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  • Writer's pictureJane Wilson

I know what you're good at but what are you good for?


This week, I joined my fellow Governors of Glasgow Caledonian University for a strategy day on campus with our new Principal Stephen Decent and members of his executive and academic team. It was also the perfect moment to celebrate GCU's ranking as a top 40 university in the Guardian University Guide.


GCU is the University for the Common Good (or the common weal if you are paying attention to our seal), with a focus on widening access to higher education in Glasgow and across Scotland. This is our north star when setting our strategy and provides a question that we can apply to every strategic idea or project. 'How does this deliver common good?'

This simple question guides what we do, how we do it and importantly how we talk about ourselves and build our reputation. I hope our new Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor Ehsan Mesbahi won't mind me quoting his challenge that we build our engagement around not just what we are good at but what we're good for. It's a phrase I've already used with another client.


Working in or with an organisation with a clear purpose or one which is values driven means you look at strategy with a different lens. It doesn't mean you don't focus on profit, reach or excellence but you think differently not just about how you achieve these things but also what you want to be known for.


I'm looking forward to seeing how GCU strategy continues to be shaped over the coming years by our Common Good mission building on our reputation for excellence and making a difference along the way.

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