peasants staff types,
As I once again take a well-earned break at this very special time of the year I thought I would write to you all personally in the knowledge that you would all appreciate an update from your Gold Commander on how the
Polyversity University has forged ahead during the weeks since Christmas, and especially since my last speech to staff in the University’s flagship and award-winning Clown House near the beginning of Semester 2, which (as I am sure you will agree) was a truly memorable highlight in the institution’s 2021-22 academic calendar.
I am sure you will also all agree with me that it has been another world-beating few months in the story of my VC-ship and my strategic mission for the University. I feel truly privileged to remain as your Vice-Admiral and overall senior managerial executive, and I have many more exciting plans in the pipeline for Kingston’s workforce to help push the University’s entrepreneurial and innovative Forward Operational Model (FOM) even further forward than previously, with lots of new initiatives concerning new forms of knowledge exchange and transfer, and plenty of innovative suggestions to enhance our strategic development and meet the changing needs of industry and outside firms and businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Doing in Action
As you all know, or at least those of you who can be bothered to read my messages or watch all my special video talks, I have placed ‘doing things’ and ‘making things’ at the heart of Kingston’s creative skills mission. The SLT (Senile Leadership Team) and BOG (Board of Governors) have all been briefed regularly and completely agree with me that Kingston has developed a growing reputation as the sector leader in making useful things in an innovative, creative, blended and interesting way. The next Away Day for the BOG, for example, will introduce them to the ancient art of origami, the first step being to make little paper hats for the lunch break during the day. This is the kind of positive ‘can do’ attitude I feel should be rolled out across all parts of the University. It is ‘doing in action’, shaped in a strategic ‘make do’ philosophy of which we can all be justly proud. I was also inspired in this by one of my many business trips to Hong Kong on behalf of the University, where I also picked up other skills in picture-framing, decorative pen-writing and self-directed massage.
As part of my Big Conversation with the workforce and all staff-types, and at my last speech to you all in the Clown House, I invited all of you earlier this year to send me suggestions about any exciting new ideas you may have had about how we can put even more ‘creative skills’ at the heart of my vision and mission for the University. I am very pleased to announce that we had a fantastic response to this. When my PA had filtered out all the abusive messages from staff (probably from members of that so-called staff union YUKU, the moaning minnies), she was able to show me at least one positive suggestion from Dr.—–, a Senior Lecturer (fixed-term) in Business Studies at Kingston Hill. He made the brilliant point that we need to make more of the University’s two main corporate colours, grey and blue. He suggested that greater use of the two colours at every opportunity and throughout the University’s buildings would enhance Kingston’s sense of common creative identity and cross-interdisciplinarity. I completely agreed with this forward-thinking idea, and he will certainly be promoted asap. It is precisely this kind of genius strategic innovation that I have banged on about endlessly for many months now, as the BOGsters and SLT will confirm. Firm colour schemes with clear identities can also be blended in new synergies, leading to greater collaboration across Faculties and new creative insights.
Grey and Blue
I am happy to announce that, after commissioning a lengthy 2-page report from my favourite outside consultants PwC, they have recommended that I adopt a brand new initiative. Based on their findings, I will set up three Workforce Taskforces on this colour-themed idea, which will devote time to identifying all the ways where the University’s two colours can be better utilised in an innovative and blended, er, way to forge a much greater sense of corporate identity and, er, wayness, and instil the necessary business skills and creativity that are so important for the success of my Future Skills vision/mission in the next planning round.
The Workforce Innovation Taskforce 1 (TWIT1) will look at and consider the greater use of the colour grey. The Workforce Taskforce 2 (TWIT2) will look at and consider the use of the colour blue. And the Workforce Taskforce 3 (TWIT3) will explore how the two colours can be combined and blended together in a more creative and innovative way. Each TWIT will be chaired by a member of the SLT and will report directly back to me. A paper advocating action and a phased implementation plan will then be tabled at a future SLT working-party, and a Business Case will then be considered in more detail by the new pro-VC for Innovation, Doing Things and Knowledge Transfer, who will then write a report with a series of Action points for my approval. Capital for this exciting new project will be redirected away from Faculty teaching budgets and made available via an internal competition, with bids invited from any member of staff at Professor level and above who can demonstrate 40+ years of service. It is anticipated that the new approach will be put in place during the summer of 2022 and I will monitor all bids from my beach sunbed while abroad.
Some great ideas have already burst forth from preliminary meetings of all 3 TWITs, such as having nice little new staff I.D. cards in an interesting grey-blue colour scheme, painting all corridors in either grey or blue, and having all University letterheads rendered in either grey or blue shades, or in a pre-tested mix of the two to help convey to all external contacts what a creative, shady and dynamic place the University has become.
As you all know, our academic gowns at all graduation ceremonies already embody our grey-blue colour scheme, but I would like us all to think of even more creative ways that we can make innovative and best use of the two colours throughout the Degree ceremonies and at all such events. One idea from Dean Dave ‘the knife’ Mac, which I am particularly enthusiastic about, is to have all staff ushers at the Degree ceremonies wear smart gloves in either grey or blue, with shoes also in either grey or blue, or one shoe of each colour. To push things to even greater levels of creative innovation, all Degree scrolls, instead of being in standard parchment yellow, could be produced in a variety of grey-blue colours. Instead of red ribbons around the scrolls, they could be in grey or blue, or even a checked pattern of the two shades, perhaps with grey or blue polka dots. This is precisely the kind of make-do creativity I am keen to encourage throughout the University and at all levels of our strategic operation; it can be an invaluable part of the KU ‘story’ that I wish to convey to all potential employers, to our strategic partnerships, to all stakeholders and outside businesses in our drive for innovative knowledge transfer and exchange.
If the right colours are in place, the rest will follow: market-leading and world-beating creativity delivered directly from the very heart of Kingston, in glorious greys and blues, all driven and shaped through the sheer brilliance of my leadership.
Finally, a last piece of exciting news for you: as you all know, at my behest, the
Polyversity University adopted a new mascot in 2021, Polly the grey parrott, whose image will soon appear on all University mastheads, signs, cups and cutlery. As part of our drive for a singular grey-blue corporate image, I have decided to purchase a partner for Polly – a blue parrott. His new blue companion will help keep him company at SLT strategy meetings and at the Degree ceremonies. It has also been agreed by BOG that both parrotts will be taught to sing a new Kingston University song, which will be composed over the coming months by yours truly, with advice from our Music dept (what’s left of it). The words ‘grey’ and ‘blue’ will be part of the lyrics. This song will be premiered in time for the 2022-23 academic year. I am really looking forward to sharing this innovative and brand new initiative with you all.
Enjoy your Easter eggs. I know I will.
Vice-Admiral and Professor Steven ‘Two Jobs’ Spier, top architect and a leading expert on Swiss cheeses.