By Cindy Vallance, Head of Organisational Development, University of Kent
I write this as I sit on a train, returning to Canterbury following my first meeting with the ODHE group. The two day meeting took place in Bristol and brought together a group of about 30 OD practitioners across a range of HE institutions. Sessions were held across a wide array of topics that included digital literacy, business skills development and academic mentoring – to name just a few!
Why have I joined the group? I have held the role of Head of OD at the University of Kent for about 2 1/2 years and have focused my efforts during that time on getting to know and and work with colleagues across my own University to achieve our own organisational objectives.
However, as a relative newcomer to the UK from Canada at just over four years, I am very interested in increasing the breadth and depth of my professional networks and in deepening my understanding of the OD context within the UK HE sector. I am also a strong believer in the principle of reciprocity and I am interested in identifying ways to share my own ideas and experiences with others in the spirit of collaborative and continuous learning (eg. see blog entry: aspirations are not enough).
My belief, based on my experience attending just one meeting, is that there are great opportunities with this group to do all of this through the complementary mix of practical tips, theoretical concepts, and professional relationship development based on shared interests and values that were all encompassed within a single meeting.
I look forward to future meetings and while I already know that I must regretfully miss the next session in February due to a previously scheduled commitment, I am confident that this group will provide great value over the year ahead and look forward to contributing to the group as an active member.