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Western's culture:
What's changed since 2000? What's next?

At the April 1 Leaders' Forum Dr. Tim Porter-O'Grady presented 10 recommendations focused on how Western can enhance its ability to provide the best student experience among Canada's research-intensive universities. You are encouraged to select one or two of the recommendations to discuss with colleagues and staff to help define next steps your unit can take to contribute to this goal.

Porter-O'Grady's 10 Recommendations for Western:

  1. P/VP must support and model that shared leadership practices are the University's "way of doing business".
  2. Faculty and staff must pursue University goals in partnership.
  3. Accountability must be a performance expectation linked to achieving Western's mission and vision.
  4. Leadership development programs must be demonstrated through behaviour and practice.
  5. Best practices that demonstrate success should be shared, promoted and celebrated - innovation shouldn't be hidden.
  6. Involve first-line managers in leadership development. 90% of discussions and decisions take place at this level.
  7. Union and employee association leadership must continue to engage members and other University leadership in issues of mutual concern.
  8. Leadership must incorporate changing student characteristics into role behaviours of staff.
  9. Work to ensure leadership development results in changed practices and improved outcomes.
  10. The University must focus on four to five clear goals that can be incorporated into the work of every area on campus.

To read Porter-O'Grady's complete power point presentation. (Launch presentation as Flash or download as Power Point)

Western's Internal Culture: Changes since 2000

When he returned this year, five years after his initial consultation with employee groups and units, Porter-O'Grady found the same group in agreement that Western has made improvements in culture and leadership. He said, "Generally there seems to be a greater level of openness of individuals and groups willing to share their perspectives. It is apparent that one of the keys to this change has come through leadership development and the efforts of many people to create a culture of engagement."

In his concluding remarks he provided four points to keep in mind while we concentrate on addressing the recommended priorities for leader and organizational development:

  • In general people want to connect to the overall goal of the University
  • We need to find the intersection points between faculty and staff to work towards a common purpose
  • Provide communication that matters to the results people need to achieve
  • Help people understand what the overall key message, "best student experience among Canada's research-intensive universities," means to their job

Next Steps:

Western's Organizational and Leadership Development Team will use the insights provided, along with written comments from each of the tables at the Leaders' Forum, to identify further ways to support you in your academic and administrative leadership roles.



Leader's Digest is produced following each Leaders' Forum to provide an
overview of key discussion points.
This page was last updated on August 29, 2007
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