“Innovation is not usually the product of a genius individual working in isolation, but most often results from the collective work of a talented team working in a collaborative environment.” This, says Dr. James Trotter, is how he sees leadership, which was influenced by Harvard Business School’s Professor Linda Hill and her book Collective Genius. Dr. Trotter is the Dean and Academic President of Murdoch University Dubai, a role that he’s held since 2017. He believes that the responsibility of a leader is not only enabling an environment that fosters collaboration and innovation, but also knowing when it is appropriate to do so.
“Leadership requires the ability to adapt appropriately to the situation and needs of the organization. Different circumstances require different styles of leadership,” says Dr. Trotter. He points out how when an enterprise is in undergoing significant change, a leader should focus on communicating a clear vision of the organization’s future. He likens its importance by telling how he joined the institute. Established in 2008, Murdoch University Dubai is a branch campus of Murdoch University in Perth, offering Australian accredited university degrees such as foundation, diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Dubai. Prior to joining the Dubai campus, he has been with Murdoch University in Perth since 1994, and has held a variety of academic and leadership appointments, including: Deputy Dean of the School of Arts, Associate Dean Learning and Teaching of the School of Arts, and a term as Deputy President of the University Academic Council. Upon joining Murdoch Dubai, he says, “This transition period created great uncertainty and anxiety for the staff. It also had the potential to damage the university’s reputation.” Dr. Trotter decided it was his top priority