Discussing leadership with research group leaders

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting some of those who have taken on leadership roles at our university. Taking part in leadership programmes is important for the participants as well as for KI as a whole. It provides participants with knowledge, experience and tools for a sustainable academic leadership, a leadership where all our employees and students are allowed to explore their full potential, only then can KI reach its full potential. Fundamental in the process to develop Strategy 2018 was the belief that KI has not yet reached its full potential. The leadership programmes are also important in forming a common culture and compass for our activities.  During the courses important networks are formed that can constitute a basis for trust in the future both in times of success and difficulty.

Last Wednesday, I joined the course “Formal Management and Leadership Training” (Formella/operativa chefs- och ledarskapet”). This important program provides participants with the basic knowledge that all leaders at KI should carry in their back-pack. The day before I met with the participants in the KI course “Leadership for Research Group Leaders”. By my side was the acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor Henrik Grönberg; the Dean of Research Anders Gustafsson; the Chair of the Junior Faculty, Emma Andersson and HR consultant Sandra Helminen. We all presented our personal views of leadership at KI and talked about our own experiences, but more importantly the participants had prepared highly relevant and important questions for the panel discussion that followed. A continuous dynamic dialogue and discussion about leadership in general and academic leadership in particular is crucial in our ambition to improve the internal culture at Karolinska Institutet. Both Henrik, Anders and myself have experiences as research group leaders and can easily relate to many of the challenges brought up by the research group leaders at the course. We discussed the importance of good communication, a listening organization, transparency and responsibility.

The course will finish in April. It will be very interesting to come back and discuss with the participants, what they have learnt, what is their view on KI leadership? I also hope and believe that by then we have come quite far on the journey to restore KI confidence among the public and others.




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