Last week we had an awayday for our Executive team - me and the Assistant Directors, including our new one, Dave, who starts with us in January. We spent a lot of time getting to know each other, our preference styles for working, and how we might work together as a team, identifying where we had common strengths and weaknesses, and where they might complement each other. We also had a look at some of the feedback we've had on the results of our recent staff satisfaction survey. We'll be drawing up a staff engagement strategy and implementation plan over the next few weeks to address some of the areas we need to improve.
Today I've been at a major incident exercise. I could be called upon to be University Incident Manager or on the Incident Management Team if we had a major incident, and today we had three teams of people playing a variety of roles ( for example Incident Manager, Gold Liaison Officer, Duty Manager, communications officer) managing three different incidents. These were not purely table top exercises, but done in real time, with real time information provided, and real communications and actions being drawn up. Our incident involved an unexploded bomb, a very large exclusion zone, evacuation of buildings, disruption to exams, and the threat of a power shutdown to a major science block. All quite tiring and stressful to deal with, especially as more and more information hits you, which it would do in real life. Essential that we keep testing and refine our plans, and our ability to use them, even though we hope we don't have to use them!
I was also sent this link to a list of HE technical blogs by the Guardian Higher Education Network on twitter, and although I'm quite chuffed to be included, it's worth a look to see some excellent resources there for the community.