A good working environment is the best motivation
Henrik Zobbe takes up the position as new faculty director at SCIENCE on 1 June. After studying agricultural economics and doing a PhD in agricultural policy, he has held several management positions, among other things as head of studies of the agricultural economics programme and most recently as head of the Department of Food and Resource Economics. Also, 49-year-old Henrik Zobbe trained as a farmer in Skive and has permission to own and run farming operations. He lives in Gentofte with his wife Lene. To mark the occasion of Henrik Zobbe taking up the position as faculty director, we have asked him a number of questions:
Written by Katherina Killander, SCIENCE Communication
Why have you applied for the position of faculty director?
During my eight years as head of what is now the Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), I realised that I take a keen interest in the managerial and administrative side of things.
I’m also aware that I possess a number of skills and competences which have helped move IFRO in a positive direction. As my research has come to take up less of my time, I see focussing 100% on administration and management as the natural next step in my career.
What special contribution can you make as faculty director?
SCIENCE is a new faculty, and since the merger, we in the management groups at SCIENCE have been working to build an organisation and a common culture. I think we’ve come a long way, but now we’re at a point where we have to make it work at all levels of the organisation.
We can only succeed in this if the departments play the role they’re meant to play, and I believe that my competences – both my personal competences and my experience as former head of department – will be valuable in this context.
I believe I have the ability to say things and present them in such a way that the employees at the various departments will feel motivated to contribute to creating an even stronger SCIENCE.
What will you focus on in particular?
Three things. I’ll continue the work to further develop the professional management and administration style, so that we can make decisions and adopt strategies based on objective analyses and forecasts while delivering the services we are obliged to deliver.
Secondly, I’m very interested in cohesion. How we at SCIENCE, and at the rest of UCPH, can create more of a ‘we’ rather than an ‘us and them’. Here, I'm thinking in particular about relations between our technical and administrative staff and our academic staff. We must simply further improve the collaboration between our technical and administrative staff and our academic staff going forward.
My third focus area is the working environment. Basically, I believe the best motivation for creating results comes from having a good working environment. And I’ll therefore do my best to bring about continued improvements to the physical working environment, and particularly to the psychological working environment. Such steps will be a step forward for SCIENCE as well.
What are you particularly proud of in relation to SCIENCE?
I think we’ve created a very broadly based faculty, and I’m proud of that. Our faculty is home both to some of Denmark’s strongest basic research environments and some of the strongest application-oriented environments in the country.
And I think it’s cool that, in embracing the whole spectrum from the most basic research to practice-oriented collaboration with both the public and private sectors, we’ve succeeded in creating incentives and structures to accommodate a variety of different interests.
I’m also proud that we’ve created a coherent and transparent organisation with a budget model that supports the way we want to work. From the perspective of a public management model, I believe we’ve created something unique at SCIENCE.