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University of Westminster

Empowering people

University of Westminster
Client University of Westminster
Region UK
Sector Public Sector, Health and Not For Profit
Offering Organisation Design
Talent development

The Challenge

Facing challenging student recruitment targets, the University has ambitious goals to its non-student fee income. The Director of Commercial Development had envisioned an ‘Innovation Ecosystem’ to enable the swift identification of potential commercial opportunities and then to provide them with the necessary support to get them growing sustainably and generating income. To achieve this, effective links were needed between the Commercial Department and faculties.  Further, staff across the University needed to be ‘bought in’ to the Innovation Ecosystem. Building on other work for the University, the Director of Commercial Development asked for our support to energise people and therefore enable the Innovation Ecosystem.

Our Approach

  • In a series of structured interviews with Deans, we scoped faculties’ appetite and plans working in an Innovation Ecosystem. We identified and agreed high priority faculties to receive further co-ordinated support and follow up from the Commercial Department.
  • To foster understanding of, and buy-in to the Innovation Ecosystem, we held an interactive workshop of senior stakeholders, using a company called Scriberia who create highly engaging graphical representations of complex challenges. This created an agreed, visual representation of the innovation ecosystem that was shared across the University.
  • Co-hosted an ‘OpenSpace’ workshop to encourage ‘grass roots’ engagement of staff in the Commercial Department and the University to collaborate on income generating work.
  • Used follow-up workshops, and one to one coaching and mentoring of staff to drive the identification of and support for income generating activities.
  • Used various communications channels, including the Intranet and Yammer groups to raise awareness of the innovation ecosystem and drive people’s engagement.

Key Outcomes

  • An agreed view of what the University of Westminster’s Innovation Ecosystem should be and how it can be used to increase income from non-traditional sources
  • Strong alignment with senior faculty staff around future plans to drive income and the future relationship between them and the Commercial Department
  • An increasingly empowered, confident and proactive team, leading initiatives to improve the overall effectiveness of commercial work, in order to deliver this important area of the University’s strategy

What our clients say about us

Working with Q5 gives me the confidence that the project is being moved forward pro-actively and to time and budget.

Katrina Payne, Director of Commercial Development and Business Support
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