StaffFest 2014 Leadership Conference

This year our first keynote speaker was Mike Boxall of PA Consulting (and author of “Oligarchs, Innovators and Zombies” amongst others).

Mike started by looking at Levitt’s definition of marketing myopia, proposing that universities don’t know what business they are in, and that the biggest threat is that they might be an irrelevance in a changed world.


After introducing a “new normal” for higher education, Mike took a look at a number of the prophets of doom, including Clay Christensen (who I’ll be referencing in my Faculty L&T talks next week) and Sir Michael Barber of “An Avalanche is Coming” infamy, Mike proposed 4 different groups of universities: the oligarchs, the not-yetis, the zombies and the innovators, where each group was classified on the relationship between their balance of strengths and weaknesses and their strategic focus.


Mike then explored 4 possible HE futures: university rules; co-opetition; learning lives, and wiki learning, all as shown in the photos below.



Finally we were presented with the question of where did we want to play?


On Monday, PA Consulting will publish their annual survey of the opinions of UK Vice Chancellors. Mie made a few references to this at the beginning of his talk, and I’ll be providing my own take on the report once it’s available.