Member Blog: March 2023 – Matthew Lagden

March 21, 2023

A little more conversation…

In his latest blog, CEO Matthew Lagden reveals a new programme of face-to-face regional events to bring members together.

Over the last couple of years, collaborating with your peers has generally meant jumping on Zoom or Teams (other technologies are available) for a brief chat and then on with the rest of the day. While fully appreciating the necessity of such solutions when needs must, I believe there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings and events.

Opportunities to catch up with contacts, corporate partners, old friends and colleagues; to let the conversation ebb and flow without keeping an eye on how much time is left before you’re thrown out of the chat room; to spark ideas off each other and perhaps enjoy some socialising when the business of the day is concluded.

Post-pandemic, we are all learning what does and doesn’t work, but I think there is general recognition that seeing people in ‘real-life’ is often the best approach for generating worthwhile discussion and debate. This does not mean an end to online activities – far from it – think of it more as a reinvigoration of the art of conversation designed to complement our online presence. As 2023 progresses, I am delighted to tell you that we are planning a UK-wide series of regional events.

Helping us to bring this exciting new programme to life is Blessing Chishiri, who will be joining us on Monday 27th March as Events & Communications Officer. Blessing is an experienced events management professional who has worked with many charities throughout her career. I am sure you will join me in welcoming her to the ILM core team.

The next 12 months see activities in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, together with meetings in cities including Birmingham, Bristol and Newcastle. Some will be purely ILM-led, while others will be alongside our corporate partners and charity members.

Talking of corporate partners, I want to stress how much we really value the way members and partners work together. I have had a number of really interesting meetings recently which have given me valuable insight into what really matters to members and the sector more generally.

One such example is the round table event I attended recently, courtesy of Bates Wells. It enabled leading figures from the charity world to have open discussions about the topics and trends impacting on their activities, and particularly trends in contentious probate.

We will be sharing the key points in due course, but I want to stress how impressed I was and to thank Bates Wells for facilitating the occasion. I left there feeling both energised and refreshed at just how much value ILM corporate partners and members bring to each other through engagement, commitment and collaboration. As always, I was deeply impressed by the professionalism and commitment of our members, and the depth of knowledge and experience they bring to their jobs.

Very often, the issues raised will be ones we are familiar with, but getting out and about more widely also enables us to hear about pressures and concerns that are new to our ears, allowing us to reflect on how we can best provide support and guide our future activities.

As Chief Executive, it is so rewarding, worthwhile and enjoyable to lead an organisation where relationships are at the heart of everything we do. I often find myself almost overwhelmed by the sense of communal ‘niceness’ and respect that members have for each other and their willingness to share expertise and experiences for the benefit of all.

Long may that continue – and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the ILM Conference on Friday 12th May, and as we hit the road over the coming months.

Kind regards
Matthew Lagden


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