Just completed an eight month project helping the School of Technology at Cambridge University to improve the level and the effectiveness of collaboration between their researchers across the Departments and between their researchers and industry.  During the work I spoke with more than 70 people across the Department of Engineering, the Computer Laboratory, the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, the Judge Business School and the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.  A fascinating project due to the sheer diversity and competence of the people involved.  I looked at the impact of their research strategies, their performance measures, the different cultures across the different Departments, the differences in the ways they work and the industrial partners with whom they collaborate.  I also worked up or helped with a variety of new collaboration initiatives across areas as diverse as infrastructure and business models, healthcare sensors, air transport systems, risk and resilience, and industrial research consortia business models.  Many of these activities are continuing to bear fruit as the researchers take them forward.  Based on the discussions and the experiences gained through the practical initiatives I made several recommendations for ways of further developing collaboration performance – the next challenge is to put some of these into practice.

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Yesterday finished a two-day session with the Executive Team of a professional institution – I’ve been working with them for a few years now and it’s been fascinating to see the team come together over that time.

On the first morning we reviewed the global business.  We then re-visited and refined their value proposition, this time with a new segmentation of their stakeholders.  With this clear, we then brainstormed ~150 ideas which we filtered down and grouped to develop four new themes for their corporate strategy that address the stakeholder insights and that augment their current strategy.  Finally, we prioritised their options to arrive at a strategy that is both ambitious and realistic given their resources and the economic environment.  Finally the team agreed their communication strategy for the organisation and for its Council.

They covered ground very quickly and effectively, working well as a team (both in process and content).  A pleasure to be part of.