Freelancers for charities

Webinar: ten thoughts on leading in tough times – Nick Wilkie

Nick Wilkie was chief executive of London Youth and NCT and UK director of Save the Children. He now teaches and consults at The Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Bayes Business School and is Chair of the Parent-Infant Foundation. 
Drawing on his own experiences and those of the wide range of organisations with whom he now works, Nick explored the practical and human aspects of leading in tough times.

An image of Nick Wilkie

"Unless anybody was on a board at the time of the OPEC crisis, 3-day week and IMF bailout in the mid-70’s then nobody in senior leadership in charities has experience of leading in circumstances as challenging as today’s."
Notwithstanding Nick’s caveat, we have captured his individual points below.  But I really recommend watching the webinar for the real-life and personal examples Nick uses to make them come alive.
Five practical thoughts
2 mins 24 seconds - Think about everyone’s personal risk appetite: why asking your trustees whether they have used illegal drugs or had one night stands can help you make better decisions. 
4.21 – Look to the top line as much if not more than the bottom line. And (where possible) look to invest as much as save your way out of trouble
6.54 – Talk about your cliff – why calculating and communicating how far your existing money will stretch can remove fear rather than create it
11.10 – Extreme contingency planning – how being asked to imagine how his charity would survive with half its income was a useful, galvanising exercise for Nick and his trustees
13.15 – Think about how you would wind up or merge; why thinking the unthinkable can take away the stigma of failure and help you confront existential decisions should they arise
Five personal thoughts 

18.34 until the end
  • Remember that trying to change the world is noble – and hard. It’s OK to find it excruciatingly hard (with help from Teddy Roosevelt)
  • Self care; it’s not self-indulgent, it’s foundational
  • Know true north: truly clarify mission and beneficiaries 
  • Change how you keep score. Leave success culture behind. Start where you are, work with what you've got, do all you can (With help from Ben Stokes)
  • Reframe board expectations away the machismo and platitudes of transformation and doing more with less.
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