So, this post is partly reflection and partly a bubbling over of my enthusiasm for the University’s upcoming celebration of thirty years of staff development.

Take a good look at the logo below as I am optimistic you will see it all over campus during November!

Thirty30-178x178

Since June, I have been part of a cross-discipline working group made up of colleagues from Professional Services and academic departments to turn a passing idea of, “wouldn’t it be good to celebrate the 30th anniversary of staff development?” into a reality.

Some of the group I knew, some were new introductions but what struck me most was:

  • The volume of ideas generated (a few too many to convert in the time frame!)
  • The honesty made possible by the individuals involved and the shared vision
  • That people did what they said they would as group members took on tasks that played to their strengths
  • The amount of free online resources there are out there on the internet!

As a result of this experience, I cannot advocate enough the benefit of mixing with colleagues from other areas of the university. This is for lots of reasons, including, ‘many hands make light work’, the real sense of achievement from utilising the skills and knowledge of many folk and the robustness that comes from fresh eyes on a stuck idea.

I know lots of people’s big message at present is the importance of “collaboration” (eyes roll) but for me the above is what it is when you really drill it down. I work within Professional Services, yes but this experience/approach is equally applicable to research.

So that was the reflection, what about the outcome (I pretend to hear you ask)?

Well, on 2nd November, the Thirty30 celebration of staff development launches across the university!

What began with a working group of 8 has now become an actuality of 50+ collaborators joining together in readiness for the celebration!

Will it work? I remain optimistic but I guess we’ll know in December 😉. That said, if you dear reader want to get involved go here to find out more.

As for collaborating outside your discipline, I really think it can make big things happen, so ask yourself, when am I going to make the first move?