Building on the preparatory work done in Academic Year 2018-2019, the FSS REACH Vision was officially launched at FSS Vision Monday on Monday August 19, 2019. The event represented an opportunity to chart the course for the upcoming Academic Year 2019-2020 and beyond and to firmly set the Faculty on a path towards the new Strategic Vision -
Realizing impact through research, Exceeding the expectations of our stakeholders, Actively advocating for inclusive, sustainable development, Committed to be caring professionals, and Harnessing our skills through continuous improvement and empowerment.
A Design Thinking Framework Initiative was implemented as one of our ‘People’ objectives as outlined in the FSS Strategy Map, to encourage innovation and a focus on end users in the planning process. The Associate Dean for Institutional Research and Strategic Planning (IRSP), has begun the process of infusing Design Thinking methodologies and approaches into the FSS strategic planning process, with progress being made towards formalizing a design thinking cycle and policy to ensure that design thinking is institutionalized as a problem-solving methodology. A number of activities led by staff were initiated under this objective, and supervised by the FSS Change Management Strike Team. Design thinking led to the reconceptualization of Faculty Day into several key lead-up activities that took place during August 2019 to engage the FSS prior to Vision Monday. These included the development of a Communication Plan and Change Management Plan to support the implementation of the REACH vision as well as the hosting of a FSS REACH Experience and Friday Lyme (see Figure 1 for highlights).
The FSS REACH Experience was held on Friday August 16, 2019 in Seminar Room (SR) 4 and all members of staff were invited to learn more about the FSS Strategic Vision by being presented with information in the form of posters, handouts, photos and journey maps. In addition to games and opportunities to win prizes, the highlight for staff was an informative, interactive and challenging tour. The Faculty was delighted to host the UWI Mona Campus Principal Professor Dale Webber at its FSS REACH Experience Tour, which showcased the development process and plans under the REACH Vision.
The FSS Friday Lyme was also held on Friday August 16, 2019 in the Social Sciences Lecture Theatre (SSLT) Gardens under the theme “
FSS Reaching Together”. Activities included the recognition of new retirees through the presentation of citations and tokens of appreciation, the recognition of new staff, department teaching awards, best website competition, best outfit competition, karaoke, and a “kidz zone” entertainment. This event promoted further understanding of the FSS Strategic Vision and majority of FSS staff who completed the Faculty Day evaluation reported that they were willing to embrace the FSS REACH Vision. More importantly, the design thinking methodology resulted in a highly engaging and staff-led initiative, thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.
Progress on the Faculty’s strategic vision was furthered through Practicum Opportunities given to MSc students from the Human Resource Development Programme - Asheba Morgan, who assisted in the development of the Change Ambassador Core group and Chante Simpson, who assisted in the development of a skills bank inventory.
The FSS REACH strategic initiatives that were implemented for the academic year 2019-2020 where in alignment with The UWI
Triple A Strategy and demonstrated that this vision forms part of the Faculty’s core values. The FSS strived towards achieving its strategic goals through agile methods that included change management, strategic planning, project management, leadership and succession planning, performance management, design thinking, collaboration, programme evaluation, database management, research methods and restructuring of the Faculty Office. The faculty also placed central focus on staff and student engagement. Plans were also put in place identify initiative owners, develop a repository and strategic planning dashboard, as well as align faculty initiatives with Triple A and campus initiatives.
Following the development of a FSS REACH logo and tagline “
Together. Exceeding Expectations” (see Figure 2 for logo and tagline), major staff-led projects were introduced as empowerment initiatives to enhance staff involvement. These included: Design Thinking – with the purpose to prepare a design-thinking-based proposal to re-imagine either Faculty student orientation or Faculty student awards ceremonies Communications – with the purpose to establish and pilot a communications system, including rules/regulations, procedures and responsibilities that meets the need for staff to be informed quickly and easily about important FSS activities External Stakeholder Engagement – with the purpose to support the Associate Dean for Partnerships and Resource Mobilization to develop a sustainable plan for promoting FSS research results to our stakeholders Student REACH – with the purpose of identifying and appointing 30 student REACH ambassadors by June 2020 Team Building – with the purpose of identifying Change Ambassadors to lead team building activities Talent Inventory – with the purpose to develop a system to institutionalize the usage of the inventory when HODs and other key decision makers are making decisions Leadership – with the purpose to integrate general leadership, future leadership and succession planning Performance – with the purpose to begin work through performance standards for core processes such as managing student queries and the graduation process Figure 1: REACHing Together Highlights Figure 2: REACH Logo and Tagline