                                  problem isn‘t bad strategy . . .
                             WHY?                        It‘s bad execution.‖
                                                                   – Fortune

                                                        They haven‘t made
     They can‘t                     They don‘t
                                                        strategy execution
   DESCRIBE their                  MANAGE their
                                                             a CORE
      strategy                       strategy
Best practice : external reference
           “This is definitely a best     Balanced Scorecard
              practice example for         Collaborative Consultancy
             other universities that      Balanced Scorecard European
                 will help raise your      Summit
               international profile“          Madrid 2005
                      Dr David Norton,         Barcelona 2006
                   Balanced Scorecard          Prague 2007
                         Collaborative      Leadership Foundation
                                            AUA Conferences
                                            WUN / NCCI
                                            Other Universities in the UK
 Best practice principles

                                                ORGANISATION   5. GOVERN TO
                                                               MAKE STRATEGY A
                                                    BEST       CONTINUAL
                                                  PRACTICES    PROCESS

                                            4. MOTIVATE TO MAKE
                                            STRATEGY EVERYONE‟S

Source : Balanced Scorecard Collaborative
3.   Developing ownership
Developing strategy
                       Met with 100 opinion formers
                        and key staff – opened up
                        informal channels
                       Identify 6 key things that need to
                        be changed – identified
                        common themes
                       Use these to formulate initial
                        ‗draft‘ strategy
                       Keep the vision and values in
                       Informed by external & internal
                       Meet staff and students - listen
Dr Robert Kaplan (Madrid, 2005)

         Quite a
4.       Positioning the strategy

“The strategy map has given me and
the rest of the team great confidence
knowing the University has chosen a
certain course. “
Dr Adrian Bailey, Head of the School of
 Positioning the Strategy

                                     Vision , Leadership,

Analysis, Planning,                                 Activity, Iteration,
      Facts                                           Experience

             Science                            Craft

 Solve over finite region subject to boundary conditions
 on function and parametric derivatives:
                X (u ,1), X v (u ,1)

X (0, v )
X u (0, v )
                                          X (1, v)
                                           X u (1, v)

                X (u,0), X v (u,0)     1                u
4.   Academic leadership
                           “The strategy process has
                           provided the structure for us
                           to develop a vision which is
                           built upon the recognition of
                           our unique position, our
                           breadth, quality and depth,
                           and the value we can create
                           from synergies across the
                           boundaries of our distinctive
                           Professor David Cooper,
                           Dean of the Faculty of Performance,
                           Visual Arts and Communications
Creating a focus upon strategy
Engaging leaders
with the change agenda
                          Emphasized the importance of
                          Created ―leadership forum‖ to bring
                           all with leadership role together
                          Importance of quality of
                           engagement, communication and
                           debate at this level
                          Valued and rewarded leadership
                          Ensured leaders had the tools and
                           support to contribute to strategy
                          Emphasized key priorities –
                           reinforced through planning
5.  Communication, communication,

“One of the challenges has been
engaging and communicating
with all of our staff, many of
whom work part-time…. I’m really
pleased with the response and
involvement from the team. We’re
all really positive about the future,
and are genuinely seeing
changes on the ground“
Stewart Ross, Director of Sport
Making a difference
6.   Strategy reviews
Strategy reviews

 Essential element of the strategy
 Informed by evidence based
performance analysis
 High level regular overview role
 In depth issue based review
 Owned by the senior
management team
7.    Orchestrating new ways
of working

                          “We have made an incredible
                          transformation to the look and feel of
                          our School, creating a first class
                          environment for our students and a
                          place where people want to work and
                          study. Everyone is working together
                          and supporting each other…there is a
                          great feel about the place.“
                          Denise Bower, Deputy Head of the School of
                          Civil Engineering
New initiatives
8.   This is a CHANGE project !
Change management

        Contentment   Renewal

          Denial      Confusion
Change management lessons
 Effort and communication required
to move along life cycle model
 Need for leadership – critical to
renewal phase
 Time, effort and energy – change
is often complex and ‗muddy‘
 Communication – can‘t be
 Importance of dealing with people
issues – often pockets of hostile,
disenfranchised and entrenched staff
Self assessment
                                                 University   School/Service
           1. Establishing a Sense of Urgency

      2. Forming a Powerful Guiding Coalition

                          3. Creating a Vision

                 4. Communicating the Vision

   5. Empowering Others to Act on the Vision

 6. Planning for and Creating Short-Term Wins

          7. Consolidating Improvements and
                Producing Still More Change
         8. Institutionalising New Approaches
9.    Two easy statements : focus and
    World-Class - ‗Peaks‘ of Excellence at Leeds

     Centre for
                                                                                 Algebra and Logic
                                    Cancer Studies

                                                        Polymers and
     Institute of          Energy                      Complex Fluids                 English
Medical and Biological
                                         Earth and
                                      Systems Science                          Astrophysical &
                                                                               Geophysical Fluid
        Particle Science                                                          Dynamics
         & Engineering
                                    Astbury                   Institute for
                                                           Transport Studies
Investing in student
Investing in our future
          Alignment – cascading to the

                     Enhance our international Profile          Raise our game                    in        Inspire our students to develop                 Enhance enterprise and
                                                                             research                              their full potential                       knowledge transfer
                     T1 Increase the impact of our              T4 Deliver international                    T7 Deliver excellent and                  T10 Enhance performance and value
                                                                   excellence in all our areas of              inspirational learning and                 derived from enterprise and
                         international activities
Key themes

                                                                   research                                    teaching                                   knowledge transfer

                                          T3 Create new research and                 T6 Translate excellence in research           T9
                                                                                                                                        Increase participation of those
                                              innovation led international               and scholarship into learning                  who can benefit
                                              strategic collaborations                   opportunities for students

                     T2 Create sustainable recruitment          T5 Develop selected peaks that             T8 Provide an exceptional                  T11 Contribute to the enrichment
                         of high quality international               deliver world-leading                     student experience                          of society on a local to
                         students                                    performance                                                                           global scale

                                                                                         Improving our effectiveness
                       E1 Build strategic                 E2   Provide first class           E3   Create time for              E4 Improve core systems          E5 Manage organisational
                             partnerships that add             facilities                         academic                          and processes                   performance
Strategic enablers

                             significant value                                                    development

                                                   Financial sustainability                                                       Valuing & developing all our staff
                       F1                                        F2 Grow additional sources of               S1     Develop leadership skills in a     S2 Ensure effective communication
                            Aggressively grow research                                                              wider range of staff                   and ownership of values and
                            income                                   profitable income to invest in
                                                                     our future                                                                            strategy at all levels

                      F3 Manage resources to deliver             F4 Ensure all Faculties and                 S3     Proactively attract & retain       S4 Manage performance and
                            strategic priorities                     Schools are able to generate                   high quality staff                     support the development of all
                                                                     surpluses for re-investment                                                           staff
10. Something for the bean counters !

“Research wrecked
by “bean counters”
…. A senior
academic said that
“bone-headed bean
counters” were
threatening the
sector‟s ability to
produce top
research stars” –
Times Higher
Supplement June
1st 2007
   Monitoring strategic performance
           University Scorecard                                                                Theme Headline Report
Key Performance Targets   Supporting Measures
                                                                                   Key Performance Targets          Projects

                                                                                     Supporting Measures

                                           Faculty Scorecard
                                 Key Performance Targets   Supporting Measures

                                                                                            School Scorecard
                                                                                 Key Performance Targets     Supporting Measures
11.   Sustainable impact
Sustainable Impact
                      Leadership
                      Transformational projects
                      Strategy embedded as a
                     core competency
                      Making everyone‘s role
                     contribute to our strategy
                      Communication, information
                     and understanding
                      Hearts & minds
                      Demonstrating impact
   Making an impact – some highlights

 Research income up 21%
 32 peaks of excellence created
 SSRs reducing (18.4 to 16.8)
 Peer mentoring implemented
 Moving up Guardian league table
 Making some outstanding
 Alumni fund raised over £0.5m
 £360m capital investment programme
 Investment in communications,
environment, wellbeing
 Investment in student experience
 Changing culture of leadership
 Evidence of strategic focus in
academic units
“We intend not only to retain
our position as one of the best
universities in the country, but
join the ranks of the top 50
global players”

                                   “In organisations as large
                                   as ours, it is common for
                                   strategies to fail. Poor
                                   communication and
                                   ineffective implementation
                                   are commonly-cited
                                   underlying reasons”

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