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Duncan: 'I have every intention of making sure RIBA's council is effective'


I think many architects, and small practices especially, recognise in Jane Duncan a practitioner who understands their struggle. As a result she has an excellent constituency for driving some necessary changes at the RIBA. At a recent RIBA Council meeting she acknowledged that leading the change was 'the opportunity of a generation'. I agree with her and with the need to identify a meaningful strategy capable of leading architecture in increasingly challenging times. There is a palpable sense in the profession that we need to shift up a gear to be able to face the future with confidence. 'Leading Architecture 2’; the RIBA's Strategy 2016 to 2020, is intended as a framework of priorities within which the RIBA Board will prepare annual business plans. Jane's most important task, because it is (or should be) over-arching everything else, is to create and deliver this strategy. No further governance reviews or changes to byelaws are necessary to instil the necessary leadership and create a management strategy and structure that's fit for purpose provided sufficient council members are in agreement about how to do this. If council is ever to be really effective in a strategic role it needs to be weaned off its propensity for dwelling on marginalia to the detriment of the really important issues. Jane promises chairmanship and a tighter rein on time wasting points of order, procedural and reporting issues which should be dealt with outside the meeting. Leading Architecture 2 needs SMART objectives in relation to strategic themes. Council should adopt a management process for regular review of the strategy. The Board should report to council on how successive business plans are proposing to meet strategic objectives and whether the institute is succeeding in delivering objectives. At the very least the chief executive and president’s annual review should be related to performance against the five year strategy. Ben Derbyshire. Managing Partner, HTA Design LLP Chair, The Housing Forum

Posted date

10 September, 2015

Posted time

9:19 am


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