Fuelled by uncertain funding models, rigid workforce systems and changing student demands, Australian tertiary education sector is exploring how to remain relevant in an increasingly differentiated and global education market. This sector is currently undergoing major structural reformations and trying to balance a variety of stakeholder interests, and needs to make fundamental choices to ensure its sustainability.
Every April I’m awestruck by those tough little daffodils appearing amid snow and slush. Seemingly fragile they break through the harsh, cold winter earth and emerge with yellow smiles and spirited vibrancy. What comes to mind is resilience. Resilience – ability to quickly recover and maintain positive functioning despite stress and change.
Resilience is tenacity, fortitude and agility. Thoughtful parents strive to instill these characteristics in our children knowing they’ll be needed during inevitable harsh, cold life challenges.
The academic sector is vital to the social, cultural and economic life of our Canadian communities. As such, the leadership of our universities and colleges directly affects the ability of our institutions to contribute to the social and economic development of our region. But with the shift toward faculty votes of non-confidence in the institution’s leaders, truncated presidential terms and shrinking candidate pools, it's time to reconsider how we view leadership and succession in our universities and to talk about how we shift the curve.
How to get a job is always topical; advice on how to land your dream job abounds. But what about the other half of the equation? How can you ensure you leave a job without burning that proverbial bridge? Everyone talks about making the right first impression but what about making the right last impression?
Universities are complex organizations that require specific leadership capabilities. But while each university is very different from the next, there is one commonality in academic institutions from St. John’s to Victoria - the increasing struggle to fill leadership roles. The demands placed on academic administrative leaders have increased significantly as they are asked to do more with less. From a pure numbers perspective, the number of qualified candidates with the experience needed for these roles has declined over the past few years.
The last few years have been tough for many Canadian organizations. Falling revenues and shrinking profits forced leaders to make difficult decisions about how best to reduce costs, boost productivity and ensure sustainability over the long term. In Canada and around the world, layoffs have been an unfortunate but necessary strategy to remain competitive.
We are constantly bombarded with advice on how to be a better manager or leader. Expert opinions abound; thousands of books, articles, blogs, and TED Talks have been dedicated to management and leadership, and the terms are often used interchangeably. The job market routinely showcases management positions that require the incumbent to lead a group or department.
If you have set your career sights on ascending to the highest levels of any organization, rest assured the competition is stiff and the demands are high. For one, there are far more professionals competing for C-suite roles than opportunities available. And organizations are willing to look far and wide to attract leaders who have the skills, experience and style to drive strategy and success.
It’s a saying you’ve probably heard before: if you want to thrive in business, go with your gut. But if intuition was the only tool you had to use, you wouldn’t be in business for long.