Change Academy Day 2

Half way through day two – have essentially spent the first part of the day doing affinity diagramming, extended into flowers & done in an interestingly more creative way.

Now looking at how we can extend this into LJMU. Next activity is to come up with a ‘burning question’ which will be the input to a ‘Liquid Cafe’  (?) event at 4pm.

Other ideas so far: in terms of taking back into LJMU, other institutions have taken the Change Academy model & run it internally – Sheffield Hallam, Sheffield & Hertfordshire are examples. Worth investigating for other projects. Also interesting that our project is much more tangible than some of the others, which tend to be at a much earlier stage/much more speculative/less well-formed – in some cases there is barely a project at all.

Further update – whole focus of the team has turned round to being about the student and the student experience. Now moving to the view that bringing staff forward in the transition probably isn’t as big a problem as we thought – but getting students to engage with this is critical. In terms of WIIFM – this may not be necessary for staff, there may be nothing in it for a particular individual, there may even be a disbenefit, but if they can see what’s in it for the student or the institution they may accept the transition anyway. For students, there has to be WIIFM – they are hardly likely to be persuaded that they should interact with LJMU in a particular way for the good of the University.

And we have our burning question: ‘How can perceptions of transition be managed?’

Final update for the day: ‘Liquid Cafe’ – not too impressed, a means of getting other institutions to consider burning questions posed by others. Can’t really say I felt that I learnt a lot, and did feel like I was doing some free consultancy!

Final session however on Appreciative Inquiry (Helen George/London South Bank University) was excellent and frankly – despite being at the end of a very long day – would happily have pursued it for another hour. Key link is to The Appreciative Inquiry Commons. Lots of things chimed, just a few random quotes here: the way we ask questions influences direction, if we ask about problems, we get problems. Can’t just tell people that everything they already do is wrong and they must change! The organisation isn’t a collection of problems but a source of infinite capacity and imagination. All grounded in positive reinforcement, looking for what is good and building on it. Definitely worth checking out further.

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