This Resources section presents a selection of papers and presentations written by Public Purpose as well as some interesting resources from other people and organisations.
This paper explores the role of universities as institutions. It was given to the senior leadership conference at Curtin University, as one of three external contributions at the invitation of then Vice Chancellor Professor Debbie Terry.
The speech was all about the way institutions tell themselves, and others, stories about their purpose and mission.
So how does this “bonfire of the institutions” impact universities?University stories Curtin SPEECH August 2016FINAL
These are the slides I used to contribute a session on disruption as part of the 2016 senior management conference with Vice Chancellor Barney Glover and members of the senior management conference at Western Sydney University.
The backdrop took four big themes as the frame – the age of distrust, the end of power, the transition from scaleable efficiency to scaleable learning in the face of the “big shift”, and the inescapable conclusion that, in a world grown too big to know, “the smartest person in the room is the room.”
The slides will give you a sense of the other places I went to prompt a discussion about what, in the face of these trends and forces for change, universities should be doing and what they should become.
Some of the references in the slides:
HireUp – reinventing disability support services; where eHarmony meet PayPal
The Ledger – a thought experiment from the Institute for the Future about what might happen when education meets blockchain
Theory of the Business – Peter Drucker’s 1994 HBR article which is still one of the best expositions I’ve read about the fundamental task of any organisation or institution – to match its capabilities to its mission to its environment.
Attachments: WSU senior management conference July 2016 (002)
This is one of the best treatments I’ve read recently about the deep and unsettling transitions going on in the way we think about, and prepare for, organisational and institutional leadership. It’s direct, honest and very readable.
“The core leadership challenge is how to lead a company and government departments through the speed and nature of fundamental change that threatens the very conformity which has allowed the current leadership cohort to qualify for the top.” … “What needs to be investigated most urgently is what it is about modern leadership and current management culture and practice that makes it so hard to think the unthinkable or the ‘unpalatable”Thinking-the-Unthinkable-cima-report CLEAN
Seven statements about social innovation (without using the words “social”, “innovation” or “social innovation”)Six social innovation statementsv1.0MSWMay2016
This is Peter Drucker’s 1994 HBR article about the “theory of the business” that has become a persistent theme in so many of the work that Pubic Purpose does in many different organisational settings. Drucker’s insights about the need for organisations, systems and institutions to clarify and align their assumptions about mission, context and capabilities are even more apt in a very different and rapidly changing world. Simple advice, hard to do well.
This is the report from the Oxford Martin Commission on the long term future, chaired by Pascal Lamy and including people like former President of Chile Michele Bachalet, Nandan Nilekani, former CEO of Infosys and Nobel economics laureate Amartya Sen