24 August 2014

CAUL Leadership Institute

Recently I was in Canberra for two days at the CAUL Leadership Institute.
Attendees were from Australian and New Zealand universities and we were treated to the counsel of some University Librarians (Directors) and experts in the higher education arena. I found all of the sessions very accessible – even on Friday afternoon (Day 2) it was still easy to stay focussed.
We had a mix of presentations, conversational question and answer panel sessions and activities. Nothing as confronting as Aurora – which I was fortunate enough to be at in 2004 – but engaging and quite fun. Who would have imagined having 2 minutes to pitch quite outrageous business plans to fictitious Vice Chancellors?

Ian Young, VC from Australian National University set the scene for us with his outlook for the higher education sector, Maree Conway got us practising some foresight skills, Sue McKerracher Executive Director of ALIA was the one who took us down the outrageous business pitch track, Belinda Robinson Chief Executive of Universities Australia shared her insights into communication strategies using the successful #scrapthecap campaign as a case study.

Topics ranged over strategic thinking and how that is different to strategic planning, communicating, presenting yourself and your message, lifestyles of the rich and famous, er… work-life balance, and more.
Thank you to the very generous and frank sharing from those involved in organising and presenting, and a big thank you to fellow attendees for some stimulating conversations and networking.

I certainly felt revved up at the end, and my brain was buzzing as I waited for my flight at the airport on the Friday evening. Strategic communications from our managers' group is one of the things I have already put on the agenda for our next meeting, and my LinkedIn network has grown as a direct result of the connections made at this event.

Lake Burley Griffin at sunrise on a cold morning.

I managed to get up early both days to take a walk in the cold Canberra air. This first shot was taken on Thursday morning at sunrise at Lake Burley Griffin. It was -2°C. The next day was quite balmy at 1°C and I walked up to Parliament House.