A Message to our Members from IoD South West Chair Muir Macdonald
As Directors, we’re each steering our organisations through changing times – and so is the IoD. The Institute is transforming, both in being clearer of its relevance in today’s world and in streamlining its operations behind the scenes.
I’m delighted we’ve returned to the roots of our Royal Charter – it’s over 100 years old – yet absolutely relevant to Directors and to society today. Taking just one of our Objects from 1906, words like this still work: “to promote for the public benefit high levels of skill, knowledge, professional competence and integrity on the part of directors, and equivalent office holders however described, of companies and other organisations”. It’s inclusive and it’s clear on our ‘Why?’. This is so relevant today when we see high-profile failures of good governance. It’s a ‘Why?’ that connects with the rising significance of organisations looking to a wider purpose than profit; it fits with investors' increasingly using Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria; and it speaks to the next generation of Directors as much as it does to those more experienced.
For the IoD today this translates into helping to give you the Director ‘Mindset Edge’, in three ways:
· Actively connecting you to others with the Director Mindset, experience and knowledge to propel you forwards (CONNECT)
· Bringing you the skills and insight you need to raise your standards, develop your capabilities and navigate your path safely (DEVELOP)
· Offering you a more powerful voice to amplify your impact (INFLUENCE)
This is just some of the clarity and focus that Charlotte Valeur achieved in her two years as Institute Chair until she stepped down in August. The internal transformation is well underway, her leadership describing not only the 'what', but also the 'how'. The changes are being led by a combination of employed staff and volunteer Chairs/Ambassadors from across the nations and regions. We call it OneIoD. And while all this has been going on, the IoD has: been at the centre of influencing government to support business through COVID-19; put our world-class director development programme online and opened the Centre for Corporate Governance.
Our transformation continues under the leadership of John Watson as Interim Chair while the process to find a permanent successor is underway. His experience of turnarounds is particularly relevant as the changes include necessary cost-cutting to enable investment in our future. This means we’ll be saying goodbye to several of the employed staff in London and in the regions, and it means restructuring with more emphasis on collaboration between regions and more autonomy from London. For us in the South West we’ll capitalise on our growing partnership with IoD Wales and their team while we keep to our agenda of CONNECT, DEVELOP, INFLUENCE under the guidance of our committee of Director Volunteers.
I’m halfway through my three-year tenure as your South West Chair, privileged to play my part in the IoD’s quiet yet fundamental revolution and helping to shape our future more locally. We want to balance the world-class standards set by HQ in London with the needs of our 1600 members in our region. We want to grow that fellowship of Directors to build a network of people who are stronger together,
sharing their challenges and learning from each other. And we want to be even more diverse in our membership with a particular appeal to those who are not yet Directors but aspire to be – such as those who may be at University today and will shortly be tomorrow’s Directors.
Please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any observations or ideas about building on this vision, any questions about the future of the Institute, or if you know of any Director who also buys into what we stand for and should be invited to join us.
Muir Macdonald FREng CDir
Chair IoD South West