Charting our course through strategy and vision

I am so pleased to initiate my very first blog, “Chatting with Chumbler”, as I begin my third month as Dean of the UNT College of Health and Public Service (HPS). HPS is embarking on a journey together that will shape our future. The college was recently renamed and this gives us a great opportunity for branding. But, in order to have a strong brand, you need to have an effective strategic plan.

I am a strong proponent of strategic planning and believe it is vital as we move forward in the next era of HPS. Our strategic plan will be all inclusive and will consist of a collective vision of our faculty, students and staff, as well as external stakeholders, developed through meaningful conversations about our shared aspirations.

For a strategic plan to be effective, one has to carefully consider the culture of an organization. Culture is shaped through both individual and organizational values, and values need to be well defined to maintain an organization’s identity, integrity and inclusiveness. The values of HPS will be the impetus for the strategic foundation of determining goals and strategies with reference to increasing knowledge, learning and service of HPS for the next five years. And, the values are a key component that drives the culture of the organization.

The culture of an organization also is a reflection of the leadership’s awareness. In order for there to be cohesion at the organization, there needs to be consistency in individual leadership. A key way to build and instill this structure is through developing and maintaining trust – we need to get to know others and spend quality time together.

As a leader, I value teamwork, empowerment and accountability, along with continuous renewal. I am more about transformation and not change – transformation is more longstanding and profound. Together we will transform the culture of HPS and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of higher education, in general, and our students, in particular.

We are fortunate to be guided on our journey by Dr. Daniel J. Pesut, Professor of the Nursing Population Health and Systems Cooperative Unit and Director of the Katharine Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership at the University of Minnesota, who will use his proven strategic planning expertise to explore our culture and help us shape – and achieve – our vision.

He has taken the time to dig into HPS’ culture and hosted a retreat with our Chairs and professional staff on September 7th to plot our next steps for developing an effective strategic plan. Dr. Pesut helped us determine three areas that are of greatest importance to our leadership team – collaborative working, transparency and trust.

I was impressed by the enthusiasm and interactivity of the team and appreciated the productive dialogue. We will bring Dr. Pesut back in Late November for two days for all-inclusive event to work with the rest of HPS’ faculty and staff to determine a vision that touches, moves and inspires us. I look forward to developing our strategic plan and transforming our college together.