Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Appointing Chief Executives

I was sent an advance copy of the press release about the new Chief Executive of NSPCC, Andrew Flannagan from one of my members. I was pleased to see it in Third Sector today…..another stunning bit of private sector search work by Executive Headhunters Rockpools. Running a high profile public company in the commercial world for over a decade like Andrew has done, is no easy task, but neither is running a high profile national charity….I have sent him a note of congratulation and aim to meet up soon. I’m sure he will be an active ACEVO member like his colleagues in the other major children’s charities.

I ring David Fielding who lead this work at Rockpools to congratulate him successfully bringing across someone of such talent. This can only be good for the sector and the NSPCC. David tells me that he was running a training session with a group of future Charity Chief Executives at our ‘Next Generation Chief Executive' programme last week, says what a brilliant bunch they were but wants me to remind current sector Chief Executives and rising stars that they do need to ‘up their game’ so as not to lose out to folk from outside the sector when competing for the very big jobs… a message I fully support, professionalism etc.

Despite the problems of the recession the drive to professionalise the sector goes on. Indeed it becomes more crucial. It is great to see that top class commercial folk see the sector as a real alternative career. But there is also talent in the sector. It is just we do not exploit or develop it. That is why ACEVO also runs an associate membership scheme for aspirant sector chief executives. Indeed we run what we describe as a "next generation" CEO course. As a sector I think we have an enormous pool of talent at the top. It is why our sector achieves so much. If anyone can get blood out of a stone, it is a charity CEO. That is why, despite the difficult times with a determined and professional approach we will win through.

But Government support and encouragement is essential to this, and I am now preparing for my meeting with Liam Byrne, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Cabinet Office Minister and Kevin Brennan, our new Third Sector Minister. I shall blog further.

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