Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Sharpen the Saw

We'll be having an Investors in People assessment in August for part of the department, so spent some time yesterday morning talking to the assessors about work we've been doing on a vision and our objectives for the year, as well as our management development plans.

Then it was my own SRDS interview with my line manager - a chance to sit down and reflect on progress throughout the year, and look forward to the next one. It's also the chance to look at what support I might need and training and development needs. The main thing I need is time - time to network more and to get on with all of the things I do outside of the University including UCISA work, which if you're not careful, tend to get pushed to the end of the priority list. I'm a big of a fan of Steven Covey and his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One of the habits is "Sharpen the Saw". He describes this by using the analogy of a woodcutter who is cutting wood. Gradually as the saw blunts he becomes less and less productive. The solution is to stop cutting for a while and sharpen the saw, but he doesn't because he's too busy cutting wood. Some people misunderstand this habit, and think it refers to getting away, maybe having a rest, but that's just putting the saw down - it will still be blunt. It has to be an activity - I do it by meeting someone from outside the department and talking through a few issues with them, or trying to think of a good speaker for a UCISA conference, or reading a good book, or writing this blog!


Brennig said...

Just popping in to say goodbye. I leave NERC on Friday for a contract in the private sector in London.

It's been interesting comparing and contrasting.

Chris Sexton said...

Hi Brennig. Best of luck in the new job - it's been great having your comments. Feel free to pop by anytime and let us know how you're getting on.
Cheers, Chris