Reading Universityâ€™s Director of Development, Dale Cooper, engaged Fiona for general counsel andÂ advice during his first year in post â€“ he was looking for someone with a breadth of sector experienceÂ to act as a mentor and critical friend as he settles into his new environment and seeks to grow theÂ impact of the development and alumni relations programmes at Reading.Â An example of a specific piece of help that Fiona has provided related to the fact that Reading hasÂ until now maintained two separate development functions, one for the University and one forÂ Henley Business School, with very distinct traditions and ways of working.
Recognising the human dynamics involved, Fiona brought Penny Hunt, the leader of our US-basedÂ Talent Development Group, into the team. With Pennyâ€™s close involvement, we created a bespokeÂ Cultivation and Solicitation training session for development staff across both offices, adopting aÂ highly participative and interactive approach to maximise the potential for team-building.Â The session resulted not only in higher-level enthusiasm for cross-team working and increased teamÂ spirit, but also a number of practical learning points that could immediately be applied within theÂ day-to-day working environment.
Dale Cooper says:
It has been invaluable to be able to draw on the extensive knowledge base of the M&LÂ team and specially Fionaâ€™s experience of HE development in the UK and global context.