Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2010
Update September 2011
I have completed the Windsor Leadership Trust programme, meeting with senior and aspiring leaders to share perspectives on the challenges, experiences and crises in our respective and collective worlds. It has been fascinating to reflect with sharp, insightful and successful individuals from environments as diverse as retail, government, IT, industry, the armed forces and of course other charities and to discover how this process of broadening and deepening personal networks can enrich and enhance one’s own thinking and ability to generate solutions.
Continuing with the theme of learning, I completed my MBA module at London Business School entitled ‘Social Entrepreneurship in 21st Century’. Working with two fantastic 2011 Clore Social Fellows, I was immersed in robust and realistic frameworks for analysing and determining actions for successful social impact, as well as linking with a number of inspiring social enterprise leaders from change- focused organisations.
Perhaps one of the issues I have been most worried about has been my secondment, having been planning and working on this for many, many months. The good news is that I was seconded to the Cabinet Office in June 2011. Working at the Office for Civil Society three days a week, I have been assisting the development of measurement frameworks for the successful application of social policy, with a specific focus on national wellbeing, the Big Society and the government reform agenda. It’s obviously been a fascinating time to be working at the heart of Whitehall and getting to witness firsthand how government thinks and works.
Working with NfP Synergy I am researching leadership responses to crisis, drawing on our recent experience of the changes in government and in particular the Comprehensive Spending Review last year. I am keen to try and capture perspectives on how we feel our organisations, teams, boards and infrastructure fared through this period from a leadership perspective.
In all honesty, it has been a challenge to manage all of this over the last few months, whilst still having an important contribution to make at The Children’s Society. But I am humbled by the fact that many working people juggle several jobs and significant caring responsibilities on a daily basis in order to survive, or indeed choose to do so in order to thrive. My coach has wisely reminded me recently of the CSLP mantra of “looking after yourself” following a recently disastrous camping trip to the glorious beaches of the Gower in South Wales, in which the domino theory of the contagious effects of measles was undisputedly evidenced by my children!
As I move towards the formal completion of my time on the Clore Social Leadership Programme I find myself with one foot on the accelerator, exhilarated by the adrenalin-fuelled promises of the future and the opportunities that are yet to be created, and another foot hovering over the brake, wanting to appreciate the numerous gifts of the present, including family, friends, colleagues and, of course, the Clore Social Leadership programme.
Current principal role: Director, Children and Families
Current principal organisation: Children and Families - London Early Years Foundation
Other leadership role 1: Trustee
Other organisation 1: Transform Justice
Research: Leading through uncertainty, learning from crises
Research topics: Charity; Finance; Governance; Leadership;
Secondment host: Cabinet Office