The environment in which HEIs operate is becoming increasingly competitive and considerations such as sustainability, market positioning and globalisation of HE are becoming increasingly important. In this environment, it is crucial for Universities to improve their performance in line with their strategic objectives.
The Underpinning Excellence project will help HEIs in their endeavour to improve the performance of departments and in turn their institutions by providing a practical tool, rooted in a demonstrable evidence-base which will enable managers and executives to identify the key behaviours that are missing or under-developed within departments. The key underpinning principle is that good leadership, management and governance is essential for success. These behaviours create the culture and context in which the departments operate and by enhancing LGM behaviours, performance will improve.
The project is timely not only because a large number of Universities are involved in monitoring performance through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) but also because many HEIs are now focussed on organisational development (OD) interventions to improve leadership and management, as revealed by another LGM funded project on enhancing OD capability within English Universities (LGMF-081). This project showed that 51 out of 60 HEIs surveyed were involved in OD initiatives designed to improve leadership and management.
Clearly there is a demand within HEIs for improving performance by creating better leadership and management. This project will enable HEIs to more effectively determine exactly which behaviours, traits and cultures are required for high performance and will enable them to identify where they need to focus their efforts to improve.