Sunday, July 13, 2008

Professionalism, Practice and development

On Friday I paid a theoretically confidential visit to the location of a potential development project with two of my team. I say theoretically confidential as we had to sign in at the venue (unexpected) and our presence was followed by a veritable buzz. When we had concluded the scoping exercise we retired to a local gallery and coffee shop to mull over the outcome.

My role has to be taking the 'corporate stance' and thus bringing to the fore all the issues which would be raised by the rest of the Senior Management Team and eventually the Corporation Board - and yet in taking this professional stance I was in danger of destablising the desire of my colleagues to take their programme development further and further into the industry and embracing the community within this development (an activity underpinned by the HE Strategy). With this is mind I needed to turn from a line manager to a coach and mentor, working the issues through with the team in order that they could understand my support for the concept and yet appreciate the need for an approach that dealt effecively with the varied constraints and obstacles (political and actual). I don't see a tension between the roles and yet the tone of the conversation needed to be different.

One of my team had worked with me on a similar but much smaller development poject, experiencing the joys of formal proposals and myriad iterations of legalese and had moved forward in his ability to appreciate the need for a raised awareness of politics (small p) and positioning of the argument; we were therefore, the three of us, at three different stages of relative expertise....

I doubt that this would make sense to the casual reader and indeed it isnt meant to ... being a reflective journal ... but it does make some sense to me. I can't give more details due to the sensitive nature of the activity and yet the elements that made this significant stand free of the activity itself.


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