• Hour glass icon39 minutes : 2 minutes reading | 37 minutes video

Strategic academic leadership: embracing adaptation and innovation

Session details

Date: 29 February 2024

A session on developing holistic leadership led by researcher developer Alys Kay


  • Alys Kay, senior researcher developer (leadership), University of Liverpool

Session overview

In this session participants explored the power of collaborative convening skills, uncovering new approaches to decision-making that optimize outcomes and increase the diversity of voices. From innovative team structures to shared leadership, participants were brought on a journey of discovery of pragmatic tools and personalised plans for transforming their leadership style without compromising efficacy. Fostering collaboration and resilience in academic settings at the forefront of this evolution. Participants were encouraged to reflect on their leadership narrative and how they could elevate their leadership game with newfound confidence in navigating change, inspiring innovation, and leveraging convening skills, while positioning themselves as dynamic and influential academic team-builders and leaders in today's evolving landscape.

Topics covered

  • Holistic leadership
  • Importance of adaptability, innovation and convening skills in leadership
  • Real life examples
  • Elevating ones leadership narrative

Shared learnings

  • Using and acquiring a holistic leadership perspective, seamlessly blending adaptability, innovation, and convening skills, can enhance your effectiveness in academic leadership
  • Journaling or other reflective practices can help process challenging situations and emotions where your or others' leadership are put to test
  • Using effective feedback loops can help dismantle traditional leadership structure and enables each member of the team to feel heard and relevant.
  • Shared leadership can revolutionise a project and its outcome, for the best.

Further readings

Ahnert R, Griffin E, Ridge M, Tolfo G. Collaborative Historical Research in the Age of Big Data: Lessons from an Interdisciplinary Project. Cambridge University Press. 2023.

Julia Cameron. The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Souvenir Press Ltd. 1994.

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