10th – 14th February 2020

As we move through February, at FCC we are motoring on with the work and research we already have planned for 2020. Here – I highlight a few key aspects of my work this week. I reflect on the difference we are making – and seek to make – as we engage people in a conversation around our research and other interests that we are championing in the service of our beneficiaries.

The Prime Minister has reshuffled his cabinet and we will have some continuity with Matt Hancock staying on as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. However, at FCC we work with a number of government departments, so it will be important to explore and build our relationships with new cabinet ministers where they have changed.

What happened? What’s next?

This charity has come a long way since we were established in 1945 as the National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB). When we relaunched as Future Care Capital in early 2017, we began to build a new vision for our future. Since then, we have delivered key research projects in collaboration with a range of health, care, academic, and business partners. This week, I have been in close liaison with my Marketing and Communications team, as we continue the redevelopment of our website and branding. I am excited at how this will support our push to engage our audience in a conversation and grow our impact for our beneficiaries. Our current website will change significantly over the weeks and months ahead, as will our branding – so do look out for these changes.

I also spent time with our partners at The Social Change Agency  These fabulous colleagues are working with me and my team on our planned programme of national and regional engagement and change to imagine a different future for social care. On 12th March, we will be running two imaginative sessions at the New Local Government Network (NLGN) Stronger Things event moving people away from their day to day thinking to imagine what is possible, visualising a new future. Over the last year, I have met with over 100 senior leaders across health, care, government, academia and business to start getting the conversation going.  Watch this space!

A major highlight for us this week was the launch of  The Health of the Nation – A Strategy for Healthier Longer Lives. We are proud to have been a key partner of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Longevity over the last year, providing insight into the development of the strategy.

I was delighted to have attended the formal launch of this new strategy this week where we heard from the Health and Social Care Secretary, and other parliamentarians, academics and business leaders – who have a keen interest in realising the Government’s ambition “for everyone to have five extra years of healthy, independent life by 2035 and to narrow the gap between the richest and poorest”.

As a charity, we are also lucky to work with volunteers such as a current undergraduate student from Kings College London who is on a part-time placement with us, providing relevant input and assistance to our policy and research team, as they go about their work.  This week I have also been in discussions with other universities about mutually beneficial projects which we could work on with them, whilst also providing developmental experience for students.

Alongside my day job as CEO of FCC, I am also a Trustee of Hospiscare and Arthritis Action. This week I attended an early morning Governance, Risk & Assurance Committee meeting for one and an evening Board meeting for the other. It is great to be able to ‘give something back’ through these roles – whilst also providing me with ongoing learning opportunities and to see things and work with other peers from a different perspective. I find this exceptionally valuable when I am working day to day as a CEO.

In late March, I will be delivering a lecture at Exeter University as I reflect on weeks like this one and engage with a large group of undergraduate students who are developing their knowledge and understanding of contemporary leadership issues in organisations. In particular, I will be examining the relevant research and reflecting on my practical experience of work, the future of work, technology and AI in the workplace, and how employers and employees can embrace flexibility and new technology in an effective way.

What did I learn?  What does it mean?

It can be easy to think that leading / driving / playing your part in change is sometimes (or often!) an uphill battle. However, this week reminded me that connecting with new people and well-established colleagues around your shared purpose is a sine-qua-non when it comes to getting things done. It is through those developing connections and conversations that we find new and interesting ways to make things happen.