8th March 2018

Demonstrating diversity to enable diversity

We’ve recently worked with one of the Arts Council National Portfolio Organisations and national museum, the National Justice Museum (NJM) to appoint their Chief Executive.  A key tenet of NPO funding focuses on encouraging organisations to be more diverse in their staff and governance, not as a cynical box ticking exercise, but because it creates better work that is much more dynamic, exciting and contemporary. In simple terms if we want our cultural output to reflect and speak to society, the organisations’ creating and curating that work must reflect society too. It was refreshing to see how the need for diversity was understood by trustees and staff within the museum and was integral to the next stage of their strategy and development – across programming, audience development, workforce and leadership, working hand in hand with their NPO Arts Council lead to ensure they can realise their ambitious plans. We are proud to have played our part in helping them appoint a dynamic and energetic new CEO and because of the well understood diversity dimension by everyone in the organisation, which we were able to profile and demonstrate, we attracted and engaged a range of diverse candidates across a plethora of […]
6th March 2018

In Praise of Remote and Flexible Working

Last week, as I cycled through the snow back from the school run, I was reflecting on the benefits of remote and flexible working. Because I am working from home today, I have been able to take my children to school – by bicycle, thus squeezing in some exercise too – pause to appreciate the gorgeous transformation of the local brook under a blanket of snow and still make it to my warm comfortable desk to start work at 9am. So far, so lovely – but if we pull back from the personal, what are the wider benefits of remote and flexible working? For some, from the employee’s point of view these might seem fairly obvious – most people would be happy to spend more time with their families, enjoy the beauty of nature and ditch the daily commute for less frequent early starts and long journeys, but are there other benefits both for employee and employer? Having a positive work-life balance makes for more effective working – it’s not about the number of hours spent in the office or at the computer but how effectively that time is used. No-one is likely to defend staring blankly at a screen […]
27th February 2018

Absence of fundraising skills on Trustee Boards.

The absence of fundraising skills on Trustee Boards: Are Chief Executives contributing to the problem? The need for fundraising experience and strategic fundraising insight on trustee boards has never been more important. Considering changing fundraising regulations, as well as the ongoing need for charities to grow their income to deliver more great work, having the right skills and knowledge at board level is crucial not only for survival, but for sustainable growth. Few would disagree that bringing fundraisers onto boards has benefits.  It can help charity boards embed an informed and innovative fundraising strategy, manage risk and ensure compliance, as well as help fundraisers to develop their strategic skills and board relations experience. It’s also a fantastic volunteering opportunity for fundraisers to be involved with a different cause and part of the charity sector. It stretches their perspectives and helps them to generate new ideas. At Peridot Partners we regularly work with non-profit organisations to recruit Trustees with specific skills. This includes finding people with experience of social care, digital, legal, finance, HR, education, operations, marketing and communications, as well as fundraising. Invariably, the first question prospective candidates in employment (those with the most currency) ask is ‘What is the […]
12th February 2018

Guest Blog | Lisa Capper | Principal & Director of Education and Skills | Nacro, Independent FE and why this is my best job yet!

Lisa Capper is Principal & Director of Education and Skills at Nacro, the Social Justice Charity FE is one of the most diverse and flexible elements of our education system. Over the years and through numerous skills strategies, FE has contributed to many areas of public policy like no other part of the education sector has.  As an Assistant Director for FE in Whitehall, recruited in to the Skills for Life Unit as Regional Director and later as Assistant Director for FE, I led and worked on many of these initiatives with ministers for over ten years. FE has supported employers and businesses, through many guises including National Skills Academies and now National Colleges, to get the advanced skills they need to compete and progress. It was FE that rallied employer champions for the Skills for Life campaign that successfully equipped employees, prisoners, and jobseekers with basic skills. I had the privilege of being part of Worldskills London 2011 where FE coached and promoted individuals to become the most skilled in the world in their chosen occupation, and inspired many others through its legacy, the Skills Show. It also showed the UK was open for business in a time of […]
23rd January 2018

Guest Blog | Victoria Edwards | Head of Representation and Democracy | A year at Kent Union

Victoria Edwards is Kent Union’s Head of Representation and Democracy and has just finished her first year in post. It’s been an exciting and challenging year for Victoria as she is new to the student movement and had to pick up the role quickly due to a Union election campaign and a general election campaign both taking place within a few months of Victoria starting. We asked Victoria to tell us more about her year at Kent Union and this is what she had to say. What have you enjoyed the most? “Not long after I started, I was asked to look at how we supported students on our overseas campuses in Paris and Brussels. I have enjoyed doing that work and it was a good way to introduce myself to the sector.  I was empowered to trial new ideas and the brief was similar to my previous role with The Prince’s Trust where I worked internationally. As Paris had a smaller number of students (35), I focused on that first and we created some bespoke training for their student representatives, giving them resources, contacts and digital platforms, and looking at ways that we could address their local needs. We […]
14th December 2017

How culture helps you grow your business

How culture helps you grow your business Interview by Georgina Combes, Partner, Within People Founder and Managing Director Grant Taylor of Peridot Partners talks culture and growth for his recruitment business “Surely you can’t do your best at work if you aren’t happy with how you work or how you’re asked to work” says Grant as if it’s a no brainer. And when you put it like that, it is. Grant founded his business Peridot Partners out of discontent with the status quo of working life at most recruitment agencies. It was a reaction to the competitive and controlling‘ ‘quest for profit at all costs’ culture of the industry. So, he set out to create a working environment that was the antithesis of what he’d experienced. He feels very strongly about it, clearly role modelling the behaviours he expects of his colleagues to encourage them to believe in and live the culture too. This includes making time for your passions, which for Grant is karate and athletics. In the Peridot Partners culture no-one does typical office hours, everyone is treated with equal respect, there’s zero politics and people have both freedom and responsibility. It’s very professional too. Everyone in the […]
10th August 2017

Guest Blog – What do we want? Women trustees! When do we want them? Now!

One of the most exciting parts of recruiting new external trustees for Lancaster University Students’ Union, a charity located in the north-west of England with an £8million turnover, is that it has focussed our attention – trustees, full time officers and staff – on the composition of our trustee board. Research within the charity sector and in the wider corporate governance environment highlights the challenges and opportunities of attracting more women to become trustees. Like any volunteering scenario, becoming a trustee can mean the following: making a commitment, in terms of both time and to the values and ethos of the charity; negotiating time spent on trustee business with time spent at work, with friends and family or leisure time; and, in the case of students’ unions, being available to support, coach or mentor less experienced first-time trustees. In 2017, we live, work and study against a larger local, national and global background that people characterise as “VUCA” – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Yes, it’s true that organisations are facing uncertainty, and university students’ unions are certainly not immune from this on a number of fronts, given the ongoing debates regarding higher education. Despite this turbulence, the preparation for […]
23rd June 2017

Don’t ask me to be a Trustee, unless…

I’ve had two Trustee roles and enjoyed both immensely. I stayed in both for over four years, and then I left before completing a fifth year in either. I felt that potential to add value had eroded and it would be better for new people to come in with fresh skills and new thinking. I know when it’s time to move on, and I do. Time is not renewable. When it’s gone, it’s gone. As the Managing Director of a growing business with 13 colleagues and lots of clients, the pressure on my time is ever expanding. I have a wife, three children aged 6 to 14, I practice karate and like to go to the gym. I have friends I rarely see. If I gave more time to any of these things my life would be further enriched. I work hard to protect my time for where I can have a positive impact and gain most enjoyment, so why would I want to take another Trustee role? If I do, why should I join your charity? Looking at most adverts for Trustee roles advertised via the Guardian, Third Sector, Charity Job etc., is an underwhelming experience. Most are little […]