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Brunel University London engage Hudson to better understand team purpose

Brunel University London Case Study

Brunel University London has been undergoing significant transformation. Based on the fringe of Uxbridge in West London, this top-ranking university has recently consolidated its ten academic schools into three colleges.

To support this new academic structure, a number of separate functions (e.g. media services, library services and the IT) have been brought together under a new umbrella: Information Services. This newly-established team is led by an eight member leadership team and headed by the Chief Information Officer.

Here’s how we helped Brunel’s Information Services team form a better understanding of their functionalities, challenges and opportunities for development:

The challenge:

The freshly-formed Information Services team has been placed in charge of developing and rolling out a new departmental strategy. But up until this point, each member of the team has been preoccupied with the operational side of their respective departments, allowing very little time or space to better understand the functionalities and responsibilities of their colleagues. Brunel contacted Hudson to support the team in putting together a high-level roadmap for the implementation of their plan to create an integrated, effective and highly-productive Information Services department.

 

The solution:

The solution: Pulse Mindset

Forming the leadership team.

PULSE MINDSET™ is a unique psychometric diagnostic that identifies strengths and blind spots for individuals working in business transformation and change contexts. When forming the new leadership team, we employed PULSE MINDSET™ to gain insights into skills, qualifications and experience of each employee, as well as to further support the decision-making process in forming the most effective team for the Information Services department; all incumbent and potentially new team members completed this measure.

Design and delivery of the strategy workshop.

The workshop needed to deliver against a number of criteria, including supporting a shared understanding of how to achieve the Information Services team’s vision and enable the team to better understand each other’s perspective, to form a holistic roadmap for strategy implementation. To keep energy levels high and maximise output, we adopted a hackathon-style approach and based the structure of the workshop around SCORE (Strengths, Challenges, Options, Responses and Effectiveness). The team was divided into groups and asked to highlight the current strengths as they relate to the strategy, and then the challenges in achieving the goal. The outputs were then captured and fed back to the team.

Group Mindset results help teams to be more effective
Group Mindset results help teams to be more effective

The group mindset of the team, based on a statistical analysis of an aggregation of the individual’s psychometric results, was then presented to the group. These results highlighted the group’s strength preferences and their blind spots in regards to working together as a team. Armed with this knowledge and divided into two groups, the team was then charged with understanding what options they should consider to a) leverage their strengths and b) focus more on their blind spots in order to achieve optimal results. The session ended with a focus on responses and effectiveness, identifying the best options and developing solutions to overcome the barriers to success.

Hudson’s Talent Solutions Director and organisational psychologist, Dr Tim Sparkes, says:

“Due to the broad range of functionalities and responsibilities within Brunel’s Information Services directorate, there was a great deal of confusion over how the team could work together effectively and efficiently. By combining the SCORE approach with the insights gathered from our PULSE MINDSET™ tool, we forced the Information Services team to question how they could work better together as a team and discuss potential solutions to their challenges.”

 

The outcome

The result of the workshop was a clear roadmap that detailed the Information Services’ team’s current situation (strengths and challenges) through to what needs to be done in the future to overcome these challenges, as well as insights on how to capitalise strengths focusing on three main areas: culture, leadership and management. In particular, the group realised where synergies could be found and actions could be implemented to form a joined-up service and improve understanding between the different functions at all levels of the department.

Brunel’s Chief Information Officer, Pekka Kahkipuro, has taken the results forward to the University Executive to form part of the education provider’s strategy implementation plan.

Kahkipuro says: “The Information Services leadership team at Brunel University London had the opportunity to get to know each other and to plan for the future in a half-day strategy workshop facilitated by Hudson and based on previously collected mindset profiles.

“This approach proved to be of great value in several ways. Firstly, it gave us an interesting way to look at the overall picture of the team, pointing out both its strengths and weaknesses. This has already helped in a couple of successful recruitment processes to better understand how the candidates would fit into the team. Secondly, the team mindset profile gave us plenty of ideas for building on our strengths and for addressing our weaknesses in a constructive way during the strategy workshop. Finally, the approach provides a platform for us to learn more about each other and to discuss our similarities and differences on an ongoing basis.”

 
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