Friday, 15 October 2010

Board and Deloitte

Well, you have seen my Board in relaxed mode (yesterday's blog), now see them at work.

It was our annual strategic Away-Day where we review progress over the year and review our strategic plans and focus. Clearly this was much influenced by the forthcoming spending round and Government plans on BigSoc (we were trying to divine what they were, but decided it was best if we defined it ourselves).

One of the key conclusions is that ACEVO needs to gear up to support members in what may be bloody times. This will range from all the many network events we hold (the chance to talk and consult with fellow CEOs is invaluable when in crisis) then the range of helpline and one to one services we provide, as well as professional development. On the later it was felt that the immediate need lay in short sharp practical learning. So, sadly stuff on redundancy and merger becomes ever more important. We have reflected that in our annual conference on 11 November, where the emphasis is not on Government speakers but on practical seminars and workshops.

I had to skedaddle just before the end to make a speech to the gathered senior partners of the Deloitte public sector practise in Bristol. A good opportunity to sell the sector,our power and potential. I think this aspect of my job is important. I have always grabbed opportunities to promote sector leadership and our growing role in the nations economy as well as in society, and the Deloitte lot get around! Probably why my sister Lucy works for them!

I was also speaking with the new CEO of the Skills body that has taken over from the Learning and Skills Council and an old friend, Dan Mickelthwaite. Dan is now in a rather exalted position in the Treasury as HMT Director of Strategy and a member of the HMT Board. So in a great position to tell us what exactly is going on in the cuts discussions. Only he didn't. A masterful speech that sounded profound but told us nothing, in the finest traditions of the British Civil Service. I knew Dan when he was in the third sector team in HMT. He worked on policy on issues like Futurebuilders and so knows our sector well. I'm sure he went back to the Treasury with renewed determination to insist that in the cuts process Government looks at how to deliver more through our sector. Go to it Dan!

A great chat over dinner with Mary Reilly, the very senior partner, who heads up the practice on the third sector side as well as on public sector and we dissect BigSoc over the chicken....

And finally, Jan Tallis one of my long standing trustees, she runs School-Home Support, is standing down after her maximum term of six years on the ACEVO Board. She sends me a nice note which says

"A strategy day with the ACEVO Board. Fascinating. I have been a trustee for almost six years and the organisation has grown in professionalism and impact beyond any ambitious target we might have set. A good day."

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