Festival of Leadership Speaker Profile: “When it comes to leadership, self-knowledge is vital” – Riverford boss Guy Watson

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In the run up to the Festival of Leadership this month, we will be sharing profiles from the speakers taking part in the event. First up Guy Watson, boss of Riverford.

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Guy Watson

Self-made millionaire entrepreneur Guy Watson has described himself as a ‘veg nerd’ whose desire to provide affordable organic produce for everyone – not just the elite – led him to set up vegbox company Riverford. Based in Cornwall, he still surfs (“I feel better when I come out of the water than when I go in”) and writes a regular blog on the world of fruit and vegetables. Before giving a talk at the Festival of Leadership, Guy whets our appetite with some of his thoughts on leadership.    

“I was at least 40 before I realised nobody was like me. I am almost addicted to risk but it took me that long to understand that most people are fundamentally risk-averse. It was not until I reached this age that I also realised how diverse we all are and a big lesson for me as a leader was understanding other people’s responses to situations.

As I approached 50, I learned that people perform best when they feel good about themselves. I therefore believe that as a leader we need to highlight this in others. This knowledge led me to change my management style: now when someone has done something well, I make a point of acknowledging it, often in front of their colleagues.

There are many different leadership styles and you can lead people in good and bad ways, but I think to be a powerful but responsible leader, self-knowledge is incredibly important. You need to deeply understand what your motivations are and if you don’t, there is a risk your management style could become dictatorial. More tangibly, knowing what you are good and bad at and having people around you who will question you is crucial. My family have certainly kept a watchful and critical eye on me and although this can be close to the bone, such feedback is very useful. One of the first to provide feedback was my book keeper who said she thought something I was doing was wrong. I was annoyed at first, but in the end I realised the value of her comments.

My approach with business is to start with something I want to do, especially if it excites me and can generate genuine value. Then I start gathering evidence to support the view I have already taken. As a leader, knowing when to trust your gut feeling is really important. This comes down to accepting that a lot of our decisions are emotional but that afterwards it is important to question our decisions with a more logical process.

I think I have a lot more self-doubt than other managers. Sometimes when I hear leaders on the radio, I feel like they are bordering on the insane as they seem to have such a strong will to prove themselves.

We are in an uncertain world where technology is everywhere but I am a bit head-in-the-sand. As a result, I don’t keep up with technology like social media as much as I should. It can be exhausting, but we must remember that we are all still human beings underneath.”

Guy Watson will be part of an interactive discussion on ‘responsible leadership’ at the Festival of Leadership on the evening of 17th November in the Mshed.

Donna Whitehead Invites Business Alumni to Join New Bristol Business School Celebrations

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“Here at Bristol Business School, we are proud to have such a vibrant community of alumni underpinning our success and leading our development.

Our alumni are already a big part of the new Bristol Business school and the construction of its new home on Frenchay Campus. So when the building starts buzzing with life in early January 2017, we would love our alumni to join in the celebrations.

Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing ways for you to help us from donating to the new building, mentoring a current student, giving a guest lecture or getting involved with the alumni festivities, reunion activities and networking events wherever you are based.

Firstly, we would love to see photos of your UWE Bristol days, hear your memories and reflections on what your time here meant to you, to share and feature in the alumni archive for the new building.

All entries will go into our prize draw, to win a private trip for two people in UWE Bristol’s hot air balloon!

  • Tweet them to us using #UWEBristolMemories
  • Send them to us by email or post

It’s the growing success of our network of alumni that has made this new world-class hub for students, academics and professionals possible. We hope you will help us celebrate the successes that have led us to become the Business School we are today, and join us on the next step of our journey to drive innovation, research and economic growth.”

Donna Whitehead
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Business and Law

Two Books by Authors from Bristol Leadership and Change Centre Shortlisted for CMI Management Book of the Year Award

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Two books by members of Bristol Leadership and Change Centre at Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, have been shortlisted for the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Management Book of the Year award. Held in association with the British Library and sponsored by Henley Business School, this competition aims to celebrate the best of management books published or distributed in the UK, from the most inspiring to the most useful.

The shortlisted books are Leadership Paradoxes: Rethinking leadership for an uncertain world, edited by Richard Bolden, Morgen Witzel and Nigel Linacre (Routledge, 2016), and Employability: Making the most of your career development, by John Neugebauer and Jane Evans-Brain (Sage, 2016). Both were been submitted to the Management and Leadership Textbook category, and are part of a shortlist of five.

Professor Richard Bolden, Director of Bristol Leadership and Change Centre, says “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award. Whilst traditional texts tend to analyze a range of well-known leadership theories and concepts, this book takes a problem-centered approach to illustrate the lived experience of leadership and how this informs, and is informed by, assumptions and beliefs about the dynamics of power, purpose, and identity in organizations. By exploring the ideas in this book, readers will recognize the limitations of many widely assumed truths about management and leadership and develop a more nuanced appreciation of the nature of influence and change in complex, ambiguous and uncertain environments.”

Dr John Neugebauer, Visiting Research Fellow at Bristol Leadership and Change Centre, said “We wanted a book which will be of real value to graduates. The book will help graduates find the right role and support their work development once they are in work. The book has been written to be support studies in employability and career, as well as being highly practical. In addition to theory, it includes our own HR management experience, and research with over 50 graduates across all disciplines. We have also included advice from employers as diverse as investment banking to international aid, careers advisers and recruitment specialists.”

Category and overall winners will be announced at an awards dinner at the British Library on 6th February 2017.  For further details please visit: http://yearbook.managers.org.uk and follow #ManagementGold on Twitter.

Help the Bristol Business School with a research project on wellbeing and space with a collective walk

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As part of a research project titled Thinking urban spaces differently: Articulating and contesting ‘green’ imageries of Bristol as an enterprising city”, Pam Seanor, Senior Lecturer in Strategy and Enterprise, is looking for participants for a collective walk.

The walk takes place on Saturday 22 October at 12.30pm from Arnos Vale Cemetery. The walk will take around 1hr 30mins and refreshments will be provided at the end of the walk. The walk is part of a series of events taking place as part of Healthy City Week.

The idea of a collective walk is that it enables ideas to flow more freely than they might do if sat behind a desk.

Pam is interested to hear about what Bristol means to you and if you see any perceived benefits between “green” spaces and wellbeing. She is keen to hear from local residents, people who use green spaces for leisure and those that work in Bristol.

This is the third walk that Pam has hosted as part of the project. In Spring 2017, she will be hosting a workshop “Exploring Spaces of “Green” Practices”. The workshop will include a short film of the walks and will collaboratively explore the different narratives identified on the walks. Additionally there will be a report shared on how walking and talking with other can help social change. Anyone who took part in the walk will be invited to attend the workshop but it will also be open to anyone who is simply interested in learning more about the project.

Places are free but most be booked. Email Pam for more information and to register your place: Pam.seanor@uwe.ac.uk

Students from The British College, Nepal graduate with UWE Bristol awarded degrees

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In September Associate Dean in External Engagement Fiona Jordan visited our partner college, The British College (TBC), in Kathmandu, Nepal to take part in their graduation ceremony.

42 students were awarded their UWE BBA (Hons) Business Management degree during the ceremony which was conferred by Fiona.

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The remaining 10 students who graduated this year attended the UWE Bristol ceremony in July.

The accomplishment of these students is particularly impressive given that their studies were affected by the catastrophic earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015 and the on-going problems with infrastructure being experienced there. Staff and students in Nepal expressed their gratitude to colleagues at UWE Bristol for all their support throughout what has been a challenging time.

The ceremony was attended by members of The British College advisory board including Lord Sandwich, The Earl of Sandwich and Paul Cleves MBE, CEO of Foodlines and Founder of Saigon Children’s Charity.

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The British College was established in 2011 and has grown to be a unique educational institution, making international education accessible to Nepali students. There are two UWE Bristol awarded degrees at The British College, BBA (Hons) Business and Management and MSc International Management.

 

 

UWE Bristol helps Airbus address industry skills shortages

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Mark Stewart, HR Director at Airbus

Author: Debbie Bishop, Human Resource Lecturer, Bristol Business School 

On Wednesday evening the Bristol Business School hosted Mark Stewart, GM and HR Director at Airbus for the first lecture in the Bristol Distinguished Address Series (BDAS) of the academic year.

The aim of the talk was to tell us about how Airbus is seeking to address skills shortages in its industry.

Impressive statistics abounded to set the scene, including pointing out that aerospace was number one in Europe for delivering exports. He saw technology as key, but cautioned: “Technology is fantastic, however, unless you have the people and skills to exploit that technology you can’t remain number one.

As a key local employer, Airbus have 4000 of their 55,000 employees based in Filton. Stewart pointed to sector research saying that 20% of companies are not confident in accessing the design and engineering skills they need, something that is important locally as Stewart highlighted that the Filton site houses the crème de la crème.

Airbus have been highly proactive in addressing the skills shortages in their sector through a variety of measures of an impressively collaborative nature including jointly sponsoring 500 MSc bursaries across a variety of disciplines like aerospace engineering, composites and materials, and he felt the sector was reaping the benefits. Coupled with this is joint work with other organisations in the sector to identify where the skills shortages are. For example, Stewart highlighted high value design and propulsion. Having identified the areas of need, universities like UWE Bristol then join the effort to produce specific engineering education and qualifications that meet the employers’ needs.

It was gratifying to see the idea of a colleague mentioned as a key plank of the Airbus approach to addressing skills shortages. Our own Professor Sue Durbin, had the original idea for designing a mentoring scheme for women in the industry and supplied considerable energy to gather support to get the scheme off the ground. Industry partners include Airbus, The Royal Aeronautical Society and the RAF, as well as a team of researchers here at Bristol Business School. Stewart reported that 150 women are registered for the new scheme and they have so far managed to pair 42 of those women with other senior people in the sector to mentor them and help develop and retain their skills. Sue attended the event with me and said: “It is great to see Mark Stewart identifying the Alta mentoring scheme as one of Airbus’s key achievements. Membership numbers are impressive and these will grow substantially when we launch the scheme to the wider industry in the Autumn of 2016.”

Overall Mark Stewart provided a strong case for collaboration when needing to take the long view in acquiring and retaining employees with key skills. Whether the collaboration is across the sector, with government or partnering with universities, he was persuasive in providing evidence that joining together works. And for such an important economic contributor to point to a scheme which had the genesis in our own research group and discuss it as one of their key vehicles in this quest, proves the value and importance of academic research and business/university collaboration.

To listen to Mark Stewart’s address in full click here.

Dr Glenn Parry speaks at Gregg Latham’s Solicitor Event: “The Internet of Us; What does privacy mean in the digital age?”

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Ed Boal, Geoff White, Emily Turner and Glenn Parry at the Gregg Latcham’s Business Network Event

On the September 1st, Dr Glenn Parry, Associate Professor in Strategy & Operations Management at UWE Bristol, spoke at the 2nd Gregg Latchams’ Business Network Event: “The Internet of Us; What does privacy mean in the digital age?”, held at the Watershed.

The event, hosted by Gregg Latchams’ Digital and Media team, explored the meaning of privacy in the digital age.

The event started with award winning television news journalist Geoff White showing attendees how the global technology industry harvests data leaking from personal devices through a live, interactive phone hacking stage performance. Geoff also took guests into the dark web, the hidden network of websites where a parallel black market in personal data is thriving.

Glenn spoke on a panel after the demonstration with Emily Taylor, Emily Taylor Internet Research and Editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy; Ed Boal, Associate Solicitor at Gregg Latchams’; and Geoff White.

Dr Parry spoke about his research focussed on the Digital Economy, where he is the co-investigator on the EPSRC Hub of All things project that aims to give control of personal data back to the individual.

As Dr Parry explained, online privacy is objective – are you being observed? Vulnerability is subjective and relates to your individual risk.

An individual may feel vulnerable even if online privacy is high. At the moment firms you use such as electricity companies, retailers, banks etc. each hold a ‘vertical’ supply piece of data but don’t know your use context. Context exists in the horizontal at a point in time, or location across multiple vertical data sets. Part of the reason Facebook and Google offer you the opportunity to use their passwords to gain access to websites is to get that horizontal data. However, this raises important questions as to privacy and vulnerability.

Dr Parry is working as part of the new EPSRC HAT Living Lab project to ask questions about user vulnerability. He hopes the research will lead to understanding of online privacy, vulnerability and help to create frameworks that can guide business in the future.

The full Q + A with Glenn can be found here.

Social mobility pioneer Clive Lewis OBE appointed to Board of Governors

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Clive Lewis OBE appointed to Board of Governors

 A business psychologist who pioneered a national scheme to increase social mobility and employability among young males from disadvantaged backgrounds has been appointed a member of the Board of Governors at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

Clive Lewis OBE has been appointed as one of the 12 independent members on the Board, which is the university’s principal decision-making body.

He set up the Bridge Builders Mentoring Scheme, connecting pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds with business mentors. It provides mentoring, training, work placement opportunities and inspirational speakers.

Clive was inspired to start the scheme after he chaired a Government-appointed panel established to explore the costs of underachievement for young males from deprived backgrounds. The report produced by the panel, named REACH, identified a cost of £24 billion across education, employment and the criminal justice system.

In 2011, he was appointed OBE for his work on the three-year project as well as his efforts in the field of workplace mediation.

As founder of the Globis Mediation Group, Clive has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of mediation in the UK. A commercially-trained mediator, he specialises in resolving complex one to one, team, organisational and collective disputes.

A former Kingfisher and Dixons executive, Clive is also a non-executive director of an NHS Foundation Trust and the author of thirteen books. He was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant in 2012.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of UWE Bristol, said, “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Clive to the Board. His commitment to boosting social mobility is very much in tune with the strengths and ethos of our University. Clive’s skills, experience and expertise will be highly valued as we progress with the University’s Strategy 2020 and our confident ambitions for the future.”

Clive became a Board member at UWE Bristol on 1 August. He will serve on the Board’s Strategic Planning and Performance Committee and on the Student Governor Forum.

The Board is responsible for setting the educational character and mission of the university, ensuring the efficient use of resources and approving budgets. Made up of a cross section of 19 internal and external members, it meets three times each academic year.

 

Business and Law Clinic launches at UWE Bristol’s £16.5m Enterprise Zone ‘Future Space’

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As part of its new University Enterprise Zone (“UEZ”) activity, the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is launching a pro bono legal service for small businesses in collaboration with Bristol law firm Gregg Latchams Ltd and international legal practice Osborne Clarke LLP. This support will be provided within the new Future Space Centre on Frenchay Campus.

The weekly Business and Law Clinic will provide pro bono legal advice to small businesses in Future Space and across the South West. The key objective of the innovative venture will be to provide SMEs, growing businesses and start-ups with business–legal advice at a critical stage in their development.

A selected group of law students, both undergraduates and postgraduate professional students, will provide the advice on areas such as corporate and commercial, employment, litigation and dispute resolution and tax. Supervised by practising solicitors from Gregg Latchams, Osborne Clarke and UWE Bristol, the students will gain real-world insight and experience, providing them with valuable skillsets and exposure to the world of business. In addition to the Clinic, students will also be providing ‘essentials’ workshops in the professional services of law and accounting.

UWE Bristol’s Future Space, which opened its doors on 15 August 2016, is part of a new University Enterprise Zone, one of four that have been set up nationally and supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Assisting businesses specialising inrobotics, digital and creative technologies, biosciences and other high tech areas, UEZ will bring an estimated economy boost of £85m as well as over 450 new jobs to the region.

Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean who has led this initiative at UWE Bristol said, “This initiative deepens and broadens the University’s engagement with local businesses and the community and will really enhance the experience of our students in the Faculty, ensuring they are business–ready whilst also providing valuable expertise to growing businesses and start-ups at a critical stage in their development. We are delighted to be working with Osborne Clarke and Gregg Latchams.”

Peter Clough, Head of Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office said, “Future Space plays to the strengths of Bristol as a vibrant technology and enterprise hub, offering crucial space and advice for startups and SMEs in the area. We’re looking forward to seeing the innovative companies and working alongside the best and brightest students that UWE Bristol has to offer.”

Ken McEwan, Director and Head of Dispute Resolution at Gregg Latchams Solicitors said, “Gregg Latchams are particularly proud to be associated with this project having a strong presence in the digital, media and technology sector. This exciting venture offers a great opportunity for us to build relationships with companies of the future, demonstrates our commitment to SMEs and fills an important gap to provide support to new enterprise.”

The new Business and Law Clinic is in addition to the renowned pro bono work that already takes place within the law school at UWE Bristol. As well as the services being provided for businesses, students will also from the autumn be offering a new weekly drop-in service under the supervision of practitioner tutors at Citizens Advice Bristol’s offices in Fairfax Street. Advice will cover areas such as benefits, debt, employment and family matters. In June, its work withAvon & Bristol Law Centre won ‘Pro Bono Initiative of the Year’ at the nationalLawyer Awards 2016.

The launch event and first 30 mins clinics are scheduled to take place on Wednesday 12 October from 14:00-17:00 at Future Space. For small businesses wishing to sign up for this event – please register using the link below: UWE Business and Law Clinic – Launch Event and First Clinic

Faculty of Business and Law Fundraising Event at the House of Commons

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On Tuesday 6 September UWE Bristol launched its £2 million public fundraising campaign to help raise funds for the new Faculty building currently under construction.

This £2million fundraising campaign supports the university’s £56million commitment to build a new facility to house the Bristol Business and Law Schools, a much needed hub in the South West of England to drive forward regional growth and boost the local economy. The new building will promote collaboration and bring our students into direct contact with today’s business leaders, great legal minds and successful entrepreneurs.

The launch was held at the iconic Houses of Parliament and was attended by London based alumni. John Penrose MP welcomed the alumni and friends to the event before speeches were given by Donna Whitehead, Executive Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, and Tracy John, Head of Research and Business Development.

Guests were treated to canapes and drinks which they could enjoy on the terrace which overlooked the sunny South Bank.

The event was designed to inspire alumni and friends to engage with the project and the university, as well as providing an opportunity for the alumni and staff to reconnect.

An incredible £1.2 million has already been raised towards the campaign target from previous fundraising activities. Thank you to everyone who has already donated.

All the money raised through this campaign will have a life changing impact on our current and future student population, as well as a huge impact on businesses in the Bristol area.

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If you would like more information on the campaign or to find out how you can make a donation you can take a look at our Business and Law Schools fundraising campaign pages or get in touch with the team on development@uwe.ac.uk.