The latest insights on narrative, storytelling and leadership in higher education.

Friday G&T Gallery

This is us

How can you make tangible the story of your work?

In 2019, the School of Health in Social Science at the University of Edinburgh asked this question. Over the last 12 months, in collaboration with Invisible Grail, they have designed and created a new art installation to express their story and make tangible the narrative of the School.

Now unveiled, the coat brings together the words, stories and aspirations of people from across the School, celebrating what they do, who they are, and what they stand for.

If you were to re-imagine the story of your work as an object, what would it be?

This week’s G&T is given over to the coat. You can read the full story here: This is us.

The idea of the Coat as a metaphor for the School’s narrative came from the Curating our Narrative project developed by colleagues at Invisible Grail in partnership with the School. 

Students as leaders

This month we’re zooming in on perspectives on the student experience and student leadership.

We’re exploring how universities are preparing for the hopes and aspirations of Generation Z, putting this to staff developers at the Staff Development Conference in Newcastle. Northampton University’s new Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Shân Wareing, also gives us her take on the homogenisation of the student experience in a blog released later this month.

Ultimately, in the words of our colleague and student, Rhiannon-Breeze Harris, we want to know how we can bring student voices into every corner and corridor of university life, and how we can do this with authenticity and trust.

Colleagues Louise Clifton, Paul Gentle, Rhiannon-Breeze Harris and Helen Teague will be taking part in this year’s Staff Development Conference, examining how we can support university workforce’s to excel in an environment where the needs and aspirations of students are rapidly evolving. If you’re attending the conference, we’d love to see you so come and join our workshop on Thursday morning.

We believe students are leaders, you can read more about this here: Students as leaders.

Deciding what’s new and better

Is there room in our work to not know? Does not knowing make us more vulnerable, or does it empower us to find new, more collaborative, ways of working?

This week we bring you a quote from Ed Shein, professor emeritus at MIT, on why we need to get out of our boxes, work together and build communities to help us ‘decide what is new and better.’

This quote is taken from an interview with Ed Schein by Egon Zehnder. Noted for his work in organisational development, Ed Schein is also co-author of ‘Humble Leadership‘.

We’ve written about the power of not knowing before, you can find the blog here: The power of not knowing.

Power comes from what you share

Power comes from what you share, not what you control. This is the message from Julian Stodd, proponent of social leadership and advocate for greater humility and humanity in organisational culture and leadership. 

This autumn, we talked to Julian to find out what social leadership is, and what behaviours and cultures we should be championing to help us navigate this world. Here’s a look at what he said.

You can read the full interview with Julian here: Julian Stodd interview

Julian Stodd quote

This interview is the second in a new interview series for Invisible Grail, and follows our first interview with Leah Weiss, Professor in compassionate leadership earlier this autumn. Take a look at the full interview series so far here: Interview series.

What does achieving change really look like?

What does achieving change really look like when we put diversity and inclusion under the microscope?

In a recent report from HEPI, Srabani Sen OBE, founder of Full Colour, introduces five things leaders can do to change the narrative on diversity and inclusion in higher education.

Full Colour specialises in helping organisations make positive, impactful change by putting diversity and inclusion at the heart of leadership. Full Colour is led by Srabani Sen OBE, whose belief ‘that it is one thing to read about leadership and inclusion in books, and another to live and breathe it in a way that delivers success‘ prompted her to take action and launch Full Colour.

This is a quote from the HEPI report: White Elephant #6: Achieving change: lessons for higher education from the Non-Profit sector