Insights, challenges and opportunities
Vice President Anders Gustafsson shares his thoughts on leadership and working methods based on lessons learned from the pandemic.
We have lived with this pandemic for a year and a half now. Looking ahead to some kind of “a new normal”, what opportunities and risks do you see with a flexible way of working?
- Of course, we need to make use of what we have all learned during the pandemic, where some things have worked well and others less well. For instance, time savings due to reduced travel to various meetings, both internal and external, is an obviously good thing. At the same time, opportunities to interact are missed. Working only remotely can have a negative impact on creativity and spontaneity.
- The meetings we have every other Tuesday with KI´s clinical heads, deans, committee chair (about 25 people) have been conducted digitally for almost 1,5 years. This fall, every other meeting will be physical and every other digital. I think that will be a good mix.
- I am also head of the disciplinary committee, and that works really well remotely, which we will continue with.
As vice president, you have a special responsibility for the cooperation with Region Stockholm. How has this been affected during the pandemic?
- The pandemic has required intense and effective cooperation with Region Stockholm, when it comes to education as well as research. Our joint efforts to install locations for on-site training (VFU) despite the high strain on healthcare is impressive. An example from last summer is when we had to find a large amount of new on-site training locations for medical students.
- When it comes to research, the cooperation has resulted in a large number of covid-related projects. One example is the vaccine project, headed by Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren.
Do you have any takeaways for KI’s employees and managers when it comes to the re-opening of campus and the physical workplace and the possibility of a flexible way of working?
- It can't be an either-or situation. An assessment on a case-by-case basis must be made. I think that it is important that it should be determined by the objective and activities not by individual employees.
What are your greatest lessons regarding your own leadership and way of working during the pandemic?
-That it takes an assessment in each individual case. Many meetings work well remotely, but I will appreciate the opportunity to have some meetings IRL.