Category Archives: digifest22

I haz no petrol – Weeknote #135 – 1st October 2021

petrol pump
Image by Hands off my tags! Michael Gaida from Pixabay

Well the end of last week kicked off with a petrol crisis so had to rethink my planning for travelling for next week. Though there was plenty of supply local to me, I was a little wary of travelling north in case there were ongoing shortages there.

What was noticeable was how little (visual) impact this was having on universities and colleges. If this fuel crisis had happened before covid, I would have suspected (as happened with snow) that university campuses would have closed and teaching would have been cancelled. However these days with flexible working in place for many, it was just as easy to work from home and use the tools we have been accustomed to, to teach, have meetings, discuss, collaborate and so on. Lack of fuel rarely came up in conversations I was having over the week, for many it was a worry, but it wasn’t a big issue unless they actually needed to travel.

Like last week, most of the week was spent reading, analysing and writing.

Had a meeting about digital leadership. I spoke about the work I had done in this area over the years I have been at Jisc. As well as working on designing and developing the Digital Leadership Programme with Lawrie, we have also written and spoken about digital leadership at different events and conferences. More recently I have also delivered digital leadership consultancy to various universities. One thing that is often missed is the connection between leadership and strategy.

conference
Image by Florian Pircher from Pixabay

Had a meeting about thought leadership, I actually don’t like the phrase and would not consider myself to be a (so-called) thought leader! However it is a term we use in Jisc and as a result I often have conversations and meetings about thought leadership.

Digging into this a little deeper, in Jisc’s strategy, we do thought leadership, because it is a critical part of our role is to stimulate transformative change in the sector’s use of technology to improve teaching, learning and research.

A critical part of our role is to stimulate transformative change in the sector’s use of technology to improve teaching, learning and research.

It should be noted that many in the sector actually don’t like the term thought leadership.  Universities have said a thought leader is more likely to be perceived as an individual than an organisation. Universities are more likely to look to other universities, peers and colleagues for thought leadership than a member body, company or organisation (like Jisc).

However if you ask universities about the actual content that is produced by Jisc that we would think of as thought leadership, then there is a different story as they find this useful, inspiring and helps them think. Similarly, universities will often ask for specific people within Jisc, who are experts in their field for help and support. Or they will find presentations and articles from individuals inspiring. So though internally in Jisc we may call is thought leadership, the reality is that universities are looking to Jisc for inspiration, and we know that our articles, blog posts, guides are helping universities and colleges to transform. In our recent surveys respondents agreed we provide trusted advice and practical assistance to support their needs.

I have been contributing to the themes for next year’s Digifest conference, not sure how much of what I have said has added.

Leeds Business School Active Learning Studio
Leeds Business School Active Learning Studio

Was part of a panel for the SCONUL webinar on Blended Learning and the Shape and Design of Library Services. I spent my five minutes (rapidly) talking about the transition from in-person to emergency remote delivery, and that much of this was translation rather than transformation. Moving forward with the delivery of library services, we may want to think about as we move to online and digital models, what do we translate and what do we transform?

Still can’t get my head around the fact that the film That Thing You Do! Is twenty five years old now… twenty five years…

My top tweet this week was this one.