Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Future Jobs and Damely wisdom

My chair said , accusingly , that I had not blogged since Thursday . Its true . Nearly a week . An unpardonable break for my blog followers and all those reallying on keeping abreast of what is really going on in the dear Third Sector .

My only excuse is that 2 domestic issues have intervened . After 31 years I am moving from my flat in Stockwell to a former council house next to Brixton Prison . I will have a fantastic view of this wonderful Victorian edifice from my ( soon to be I hope ) bedroom window .The traumas of the logistics and the best efforts of solicitors have been trying my patience to extinction ( and I am never knowingly accused of being patient ) . And whilst this has been going on the Hound has had a close encounter of an unfortunate kind with a car . Not too damaging , but she is very bruised . It is always distressing to see an animal hurting .

So there you have it . But now I;m back with news of the exciting development in DWP. As serious readers of my Blog will know ACEVO has been lobbying hard with DWP for a significant Jobs programme . I made a range of suggestions in my report to James Purnell MP on how the sector can promote recovery . And all credit to him and his colleagues ; they have established a " Future Jobs Fund " to provide 150,000 jobs aimed at youth and long term unemployed people in the most disadvantaged regions. It is limited to the third sector and local government. I have been invited to join the DWP official steering group for the Fund , and so help determine the criteria and parameters . We had the first meeting yesterday . It was positive ( though with irritations from the local government lot...plus ca change ). But we must be clear that it is time for us to deliver on our fine talk about what we can achieve . So we need to engage and deliver. No nonsense with sniping from the sidelines or complaints about process and lack of consultation . we must get on a war footing and show we can spring into action ot help those most at need . So ACEVO intends to support sector bodies in this great enterprise .

To aid the process I am setting uo a third sector task force of leading CEOs and with the involvement of the Community Alliance and the Social Enterprise Coalition ; all key delivery partners for this project . Our task force will feed into the Steering Group but also act as a source of information and advice for the sector . We are also holding a seminar for the sector on May 11th and James Purnell wants to speak at an event to publicise and promote the new scheme . We are organising that with him . I spend the day , in between meetings , talking to colleagues in our partner organisations . This is a good opportunity for the key sector bodies working across communities , Social Enterprise and the broader third sector to show how we can deliver for members , but more importantly , demonstrate that the third sector can deliver , as well as talk . But what an achievement ; the sector in pole position , delivering innovative and energising programmes to meet the challenge of this recession .

Its amusing that the Chair of the DWP group is an old friend from Oxford days . One Adam Sharples . Who whilst at Oxford played in the band with one Tony Blair.

I mentioned " meetings " when actually these were 2 Board meetings . The first was my ACEVO Board where I am in my role as a Chief executive ( although also a full Board member too ) and then in the afternoon I Chair the Trustees of the Adventure Capital Fund . We are discussing how to manage the new " group " of Futurebuilders ,our role delivering the Social Enterprise Innovation Fund for the DH , the modernisation Fund for the OTS as well as , potentially , the Community Builders Fund. But a real force for change . I am becoming adept at swapping the Hat of the CEO for the Bowler of the Chair . I reckon all Chairs should also have been CEOs as it means they understand the key distinctions between the executive and non executive functions .

As the ACF Board meeting is about to start I get diverted by a conversation with marvellous Dame Denise Platt ( all Boards should have a Dame ) and Steve Whyler who runs the Development Trust Association . We are discussing 3 year strategic plans . Now I realise we all must have these . but I'm not a fan . The Dame says wisely that her view on this was determined by Rosabeth Moss Kanter who says your plans are determined by the 4 F principles ;

Focus

Fast

Flexible

Friendly

And , you know what , that is what we want for the Future Jobs Fund. And it is the way I lead ACEVO . Me and Rosabeth are clearly soul mates.

2 comments:

alex stobart said...

Do any of the steering boards have a person under 25 or someone who is actually unemployed ?

How can you design or deliver services without the citizen or customer ?

Is there not a problem with your generation's approach to public service, public value and leadership ?

It does not appear to an outsider to be at all flexible because it is always a repeat of what has gone before, or another layer of bureaucracy

Stephen Bubb said...

" My generation" Alex , come come. this is ageist and therefore a sin. The task force i am establisihnig will have a range of CEOs who are well versed in the issues and problems of youth unemployment and the evils of long term unemployment . And the advantage i bring is long experience of previous recessions . Why I can even rem,ember the MSC and the previous job creation programmes.