Meeting 8 – 5/3/21


  1. Welcome
  • The CEO’s role in leading change
    • Break out #1: CEO & our own organisation
    • Break out #2: CEO & the system/sector we work in
  • Debrief from break outs:
    • Report back
    • Individual reflections in plenary
    • Priorities each/any of us want to take forward
  • Other resources/ideas
  • Next meeting, AOB
  1. Welcome

Claire and Mark welcomed everyone to the meeting.

  •  The CEO’s role in leading change

Due to interest in both of the proposed break out sessions from the whole group it was agreed to revise the agenda and focus on the role of the CEO in the context of their own organisation and cover the CEO and the system/sector at next month’s meeting.

Clare introduced the session and highlighted the critical role of the CEO in modelling behaviours around anti-racism including bringing people together – board, staff and other stakeholders. 

Everyone was invited to share any current challenges and any actions or approaches they are taking.  

Some of the themes that emerged from the conversation included:

  • The importance of the CEO in organisational culture change.
  • The challenges of managing the full range of understanding and openness to questions of power, privilege and race across organisations. How do we as CEOs get the tone and support right so that everyone feels supported and can move forward?
  • Ensuring that diversity is not tokenistic and that teams and boards are genuinely inclusive as well, fostering a sense of belonging.
  • Questioning whether we as individuals have the skill set needed to move our organisations towards becoming anti-racist organisations.
  • Sense of feeling paralysed about ‘doing the wrong thing’. How do we affect culture change and make practical changes confidently knowing we’re on the right track.
  • Questioning of our roles as white CEOs in the charity sector at a time where there is increased pressure to stop taking up space, and therefore the importance of succession planning.

The group also shared some of the steps they were already taking, these included:

  • Working with external experts as facilitators across the organisation
  • Developing skills through training, particularly around change management
  • Working with coaches and advisors with expertise in racial justice
  • Identifying and taking action on the things that we have the power to change ourselves
  • Undertaking an equity audit of the whole organisation
  • Introducing open trustee recruitment processes and term limits

Individual reflections

Following a period of individual reflection members shared their priorities for the following month and agreed to check in with each other at the next meeting.

Other resources/ideas:

Recording of a webinar on Decolonising Philanthropy.

Inside Philanthropy webinar on strategies for grantmakers to be antiracist, recording available here.

The Transform Programme for transparent and open trustee recruitment, run by Getting on Board.  

Next meeting

The date of the next meeting was set for Friday 9th April from 1.30 to 3pm.

It was agreed that Mark would chair the next session and James would take notes.

All agreed to consider the following before the next meeting:

  • Inviting an external person to run a session in May, possibly on leading culture change.
  • The idea of a quarterly or half yearly feedback session now that the group has expanded, which makes check ins at each session more difficult due to time constraints

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