Friday, 20 June 2008

Rome, Castles in the Air

The Italian Parliament. Friday afternoon. I have been speaking at the launch of leader2leader, the brand new italian acevo. I blog to you from Parliament!!

Their vision? " The courage to dream; The network to fulfil it "

We have been working with colleagues in Italy for 3 years to develop this new network. Interestingly they have given it an English title as they felt using Italian would risk associating the new body with one particular faction or another in the complicated and political Italian third sector.

I begin my keynote address with a brave few words in Italian (tutored by our dynamic international director Filippo Addarri who has been with acevo for nearly 4 years ) and I take as my text a quote I used in my lecture at the CASS biz school last year. "If you have built a castle in the air your work need not be lost, that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. " Henry Thoreau

I use this to make the point that in our sector passion is not enough. It must be underpinned by professionalism. We have lots of visionaries. But without effective and efficient organisations ideas go nowhere. It is the core message of acevo. As I said in my lecture we are not the hippy sector any longer. So acevo works to build leadership skills.

Acevo has 7 members of staff here in Rome. (Invited and paid for by our Italian friends) You can imagine how difficult it was to persuade them to come! The sun is shining and the Eternal City is looking at its most beautiful. The Pope has not yet sent a message to me about meeting but I expect one any minute. and you will, of course, be wondering what tie I have. Well, on this occasion its a rather understated Australian number by Jimmy Pike - subtle but elegant and matches the gorgeous Dolce and Gabanna suit. You can hardly turn up at an Italian launch in their Parliament Building in dress down Friday can you!!

So let's have our dreams and the network to fulfil them exists! Acevo. If you are not a member then join. If the Italians see the purpose of a leaders network then so should you, ciao!

Stephen Bubb

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