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  • New ideas (Weekly blog, 19 March 2017)

    Posted on March 20, 2017
    A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones,” said John Maynard Keynes.  Well, I’m rather regretting blogging about time management and spring cleaning last week!

    With Fiona, Oliver and Geoffrey at the FAI Headquarters in Milan, September 2016

    Think big

    This week has been full of the kind of big thinking I was extolling.  Finalising the new INTO constitution, writing the 2016 Annual Report, developing a new business plan, preparing Fiona’s speech for World Heritage Day, working on the new INTO Handbook on National Trusts.   Phew.

    The daily flotsam and jetsam still has to be managed however.  This includes funding applications, banking (including this week the implications of imminent sort code migration), finalising contracts, setting up meetings and events, supporting the team, emails, meetings, letters, phone calls …

    There just isn’t enough time!

    (Or rather, there is still a lot to do in the time management department …)

    New 2016 Annual Report

    I’m currently trying to trim down my 31-page draft 2016 Annual Report to a more manageable 24 pages.  It’s very tempting to mention everything INTO achieved in 2016.   And in great detail.    But the point of the annual report is to provide a summary of your charity’s work; to tell people where your money comes from and how you’ve spent it.

    Annual Reports seem to fall into one of two boxes.  The simple, plain text, minimum requirement ‘tick box exercise’ version – or the glossy, high production values ‘calling card’ style report.

    We definitely aspire to the latter.  Nevertheless, there is an art to preparing something that is a beautiful and compelling read.    I’m not sure we’re there yet.

    But it’s worth remembering that an annual report is almost instantly out-of-date so the 80-20 rule will have to apply. (A good solution enables you to move forward, whereas a perfect one – or 100% – would have taken significantly longer with no real impact on the outcome).

    You can read our past Annual Reports here.

    Tangible or intangible cultural heritage?

    World Heritage Day

    Building on last year’s lecture and the State of Global Heritage Report, we’re focussing our World Heritage Day offering this year on intangible heritage.

    We believe intangible heritage is under threat – from globalisation and commercialisation.  So we’ve been looking for examples from across the INTO network of organisations doing interesting things and particularly engaging young people in the protection and promotion of intangible cultural heritage.    It also gives us an opportunity to talk about the ‘Encouraging African Youth’ project and the 2017 ICNT in Indonesia which has a strong intangible heritage component.

    However, as the audience will be quite a mixed bunch finding the right narrative, message and content is proving harder than originally thought!   Still, great fun and a good learning experience.  After all, new ideas and all that …

    Thanks for reading!

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