My leaving speech to my friends and colleagues at FutureGov

To start, I want to tell you how proud I am of you all; of being a part of this team and everything we’ve achieved together during this really bloody difficult year. For the dedication you’ve each shown to making change and impact happen every day for the people we serve and, really importantly, the unwavering support you’ve given each other throughout. All while facing challenges of your own outside of work, worrying about friends and family all around the world.

Personally, this year I’ve been particularly proud to be a part of the Camden Council response team, as well as the way we’ve stood strong next to partners like the NHS, Hackney, North East Lincolnshire and others during the crisis. All while starting two huge and hugely important pieces of work in the Towns Fund and Bloomberg programmes. But those are just the ones I’ve been a part of — we’ve had many, many projects besides from Trafford to NHSx AI Lab, Land Registry to Blood Transfusion. You truly are a bunch of badasses.

And that goes for everything we’ve done over the past 13 years. I am so proud to say FutureGov has forged a unique path in helping government meet its aspirations for the people it serves; wherever we’ve been, whatever we’ve done. We are partners in a truly special organisation, that at times resembles a movement as much as a company; working closely with our colleagues and clients, partners and peers to support the ambitions of organisations and communities but also to challenge them, to be the best of pushy friends, helping people aim higher and imagine new and better ways to achieve their ambitions. Not just in the UK but all around the world, working everywhere from Helsinki to Singapore, Bulgaria to Brisbane. Or equally whether it’s welcoming the most talented people from around the world to become a part of the FutureGov family.

But as we all know more than most, change is a constant. Recently we’ve talked a lot about transitions and how organisations need to keep evolving and moving forward. And FutureGov is no different.

Today, we wanted to let you know that, in discussion with colleagues at The Panoply Group, it’s been decided that now is the time for a transition of leadership at FutureGov.

Yes, that time has come at last. After 13 years at the helm, as of the 31st of December, I will be stepping down as CEO of FutureGov. Having supported the period after joining The Panoply, weathered the COVID storm and landed the new company mission, it was felt that the time is right for change at the top.

It’s been quite the year. COVID aside, six months ago we came together to set out our vision for the future, our mission. It’s a bold and unique mission, especially for a client-centred organisation like ours. But it’s classic FutureGov. The perfect blend of client-serving but also client leading, nudging them in the right direction as friends and allies, always looking to move the sector forward in new and progressive ways.

And as part of this, we’ve worked hard together to reshape the organisation in a way that supports us to deliver on that mission, bringing in new roles, more specialisms and a new structure.

With this clear mission, a strong structure and a great leadership team, I am more confident than ever in everything FutureGov has become and that it’s time to let you all take on the next phase of the journey without me. As such, I will be passing the torch to my long time colleague and FutureGov MD (now CEO) Matt Skinner.

As you know, for the last four years (plus four more years before that in the team) Matt has been my partner in leading this company. I have no doubt he will be a brilliant and natural successor to take forward everything we’ve built together, to deliver the mission we’ve crafted this year and lead this organisation through the next stage of growth to an even bigger impact.

While I recognise this change feels fast, we’ve been planning this transition for a little while. We’ve not been able to tell you sooner as we’re now part of a publicly listed company in the Panoply Group and so couldn’t share this news until now. But Neal, Olly and Simon and the Panoply Board want to assure you that they are entirely supportive of the FutureGov mission and see it as fundamental to meeting the Group’s ambition to deliver impactful work as a growing and booming business.

I really just wanted to reiterate that this is very much about FutureGov doubling down on its direction of travel, getting the company in shape to grow further while protecting the heart and soul of what makes us so special and different to other consultancies.

Added to that, I’ll always be stood alongside you, cheering you on from the sidelines every step of the way.

In terms of what’s next for me, well first things first, I’ll be taking a bit of time to have a think. For over 10 years I’ve poured myself into our work, our brilliant team, helping to get us to where we are today. But now it’s time for me to take a moment to reflect. In time I expect I’ll start working on new projects for the future, one of which might be a little thing called the Institute of Impossible Ideas which I will be taking with me on my journey.

I am so sad to go but so proud of everything we have achieved and will continue to achieve together. We’ve built an amazing team of dedicated, passionate people who I couldn’t be more proud of. You are all brilliant at what you do and how you do it and it has been my privilege to lead you for the last 13 years.

This company, this mission and this group of people will always be deep in my heart and I look forward to seeing what’s next from FutureGov.

Clear eyes, full hearts, much love. And please please keep in touch.


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