Regional Development - Luke Van der LaanPresentation Transcript
Regional Universities & Regional Development:Leadership transcending the HE ‘Flatlands’ Dr. Luke van der Laan University of Southern Queensland
‘Post-normal times for Regional HE’ Leadership imperative in HE to transcend dominant short-term paradigms and open up creative emergence in regional universities that will impact regional development. $1.5 billion direct economic contribution (times 3 indirect and induced) (Rolfe etal, 2008) Post-normal times need post-normal capabilities in HE Imperative of futures management for a future-orientated environment Used Florax1992, cited in GieseckeJa & Madden JR, 2006 model for economic impact studies of university expenditure
Sustainability Ability of systems and organizations to continue indefinitely while consistently exercising provident care (Senge et al, 2006) Common counter-intuitive responses to the future Reductionist thinking to make sense of complexity? Short-termism to manage complexity? “you will realise that you cannot reduce your risk by simply letting the long term take care of itself … for in complex systems, even doing nothing could have escalating consequences” (Stacey 1992)
Flatlands – Higher Educational Futures ‘Flatlands’ Reductionist frameworks for thinking about the future in HE confounded by regulatory inconsistency and the changing nature of knowledge $’s Implication: Insufficiently understood and problematised change. Technology-LED paradigms remaining dominant. Consequence: Constrained sustainable development: limited foresight / strategic thinking / strategy.
Flatlands: Higher Education Futures Possible examples of constrained strategic thinking: ‘Technology led’ as opposed to technology enabled ‘Universal Connectedness’ not really connected ‘Past Success’ breeding failure ‘The’ future of education as opposed to innovative alternatives ‘Dominant Approaches’ to education as espoused by contextually maligned LOUD opinion Continued reliance on government funding as primary source of revenue in a context where this WILL reduce ‘Generation Theory’ based research being dominant driver ‘Language / Cultural’ dominance The market is limited! 165 million HE learners by 2020?
Why the research? “There is an ‘agony’ in HE leaders to be strategic” (Recent comment from HE Senior Leader) More than 80% of senior executives in Australia acknowledge strategic thinking to be their greatest challenge (Bonn, 2008) (and evidence of the same in other parts of the world) Regional economies / Regional development is closely linked to ‘substantial contribution’ by regional universities (Rolfe et al. 2008) Leadership imperative to develop foresight and strategic thinking capabilities in regional universities in order to enhance strategy and sustainable development
Leadership Umbrella (van der Laan, 2011) LEADERSHIP ‘The Leadership Umbrella’ (van der Laan, 2011) Sustainability Organisational Social Environmental STRATEGY Engagement Internal / External Service / CSR System integration Management Governance Accountability Cont. Improvement Innovation Relevant /Differentiating Technology/ People/Process
‘Triple-V Leadership’ Imperative (van der Laan, 2011) Need for broader preferred viable futures for regional universities due to ‘post-normal’ times in the sector (eg. de-regulation / privatisation / competition / internationalisation / cyber-age,…) … To make strategic thinking more visible and strategy more valuable. ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY ENABLED BY LEADERS
NEED Leaders that can activate the process develop the university’s capability to have; Future Orientated Thinking (to contextualise) Foresight capabilities (to visualise) Strategic Thinking capability (to strategise) IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE; Valuable Strategic Capabilities in regional universities – by developing a critical mass of these capabilities amongst strategy-level leaders in the university
Why this research?
Validate the findings of previous research using mixed methods and advanced statistical analysis modelling in the HE context.
Identify the foresight / strategic thinking / strategy mode profile for regional universities in Queensland.
Provide evidence to influence.
Provide recommendations and suggest interventions to address any gaps.
Foresight / Strategic Thinking Previous research: Investigation of relationship between individual foresight, strategic thinking and strategy. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) 101 CEOs (34%), 110 Senior Managers (37%) of large enterprises.
Implications of Previous Research Rational / transactive strategic modes are likely to suppress the generative / creative strategic thinking of its leadership. Those elements of strategic thinking that are creative, innovative, time-orientated, ambiguous and yielding greater levels of emergent strategy are suppressed (-.25 correlation in SEM model) Consequences: Innovation / creative emergence is less likely. Available human capabilities are limited. Organisational strategy remains static and directive.
Leadership Model for Innovation in HE Significant empirical evidence suggests importance of foresight and strategic thinking in facilitating sound strategy (generative / creative / innovative / emergent) Plus: need to transcend ‘flatlands’ of prevailing paradigms. Requires a leadership model that enables sound strategy in mapping sustainable HE futures.
(van der Laan, L, 2010)
Triple-V Model (van der Laan, 2010)
What are we measuring? Quantitative:
Orientation to thinking perspectives in time
Disposition to dealing with future (long and short term) issues
Strategic thinking assessment
Strategy formulation mode
(Note all instruments have previously been assessed as having high validity and reliability) Qualitative:
Causal Layered Analysis of futures thinking
Strategic Thinking dimensions
Strategy formulation and perceived value
Quantitative: Early Foresight Style Profile
Quantitative: Strategic Thinking Profile
Quantitative: Strategy Modes
Primarily rational (traditional mode) of strategy
More socialised in dominant coalition
Communication, governance and mainstreaming not tested
Qualitative Foresight / Strategic Thinking:
Concepts well understood
Clearly developed foresight / strategic thinking
High capacity and action orientated
Futures / Vision
Clearly formulated future
Technology enabling rather than technology leading
Based on untested assumptions / dominant models
‘Feared’ and other possible ‘Innovative’ futures and underlying causal assumptions not developed (no mitigation strategies)
Excellent in a traditional mode
Clearly formulated and aligned
Conclusions: initial observations
Leadership is generally sound
Regulatory environment is confounding and not optimally enabling
Strategy is generally very dynamic albeit in traditional frameworks
Emergent creativity as an input to strategy is limited
Imperative: Serious political will related to HE role in Regional Development resulting in aligned / enabling environments