Trustee Profile – Helen Kelly

Trustee Profile – Helen Kelly

Helen Kelly, Trustee of Barnardos Ireland

Head of Corporate Banking Origination – Ireland, Barclays Bank

Discovering the Impact of Charitable Organisations through a Board role

“It is much more fulfilling than I originally expected. What is particularly striking is when we visit projects or hear case studies about the impact of Barnardos on children’s lives. This helps put my day job into perspective”.

Why did you choose to take on a voluntary directorship?

Firstly, because I completed my Chartered Director exams at the Institute of Directors in 2014 and I wanted to put my leaning into practice. Secondly, because I wanted to give something back to the Community – I am not very good at painting or gardening, and I wanted to use my professional skills. Thirdly, because I was encouraged and supported by my employer Barclays to do so and that was also very important.

How has your experience differed from what you expected?

It is much more fulfilling than I originally expected and Board discussions can be really interesting. Governance matters are an important agenda item but there are also many strategic decisions to be made that impact on our employees and on the services that we can provide to children and their families. What is particularly striking is when we visit projects or hear case studies about the impact of Barnardos on children’s lives. This helps put my day job into perspective.

Has your professional capacity helped you in this position?

Absolutely. In Barnardos we are lucky to have a very diverse Board comprising of child care professionals, academia and business leaders with expertise in areas such as finance, HR, PR and marketing, but I like to think my commercial and financial skills from banking add real value also.

What have you learnt by being on the board?

I am surrounded by very experienced, sage Directors from both public and private sector backgrounds, all of whom have different perspectives on particular points. The experience of listening to and working closely with others who think quite differently from me is what I am learning most.

What challenges did you encounter whilst being on a board?

Initially the biggest challenge was understanding the services we provide, how Barnardos interacts with service provision from the State and basic sector terminology, so there is a definite learning curve for about a year before you start to have the confidence to contribute yourself. I also joined the Audit Committee and that has also been very useful place to learn what the key risks are and how to mitigate these.

How important was teamwork and collaboration in relation to board effectiveness?

Really important. At its core a Board is a collection of individuals who need to work together for the good of the organisation. Most Barnardos Directors will join a Sub-Committee at some point during their directorship and that fosters even closer working relationships but the ability to collaborate is key particularly as it relates also to the Executive Team.

November 2017

Trustee Profile – Michael McDonagh

Trustee Profile – Michael McDonagh

Michael McDonagh, Chairperson of Boardmatch Ireland 

Senior Business Director – Hays Recruitment

Dealing with Challenges and Learning as a Charity Trustee
“You have to be mindful that, as a Director or Trustee, you are less hands on operationally than you might like to be – you need to be able to let go and trust the executive team to deal with the day-to-day issues” 

 

Why did you choose to take on a voluntary directorship?

Having worked for Hays Recruitment for 15 years, I wanted to test my skills in another environment. I also felt a strong sense of wanting to give something back. Finally, I thought it would be good for my career – the opportunity to build a new network, give myself some profile and see how I could cope at board level.

 

What challenges do you encounter whilst being on a board?

The main challenge has been the transition from a very large organisation with good resources (in my day job) to a very small organisation with limited resources.You have to be mindful of the fact that things you could get done in your day job with relative ease are much tougher in this environment. You therefore have to be creative and think about how you can try and achieve the same quality outcomes on a smaller budget and with less resources. You also have to be mindful that, as a Director or Trustee, you are less hands on operationally than you might like to be – you need to be able to let go and trust the executive team to deal with the day-to-day issues.

 

How do you approach conflict resolution on your board?

Thankfully, the Board of Boardmatch Ireland is experienced and everyone understands why we are there – to work independently to improve governance in the not-for-profit sector by strengthening Boards’ composition. Any conflicts that have arisen tend to be against the back-drop of understanding that everyone wants the organisation to move forward. When we have had disagreements, talking it through, taking into account other Directors’/Trustees’ positions, is crucial to finding a way through. We have also developed clearer expectations of the role of a Director/Trustee on the Board of Boardmatch, so everyone knows what is expected of them.

 

How important is teamwork and collaboration in relation to board effectiveness?

Very important. We have developed and continue to develop the sub-committee structure in order to support the executive team in a more cohesive way. The Board has been excellent in volunteering for roles on sub-committees. I think the Board and the executive work very well together – it is important to have constructive criticism (that’s part of the role of the Board), but again with the understanding that everyone is trying to get to the same place.
November 2017

Director, CEO & Chair Training – 2018

Boardmatch’s training calendar for 2018 will be released in the new year. Please follow our social media pages, on Twitter and LinkedIn, for further updates.

To express your interest or find out further information about our training days, please contact Hannah Coleman at hannahcoleman@boardmatch.ie or call the office on 01-671 5005.

CEO & Chair Training

CEO and Chair Training Day

Boardmatch Ireland are delighted to announced our CEO & Chair Training dates for 2017. We will be running two CEO & Chair trainings over the course of the year. Please see dates below:

March 2nd
October 19th 

This training fills up quickly so please be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.

The performance of any not-for-profit organisation is underpinned by the relationship that exists between the CEO and Chair. The training explores this critical Management/Governance interface, and is relevant to both seasoned practitioners and those just stepping up to the top job.

The full-day training is led by governance expert Dorothy Dalton. Dorothy Dalton is a leading expert on Governance and advises several national charities, Boards of Governance and CEOs. Having written several books on Governance, Dorothy has gathered her wealth of experience from various roles including her time as Chief Executive with ACEVO (the association of chief executives of voluntary organisations) from 1992 to 2000, as a Director with Inland Revenue and the Marie Curie Foundation , and as Chairperson for the Petchey Academy since 2014.Click here to visit her website.

Cost: 390 Euro per organisation
200 Euro for one attendee

Location: Davy, 49 Dawson Street Dublin 2

Date: See above

Time: 9:30am to 4:00pm

Main topics will include:

  • Roles and expectations of Chairs and trustees
  • Ensuring trustees fulfil their governance role
  • Refreshing the Board and finding new trustees
  • Case study of where things went wrong
  • Developing a learning organisation

For further information, or to book a place, please contact Hannah at Hannahcoleman@boardmatch.ie or call the office on 01-671 5005.

Director Training

Director Training

Boardmatch Ireland are delighted to announce our final Director training dates for 2017. Please see dates below:

October 17th (Added Date)
October 18th (Booked Out)

This training day provides a comprehensive overview of the role and responsibilities of not-for-profit board members and is tailored towards prospective, new and existing board members looking to strengthen their role on the Board.

The full-day training is led by governance expert Dorothy Dalton.Dorothy Dalton is a leading expert on Governance and advises several national charities, Boards of Governance and CEOs. Having written several books on Governance, Dorothy has gathered her wealth of experience from various roles including her time as Chief Executive with ACEVO (the association of chief executives of voluntary organisations) from 1992 to 2000, as a Director with Inland Revenue and the Marie Curie Foundation , and as Chairperson for the Petchey Academy since 2014.Click here to visit her website

Cost: 200 Euro p/p

Location: Davy, 49 Dawson Street Dublin 2

Date: See above

Time: 9.30am to 4pm

Main topics will include:

  • Role, expectations and liabilities of voluntary Directors
  • What is governance?
  • Information needed by voluntary Directors
  • Agendas
  • Case Studies
  • Relationships with your Chief Executive and Chair

 

For further information, please contact Hannah at Hannahcoleman@boardmatch.ie or call the office on 01-671 5005.
To register, please follow the link below.
https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/boardmatch-director-training-tickets-38579382973