Posted 12/04/2024 by: Professor David Lloyd

Tempus fugit.

So the saying goes, less so about the speed of passage and more about the irretrievable nature of what's passed. Like Prufrock, I lately find myself contemplating the style of my trouser legs. Those who know me well know that any discussion of trouser legs can lead in myriad directions and sometimes to alternate realities.

Well, it is at this point in the blog you're probably wondering whether the VC has finally put his marble bag down somewhere, wandered happily off humming to himself and subsequently forgotten where he left them. Not quite. I’m just reflecting. (More likely I’m prevaricating as I try to figure out where this temporal train of thought will lead – these episodes aren’t thought out in advance of the initiation of typing.)

Gene Wilder, surely the very best of the Wonkas, (and, coincidentally, star of two of the top five grossing movies of 1974 – neither of which will likely ever be remade) hit the proverbial nail on the head when he erroneously observed that there was so much time and so little to do. When struck, and reversed, we arrive at the conundrum de jour. There is a lot going on.

Some of what is going on is euphemistically referred to as business as usual. I’d contend that there’s little by way of ‘usual’ underway right now. Rather, while doing our day jobs, and doing them impressively, I may add – our university is still kicking great goals in teaching and research and delivering for our students and our partners as it always does – we are simultaneously feeling heightened, expectant, trepidatious, but at the same time intrigued and excited, anticipatory.

Our spider senses are tingling. Something is in the air. Something other. Something not usual.

I realise the paragraph above has tonal shades of the opening monologue from Lemony Snicket and that’s really not the intent – but right now, it’s kind of the vibe of the thing. The thing that’s taking form, just on the edge of our view. It’s in our nature in such circumstances to hunker down. To huddle and to steel ourselves against the unknown.

The something has a name, but no established identity. It has a purpose, but it has not yet manifested. It has a presence but no physicality. We know it is coming. We know what it will do. But we don’t quite know how. We know when -- January 2026 – but that when is probably not our when. That’s a when for others. Our when will be before then, surely, but we can’t quite get our arms around the totality of it all. What will it mean? What will be different? What will stay the same?

Everything is going to get much clearer soon. I promise. And not in an M. Night Shyamalan way. In a resolving way.

So much thinking and planning and sequencing and dependency analyses and prioritising and brainstorming and mapping and costing and all of the thousands and thousands of individual elements that must be contemplated and worked on in what might be thought of as behind the scenes, but in reality, is in plain sight, just not by everyone yet. Those elements, which are all necessary to prove-up a strategy in readiness for its delivery, so many of these critical path elements are now nearing finalisation, and soon will move from the domain of planning to the domain of doing.

I’m thinking now that these blogs should have the words DON’T PANIC in large, friendly letters on the cover. Don’t. There’s no need. What’s coming next isn’t scary. It’s engagement, involvement and certainty. Forward momentum with purpose towards an outcome. And opportunity. And maybe some fun too. Doing something that’s never been done before. Owning that. Being part of that. Defining that.

To be continued.

Time flies…


Professor David Lloyd

Through The Big Picture, I hope that our whole community gains a greater and current appreciation of what is going on, how it fits together and how our activities connect and reinforce each other at a whole of enterprise level.


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