Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2010
Update August 2010
Since March, I’ve completed my secondment at St Giles Trust, managing a project to refresh the organisation’s strategic plan. St Giles has an extremely powerful, and proven, proposition and there was real momentum gathering around the strength of its approach during my time there. Undertaking this project immediately post-election, with so much uncertainty in the air, gave me a real appreciation of the challenges of developing strategy in an ever-changing world. The experience was a real test in operating without any formal authority and I was able to recognise and appreciate the learning along the way – which I know I’ve often failed to do in other formative periods of my career!
Alongside the secondment, I completed the Social Enterprise in the 21st Century course at London Business School, which Joe Ludlow (another Fellow) also joined, and as our project we developed a business plan for a new social enterprise at St Giles. I went into the course with a somewhat broad idea of what social enterprise is and, given the diversity of cases we examined, came out of it feeling that was actually OK. I gained some new perspectives from colleagues in the class and some very practical planning frameworks and tools.
I’m now focusing on my research project, examining charities’ deployment of “non-financial resources” – including volunteers and gifts in kind – to deliver services. This feels more relevant than ever in an era of “more for less”. I want to uncover the conditions under which their use has a positive impact on quality and value of service - any suggestions on sources of existing thinking on this subject or case studies would be very welcome.
Common Purpose has taken me to environments as diverse as Southwark Youth Offending Team, the Centre for Forensic Mental Health in Hackney and Falconbrook Primary School in Clapham. It’s been fascinating to learn about the leadership challenges faced by others in extremely pressurised, often politicised, situations and to think through “what would I do”.
My attention is now turning seriously to what next, after the Fellowship? I can’t point my finger at a job title and say ‘that’s me’, but I have pinpointed the leadership style which resonates most with me. I know that I want to be part of an organisation that believes in “enabling leadership” – creating the conditions where people can thrive and succeed and removing the barriers to their achievement and wellbeing.
Current principal role: Director
Current principal organisation: The Social Change Agency
Other leadership role 1: Chair
Other organisation 1: PSHE Association
Research: From Fundraising to Resource Raising: how an organisation can use donated resources as part of an income-generation strategy
Research topics: Charity; Corporate social responsibility; Finance; Fundraising; Governance; Private sector; Partnerships ;
Secondment host: St Giles Trust