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Impact culture: motivating change in the metricised academy

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Slides from the Fast Track Impact course. Find out more at: https://www.fasttrackimpact.com/impact-culture-online

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Impact culture: motivating change in the metricised academy

  1. 1. Motivating change in the metricized academy
  2. 2. Introduce yourself via chat: • Name • Research or job role • What inspires you most about what you do in work Introductions Comment in chat
  3. 3. Have you got: • Agenda • The Research Impact Handbook (PDF) • E-handout • Red and blue pens (or any 2 colours) and paper • Can I record the session? Everything ready?
  4. 4. 5 WAYS to Fast Track your Research Impact What is our impact culture?
  5. 5. REF-driven impact cultures happen by default. Healthy impact cultures happen on purpose. Question:Impact culture
  6. 6. Question:Impact culture YOUR IMPACT CULTURE NEEDS YOU Culture change isn't about getting new people and structures; it is about changing how we think and behave. People make culture and culture changes one person at a time.
  7. 7. Question: Publics and stakeholders Institution Group Me Discipline External drivers Impact culture
  8. 8. Impact culture Identity and values (priorities) External drivers and assumptions
  9. 9. Impact  Impact = benefit (ask “who benefits?”)  The good that researchers do in the world Impact
  10. 10. Capacity building Understanding and awareness Policy Attitudinal Other forms of decision-making and behaviour change impacts Health and wellbeing Economic Cultural Other social Environmental
  11. 11.  What inspires you about being a researcher? Curiosity Engaging for future impact Seeing impacts happen Creativity Challenge External validation Pure non-applied Applied research Engaged research Engaged research Applied research Pure non-applied Impact
  12. 12. Engage with impact if you want to, for the right reasons Impact Right reasons = Your reasons
  13. 13. ImpactUnsung Impacts  Limited reach  Unmeasurable  Impacts for the “wrong” people at the “wrong” time or place  Impacts from ineligible or contested research  Confidential impacts
  14. 14. Who has a stake in my research? 1. Stakeholder/publics analysis template 2. Impact planning template Tools to plan impact Impact
  15. 15. See my blog for advance stakeholder analysis methods: https://www.fasttrackimpact.com/blog Who has a stake in my research?Stakeholder analysis Impact
  16. 16. Who has a stake in my research? 1. Who is interested (or not)? 2. Who has influence (to facilitate or block impact)? 3. Who is impacted (positively or negatively)? Why? Stakeholder analysis: 3i’s Impact
  17. 17. Editable template to follow after training or visit www.fasttrackimpact.com/resources
  18. 18. See a worked example on my vlog: https://www.fasttrackimpact.com/vlog Who has a stake in my research?Impact planning Impact
  19. 19. Editable template to follow after training or visit www.fasttrackimpact.com/resources
  20. 20. Editable template to follow after training or visit www.fasttrackimpact.com/resources
  21. 21.  An action you are writing for yourself  A reflection you want to remember  A question Question:Comments and questions Comment in chat
  22. 22. Identify bright-spots and issues with your research culture:  Identify an institutional scale to work at  Discuss the diagnostic questions for the three elements in turn  List actions (where possible focusing on things within your control) Question:Break out room exercise
  23. 23. Researc h  Healthy impact cultures prioritise research rigour and ethics  Responsible research and innovation (RRI) that is inclusive, open and responsive
  24. 24. Researc h  How rigorous is my research?  How inclusive is my research (how early and widely to I engage with likely users)?  How responsive is my research (do I envision future impacts, reflect on risks and assumptions and adapt to changing contexts and needs)?  How open and transparent is my research (accessible, understandable and open data)? Diagnostic questions
  25. 25. Identity and values (priorities)  What priorities emerge at the intersection between your identity and values?  What are the priorities of [your group] and what shared identities and values do they express?  If impact is not a priority, what aspects of your (individual or group) identity or values (e.g. curiosity or creativity) might inspire you to start engaging more?
  26. 26. Identity and values (priorities)  What are my professional and other identities (e.g. researcher and teacher, father and cyclist)?  What values or character traits do I enact in these identities (e.g. curiosity and altruism, empathy and competitiveness)?  What does the way I spend my time tell me about my priorities (things I make time for or feel frustrated about not having time for)?  Can engaging with impact express part of my identity or values?  How can I make time for the things that are most important to me? Diagnostic questions Personal
  27. 27. Identity and values (priorities)  How would I describe the most common identities and values in [my group]?  What does my group ask me to prioritise and what does that say about its identity and values?  Why do people in [my group] typically engage with or avoid impact?  How (and what contexts) do people in [my group] talk about impact  How often do we talk about impact?  Do we mainly use “impact” or do we have a richer vocabulary? Diagnostic questions Group
  28. 28.  We generate research and impact in overlapping communities Community  We have varying degrees of social capital (e.g. trust, networks, reciprocity) in each community  Healthy impact cultures rely on social capital in the academy and beyond  Do you invest as much in social capital with non- academic partners as you do in your group or discipline?
  29. 29. Community  Characterise the working relationship between academics and professional services staff working on impact?  Do you trust that institutional leadership on impact has the interests of you and those you want to serve at heart?  To what extent do you trust this of your funders, Government and others who expect or reward impact?  Do interdisciplinary teams treat those generating impact with equal respect or are they seen as an add-on? Diagnostic questions Academic
  30. 30.  How much time do you spend outside project meetings and between projects with non- academic partners?  Do you return emails, calls and messages on social media from those beyond the academy who engage with your work?  Do you make unrealistic promises to non-academic project partners and how do you deal with non-delivery?  Do you tell people you meet at workshops and events that you’ll get in touch, but bin their business cards weeks later? Diagnostic questions Community Non- academic
  31. 31. Identify bright-spots and issues with your research culture:  Identify an institutional scale to work at  Discuss the diagnostic questions for the three elements in turn  List actions (where possible focusing on things within your control) Question:Break out room exercise Break out
  32. 32. Share with the wider group:  Key bright spots others could learn from  Actions you’ve identified that might address issues in your culture Question:Chat and open mic Comment in chat Open mic
  33. 33.  What actions did you identify?  Things within my control  Conversations I need to have with others Question:Actions list
  34. 34. 5 WAYS to Fast Track your Research Impact Building impact culture from the bottom up Part 1: Me and my group
  35. 35. Publics and stakeholders Institution Group Me Discipline Bottom up: me and my group External drivers
  36. 36. Cultures happen between people. Your impact culture starts with you. But how do you manage competing research and impact demands? Question:Impact culture YOUR IMPACT CULTURE NEEDS YOU
  37. 37. Question:Managing competing goals Goals are connected in hierarchies – activate high-level goals to enable connected goals:  Values (e.g. curiosity versus empathy)  Identities (e.g. expert versus broker)  Priorities (e.g. research versus impact)  Tasks (e.g. paper versus policy brief) Unsworth et al. (2014) Multiple goals. Journal of Organizational Behavior 35: 1064-1078
  38. 38. Question:Managing competing goals  Align: find tasks that integrate multiple priorities, identities and values e.g. prioritizing a workshop to solve a policy problem that I can write up as a paper  Rank: decide which values and identities are most important to choose whether you prioritise research or impact tasks, and stop feeling guilty about the trade-off
  39. 39. Question:Managing competing goals  Your priorities emerge at the intersection between your values and identity, and dictate the tasks you prioritise  To prioritise tasks that will generate impact, you need to understand why impact might be a priority for you
  40. 40. Priorities forest:  Understand how your values and identity shape your priorities, including your motivation for impact  Understand how your institutional culture promotes or inhibits your ability to achieve impact Question:Individual exercise Individual task
  41. 41.  List your professional and other identities (combining/merging as necessary) Question:Priorities forest (part 1 of 6)
  42. 42.  Draw as trees, writing identities along the trunk Question:Priorities forest (part 2 of 6)  Make the size of each tree proportional to the importance of that identity to you
  43. 43. Question:Priorities forest (part 3 of 6)  Identify at least one identity (tree) that benefits others (draw some fruit on it so you can revisit this later)
  44. 44.  Identify values that feed each identity, writing them along roots to the relevant tree(s) Question:Priorities forest (part 4 of 6)  Start with your answer to the ice-breaker question (what inspires you), or identify character traits, principles or beliefs
  45. 45.  Looking at the largest identity trees (professional or other), ask if their growth is being promoted or inhibited by your current organisational culture?  Colour those whose growth is being promoted blue and those whose growth is being inhibited red (or a bit of both) Question:Priorities forest (part 5 of 6)  Some identities may not be affected by your work culture (leave blank)
  46. 46.  Is the growth of your root values being promoted or inhibited by your current organisational culture? Question:Priorities forest (part 5 of 6)  Colour roots that are being promoted blue and those that are being inhibited red (or a bit of both)
  47. 47. Where should change start?  Identify actions that could promote the growth of values (roots) or parts of your identity (trees) that are being inhibited (coloured red) Note: some will be actions for your home life, and others will be personal or institutional actions for your work life  Identify actions that would (further) promote the growth of your impact tree(s)  Add to your Actions List Question:Priorities forest (part 6 of 6)
  48. 48.  What actions did you identify?  Things within my control  Conversations I need to have with others Question:Actions list
  49. 49. 5 WAYS to Fast Track your Research Impact Building impact culture from the bottom up Part 2: Institution and beyond
  50. 50. Publics and stakeholders Institution Group Me Discipline Bottom up: institution and beyond External drivers
  51. 51. Who do I interact with to generate impact? 1. Within my institution 2. Within my disciplinary networks 3. Non-academic partners, stakeholders, publics? Question:My impact community: Task 1  Hard to reach groups?  If you have a REF impact case study, highlight beneficiaries  If you’re not engaging much yet, add people, groups or organisations you would like to interact with Individual task
  52. 52.  What could you do to strengthen your social capital with those you have identified?  Who is doing what to benefit groups outside your REF impact?  What more could you do?  Revisit community questions you didn’t answer on p1-2 handout Question:My impact community: Task 2
  53. 53.  What could you do to strengthen your social capital with those you have identified?  Who is doing what to benefit groups outside your REF impact?  What more could you do?  Revisit community questions you didn’t answer on p1-2 handout Question: Comment in chat Open mic My impact community: Task 2
  54. 54. 5 WAYS to Fast Track your Research Impact Building impact culture from the bottom up Part 3: Participatory change
  55. 55. Publics and stakeholders Institution Group Me Discipline Where does change come from? External drivers
  56. 56. Where does change come from? External drivers
  57. 57. Top-down change External drivers Workload allocation models Annual Appraisals Promotion criteria Impact sabbaticals Impact funding e.g. HEIF & IAA Extrinsic incentives
  58. 58. Top-down change External drivers Implicit conflicts of interest Attributable impacts outcompete evidence synthesis Eroding trust Impacts driven by self-interest (e.g. REF) not public interest Discontinued relationships Extrinsic incentives
  59. 59. Top-down change External drivers Only 26% of those involved in change processes perceive them to have worked (6% when you ask front line staff only) Best case scenario is that it doesn’t affect you Sense of having change “done to us” rather than being part of something Prioritises efficiency over enabling our best work Extrinsic incentives McKinsey (2017) The people power of transform- ations
  60. 60. Top-down change External drivers Words researchers use to describe research culture Wellcome Trust (2020) What researchers think about the culture they work in
  61. 61. Top-down change External drivers researchers think that creativity is stifled due to research being driven by an impact agenda 75% Wellcome Trust (2020) What researchers think about the culture they work in
  62. 62. Top-down change External drivers researchers have negative attitudes towards REF157% 1 Weinstein et al. (2019) Real-time REF review 2 Wellcome Trust (2020) What researchers think about the culture they work in feel pressured to meet REF and funding targets254%
  63. 63. Top-down change External drivers Top-down change driven by external drivers, handed down via extrinsic incentives has created the status quo. More and better incentives is not the answer
  64. 64. Participatory change Group Me Intrinsic motivations  What if a change management process asked:  What is preventing you doing the best work of your career?  What would need to change to facilitate your best work?  What if you could already make some of these changes?
  65. 65. Lessons from evolutionary organisations  Start small, experiment and evaluate  Survival of the fittest (ideas): stop or adapt what doesn’t work; build on and replicate what does  Participatory change works because  It starts small and builds on evidence of what works  Because you start small and low-risk, you can start now, without permission (within reason)  It challenges assumptions about what we can and can’t do and fosters innovations in the way we work
  66. 66. Socio-technical systems  New ideas for the people by the people  Safe spaces/niches  Experiment, learn and adapt  Windows of opportunity  Mainstream new ideas
  67. 67. Participatory change “Managing the present to create a new direction of travel is more important than creating false expectations about how things could be in the future.” Dave Snowden, Cognitive Edge  This is not a monolithic research culture led from the top, but an evolutionary process with multiple cultures, each aligned with different group values, emerging together at different speeds  One thing in common: people making things better around themselves, pursuing priorities that align with their identity and values
  68. 68. Question:Chat and open mic Comment in chat Open mic
  69. 69. Design your own experiment Individually or in your break- out room, discuss:  How can you make the actions safe to try?  What resources/help will you need?  What you will try first, with who and when?  How will you know if it was beneficial or not? Break out
  70. 70. Privately (to Mark) or to everyone:  Write a message to your future self with at least one action you want to commit to  Write a message to someone you’d like to have a conversation with about wider change Provide your email and you’ll receive them back in around a month to remind you to do your actions and have your conversation Question:Message to your future self
  71. 71. Get a reply from Mark to any query within 1 week: send via Madie (pa@fasttrackimpact.com) www.fasttrackimpact.com @fasttrackimpact
  72. 72. Evaluating ImpactFeedback www.fasttrackimpact.com/feedback-form
  73. 73. Read and discussFree follow-up training www.fasttrackimpact.com/for-researchers

Slides from the Fast Track Impact course. Find out more at: https://www.fasttrackimpact.com/impact-culture-online

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