Institution news

From Birdcage Walk

Colin Brown, Chief Executive

Merry Christmas from all at One Birdcage Walk!
Merry Christmas from all at One Birdcage Walk!

The latest in our ongoing series of updates about activities at the Institution.

Dear Member,

As we approach the Solstice it seems appropriate to look back on the Institution year and also to consider what might lie ahead.  2019 has been a year where we can be very proud of what we have achieved and hence we can have confidence for what comes next.  We have clearly changed our habits and our approach that means we are now able to deliver to our plans.  We must be mindful however to keep an eye in 2020 to stick to those habits that have worked for us and got us this far.

We set ourselves 17 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for 2019 and it looks like we will meet or beat 14 of them. That 82% success rate may not seem ideal, but there are of course some very good reasons for the 18%, and it is a step up from 2018 where we achieved just 71%. Most importantly the key goal of stimulating interest in membership within sustainable finances means that our ‘balance sheet’ of member support for what we are doing is strong. Our actual cash reserves have taken a boost too through the hard work of our commercial subsidiaries exceeding their own expectations this year.

It is also good to remember some of the other achievements around engaging members in their mandatory CPD obligations, or increasing student interest in our growing ‘Challenge’ programme. Together with our successful collaboration with IET on grants for schools for example, they bring to life what we are doing to be ‘improving the world through engineering’.  All of these projects are delivered through our active member workforce, supported by our small staff team, and it is brilliant to see that partnership working well.  Just this week it has been International Volunteer Day and the evidence of the membership thanking the staff as much as the staff thanked the membership was plain to see

And so to 2020.  We have some financial ‘headwind’ of now needing to depreciate the costs of our digital modernisation as well as meet a Trustee desire to increase the subsidy to our event programme.  We also have some unavoidable costs coming from our 120 year old building which is starting to creak and to show its age.  The ‘one team’ that we have created however between our active members and our staff means that we will meet these challenges together.  Our five values (summarised as ‘respect’ ‘commenting constructively’ ‘acting with integrity’ ‘continuous improvement’ and ‘making a difference’) will form the backbone of our culture and behaviours. They will become common parlance and thereby guide us in our operations. We are setting ourselves 18 KPIs. Don’t count against us achieving them all this time!


Colin Brown

Chief Executive

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