I try to avoid lengthy legal documents. Two of my sisters are lawyers and I sometimes joke – entirely without justification – that even their birthday cards, when you take into account the various caveats and disclaimers, run to several pages. But lawyers can (and I can’t really believe I’m actually writing this) teach us something about effective communication.Continue reading “The power of shared language”
I had the honour last week of being invited to present a workshop at the annual conference of the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association (HESPA) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. It was a great event. And I met some fantastic people. But it was the amount I learned in two short days that astounded me. Continue reading “On planners and planning”
With higher education institutions in England being required to report annually on value for money, universities need to raise their game when talking about what they do and how well they do it.
As funding gets tighter and competition for students becomes more intense, our higher education institutions are coming under increasing pressure to justify the public investment that they receive. So it is now more important than ever that we are able to explain clearly and effectively what we do and how we use the funding entrusted to us to create lasting value. Continue reading “VFM: It’s about the value, not the money”
I love executive summaries. I like to read as many things as possible, but don’t always have as much time as I’d like. So a good executive summary allows me to get the gist of what something’s about, quickly and without fuss. And depending on what I find, I can then digest the key points and move on, grab a cup of tea and read the whole thing, or throw whatever it is in the recycling without feeling that I’m missing anything important.
So it pains me greatly when I come across an executive summary that doesn’t cut the mustard. And quite recently, that’s been happening a lot. Continue reading “The executive summary: A reader’s plea”
There is often a tendency to think that any problems within an organisation can be resolved, or any desired improvements made, with the application of a new process or the implementation of a shiny new piece of software. While understandable, this is potentially problematic. Because organisations are not about systems, processes and software – they are about people. Continue reading “It’s a people thing”