Take me to your leaders

March 24, 2006

Ewart Wooldridge, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, has visited nearly 100 universities and colleges over the past couple of years.

"Every institution has been seeking to manage change in some form or other," he said. "Change is a complex process, involving leadership skills at all levels of the organisation and, quite often, significant cultural shifts."

This year, as chair of the judges in The Times Higher award for the most outstanding contribution to leadership development, Mr Wooldridge will be in a position to reward universities that have made serious — and effective — investment in the sort of leadership development necessary in a fast-moving world.

The award is open not only to all higher education institutions, but also to all departments and faculties within them— in fact, any level of management or leadership. "We are not just looking at initiatives to develop today’s leaders, but also at initiatives to develop tomorrow’s leaders," Mr Wooldridge said.

The judges will consider quality of the leadership development programme — the development process itself, the nature the investment, how the learning has taken place — as well as links to achievement.

"We will want to know whether the programme has the capacity to make a real difference to quality of leadership in a university," Mr Wooldridge said.

Whether initiatives are fostering future leaders from a range of backgrounds will also a priority for the judges. "Diversity is one of the key underpinning principles of the Leadership Foundation," he said.

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