Mark Damazer will leave the BBC in October to take up the position of Principal of St. Peter’s College. The position has been vacant since the departure of Professor Bernard Silverman at the end of 2009.The position, which has been renamed from Master to Principal, comes with a reported £90,000 salary, house and free meals.Mr Damazer’s arrival follows a recent trend of colleges shunning dons in favour of civil servants, journalists and other figures. St Hilda’s, Corpus Christi and Trinity have all appointed non-academics to helm them in the last four years.The recruitment process began after Professor Silverman’s surprise resignation letter in February 2009 Professor Silverman is now Chief Scientific Adviser to the Home Office.Speaking to Cherwell, Mr Damazer explained how the time seemed right to leave broadcasting. “It was not at all planned until I applied for this job. It got to year 6 [at Radio 4] and I hadn’t looked at anything else. Academic life fascinated me…when I sat down and thought about it, [being Principal] was what I wanted to do.”A JCR delegation first met with head-hunters Russell Reynolds early in Michaelmas term 2009 to outline the qualities they wanted in their new Principal.Late in Hilary term 2010, the JCR President, Vice-President and President-Elect met each of the six shortlisted candidates and provided feedback to a member of the selection committee.JCR President, Daniel Stone, said “I wanted someone who could understand things from the point of view of students, someone who was good at communicating and who could bring the college even closer together… after meeting Mark, I am confident that he has these characteristics and more.”This level of JCR consultation on senior appointments is gaining ground in Oxford.Mark Damazer has been in charge of the BBC’s speech network for nearly six years, and is seen by those close to him as an intellectual tiger with a donnish temperament.Speaking to BBC Oxford, Mr Damazer put it another way. “I have this idea that knowledge and the pursuit of knowledge is an insatiable human need, a lust” he said. “I like the idea of working in the public sector for the public good. Both [the BBC and St Peter’s] are world class institutions.”Mr Damazer has been careful not to second guess his role at St Peter’s. He commented, “Most of the wisdom and answers lie within the existing body of fellows…I’m not a chief executive – I’m the public face to the University and the outside world.”Although it is too early for Mr Damazer to lay out his strategy for St Peter’s, he has expressed a wish “to bring aspects of political, cultural and artistic life that I’ve been exposed to in my career into the college”.The Vice-Master of St Peter’s, Professor Stephen Hasselbo, said in a written statement, “Mark is a multitalented person who has had a very distinguished career within the BBC. All members of College are greatly looking forward to working with him.”Mr Damazer was an undergraduate at Cambridge where he attained a double-starred first in History. He was a Harkness Fellow at Harvard and is married with two children.Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC and a friend of Mr Damazer, is also thought to be considering a move to academia. .
My experience at Strategic Innovation Institute II at Stanford University in September built on last year’s experience of attending Strategic Innovation Institute I at MIT in more ways than one.For example, one of the lessons I took away from the MIT experience was to consider more carefully how decisions as strategic leaders are viewed through a series of lenses, including the “red lens of emotion.” In other words, as we lead change in our organizations, some people will feel uncomfortable or even threatened by what we advocate.At Stanford, we dug into the physiology of human emotions and how the brain’s natural reaction to stimuli (or change) can have dramatically different effects on different people. This information was not only extremely insightful, but seemed like the natural extension of the MIT course work.At Stanford, we discussed the value of engaging our teams in positive exercises like pre-mortems, which involve imagining that a project has succeeded or failed, and then working backward to determine what potentially could lead to the failure. These efforts can help uncover hidden information and emotions and allow leaders to consider all input–both factual and emotional–in our decisions. continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr