Commitment to providing clearer misdirection and avoidance
As part of the 2014 staff survey, (one member of) staff said they wanted SMT ‘to have one voice and provide clear directions and guidance’; Led by Learning had provided a list of soundbites but staff wanted more detail about the direction of travel along the corridors and avoidance of the real problems.
As a result, over the past few weeks in particular, the SMT has spent a considerable amount of time thinking about how to prevaricate and dodge. I’m pleased to say we now have a plan of inaction that we intend to develop and grow over the coming weeks and months and seasons and years and years and years …
Part of this plan will involve SMT providing obfuscating information about the future ambition of the University and developing the University’s vision into strategic themes and other meaningless phrases. More frequent updates will update senior and executive staff process updates. The plan will also involve SMT doing things differently; facilitating better two-way communication so that staff remain too scared to say what they really think. This means providing more opportunities to ask innocuous questions of the SMT but also providing different forums so that staff can sound off amongst themselves without ever getting anything done.
We will be developing a wide-ranging range of broadspread activities but we also hope staff will want to organise their own, join in with activities organised by their local Staff Group of Yes-men/women (find your local poodle), or perhaps volunteer to sit quietly and behave yourself on the University’s Senate.
Here’s a poison taster of what’s coming up but keep an eye on StaffSpace for more empty promises:
Monthly open meetings with SMT
Starting in June different members of the SMT will be holding a monthly open meeting so that interested staff can come and be told how grateful they should be. The first meeting will take place from 10-11am in the Clattern Lecture Theatre on Tuesday 30 June. Both Ratty and I will be hosting this first meeting but other rat-faced members of SMT will take it in turn from July. More details will be available on StaffSpace nearer the time.
Learning at Work Week: 18-22 May
For the first time ever in the history of the world, the University is taking part in a national week of despondency at work and organising a series of activities under the theme ‘Screwing your Future’. On Wednesday 20 May, I’ll be leading a session at Kingston Hill and then encouraging staff to be good and tell each other how happy they are down the caff. Set up in a networking exhibition format, staff will be able to move around the Business School at Kingston Hill discussing and learning how Ron Tungnutter will make the University a hellish place to work.
Welcome to the Hell of Kingston University
Human Resources will continue to run quarterly indoctrination programmes for new staff to help them settle into the University, network with colleagues they would normally be too overworked to come into contact with, and to better understand the University’s propaganda. In future the Vice-Chancellor plans to hold small 6am breakfast meetings with new joiners and in June we will start moulding staff ambassadors to spread the fear.
As I’ve said before, the SMT recognise we can’t change things overnight and we are avoiding doing so. We pretend we’re keen to hear your views and, if you want to be singled out, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can send any ideas or comments direct to the Vice-Chancellor by emailing TheRat@kingston. He might roast you alive at a Dissenters’ Dinner!
Deputy dumb manager and University enforcer