Reflecting on the last 6-months with CfGS

Posted on 08/08/2022 by Andy Fry.

I had always intended to write a blog reflecting on my first 6-months as Chief Executive at CfGS.  However, I must admit to never having been expecting to do so in circumstances that meant I’d also be reflecting on my last 6-months as CEO here at the Centre!

As Harold McMillan once famously observed, unanticipated ‘events’ have a habit of cropping-up and knocking even the best laid plans off course.  Sometimes these events emerge in a work setting and sometimes in life more generally.  Either way, there can often be a cross-over with work events impacting on life and vice-versa.  Where this happens, ‘events management’ can become quite tricky and leave one facing tough choices about how to strike an appropriate work/life balance. 

In the last few months, I’ve found myself in just such a scenario and, as a result, have made the difficult choice to scale back my work commitments, in favour of providing support to a loved one who’s going to need quite a bit of help for a while.

Attempting to do so in parallel with holding down the Chief Executive’s position at CfGS was simply a circle that I didn’t feel able to square – hence my decision to stand down from the role.   Having done so, I’d like to place on record my grateful thanks to Lord Bob Kerslake, our chair of trustees and other colleagues on the Board and at CfGS for their understanding and support.

Turning to my reflections on the last 6-months with the Centre, what I’ve experienced is very much in line with the expectations I had having researched CfGS in the run-up to securing the Chief Executive’s role.  I found a socially-orientated business making a really positive difference by supporting organisations to improve all aspects of governance and scrutiny.  I also found a team of highly committed individuals who were very busy (VERY busy!) delivering a significant programme of work.

Furthermore, I discovered untapped potential – potential for CfGS to increase its impact in sectors where it had a long track record, as well as those where the Centre had yet to establish itself as a ‘go-to’ source of expert support, advice and guidance. 

During my time at CfGS, I think some important foundations have been laid on which the organisation can now look to realise that untapped potential and build – both in terms of growing existing areas of business and expanding into new markets. 

At a time when organisations across all sectors are having to deal with truly unprecedented levels of uncertainly, complexity, volatility and ambiguity, good governance is, arguably, more important and challenging than ever.  That being the case, I don’t think CfGS has ever been more relevant, and I look forward to observing and contributing to its evolution in the months and years ahead.

And I use the term “contributing” advisedly.  Although I’m stepping down from the Chief Executive’s role, I’m delighted that I’ll continue to work for CfGS on a part-time basis as one of its Associates.  My initial focus in that capacity will be on successfully completing assignments that are already in-train.  Longer-term, I’ll be available to contribute to delivering new work and business development activity, alongside the core team of employed staff at CfGS and its network of other associates.

So, different, challenging, and exciting times ahead for me personally and professionally as one chapter closes and another opens.  As far as the next chapter for CfGS is concerned, I leave my role as Chief Executive confident that it will grow and flourish under the leadership of whoever succeeds me in the role.