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Be an Entrepreneurial Leader!

Why entrepreneurial leadership?

The development of entrepreneurial leaders in higher education, with mindsets and behaviours such as creative thinking, the willingness and ability to innovate, lead change and take calculated risks, in order to lead skilfully at this time of unprecedented change, has never been more important. Embedding entrepreneurial leadership at all levels can enable your university to deal with challenges, seize opportunities, develop a competitive edge and achieve success.

The NCEE Entrepreneurial Leadership programmes support high quality leadership development and enable the formation of powerful multidisciplinary networks of academic and professional service leaders from across the higher education sector.

What is entrepreneurial leadership?

Entrepreneurial leadership is an approach to leadership that embraces the need for passion, vision, focus and the ability to inspire others, along with the mindset and abilities to develop new ideas, explore new opportunities, face challenges and crises and influence others to foster innovation and change. Entrepreneurial leaders are able to solve problems creatively and use resources effectively and are, therefore, more likely to be better able to deal with challenges and crises thrown up in the current turbulent higher education environment. Being an entrepreneurial leader requires you to think creatively, seek new opportunities proactively and to be agile, brave and courageous enough to make swift decisions about risks in order to secure benefits and success.

Entrepreneurial leaders achieve success through leading change and innovation skilfully.

What entrepreneurial leadership courses does NCEE offer?

The NCEE offers two key courses aimed at staff working in the HE sector. Now in its tenth year, Entrepreneurial Leaders is the established and highly regarded flagship programme designed for senior university leaders and has many eminent alumni in very senior roles across the HE sector in the UK and overseas. The programme explores the concepts and theories of entrepreneurial leadership and enables you to hear from a range of university leaders about what it means to lead an entrepreneurial university in a constantly changing, and often turbulent, external environment. It promotes entrepreneurial and creative thinking and behaviours that can be beneficially disseminated to other staff and embedded in your university. Over a series of three residential modules, the programme provides you with the opportunity to interact with influential policy makers, successful Vice Chancellors, thought leaders and other experts in the field of higher education. This interaction, as well as the networking opportunities and discussion with other senior colleagues, provides valuable insights and learning on how to lead proactively and positively and to plan and implement change.

How will you benefit and what will you gain from participating in Entrepreneurial Leaders?

• high quality senior leadership development, which enables the development of increased personal confidence along with an entrepreneurial mindset and agile behaviours to enhance your chances of success.

• the ability to think differently, initiate change and innovation for the benefit of your team and the wider university.

• in-depth understanding of the current challenges facing the HE sector and an opportunity to learn about how other universities and their leaders are dealing with change and uncertainty.

• opportunities to interact and network with a range of experienced university leaders and benefit from shared learning and experiences.

• Career development opportunities through becoming part of a network of influential alumni in senior leadership roles across the university sector.

Entrepreneurial Heads is a more recent addition to the portfolio and introduces Heads of Schools (or academic departments) and Services, via a series of three linked interactive study days to the concepts of entrepreneurial leadership and change management and how to implement these concepts in practice. Entrepreneurial Heads is designed to enable you as a Head to respond positively and innovatively to the challenges, brought about by uncertainty and the rapidly evolving HE landscape. Heads of Schools (or departments) play critical roles in higher education. They have to respond and interpret the demands of the complex and changing external environment and their university leaders, whilst balancing these with the needs of their Schools, their staff and the wider university. Heads of Professional Services are being asked increasingly to consider and interpret needs beyond their own services, and implement changes internally in response to the increasingly complex and challenging external environment. Sharing perspectives and working together is likely to bring both personal and institutional benefits.

How will you benefit and what will you gain from Entrepreneurial Heads?

• an increased understanding of the concepts and theories of entrepreneurial leadership and change management.

• new knowledge, entrepreneurial skills and tools to implement change in your Schools, Department and Services.

• opportunities to network with like-minded individuals who are facing similar challenges.

• a clearer understanding of the changes and challenges impacting on the sector and how you can apply an entrepreneurial mindset and behaviours to confront them.

• opportunities for leadership development and career progression with the option of progressing to the NCEE Entrepreneurial Leaders Programme.

Entrepreneurial Heads is offered twice yearly as an open course but there is also the opportunity to work with universities to develop bespoke in-house leadership programmes for this group of staff.

For more information please contact me, Prof Lesley Dobree at or

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