Jan Shine: Making the most of resources

Jan Shine FAUA | People Development Consultant, Paullus People Development (jan@paullus.co.uk)

This is just one of a regular series from Jan, aimed at delivering short, easily digestible and thought provoking professional development tips, ideas and skills. These bite-size articles will encompass all levels and areas of HE professional services activity, offering top tips, developing key skills and suggesting things to consider.

In the current climate of ‘doing more with less’, the key to success in our roles is making the best use of available resources to deliver outputs and outcomes. To use resources efficiently and effectively we need to ensure we recognise the breadth and diversity of resources available to us, and continuously review how we are utilising resources.

The following points may be useful prompts for you to review your current approach.

Think broadly about what constitutes a ‘resource’
Think of ‘assets’, for example. Are you making the most of skills, knowledge and experience – both your own and those of others? Are systems and management information being used to optimum effect?

Look for opportunities to share resources
Don’t stumble across these by accident – actively seek, identify and seize them. Be alert, creative and open-minded. Approach others or connect with people where you can see an opportunity
for cross-team/department collaboration.

Be discerning
Regularly review how you are spending your valuable time. Do three of you from the same team need to be in the same meeting? Do you need to duplicate a task being done in another area of the institution? How are you expending your energy, for example are you focusing on things you can influence or control or wasting energy focusing on things outside of your control?

Be generous with your expertise
Offer your expertise where you know it can make a difference and foster a reciprocal knowledge and expertise exchange in your working relationships and networks.

Be resourceful
Draw on your internal resources to achieve results, for example motivation, enthusiasm, energy, resilience, creativity. Be curious – look outside your immediate area, across the institution, the
sector and other professional bodies you may be affiliated with.

Be self-aware
Recognise your limitations – you cannot be an expert in everything. Draw on others’ talents in those areas, and use resources such as mentors, articles, books, podcasts, online personal development toolkits to supplement your knowledge.

Optimize strengths
Ensure that your strengths are being put to optimum effect, not just in your role but in a wider sense within the institution/sector. If you are team leader, ensure you are fully embracing and
utilizing the strengths of your colleagues.

Invest your time to save time
Do not fall into the trap of believing that you do not have time to find resources. Be knowledgeable about where to look and what is out there. There is an abundance of resources within our own
organisations; the intranet is the key to finding them.

Make the most of your AUA membership
You obviously read Newslink so that’s a good start! Have you fully explored other member resources such as Perspectives, Good Practice Guides, regional groups and special interest groups?

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