A tricky thing

One thing that I find surprisingly difficult is the topic of internal communication. How do we ensure that every staff member (regardless of whether academic or administrative staff) gets to know what’s cooking at the faculty? In the TS management group, we have had several discussions about this over last year. I have also had such discussions with the communications department, as well as, with various staff members working in or for TS. I have gained a lot of insights, but still; I have a difficult time finding a crisp general strategy.

At the same time, I am of the opinion that both decisions, as well as, communication should be handled at the closest level as to where the staff is. This also corresponds to my more general aim to further empower the departments. TS has a long tradition of being managed as one big department instead of two autonomous departments like in the case of, for instance, our sister faculty (KS), where the department level is really strong. One could of course debate wether this is a good role model for TS or not, but a conclusion that I have drawn so far is that internal communication should be taken care of at the level where it makes the most use for the people that need it, and to me; this is clearly the departments. Thus, TS departments should be generally more empowered, and specifically when it comes to internal communication. This, we already see several good examples of. We have the weekly newsletters by the section heads at DVMT and we have the Yammer group for all staff at MTM.

To complete this picture, it is also fair to say that we have a number of live meetings that could also be mentioned on this topic. There are, for instance, the APTs, all the (formal) board meetings, and we also have the TS administrative meetings, where all the persons occupying managerial positions at TS meet with all the key persons in the administrative departments working for TS to update each other with all the hot issues that we find in our daily work. At these meetings, I also try to convey an outlook from the Dean’s point of view. Much like I will henceforth do in this blog.

Speaking of which, I will at least every week try to update this blog with some personal and rather informal reflections from my point of view. My ambition is to share information and to share my interpretation of the direction in which things are moving – both at the TS level, the university level and in the world around us. I will of course do my best to do this in English, and in the future, I will also try to explore different approaches. For instance, right now, I discuss with our TS communications officer (Daniel Harju) how posts in text (such as this one) can be completed with short updates in a film-based manner. More info on this latter thought to come…

Finally, when speaking of internal communication, I would like to share one last thought. Every Monday at 10 AM, we have the TS decision meetings. On these occasions, all documents that require a signature by the Dean are handled. Typically, such documents can be employment contracts, admittance to PhD studies, research applications, distribution of funds, etc. On this URL, all the agendas and decisions can be tracked. In other words, that particular web page is a useful way to keep oneself updated about initiatives that are taken and stuff that’s going on. (N.B., we are working on a translation, but this is a typical case of the exercise of public authority and thus at least needs to be in Swedish.)

Anyways: that’s all for now. Thanks for a really good week. Have a good weekend!

Andreas

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