1st May 2014

Grant Taylor confirmed as visiting faculty for The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations Certificate in Dynamics at Board Level 2014

Press release from TIHR:   We are pleased to announce a top quality visiting faculty for the Certificate in Dynamics at Board Level 2014. The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) is pleased to announce the visiting faculty who will be joining Dr Mannie Sher and Leslie Brissett, the Co-Directors of the course. The programme takes place over 4 two-day modules on the following dates: 19-20 May; 28-29 July; 15-16 September and 27-28 October. The Faculty, leaders of thinking in their own right, will bring their expertise to bear on the programme and will contribute a chapter to the book published by Karnac, Dynamics at Board Level, a Tavistock Institute Primer. Grant Taylor, Founding Partner of the ground-breaking recruitment and advisory specialists Peridot Partners, will bring his vision for 21st Century Boards and the issues of succession to Module 2 in July. Grant has worked in recruitment since 1999 and in executive search since 2004 exclusively for public sector and not-for-profit organisations. He has undertaken a significant number of Chief Executive, Director, Chair, Trustee and Non-Executive appointments for charities and not-for-profit organisations of all kinds and sizes. Grant currently leads the Board Development Consulting practice and plays a prominent role in leading […]
12th March 2014

How boards enable fundraising effectiveness

We have an interesting dynamic within Peridot Partners. We have a successful fundraising recruitment practice (led by Julia Roberts a career fundraiser turned head-hunter), a generalist headhunting practice (staffed mainly by career recruiters) and the Board Development Practice, where the people involved are Trustees and have significant experience of working with charities at Board level.  With the diversity of individual and background you will not be surprised to hear that we have quite different views on how a charity board should relate to fundraising, and indeed whether Trustees should contribute financially themselves. Recently Lisa Nandy, the shadow minister for civil society, commented in response to minister Nick Hurd’s views on a report about attitudes in the US and UK to charitable contributions.  Julia is in support of Nick Hurd’s comments to celebrate wealthy donors, encourage them to give more and to learn positive lessons from the US.  I am too, but I also agree with Lisa’s comments that there are many other ways to give that should also be celebrated; these include employers paying a living wage (to head off social problems before they start), as should the value of volunteering time and expertise.  Even celebrating entrepreneurs and businesses who […]
7th March 2014

Enabling Voice and Choice

I agreed with the main themes of Ed Miliband’s Hugo Young lecture last week that everyone should have the chance to have choice and control in their own lives, as service users they should be able to form and define the services they consume, come together in communities (across the sectors) and be enabled to make decisions at a local level.  No radical new ideas here but this common sense,  user-centred approach is something many charities aspire to achieve. However,  with pressures on resources,  current top down systems often frustrating or at worst prohibiting  this type of approach, and let’s face it some charities still doing to rather than with,  it can sometimes be far harder to achieve than it needs to be.  However, it got me thinking about the focus on service user needs, the  potency of people coming together from all parts of society as a collective to make decisions that matter to themselves and their own communities and in turn how this maintains focus on need and what needs to be achieved.  A good illustration of this working in practice is the United Way – an approach still in its infancy in the UK but a fully […]
9th January 2014

The 21st Century Trustee Board – and an exemplar of modern practice at Norwood.

There is a growing interest in Board effectiveness (across all sectors) and one of the most common questions we are asked is how an organisation can measure the performance of Trustees and the Board as a collective entity.  One of the challenges is to find a meaningful benchmark to compare against; one that is both relevant and aspirational. I’ve seen firsthand how good Boards can have a huge impact on an organisation and one of the driving factors behind the development of our Board Development Service here at Peridot was my frustration with how few Boards there were providing really effective support to their organisations. That said I recently came across an organisation that is as close to a national exemplar as I have ever seen.  The structures and practices they deploy chime so well with what we talk about as a 21st Century Board, so if there is one organisation to take note of it is Norwood. On the 11th December I was privileged to undertake a workshop and presentation at the Jewish Community Trustees Event on the topic of Board Performance.  Norwood was introduced to me as a prospective case study partner, and having seen firsthand how they […]
3rd December 2013

Corporate Social Responsibility – The Importance of giving back

With Christmas fast approaching and the idea of spending at the forefront of our minds, a lot of organisations are focused on Christmas parties and events, but in a season marked by giving it is also important to give back to the communities we are a part of. Peridot has a strong belief in such moral principles, the forefront of which is integrity.  For us to have real integrity as an organisation serving civil society and the public sector then as well as enjoying the Christmas festivities it is important for us to give something back. So this year before our Christmas party we will spend the afternoon hanging and making decorations at a local Action for Children residential centre in Camden.  Last year we worked with Kids Company, wrapping presents for those less advantaged than we are. Why is it important to give back? With the current economic situation, it is important for all organisations, especially those that are doing well, to find ways to support their local communities and reach out to those who are in a less fortunate position. As well as being positive and rewarding it also allows us to really live our values as well […]
19th November 2013

Board Development – who’s responsibility?

I attended a governance workshop at Cass Business School last week to understand a Board Development Programme that Cass CCE had been running with Help the Hospices. As a Trustee I want to ensure my own professional development, and if I’m totally honest I wanted to compare the service that Cass CCE offers with the Peridot Partners service that we offer. The day reinforced my opinion that Trustees need to get together more regularly to share thinking and ideas. In one session there was a conversation about creating learning partnerships where two people can come together and share knowledge, learning and experience.  This can simply be two Trustees of different charities comparing practices, sharing articles or books that they may have read, and testing new ideas with each other.  We discussed how this may be facilitated, but why does it need to be? We probably all know other people who are Trustees, School Governors or Non-Exec Directors, all Board members with governance experience to share.  Why don’t we share knowledge and experience more freely? There were lots of common themes between the Cass CCE and Peridot programmes. The focus on helping boards create space for ‘generative thinking’ or moving beyond […]
8th November 2013

Peridot/Guardian Charity Quiz Night

Last month the National Children’s and Adults Conference was held in Harrogate. The annual conference is widely seen and recognised as the ‘biggest and most important of its kind for the sector’. Financial constraints, adult social care and support reform, the Care Bill, social care and health integration, children’s services and the role of Ofsted, the Children and Families Bill, Health and Wellbeing boards – everything was discussed. With the conference also comes a whole range of networking events over the course of the three days. Once again, Peridot Partners was proud to sponsor and host ‘The’ social event of this year’s conference – the Charity quiz night. Peridot Partners and The Guardian once again teamed up to provide an evening of entertainment, competition and truly amazing prizes. All proceeds went to charity (this year it was for Homestart). You can view pictures from the event here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/107070366@N08/
31st October 2013

Hire the right person, not the best person.

I have recently been working with a leading medical charity and we’ve hired 3 senior fundraisers to their fundraising leadership team. This was loaded with risk. I’ve learnt through experience that the majority of recruitment in the fundraising sector at this level is focused on the transaction between a recruiter and an organisation, which is about making a placement and earning a fee. This doesn’t alleviate the risks. The risks include candidates viewing the job, salary, status, title as the most important drivers, which in themselves can pull a candidate into an organisation, but thought for a candidate’s level of sustainable success and long-term retention is often left to chance. Standard recruitment practice doesn’t usually take enough account of the dynamics of the rest of the team, and the impact a person will have on morale, culture and ultimately team performance. Whilst well versed in what it takes to attract talented fundraisers, I am talking about much more than the case for attraction and getting the best candidates engaged in the recruitment process. I’ve always cared about the relationship I’ve had with candidates and clients, and made the best placements I could, influencing where possible, but it’s only since moving […]