Leadership and Learning at the ella All Group Forum

By 26/04/2016ella News, Forum

Ella-J968-47It was fantastic to see over 80 leaders of charities and social enterprises at this month’s All Group Forum. We were fortunate to be joined by many industry experts; Mark Fisher CBE, Director of the Office for Civil Society and Innovation gave a keynote speech on ‘the need for trustee and leadership training’ and Simon Hayward did an inspiring presentation on Connected Leadership.



IMG_1590Following an opportunity to network over tea and coffee, the day opened with an introduction from ella Co-Founder, Brian Chernett. The key message was a reminder of how “it is so important in the charity world to remember our purpose, values and behaviours”. Brian went on to highlight the dramatic growth of ella with some powerful statistics;

2014       6   groups             50   members

2015       13 groups            105 members

Ella-J968-262016       24 groups             211 members    Budget

2017       40  groups            350 members    Budget Dream

We were delighted to be joined once again by Mark Fisher who spoke passionately about the need for trustee and leadership training. He also expressed a need for charities and businesses to work together; “I am deeply convinced about the power of businesses who lend the power of their workforce to volunteering”.

IMG_1579Using Simon’s book ‘Connected Leadership’, we have adopted his principles across ella and the management of the organisation so it was fantastic to have Simon at the Forum to present his ideas to the group. He pointed out that “the larger organisations get the higher the potential for disconnectivity. Connectivity is not a nice to have, it is essential”. Simon also questioned our Members on the level of risk taking in their charities when he asked; “do employees have the chance to fail in your organisation?” and expressed that “agility and innovation… should be a priority now and in the future”. This idea seemed to really resonate with the audience, especially in the context of the challenges and failings in the sector last year.



After a delicious lunch kindly provided by CCLA, our venue hosts we trialled a new format for the afternoon session. A panel of four friends of ella, all experienced in issues surrounding governance took questions from the floor around trustees and “What should be expected of boards in ensuring that their organisations are delivering against needs?”.Paul Anderson Walsh, Founder and Director The Grace Project chaired the panel.

Chaired by Paul Anderson Walsh, Founder and Director The Grace Project

Ella-J968-18John Williams, Vice Chair Association of Chairs
Mike Burnage, Co-Founder ella forums
Nigel Rothband, Chief Operating Officer BEN
Luke Holt, Partner Kingston Smith

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark, Simon and all of our panel members for sharing their experience and knowledge with us. To CCLA for hosting and to all of our guests and members for their continued passion and contribution to this successful day.

Ella-J968-36To find out how you can be part of the next ella All Group Forum please contact phil@ella-forums.org.

Some Members learning from Simon’s talk:

The importance of delegation with clear parameters

The importance of devolved decision making

The importance of purpose and direction



Some Members learning from the panel discussion:

Importance of Chairs’ role

Importance of discussion

Importance of diversity on board



“I feel the All Groups Forum is an important gathering for learning and networking which inspires me to further develop me and my organisation”

If you have not yet given us feedback on the All Group Forum you can do so by clicking here. It is a short SurveyMonkey questionnaire which will only take a couple of minutes to complete and we value your feedback. As a thank you, on completion you will be given a link to download Simon’s presentation slides.

Ella-J968-2 Ella-J968-3 Ella-J968-5 Ella-J968-7 Ella-J968-8 Ella-J968-31 Ella-J968-39 Ella-J968-40