Developing resilient management at University of Sussex

We were invited to work with the management team of the School of Business, Management and Economics.

The issue:

The school had been experiencing rapid growth in student numbers, a fast changing landscape in terms of expectations of students and also a change in focus of the University. The management team at the school was growing fast and so not a cohesive unit.

What we did:

We ran a series of experiential workshops with the management team on the following  themes:

Finding balance: Helping the team to find ways of getting things done and enjoy the journey We developed techniques to help them avoid being overstretched, fire fighting and feeling burnt out and to develop real resilience.

Act Flexibly: This focused on how to build key relationships and develop collective agile intelligence. The team discover ways of flocking around projects and to work with others more effectively.

Navigate Uncertainty: The challenge was how to deal with a fast changing landscape, and a difficulty to plan ahead. We helped the team develop ways to pick up on weak signals to respond quicker, and have agility to be more flexible in approach and collaboration to achieve changing goals.

The results.

We believe in the client having their own voice so here is what they said..

“The level of engagement was shocking! The trust and confidence the team felt in Toby and Alistair was clear from the start, and everyone was really engaged all the way through, in a way we haven’t seen with previous training programmes. It’s developed the group from a newly-formed and not yet cohesive unit, to a team with shared experience that they refer back to and use to give mutual support outside the session. They feel part of a management team now and actively use the tools back in the office.”

Sarah Hardman

School Manager, School of Business, Management and Economics

“I’ve been to lots of staff development and different training over the years and this just feels completely different. It feels really tailored and we can tailor it to suit what ever situation we face. It’s really practical because you are giving us tools, but more importantly, you are giving us completely different ways of thinking – ideas that would never come into my own head. I don’t think I’ve ever had this level of enjoyment and experience in any staff development. You guys have just got a different approach.”

Gemma Asbury

Manager, School of Business, Management and Economics

We have since been invited to begin rolling out workshops across the University as well as continuing to work with the School of Business, Management and Economics and further the develop the management team and other staff at the school.