Making CFG fit for the future

May 9, 2014 at 11:47

As we approach this year’s Annual Conference, I thought I would use my introduction to talk about what CFG has done to be “fit for the future”, and to give you a heads up on the changes we plan to make to continue this exciting journey.

CFG is now in its 27th year. Over the years we have grown and developed, and the skills we need from staff and the board have changed and evolved. Each of the chief executives and (particularly before we had a significant staff capacity) trustees have brought their own thoughts and contributions to the support CFG provides to the sector. There have been clear step changes in CFG’s activities as we consolidated our relationship with finance directors, increased our influence, and most recently diversified our reach within our membership and the wider sector.

Since my appointment in 2010, I believe we have matured as an organisation. However, those of you who’ve looked into the life cycles of organisations will know that if you are not careful, after maturity comes decline and death!

In March last year I did quite a bit of reading and thinking about where CFG was in terms of our life journey. You’ll no doubt have come across quite a few of these models yourselves. They range from Tuckman’s Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing model of the 1960s to the entrepreneurial, collectivity, formalisation and elaboration stages in Richard Daft’s Understanding the Theory and Design of Organizations.

What all such theories have in common is that organisations have challenges and stresses which need to be addressed, and even once you think you’ve nailed it, you have to continuously adapt and change. If you stand still then you get left behind, because life is an ever-moving journey forward. Whilst many organisations can survive and thrive under the ever-present leadership of an individual or small group of individuals, the injection of new ideas, fresh thinking and different skills can also be a vital way of ensuring longevity and sustainability.

As you are aware, we’ve made a number of changes to revitalise and develop CFG over the last three years. This year has been our most profound shift to date.

But it is also the world that is changing. More and more organisations need to collaborate and come together to ensure that beneficiaries are properly served. That’s why we recently joined forces with the Community Accountancy National Network to support community accountants.

We are now in the process of changing our memorandum and articles of association. We’re also looking to change our objects so that we can ensure that CFG is the fleet-of-foot, modern and adaptive organisation it needs to be. In other words, to be “fit for the future”.

Thanks as always for your continuing support, and I hope to see many of you at the Annual Conference.

 Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive, CFG