Friday 12 June 2009

Awards and Chief Executives in Summit

Well first day back. Have to admit I was shattered by the end of the day- a long one as it was our ACEVO CEO Summit followed by the Charity Awards in Battersea. I had to leave early and so missed picking up my award for the Best Blog in the Sector. I understand it was a joint win with Robin Bogg. I was seated at Tania Mason's table - I suspect she was checking up on me to see if I'd smuggled in a bottle of Krug (paid for on ACEVO expenses naturally). I am still depressed to have discovered I claimed £5k less than Stuart Ethrington. I need to get out more or my reputation as the sector's top networker will lie in ruins! But on a serious note it was clear from our CEO Summit that there is great anger about what my Chair described as " hysteria" on the expenses issue. And I used my speech at our Summit to be clear on where our accountability lies and that impact is measured by what you achieve for your members or beneficiaries, not by your spend on paper clips or train fares. Good press reports of the speech setting out my points well and I have had a lot of positive member feed back saying, in terms, "spot on". Of course there are arguments both sides on this but in ACEVO we have been keen to make clear this is not as simple a position as others have made out, or an opportunity for sensationalist tittle tattle. Click here to read the article in Charity Finance

The Summit was a triumph, even despite the difficulties of the wretched tube strike. Lots of stories of CEO valiant effort and achievement in walking and cycling to reach us. Stephen Timms MP, Financial Secretary at the Treasury spoke about the forthcoming consultation on a Social Investment Bank. He was up beat. A good guy- strongly committed to what we do. As he said " our expertise makes us indispensable to government". Vince Cable was due to speak but he too had had an operation (must be fashionable) so he didn't make it. The bonus is that he will be our guest speaker at the ACEVO Annual Dinner on November 4th. Book your place now!

There was a really positive air as we discussed the leadership challenges in a recession. People were very much focused on what the next public spending round will mean, as well as coping with income declines against rising demand. But Geoff Mulgan made a good point in arguing spending cuts may not be a disaster for us in all areas. He suggested that in health and prisons, for example, government will need to really examine alternative provision- more rehabilitation work to stop re offending, more health promotion and community based alternatives, as well as care budgets that are personalised. He said a lot of this will move from the" too difficult to do" to the "have to" box.

Nick Aldridge, the CEO of Mission Fish and Chair of the Empty Homes Agency, gave a powerful presentation. Elegant, dry wit and well honed points. He was talking of the challenges for young Leaders. In a previous incarnation he was my Deputy at ACEVO. As he said, making a point about leadership, "people who know Stephen will understand he is not someone plagued with self doubt and does not encourage it in others".. So true. And key if you want to lead! Nice point to end on: Geoff Mulgan again, who says he rather enjoys a crisis. "Any CEO must use even the smallest crisis to maximum effect".


Kevin Davis said...

I am pleased to see you are continuing to take a strong stand on the issue of CEO expenses.

I just cannot understand what the devil NCVO think they are doing seting up committees to rpoduce guidance.

It is now clear that the NCVO is a dionsoaur operation that has lost contact woith the realities on running a charity and that the last thing we CEO's need is yet more guidnace that after time becomes a requirement.

I have blogged on this here

I have written this as a charity CEO but also a Conservative Parliamentary Candidate at the next General Election.

Sir Stephen Bubb said...

Thanks Kevin , I have been getting similar messages from members on this . the unthuoght through rush to publish was ill adviced . acevo will ensure a robust position is taken m and you are right to warn of the danger of " guidance" then becoming a requirement . There is a superb letter from Jackie Ballard of RNID in Tuesday's Third Sector. It makes the case against this nonsense superbly .