We share a long term interest in the subject of leadership development in universities and what leads to success – and failure. 

From our early work, inspired by Professor John Adair, one of the founding fathers of leadership development through to our own foundational work establishing the UK’s first Top Management Programme (TMP) for higher education we have continued to be fascinated by the subject. 

Building on these foundations we embarked in 2019 on a fascinating project to capture the collection wisdom of many senior higher education leaders and combine these with our own insights into a comprehensive source of guidance for new senior leaders about the importance of effective leadership transitions. Along the route of this less well trodden path we also provide further insights for those who appoint and assess senior leaders for new roles.

We now wish to share and apply these findings. In so doing we intend to optimise the process of taking on new roles and at the same time accelerate the impact of those appointed to senior leadership roles in universities. 

Dr Tom Kennie is a founding director of Ranmore. He is also a Honorary Senior Fellow in the LH Martin Institute at the University of Melbourne. From an early career as an academic (in Jamaica and the UK), a period in the corporate sector latterly as an HR Director and over 20 years experience specialising  in senior level leadership development in the university sector, he now focuses on leadership transitions services for new senior leaders, particularly those appointed as Heads of Universities. 

Professor Robin Middlehurst is an Emeritus Professor at Kingston University and founder of robinmiddlehurst.com. Her early career involved working in social work and primary education before she subsequently moved into the study of leadership in higher education. From an academic career involving the study of higher education she has also held senior roles at Director level in the Quality Assurance Agency and the Leadership Foundation for HE. She now specialises in the fields of governance and leaders in transition.