20th December 2012

A look back at the highlights of 2012

2012 has been an exciting year: We’ve completed ground-breaking projects with some of the country’s leading organisations, we’ve had fun and we’ve made a difference. Here are some of Peridot’s highlights of the year… Local Government Recruitment The recruitment of eight Team Managers for Cheshire West and Chester’s Children’s Social Care Social Work Teams has already shown marked benefits in their external assessments and improvement. Throughout the year, we placed a number of interim managers at local authorities including Southampton City Council, Wokingham Borough Council, Slough Borough Council and the London Boroughs of Richmond and Camden. We recruited the Head of Service Learning and Achievement and the Head of Service Commissioning for Warwickshire County Council and successfully appointed two Assistant Directors for Slough Borough Council’s senior management team. 2013 will see the launch of our new look leadership development programme for Assistant Directors and Heads of Service in Adult Social Care. Watch this space! Trustee Recruitment and Board Effectiveness Consulting We are proud to have launched our Trustee Board Effectiveness Service, which is closely linked to Trustee recruitment and we are already working with some big name clients, that we are looking forward to sharing with you in 2013. We […]
19th December 2012

Our Christmas Volunteering for Kids Company

Peridot gives time to Kids Company this Christmas The operations team at Peridot kicked off our Christmas party by spending the afternoon volunteering at Kids Company to respond to their Christmas Appeal. Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh in 1996. The charity provides practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children. Their services reach 17,000 children across London, including the most deprived and at risk, whose parents are unable to care for them due to their own practical and emotional challenges At Christmas, Kids Company supports over 3,500 children and produces more than 1,500 mail sacks of gifts. The charity is calling for volunteers to help with the wrapping, sorting and packing of all the donated gifts, and the Peridot team offered to help out.. As part of our two-stage volunteering exercise we took part in an afternoon’s wrapping of presents, picking the most challenging shaped gifts to wrap and label! The second stage – our workshop to help the school-leavers plan and write their CVs and to help them manage an interview, will take place in the New Year. It was a lovely afternoon: we wrapped, packed and labelled, we stuck ribbons, bows and sparkly string to […]
28th November 2012

Peridot’s story: Starting up during a recession

Peridot was set up in 2008 during the economic downturn, yet the business has thrived and the recession was in fact the opportunity they needed. Peridot’s founding partners, Grant Taylor and Dawar Hashmi, were recently interviewed for Ingenious Britain, an information and news resource for small businesses, to find out what the pair learnt from starting their own company. This is how it went… Why did you decide to branch out on your own?  Dawar Hashmi: In short: disillusionment with the industry, and anger at the practices of some of the consultants working without the appropriate business ethics that should be in place when operating with socially-focused organisations. I had lost faith in the services we were offering and in the organisations I worked for. It was all about how much money we were bringing in and not true consultancy work. It was completely sales driven, regardless of how they pitched externally. Grant Taylor: We were fed up with corporate drivel – meetings for the sake of meetings, reports for the sake of reporting, and the office politics that occurs too often and detracts from what was really important.  We just wanted to deliver great work to clients who deserved […]
14th November 2012

When and how should a Trustee Board meeting be held?

A recent conversation with a potential candidate for a Trustee role had me wondering about Board meetings and Trustees’ ideal situations. The candidate was asking when and how regular the meetings would be for the charity I was working with.  This was going to be a deciding factor in whether or not he applied for the role of Trustee, and I started wondering how important this was to Trustees in general. I thought about my role as a Trustee for Working Families and talked to my business partner, Dawar about his role as a Trustee for Age UK Brent, and found that we both have meetings at similar times and for a similar length of time. I wanted to build a better picture of Board meetings, so a colleague and I put together a short survey. We took responses from 50 Trustees from a range of charities about their Board meetings. We asked when they were held, for how long and how often. We asked them what their ideal meetings would look like and how much time they would like to commit to meetings.  We also asked whether the times and regularity of meetings influenced their decision to become a […]
9th November 2012

Injecting some fun into the NCAS

Peridot Partners and Guardian Jobs hosted the most popular social event of the National Children and Adult Services Conference 2012. For the second year running, we held a sell-out charity quiz attended by nearly 200 people. The quiz presenters were the witty duo of David Brindle, The Guardian’s public services editor, and Andrew Cozens, Chair of Trustees at Carers Trust. The pair kept guests on their toes with lively topics ranging from general knowledge, adults and children’s social care, trivia and music. As well as the quiz, the evening included entertainment from The Soul Aces, a band made up of local authority chief executives, a magician and a raffle with exciting prizes from top fashion designers. Prize winners were over the moon! Everyone I spoke to had a brilliant time, and I am delighted. The Guardian team did a fantastic job in organising the evening and I’m proud to be associated with such a partner. We put on a great show, which was dubbed as: “definitely the must-not-miss event of the conference” by Lisa Christensen the Director of Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council.  The evening was made up of wonderful people, tasty food, great music and entertainment, and a lot […]
8th November 2012

Succession planning for a Trustee Board helps develop effectiveness

All too often Boards don’t have a succession plan in place. Typically a Trustee will leave or retire and the Board will be left with a gap in skills. The Board may hire a new Trustee in a knee-jerk reaction, and it is often more by chance than design as to whether the new Trustee has the most appropriate skills, experience and cultural fit to enhance Board effectiveness.  Succession planning is not risk management; it is about pro-actively and continually developing the effectiveness of a Board. Look ahead and plan In order to ensure a continually effective and diverse Board, we need to plan. By looking ahead, say five years, and taking into consideration the terms of each Trustee, if the terms are renewable or not, and the skills and experience of each individual, it should be easy to plan when new people will need to be brought in to replace departing Trustees. Some charities give Trustees set lengths of time to serve on a Board, while others don’t have a time frame; but when existing Trustees move on, a Board should have in place a succession in order to fill gaps in skills and experience and to retain (or ideally enhance) […]
1st November 2012

How old is too old to be a Trustee?

In my last blog about obtaining a well-balanced Board, I talked about the importance of enrolling young people as Trustees. Today I’m going to look at the other end of the age spectrum. How old is too old to be a Trustee? The UK is among 14 countries in the EU to impose age restrictions on Trusteeship. Many charities impose this restriction, making Trustees step down when they turn 70. This seems pretty ageist to me. Does someone’s opinion automatically become less valuable, or their skills redundant, the moment they turn 70? Of course there should be a turnover of Trustees, keeping the Board fresh and evolving, however it needn’t be as cut and dry as ruling that Trustees must leave the day they turn 70. Since 2006 it has been illegal to force an employee to retire from employment before age 65 without objective justification and I believe it should be the same for Trustees. If an individual is passionate about a cause, knows an organisation inside and out, has skills and experience that is relevant and is still eager to be on the Board of Trustees, then why not let them continue? Equally, if a Trustee approaching 70 is happy to step […]
24th October 2012

Charities should enrol young Trustees

Building an effective, successful and dynamic board of Trustees is no mean feat. Every non-profit organisation has different needs and therefore, each board should be unique. There is no one-size-fits-all formula; however, there are some things all Boards should consider to get the right balance. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting series of blogs exploring what to look for and what to consider when recruiting, training and appraising trustees. Part one: Charities should be inviting more young people to join their board of trustees. If you read the third sector press, you may have noticed a conversation taking place about young Trustees (there’s also talk about the lack of young donors too), and I believe there is a lot to be said for having young people on boards. The most effective Boards should be made up of Trustees from a range of backgrounds, with different skills and of varying ages to ensure a good dynamic.  However, according to research paper Mind the Gap, only 0.5 per cent of trustees are aged 18-24 and just 2 per cent are under 30 years old. This shows a clear lack of representation in not-for-profits for this age group. Young people can bring fresh ideas […]