The Long Goodbye

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It's nearly the end of a era for this particular VP blogger. Fans of this blog, holding their annual convention in a convenient phone box, are gutted. But why is what should be a short sharp exit turning into something of a Long Goodbye?

Of course you all know the Long Goodbye, the rather dark Raymond Chandler story made into a Robert Altman movie starring Elliott Gould. The strapline says 'nothing says goodbye like a bullet'.

Fortunately leaving the Board of Trustees isn't quite so dramatic. I haven't seen the senior staff sporting a holster and calling out my name - at least not yet...

It is sometimes forgotten, or chosen to be forgotten by some, that Trustees are elected for only 3 years. Some will stay on slightly longer if they are put on the Presidential path, but in general one third of the board changes each year. And a good thing too.

So it was that last night was my last BoT and that of course should have been that in normal times. But of course we are not in normal times as the vote remains open for the SGM about whether to continue or not with Governance for the Future. This culminates with a special general meeting on 25th September ie 5 days before I and 3 other Trustees meet our Raymond Chandler moment.

This all added a rather surreal feeling to our board meeting as instead of saying goodbye, we all knew we would be meeting again at the SGM. So a full month of saying goodbye - it's going to feel that it's dragging on almost as long as the entire G4F process! Or Strictly ... what an awful thought.

Despite this background we did actually get through a lot of stuff. And it was also the first time we had operated the new classification system for papers. We've still some tweaking to do, but I can assure you that each paper was carefully scrutinised to see if it could be left open or not. It's actually quite difficult as some things are not really sensitive - or at least they won't be after a short period. EG the names of those being awarded bursaries and prizes. These can't be published now because the recipients haven't been notified, but will be public soon. So we still have some mechanics to sort out, but we are getting there.

G4F did not take up much time, there is little to talk about when we are all basically waiting for the membership to vote. However progress is still being made including on the terms of reference for the new Volunteer Engagement Board and also the changed Nominations and Successions Committee. It's worth saying that both of these papers are open ie public.

And we did quite a lot of work on the framework for the Impact Engineering programme. This is our first foray into fund raising in the more normal charity sense and it's already making a big impact, if you'll excuse the pun. We will shortly be into seven figures and this is all money to be used for 'good stuff' like more scholarships. So it really will make a difference. The work we were doing is on the governance and rules around this to ensure it all very open and above board.

We finished up with a nice quiet party of the Trustees as we told Trustee war-stories and enjoyed our last evening as a team together. I can't repeat the stories, other than to say I reckon Mr Altman could have made a good film out of a few ot them.

It's a shame to break up what has been such a good team. I'm now finishing my second and last term on the Trustees and this is easily the best bunch I've seen. However, I've no doubt the new team from 1st October will be even better!

In the meantime of course our Long Goodbye continues.

In the film, Marlowe's final line is 'Yeah, I even lost my cat' and then he shoots the guy. I don't expect anything so dramatic as September rolls to a close. But I'm keeping our moggy under house arrest - just in case.
Posted by Alan Watts on Sep 8, 2015 11:51 AM Europe/London

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