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This project clearly demonstrated synergies between all the previous four projects upon which it draws in a distributed leadership approach to building capacity for leadership in learning and teaching and consolidated the importance (and challenge) of four factors as follows:

i)             a focus on actions

The need for institutions to focus beyond policies, procedures and structures to practices underpinned by valuing, trusting and enabling the input of many people who offer different forms and types of expertise, and greater preparedness to share responsibility for outcomes. At its best a focus on action would enable a more integrated approach in which academics, professional and administrative staff engage in collaborative activities.

ii)            the design of a reflective process to scaffold action through cycles of change

The need to adopt a more longer term focus in which short-term ‘quick fix’ approaches are replaced by collective engagement that proceeds through multiple cycles of planning, action, reflection and replanning. This requires professional development, facilitation and mentoring in action research/reflective techniques.

iii)            development of a dynamic process to enable distributed leadership that goes beyond evaluation

While recognising the value of assisting institutions to evaluate their processes and practices against the identified dimensions, value and criteria for distributed leadership, the project identified the importance of developing a resource to enable institutions to undertake action to encourage a distributed leadership approach. This was achieved, in the first instance, through the design of the ASERT resource.

The project team and reference group recognised the value that could be obtained from extending the project to produce more case study examples of the ASERT to improve the performance of distributed leadership in particular sets of circumstances.

Fortunately this has been made possible as part of a further project Leadership for Excellence Project LE11-2000 has been funding (2011-13). This project will use the principles and practices identified in the ASERT to develop a systematic, evidence-based benchmarking framework for distributed leadership to build leadership capacity in learning and teaching.

iv)            recognition of the hybrid nature of distributed leadership.

The need for a more collaborative approach that values working alongside, rather than replacing formal leaders, as a hybrid leadership concept.