My SDF Story with Richard Sanderson

by SDF Comms 0

Where do you work and what is your role?

I work at the University of Nottingham in the Leadership and Management Team. My role is all about leadership and management development, with a focus on online learning.

When did you join the SDF?

I joined the SDF about a year into my role at the University of Nottingham, so about four years ago (I think!).

Why did you want to join the SDF?

I’ve come to working in Higher Education from the private sector where there was a lot less chance to connect with colleagues from different organisations, so any opportunity to know what other people are doing and get help and ideas seems like a great one!

What’s the best thing about the SDF?

Being connected to a wider community is a real positive even if often its just seeing the emails coming through, it’s a great way to get an idea of what’s going on beyond my institution even when I don’t always have the chance to connect with other networks.

What are you working on at the moment?

We’re currently in the middle of applications for our development programmes, so lots of conversations with colleagues about what programme is right for them, which is a great way of getting to know more people from across the whole organisation.

The main thing I’m working on is starting up a project to support the development of a digital organisational learning culture. This is going to involve working across the whole university over the next few years to identify areas of best practice, experiment with new ways of delivering and accessing learning and shifting the mindset of people at the university to embrace the possibilities that digital brings.

What does a typical day look like?

I’m still working from home mostly, so a typical day starts with dropping my boy off at nursery then a run before starting work.

The average day involves a mix of meetings, project management and content development for our online learning platform, the Leadership and Management Academy Hub on Moodle. I also work as an internal coach and running 360 surveys for colleagues across the university, so running coaching sessions over Teams is a frequent activity too.

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

I’ve been running for a few years now and find that’s a great way to clear my head. My boy is just coming up for 3 years old, so a lot of my spare time is spent (very happily) chasing him around, but I still manage to play poker with friends once a month.

What’s your greatest fear?

Work wise it became a reality recently when a Moodle upgrade broke our entire site, but thankfully it was all fixed within 24 hours, so relief all round there.

More personally, I really don’t like moths. A bit of a weird one but something about them makes my skin crawl!

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Right now, I think any dinner party would be great – I’m really looking forward to having some friends over in the near future!

What would your super-power be? 

Not everyone can have the big flashy super powers, there’s got to be some super powers that are a bit more every day and low key, so the most useful one I can think of is the ability to warm up a cold cup of coffee back to drinkable temperature with just my hands!

What’s your favourite/least favourite food?

Anything involving cheese and pasta would be on the favourites side, I don’t get on well with sushi, but love other Japanese food.

What’s the worst job you ever had?

First job for sure, collecting trolleys come rain or shine in a Tesco car park!

What thing would improve the quality of your life?

The last 18 months or so have really reinforced how much I dislike the commute, so some way of working back in the office without the commute would be great, but impossible I know.

What’s coming next for you?

Lots of work on our digital development programme. First steps are going out to the institution and understanding the existing best practice and what’s coming for the future, that and looking out more widely to other institutions, so if you are working on digital development at your institution do get in touch!