The future is now
Chris Millward, now CEO at the Institute of Legacy Management (ILM), shares how his learning at the IoF Future Leaders Programme in 2015 is continuing to have a major influence over his work today.
How has your career path changed at the Institute of Legacy Management (ILM) since completing the Future Leaders Programme in 2015?
I signed up to the programme to learn the skills essential to developing my fundraising career and joined the board of ILM as a Director during the course. Several months into the course, I took on extra responsibility as an Executive Director, and I became CEO of ILM just as the course finished.
What did you find most valuable about the programme?
In its simplest terms, it allowed me time away from the day to day to focus on my personal and professional development in a way I simply wouldn't have been able to otherwise. It made me recognise and value my strengths and develop new skills, knowledge and understanding in order to be able to move forward.
How have you applied your learning over the past two years?
I have taken principles learnt during the course into my work and wider organisation. The Future Leaders Programme gave me not just the skills but the confidence and self-belief to achieve this.
What benefit has your Future Leaders expertise had on your charity’s initiatives and outcomes?
As I now lead a professional development body, shifting focus to the importance of soft skills learnt in the course (such as influencing and emotional intelligence) has helped to inform and enhance our training offer. We have piloted several soft skills courses and are currently undertaking a wider review of which soft skills will be a core part. I am also proud of the ways in which I have seen the staff grow and develop to take on these new challenges.
What project/s are you most proud of in your time as CEO?
ILM has undergone a transformation in the last two and a half years. From vision and mission to values and strategic breakthroughs, all have been reviewed and revised, and a refreshed brand will launch soon in support of these. We have reengineered the organisation from the bottom up to ensure the right systems and processes, including a new CRM system and website, are in place for future success.
We have also worked hard to raise the organisation’s profile, working with PR agency to establish authority and credibility, we have increased the value offer to members and partners so they feel more connected and have enhanced opportunities to develop their skills, and we have launched Good Practice Guidance for the sector, establishing principles and standards to which we wish to hold others and to be held to account.
Do you keep in touch with the network of fellow Future Leaders participants?
In differing ways we have kept in touch and continue to support and encourage each other in our professional ambitions. I value the circle of like-minded individuals the course put me in touch with especially as it can be quite lonely as a CEO (or any senior leader) with few people to turn to for support or to ask questions.
Chris Millward, Institute of Legacy Management CEO
The Future Leaders Programme has been designed for experienced fundraisers with the desire to become future Heads or Directors of Fundraising. This programme offers the unique opportunity for participants to develop the skills needed to take their careers to the next level and build a network of peers to support one another along the way.