Influencing Upwards

By | Strategy | No Comments

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to present at the HELOA London Training Day held at Queen Mary University of London yesterday.  I met a group of passionate, inspiring professionals dedicated to improving opportunities for young people in HE, and hosted a workshop on how to influence upwards. Six Steps to Influencing Upwards (click to enlarge) The model that I introduced provoked a lively exchange of experiences and a debate on the emotions that this term can provoke.  We had a useful reminder that “influencing upwards” is not about some underhand way of getting someone to do something they don’t want to do – it is about working collaboratively to achieve mutual benefit: “a conscious approach to working with your manager towards mutually agreed-upon goals that are in the best interests of you, your boss, and your organisation” as defined in the excellent “Managing Up” published by Harvard Business Review. Finding better…

Read More

Some thought provoking books

By | Graduate Recruitment, Strategy | No Comments

I’ve read some excellent books recently and thought it might be fun to share a few that have caused me to think differently about work, life and the early talent market over the last couple of years. Presence by Amy Cuddy. Following her excellent TED Talk which explores how body language influences the way we behave, this book goes into much greater depth about how to achieve “presence” to help you perform at your best.  A great read for anyone interested in imposter syndrome, how to conquer nerves, and how to benefit from a more positive mind set in your day-to-day life. Made To Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. Still my favourite book on the power of marketing messages and how to make sure they resonate with your audience.  The book is based on the concept of SUCCES: build your messages using Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional Stories.  I’ve…

Read More

Real collaboration happens when your challenges overlap

By | Campus Life, Graduate Recruitment, Strategy | No Comments

I’ve had some interesting conversations recently with graduate recruiters and careers services, with both sides wanting to understand how they can engage more effectively with the other. I think the secret to great collaboration – and by this I mean more than just sponsoring a careers service handbook with your logo on the back page, or inviting an employer to come and deliver a workshop to your students – is about looking for overlapping challenges.  When a recruiter and a careers service work together to solve a problem they both face, good things happen.  And I think these overlapping challenges are more common that we might imagine. If you are working in a careers service, your university’s Access Agreement might mean that you need to think creatively about how to reach out to students from underrepresented backgrounds, who might not even know what a careers service does.  You might be…

Read More

How often do you wear the VC’s hat?

By | Campus Life, Strategy | No Comments

I have been working on an interesting project recently, helping a careers service to make sure that they are positioned effectively within the political landscape at their university. This apparently simple objective presents a number of challenges: Understanding the landscape and the key players (internal and external) that influence it; Getting your agenda onto the senior team’s radar; Having a clear strategy and a “sticky” message that describes what you do; Making sure every person in your team understands and buys into the principles that drive your service. Here are a couple of ideas that might help you to tackle these challenges: To understand the wider political landscape, investigate your university’s approach to managing risk. Knowing what is on the risk register will help you focus on what matters to your senior team. Understanding the steps that are in place to manage each risk will show you what is on the agenda…

Read More