Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2014
Update Spring 2014
How have you found your experience so far as a Clore Social Fellow?
The 360° review and January residential were great ways of kicking off the Programme. I appreciated the feedback from friends and colleagues, followed by time with a coach and other Fellows to help me make sense of my strengths and areas for development.
At the January residential I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to hear about the experiences of other social sector leaders, such as Liam Black. We also visited the amazing RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Insitution). I was blown away by their application of ‘Lean’ methodologies in maximizing the usage of their income and driving forward their mission.
These initial activities helped me to take stock of where I am now in my leadership journey and develop a vision for the future. My Leadership Development Plan is now the route map for how to get there.
I have met with my Action Learning Set, spending time on two different presentations. Both issues had resonance for my own work and I enjoyed listening to/questioning the presenters and hearing their reflections. I also met with my mentor, who has helped me to reflect on how I set my priorities, structure my team/delegate more and engage with my board.
How has your leadership had an impact on those you work with?
In February I launched the Think Forward annual report, reflecting on the second full year of the programme, at an event with over 100 of our supporters. The programme helps young people to successfully transition from school to the work place. I’m pleased that over the past three months we launched in two additional schools and increased the number of participating young people to 1,110. Most importantly we have begun to demonstrate the impact of the programme, with 95% of our post-16 participants currently in further education, employment or training. We maintain support for them, and even more so the 5% of our young people still looking for the right pathway, so that by age 19 they get into full time work or higher education.
We also continue to attract significant government interest, with senior civil servants from the Cabinet Office and the Department for Work and Pensions and a group from the US Congress visiting us to see the programme in action. This attention is important, given that both proof of impact and government funding will be important enablers to scaling Think Forward beyond East London.
In what way are you a better leader now than at the start of the Fellowship?
Whilst it is still early days, by being clearer on my own goals, personally and for ThinkForward, I have in turn been clearer about how I want to work with others. This has included by agreeing SMARTer goals and targets with the people I manage and by setting a more measurable work plan with my board. It was pleasing when my outgoing chair noted in my appraisal that I was “inspiring, supportive and trusting” and “able to give clear and timely feedback and delegate effectively”.
Tell us an important lesson you’ve learnt so far during the Fellowship programme.
I was struck by all the Fellows' leadership journeys at the January residential. Everyone spoke about the importance of their home life, universally in positive terms, either as something they were seeking to ensure was in balance with their work or as the bedrock which enabled them to be a successful leader. I don’t subscribe to some of the traditional descriptions of work-life balance, which tend to describe them as different or opposing things. In my experience they are more intertwined.
What have you learnt from your fellow Fellows?
I had a great meeting with Jamie Audsley, a 2011 Fellow, about our different work on supporting young people’s school to work transitions. I shared my experience through ThinkForward of how we prepare the most vulnerable young people for the world of work, whilst Jamie gave some valuable insights into Pearson’s work on employability skills. We explored how our two organisations may be able to collaborate.
How would you sum up your Clore Social Fellowship so far?
It has been a great start to the programme. From the 360 review, to the residential, to the action learning sets. The activities have hit the spot in helping me to firstly identify my leadership ambitions and then work towards achieving them.
Twitter: @kevin_munday ; @thinkforward_uk
Personal website/ blog: www.kevinmunday.com
Current principal role: Managing Director
Current principal organisation: ThinkForward
Other leadership role 1: Chair
Other organisation 1: Centre for Youth Impact
Other leadership role 2: Trustee
Other organisation 2: Catch 22 Multi-Academy Trust
Other leadership role 3: Director
Other organisation 3: Young Lambeth Cooperative
Research: Ready for Work: Building young people's capabilities for employment
Research topics: Children and families; Education; Employment;
Secondment host: Department of Education