A New Chapter

I haven’t blogged for some time, party due to the fact that I forgot my login details-duh! But partly due to moving jobs, location and general moving on with life. However with the (no so) new job has come a new opportunity in the form of leadership development. Towards the end of last year I applied, and was successful in obtaining a Florence Nightingale Leadership Development scholarship. The particular scholarship I have is sponsored by the Council of Deans of Health, and is particularly targeted at emerging academic leaders who aspire to be a Dean of a health faculty. My plan now is to blog through my experience of this leadership development, with reflections on my personal development and the experiences I gain throughout this exciting year.

The first thing that happens on this scholarship is the personal leadership profiling. I have found this fascinating, gaining new insights into my self and how others might see me as a leader. This experience has been hugely important for setting the direction of the development opportunities which are tailored to each scholar. Although the profiling mainly confirmed my own assessment of myself, this in itself was reassuring, as it has confirmed the areas I need to develop so that I can become the leader I want to be, and the leader my colleagues need me to be. 

Two weeks ago we had the first main leadership development event where nearly all this year’s cohort of scholars got together for the “Leading Change and Organisational Renewal” course. This course is an adapted version of the course of the same name delivered at Harvard and Stanford Business Schools in the US. It was led by an excellent and inspirational group of facilitators who led us though detailed case studies and root cause analysis of live issues relating to scholars workplace areas. The lessons learned from others cases and the pre prepared cases were easily transferable, and I’m sure I will have plenty opportunities to apply the skills.

For me the highlight was meeting the other scholars. What an amazingly talented group of leaders from NHS and higher education. The openness and shared learning was fantastic and I am looking forward to learning together throughout the year. On the LCOR course we had the opportunity to form free groups, relating to key areas highlighleted by the scholars. I raised the issue of how we as leaders can use our skills to influence policy and political decisions- never one to shy away from the challenge! I was delighted that four other scholars were also keen to explore this with me, and we have formed a group to explore this issue during the scholarship year.

Developing policical awareness is one of the key areas I am keen to develop my own knowledge and skills. The Westminster Experience which is part of the scholarship activity looks to be an ideal opportunity to help me in this area. However, I am also keen to explore local politics, within my own organisation and within the Scottish context. We are very fortunate in Scotland that due our our relative size, being able to create these opportunities seems relatively easy. Of course having the Florence scholarship paves the way for this. I hope to blog more about my learning on this area throughout the year.

At the moment I am developing the leadership project which is part of the scholarship. For this I will be looking at developing clinical academic partnerships between the university I work for and the local NHS. There are many areas that do this very well, and I will be looking at models across the UK and this will be the focus of an overseas study tour, again part of the scholarship activity. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about this early stage of the scholarship. Applications for Florence Scholarships open on 1st March and I would encourage anyone to apply. You can find out more about the various types of scholarship at this link http://www.florence-nightingale-foundation.org.uk/content/page/33/ 

Please feel free to leave a comment, or contact me directly through Twitter @strictlykaren