From education to employment

Effective leadership at heart of any successful project

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) launched its e-capital initiative at a conference earlier this month with the aim to put e-capital on the strategic agenda for principals, senior managers and governors.

Launched in October 2003, the CEL’s key role is to anticipate, influence and respond to government policy initiatives.

David Russell, the Learning and Skills Council’s Director of Resources told the conference that funding for capital projects was driven by a number of policies outlined in the Foster report and in the Government’s White Paper, Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances.

Mr Russell also pointed out that the integrated systems required changes to culture, management, business and working practices and emphasized that “IT infrastructure that is fit for purpose must be fully integrated with the providers” capital proposals”.

While there were many diverse programs being discussed at the conference, Howard Jones, Organisational Development Director at the Eden Project, cited the pilot “Gardens Life” project as an excellent example of transformational improvement.

Mr Jones explained to the conference delegates that whilst organisations could make obvious improvements in connectivity and energy saving, they should also seek out transgenerational and transcultural opportunities.

Also under discussion at the conference were the challenges faced by many project leaders.

Helen Caskie, CEL’s programme director of leadership and elearning commented: “Effective leadership is at the heart of any successful e-capital project. The role of leadership in e-capital projects ““ whether they involve new builds or refurbishments ““ is crucial and our aim today has been to highlight this to the diverse group of leaders attending the conference.”

“E-capital brings with it many leadership and management challenges, including significant organisational and cultural change. The ultimate goal is to provide a better environment for our learners and an enhanced teaching experience for staff”, she added.

Following the publication of the White paper, CEL will be involved in the introduction of a mandatory principal’s qualifications and the development of the quality improvement strategy for further education.

Irene Watt.

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