Thursday, 22 November 2012

We need Leaders!

We ain't seen nothing yet; more cuts are on their way and changes on welfare and housing are going to lead to much pain in communities. So the leadership of our sector's CEOs is as crucial as ever. You can seen signs of a more hard line approach from parts of the coalition; less hoodie hugging, more talk of the work shy and indolent. More stupid spin like we got on equality audits. Our voice will become more and more important in speaking out for social justice and the vulnerable.

I see ACEVO as having two key roles; speaking out and helping shape Government policy for the better, but also in supporting our members in their leadership task.

It's a hidden secret that all new members joining ACEVO get an opportunity to discuss and plan their personal development with my Director of Leadership Development as part of the membership offer.

We have now completed 150 such plans - not just with our new members, also with many who have been in touch with us about our leadership programmes or through our helplines.

As no two CEOs are alike - neither are the discussions or plans. So the plans are very personal and reflect this, as well as considering financial constraints.

I know that development budgets are dwindling and that many CEOs will prioritise team's needs. My message is, don't forget yourself.

We also have a strong Emerging Leaders programme too and so support Directors through Associate membership.

It's interesting to note what we have offered. The most common theme by far is the choice of a mentor - from either within our own membership who have told us they will do this, or from business or public sectors.

Later this year we will be launching a new round of cross-sector mentoring arrangements with the NHS top leaders.

Many take up our coaching offer as well.

Leadership learning is not all about programmes, but we do ensure we can offer this as well, especially the Accelerating Leadership Development. We are gearing up to launch a new partnership with the Leadership Trust whose CEO, Rob Noble, is an ACEVO member.

And on the grip and thrust theme of my recent Blog we also hear that many Chairs are not discussing their CEOs development. Having the chance to develop your plan with ACEVO gives you something positive to take back to the Chair, which in turn might remind them to consider their own development!

I'm on my way to Bournemouth to talk at the NHS Alliance Conference ahead of Jeremy Hunt. It's becoming a big part of my job these days; talking to the health service about the third sector and our offer. Just wish I didn't have to get up at 6am to do it. The Hound looked at me quizzically as I left the house at such a godforsaken time...

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