Celebrating the 100th


... Blog that is, rather than my age before anybody asks! Hard to imagine that this is the 100th posting since we launched the blog twelve months ago. So much has happened, although at times it doesn’t feel like enough has!, This weekend (11/12 Sept) sums it up well.

On Friday I caught up with Derek Pollard over coffee. Derek won’t mind me saying that he’s been around local, national and World Scouting 'for a few years' so is the font of all knowledge and has seen everything, often several times. He is also just completing his term as Chair of the Constitutions Committee for WOSM – yes, there really are such exciting roles – and has received the Bronze Wolf (WOSM’s highest honour for contributions to World Scouting).

Lunch with Mark, Deputy Chief Commissioner of England to see how he’s getting on in the relatively new role and to review his team and the state of Scouting in each of the English Regions. Then off to catch up with Derek and Alan and a variety of generally operational matters (no interesting snippets to share I’m afraid).

Around the table

Dinner was a lively affair with Scotland and Wales I’m pleased to say, well Duncan, Chair of the Scottish Board, Eleanor Chief Commissioner of Scotland and Jill, Chief Commissioner of Wales – Alan, Derek and myself to be exact. Another chance to catch up with what is going on but also to have a laugh at the end of a testing week and ahead of the AGM the following day.

The AGM of the Association was attended by just under 200 members of Council and guests and, as I mentioned last year, is split into three parts: the formal business of the Association, including acceptance of the annual report and review of the past year; a Question and Answer session where members of Council have an opportunity to ask questions of 'Key 3' (myself, Alan and Derek) and then a working session which this year was about Leadership and Management in Scouting.

Boring, crucial or both?

Although it sounds boring and out of place in a voluntary organisation, even uncomfortable at times for some, I’m convinced that success in Leadership and Management will make a real difference to our Movement’s future. So what does it mean?

In short, by ensuring that we have effective managers in Districts and Groups, section and unit leaders will be better supported and will feel valued and inspired. Rather than get hung up on role titles (Commissioners or GSLs vs Managers), let us just accept that in these roles we are managers, with a small “m” and appoint and act accordingly.

Ensuring that we have such people means some honest discussions with individuals and ensuring that everybody is in the right role – we all have a place, we just need to find the right one for everybody. Change is often difficult, but as we have seen with the Scout and Explorer sections in particular, the rewards can be phenomenal.

Key to the success of Scouting is inspired and motivated leaders; to be so they need to be supported and key to that is effective leadership and management from those of us responsible for it. Remember, success breeds success.

The rest of the weekend was taken up with a meeting of my team on Sunday morning, interviews for the role of UK Commissioner for Adult Support and joining a meeting of the Adult Training Steering Group before heading back to Guernsey late on Sunday evening.

Here's to the next century

Enough from me for my hundredth post. I’m a week behind so had better get started on the 101st!

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