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Evolve development day helps Students’ Union share, connect and learn

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Evolve recently hosted a learning and development day with the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU), with the aim of bringing the SUBU team together again to reconnect, plan and reset, following the disruption caused by Covid.

Facilitated by Evolve’s Warren Munson and David Mutton, and funded by the Dorset Local Enterprise’s (LEP) Back to Business Initiative, the day saw eleven members of the SUBU leadership team guided through three Evolve workbooks—Motivation, Creating and Managing Change, and Leadership and Influence.

In line with Evolve’s approach to these sessions, the group was encouraged to be open about their challenges and concerns, for from this honesty comes genuine, unfiltered insight, which in turn gives birth to ideas, solutions and positive steps into the future.

This is what some of the SUBU team members said about the day:

Samantha Leahy-Harland – CEO

“It’s been amazing, I got exactly what I wanted out of it, which was after two years of all of us literally being on a screen at home, we’re finally just getting to know each other as individuals, realising what we’re about as leaders in our own areas. Having someone independent from the organisation to facilitate that for us was perfect, because it enabled me to sit back and be part of the team. I enjoyed letting Warren and David do all the heavy lifting!”

Ayomote Omuwa – President

“I loved the session. It was really, really insightful because when we talk about motivators and how to identify where you’re lacking, I found it very accurate. It helped to see how I am and why I lack motivation in certain areas and to learn how to motivate myself properly. Because it’s one thing to have ideas, but it’s another to convert those ideas in to projects. I got a lot of understanding on how to delegate my leadership and how to embody my own projects and have that belief in it.”

subu learning day

Alan Dove – Head of Commercial Services

“I appreciated the level of trust in the room. These types of days when you’re in an environment that’s not work, when it’s not your phone ringing and you’re not at your computer—there’s a level of remoteness where you feel like you’re not being judged, and you’re in a space where everyone can admit they have frailties but that we’ve all got strengths, too. It’s a gentle reset moment.”

Jane de Vekey – Head of Student Voice and Policy

“What I really appreciated was the informal style of it. Everybody just sat round a table, on the same level; there wasn’t a physical space between the facilitator and the group—we were all as one, so it felt very relaxed early on, and I think that was reflected in how open and honest some of the comments were from colleagues. The physical space, too, is very good for helping people feel relaxed.”

Evolve founder Warren Munson said: “I love nothing more than getting a group of people together who are committed to becoming better leaders, and feeling that energy in the room when the discussion flows and everybody is learning with and from each other. From the very beginning, the environment was relaxed and open, as I believe this is the best way to get everyone to be honest about both their strengths and challenges. From this, genuine progress can be made, and those important individual and team goals achieved.”

Finn Morgan, Business Engagement and Dorset Gateway Manager at Dorset LEP said: “Our Back to Business Initiative, funded by BCP Council, allowed us to support a range of organisations that had endured challenges during the height of the pandemic, but were well placed to recover and grow. SUBU is strategically important for the region as an integral part of the Bournemouth University student experience, many of whom go on to work for companies in Dorset. With many of its commercial operations being closed and impacted greatly by remote learning and changing customer habits, we hope our support can help make a meaningful difference moving forward. It was a pleasure to see the SUBU management team benefitting from an insightful and engaging day.”