We can make our job the cat's whiskers

July 17, 2008

Once again Times Higher Education is engaging in the challenges and complexities of leading and managing as a middle manager - the profession of herding cats ("The in-betweeners", 10 July).

I am a middle manager of 14 years having conducted research into the challenge of managing change in English universities in that role. Middle managers are caught in the middle, not just between senior managers and staff and students, but also between those who say business methods are the only way and those who suggest they are the antithesis of the sector.

My experience and thesis indicate that we should move the debate on to how best to utilise the creativity and innovative nature of the cat world and develop a profession of cat herder that uses the best that other sectors can offer without stifling the curiosity of its members. It is incumbent on us all to provide the opportunity to develop this unique profession.

Chris Sarchet, University of Bedfordshire.

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