In this episode, we speak with Philip Goodwin, Chief Executive Officer of Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), the leading global international development organisation working through volunteers to empower communities in some of the world’s poorest and most overlooked regions.
Philip talks with Vicky Tongue, the Centre’s Head of Futures and Innovation, sharing insights and organisational experiences of uncertainty, strategy, leadership and narrative. We learn how VSO operates in framing strategy and action, using the principles of dispersed leadership, connecting logic, emotion and action as a way of aligning people, and above all being reflective in practice – constantly assessing what VSO is doing and how that might require the organisation to change. In this way, they have achieved a space where interactions, particularly across the wider global leadership group, maintain momentum and generate opportunity in meeting the organisation’s mission.
picking up on themes from two publications:
- The Centre’s Scanning the Horizon civil society futures strategy community Sector Guide on ‘Strategic Decision-Making in a Whirly World’ (also see our past podcast), and
- A paper on ‘Leading Strategy as a Journey of Not Knowing’ which Philip originally co-wrote with Tony Page ten years ago when Philip was Chief Executive at Tree Aid, and which he has built on at VSO. As you will hear, the ideas are even more relevant today.
This conversation shared some exciting food for thought on leadership, which the Centre will be picking up on in our sector leadership convenings in 2022. We think it will inspire you as much as it has us, so please listen and enjoy!