Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Sorting your Governance and "The Times"

Gym this morning. I am high on glucose after Rome (can't imagine how that happened) so a good hour doing all those rather ridiculous things you do in the splendid Oasis Gym at Holborn, just round the corner from work. And a day in the office! Remarkable. Spend time hassling staff and doing the post and stuff like that. But a good meeting with Martin Gray who is the guy who has been working with us on the acevo governance review tool.

Effective governance is a vital part of how the third sector operates and is held accountable, and third sector leaders have a responsibility to establish good practice – we exist in an environment where the need for good governance is higher than ever. With an increased role in advocacy, providing public services and ever tighter fundraising conditions, third sector organisations have become responsible to a wider range of stakeholders for multiple objectives. In a recent survey governance ranked in the top three concerns for acevo members, and 70% of acevo members agree that improving governance should be a priority.

Acevo looks to establish good practice across the sector and has developed a Governance Review Service to help CEO’s and chairs review and then improve the governance of their board. The process starts with an initial consultation, is followed by an online assessment, and then culminates in a practical feedback session, providing full anonymous, qualitative and quantitative reports on each assessment. So far 30 acevo members have undergone, or are currently undergoing, the process with their board and senior management teams. We’ve been through the process ourselves here at acevo and found it an invaluable tool.

If you haven’t already, I’d urge you to take a look at what the service could do for you – my Head of Policy, seb.elsworth@acevo.org.uk, would be happy to help.

Rosemary Bennett is the Social Affairs Correspondent of The Times. We have an agreeable lunch at Orso, the Wellington Street Italian diner, so I am able to regale Rosemary with my efforts to build the Roman third sector in general and eat for England in particular.

She makes a plea for me to tell my chief executives they need to talk directly to the press and not hide behind their media advisors or press offices. She says she has been used to talking directly to Cabinet Ministers or top City directors and its always puzzled why she can't ever get to speak to an actual charity CEO!

So you CEOs out there - get the message!

We also talk about the NSPCC and the forthcoming recruitment and I mention it is being handled by headhunters (an increasing trend these days). Rockpools, who now lead the field, are responsible for finding the best for this top sector job!

The power of the blog - one of my blog readers suggested I acquire a copy of "Building Jersusalem" by Tristram Hunt, which I have done, and intend reading it in Edinburgh this weekend. Thank you to reader - shows it is worth making comments on my blog!

No comments: