Shaping the Future of Management Development in the Academic Sector

How do you consistently develop management behaviours in a truly diverse environment where professional services and academic staff work alongside each other navigating very different challenges?

Here’s what happened when the University of Exeter, a globally ranked Russell Group university, joined forces with us to pilot the STAR® programme..

The Programme Objectives:

  • To develop leaders and managers from both Academic and Professional Services communities
  • To improve coaching and communication skills
  • To put in place a coaching strategy to better use coaching skills between academics and students
  • To support the Positive Working Environment (PWE) Strategy
  • To explore innovative non-traditional approaches to management development
  • To remove the need and costs associated with putting staff in classrooms
  • To provide development opportunities at a cost effective rate


At the close of the limited pilot period, all of those surveyed reported:
– that they got value from the programme
– that they are more effective managers as a result
– that they have more effective communication skills

• 33% improvement recorded across 9 management competencies

• 75% increase in time spent coaching
• 100% of learners who attended an optional STAR® Live Learning Station went on to complete all 10 STAR® Coach module

At the end of the pilot period, learners also reported ‘significant’ improvements in:

  • Helping team members to solve problems for themselves;
  • Improved personal productivity; and
  • Confidence in giving more appreciative feedback

In addition:

  • Academics adapted lectures and used a coaching approach with students
  • Listening skills improved, colleagues felt more engaged and supported, and 1-to-1s were handled more confidently

Learner Feedback...

Shaping the Future

“I believe that technological and digital transformation is central to the future of L&D. This was an ambitious pilot that attracted a great response there were clear benefits as expressed in the testimonials the learners they gave. The STAR® programme proved to be a refreshingly different and flexible way to learn and, building on what we have learned and on the recommendations from the pilot, we shall be making use of the product in future development programmes.”
Dr Clive Betts, Head of People Development, University of Exeter

If you'd like to know more we'd love to speak to you.