Framing the Jisc Digital Leadership Programme

“Understand your own practice, identify where you want or need to develop, build the capability in you and your team.”

This may seem like common sense, but often we don’t take the time to really reflect on what we do and how we do it. This can be especially true when it comes to digital practice, where we often seem to be playing catch-up with technologies and tools, or reacting to what others are doing with them.

The Jisc digital leadership programme will begin by taking the time to look closely at our own practices with digital, and what we might potentially do with digital. This will be the start of the digital leadership programme. Some of you will be aware the of the Visitor and Resident Model for digital engagement. Dave White and Donna Lanclos are adapting the model and developing a new tool specifically for this programme for leaders to understand team capabilities and practices.

Dave White said “We are excited to be working with Jisc to further develop the original model to suit the needs of leaders in education.  The emphasis will be on understanding what leaders do and how their existing practices can be enhanced rather than writing digital recipes for them to follow.”

The use of the VandR model is not about right or wrong answers in digital, it is about understanding what is right for the person reflecting on their practice. Its use in the context of leadership is about finding where leaders want to develop and position themselves, not about being digital experts. It is about ensuring that leaders are aware of what they need to know, and what capabilities they need in their team.

Donna Lanclos, who is developing the team VandR model explained “It is important to remind people that being an ‘expert’ on everything digital is not the point of these workshops. The Team VandR tool will be about understanding the capabilities leaders have across their team and helping them think about how to encourage effective practice and facilitate new approaches so as to achieve their institutional goals.”

This is one of several tools that are being developed to support the digital capabilities codesign project, all of which will be focused on enhancing staff capabilities with digital. The use of the Visitor and Resident model in the context of leadership is about that first stage of self-awareness around your digital practice, then understanding and leading your team in their practice to both complement your work and bridge any gaps that are needed to meet the organisational needs.

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