My SDF story with Kate Crane

by SDF Comms 0

Where do you work and what is your role?

I work at the University of Birmingham.  I joined in 2008 as a People and Organisational Development (POD)consultant, I was then promoted to deputy head of the department and 2 years ago I got my dream job as Assistant Director of HR and Head of POD.  My role now is to manage a team of 15 people to deliver 4 key areas of work focussing on leadership, management and organisational development.  The key areas are: – leadership development programmes, the coaching academy, training and development suite of courses and organisational development consultancy to the 5 collages and professional services departments.

When did you join the SDF?

Its so long ago I cant remember, I think it was early 2009, only a few months after I joined the University. I was asked to be the Birmingham rep and I willingly joined up.

Why did you want to join the SDF?

Originally because I was asked to by my boss, but it was the best thing I did.  Before joining the University, I had been working for the police and before that the private sector, so I knew nothing of HE.  I learnt so much from amazing colleagues who had so much to share, were willing to collaborate and it created a space for CPD.

What’s the best thing about the SDF?

The people, the support, the network of likeminded people with the same passion for staff development and organisational growth.

What are you working on at the moment?

At Birmingham we are developing a new academic career framework and I am working on the 5-year development plan for new academics to progress through to associate professor on a number of career pathways.  I am also part of our Equality Change Programme, implementing and monitoring actions from Athena, REC and gender pay gap.

What does a typical day look like?

Zoom, zoom, teams, zoom, teams, zoom, zoom, teatime, bed!!

The content of the zoom and teams varies every day, management meetings, coaching, 360 feedback, online delivery of our senior leadership programme, project group meetings on a variety of subjects, checking in with the team and drinking lots of coffee.

The person who has influenced you the most is

My mum, she was a teacher all her life, full of energy and passion for learning and helping others and I wanted to be just like her.

Work life balance – what leisure activity you enjoy the most?

Well want can I say.  I love holidays, going out with friends, walking.  None of which I can do at present, apart from walking round the block as often as I can.  Roll on the end of lockdown.

Something about you people would find surprising. 

I love baking and have made cakes professionally both traditional and novelty including my own wedding cake.

What’s your greatest fear?

Not being able to go on holiday again…abroad.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

My family and friends, that’s all I would need for a great night.  If it was date night it might have to be Hugh Jackman.

What would your super-power be?

To be able to fly.  It would save queuing at airports

What’s your favourite/least favourite food?

King prawn Linguini or anything fishy, I love fish.  Worst would be bell peppers, I am allergic!!

What’s the worst job you ever had?

Working as a weekend job at a petrol station while at school.  I loved working, meeting people and it was my best friends dads garage, but smelling of petrol and out in the freezing cold and rain for someone who wants 50p of fuel putting in their old Morris minor (that’s showing my age) was not my idea of fun.

What thing would improve the quality of your life?

Visit family and friends and go on holiday once again.

What’s coming next for you?

More of the same for a few more years and then perhaps retirement, with a bit of coaching on the side for good measure!