Monday, 9 July 2012

The CEO Summit

It was our annual Chief Executive Summit on Friday. The theme? Can your leadership embrace disruption!

An excellent day which mixed academic talks from Professors at the London Business School and the London Metropolitan University with sessions led by ACEVO members drawing on their own experiences.

I kicked off the day talking about the need for governance reform. ACEVO now has 23 live cases of CEOs in crisis , our service to support members in trouble. Most of these relate to breakdowns in the Chair/trustee relationship. Whilst the professionalism of the sector has grown apace in the last 25 years , the governance systems have not. This has been disruptive because even in situations where there is no crisis the relationship does not provide the strength you need. We need more flexibility to gave paid non execs amd unitary boards where organisations think that is good. We await the review being conducted by Lord Hodgson , reporting on July 16. And of course we hope that a new CC Chair will adopt an enabling role.

Perhaps the most fascinating talk was on innovation in management by Prof Julian Birkinshaw. He was suggesting that the way we manage in our sector is more productive than the private sector system of bonus and encouraging productivity through payment , where our sector does this by inspiration and motivation.

He said increasingly the private sector is looking to us for how we manage. And there is an interesting reflection on how the bonus culture in banks has corrupted behaviour and how greed as motivator has led to wider economic distress.

I used the example of a study in Australia by Prof Sandal who sent out 2 teams of fundraisers to raise charitable funds. One group was incentivised by performance pay and the other by inspiration about the mission. And you guessed it , the team who were motivated ny the mission seriously outperformed the others.

Anyway talking about innovation in management let me repeat a carton I saw in Third Sector some time back !

At No 10 again last week, but no sight of the cat this time. And still I don't know if it is No 10 or No 11 cat. I Saw Osborne on Thursday , perhaps I should have asked him! I was meeting in what was Mrs Thatcher's old office , now used for meetings. A little off putting to have her steely gaze in the portrait overlooking me!

Friday turned into rather a triumph for ACEVO. Not only did we lay on a successful CEO summit in London ( I'm told twitter was alive with praise!)we put on a Jobs Summit in the NE to discuss how to action the ACEVO Miliband youth unemployment report. A number of the delegates commented on how incredible it was that ACEVO had managed to get some many of the great and the good of the NE establishment into one room! This report has certainly hit the mark , only last week it was being quoted in a Lords debate and at a Select Committee. The credit for this must go particularly to Ralph Michell , my Strategy Director .

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