‘Question relentlessly’ and focus on your mission, David Robinson tells Impact Leadership Conference

16th January 2013

More than 300 people will today gather for the first ever Impact Leadership conference, organised by CFG and NPC in London. Delegates from across the third sector will take part in sessions and workshops identifying key challenges and solutions, and plotting the course for their charity to progress further along the impact journey.

Keynote speaker and founder of Community Links David Robinson will set the stage for what promises to be a day that challenges sector leaders attending—who include chief executives, finance directors, fundraisers and programme managers—to go above and beyond in pursuing their mission.

Robinson summed up in his keynote speech at the CFG and NPC Impact Leadership conference, saying:

‘The primary allegiance of the outstanding leader is to mission. It is our Pole Star.  We lead most effectively when we question relentlessly, when we change continuously, fail thoughtfully, collaborate ruthlessly and evaluate fearlessly.

‘Impact measurement doesn’t contribute to one of these things. It is at the heart of them all.

‘Go bravely where it leads but never stop the questioning, never deny your humanity, imagining that numbers alone will tell you what is right, and never lose that North Star.’

Chief executive of NPC Dan Corry said:

‘Worrying about the impact of what you are doing for those in need, and how to get more impact  out of your charity has become a must for leaders in the sector. To say you can do a lot of good without taking on board the need to understand, measure and act to improve  your impact is like claiming you can steer a boat at night without a rudder and a compass. It won’t work.

‘If seeking to understand how well you are doing and trying to improve year on year is the right thing for Tesco or for Roy Hodgson then it is also something that charity bosses must now embrace and lead on. There can be no more hiding from this.’

Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive of CFG, said: 

“It’s hugely exciting for us to be holding this conference today and we are delighted to be partnering with NPC.  This is a time of change.  It’s not just about simply surviving; charities need to be thinking creatively and challenging themselves against their mission in order to ensure that they know that they are making every penny count.  Individuals in roles across the charity should be taking on the role as an impact leader.  Effective financial management should involve thinking about outcomes and impact in all stages of the process.”

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Notes to editors:
1. The Impact Leadership conference takes place at the Brewery, London, on Wednesday 16 January 2013.  For more information on the programme and speakers, please see the event web page.
2. CFG is the charity that champions best practice in finance management in the voluntary sector. Our training and development programmes enable finance managers to give the essential leadership on finance strategy and management that their charities need. With more than 2,000 members, managing over £18bn, we are uniquely placed to challenge regulation which threatens the effective use of charity funds. For more information, please see www.cfg.org.uk, or contact policy@cfg.org.uk 
3. NPC is a charity think tank and consultancy which occupies a unique position at the nexus between charities and funders, helping them achieve the greatest impact. We are driven by the values and mission of the charity sector, to which we bring the rigour, clarity and analysis needed to better achieve the outcomes we all seek. We also share the motivations and passion of funders, to which we bring our expertise, experience and track record of success. For more information see:  www.thinkNPC.org

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