We need some new board members - and we’re trying something new. Non-executive director Kate explains more.

Shared Assets is looking for some interesting, passionate and motivated new non-executive directors to join our small team and deepen and strengthen the skills on the board.

As a Community Interest Company, and previously as a company limited by guarantee, we have always had a small group of volunteer non-exec directors. They have tended to play an invaluable strategic sounding board role, and they’ve all added huge value to Shared Assets over our 10 years.

For most of that 10 years the balance was that there were two executive directors - Mark and I, and 3-4 non executive directors. Together we made up the board. Other team members would occasionally come to meetings, and board members would occasionally get involved in other projects, but for the most part the board has been relatively distant from the core work and energy of the organisation. 

Shared Assets' 10th Birthday celebration last year!

We’ve always really appreciated when board members bring energy, contacts and ideas, as well as wise strategic brains. Previous board members have had skills in planning, systems change, housing, land management, financing, running small organisations, and more. They have occasionally got involved with consultancy projects as an associate, or helped particular team members develop projects, but it has been fairly ad hoc.

We are entering into a new phase, one characterised by more distribution of power, self management and co-leadership, and fuzzier boundaries between inside and outside the organisation. I’ve already stepped back from the day to day work of the team and am enjoying being a non-executive rather than an executive director. Partly this is because it’s such a joy to be on the edges of the core team, and to be able to be inspired by their rigour, creativity and ambition. The board team itself is small but super supportive. The meetings are fun (not often you can say that of board meetings), thoughtful and stretching. We are actively experimenting with what a self-managing board could look like, rotating roles, and co-crafting agendas. It’s a dynamic space full of possibility and I can’t wait to welcome a few more people into it.

The core team is building up a culture of distributed power, self management and co-leadership: and as I’ve stepped away from an executive role, the transitional phase has already begun. The role of the board will grow in importance during this transitional time, and we are looking for non-executive directors who are keen to be supportive and engaged with our work and help us have a strategic focus. We are really keen to broaden the range of perspectives that we have on the board, and recognise that there are different layers of labour involved in bringing certain experiences to the table.

What will the role look like?

So, we are engaging in some active governance innovation, and trialling a new hybrid approach. The core company director role - of attending board meetings, reading papers, and coming to informal board catch ups, will be a voluntary one. We imagine it will take 4-6 days a year of people’s time.

There will then be an optional layer of extra work, which would be paid on a freelance basis. This extra work could look like coaching a team member, advising on a particular project, facilitating or holding space for our away days, supporting the development of new policies and processes, or things we haven’t even imagined yet! We are excited about co-creating this with the evolving team of non-exec directors.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for people who are excited about the potential of small, ambitious, self managing teams and organisations, and who see land and land justice as fundamental to a regenerative future. We are particularly interested in hearing from people with experience of being marginalised in some way by the current land system, and who are keen to use that experience to shape systemic change. We would love to hear from people with financial management, movement building, and comms and storytelling skills, who could support particular functions of the organisation. We will be prioritising building a balanced team of people who work well together.

There’s a lot more info in the Application Pack, and the deadline is midday on 10th May. These roles will be really crucial in supporting Shared Assets to move into its next phase: we can’t wait to hear from you! 

Christabel, Kate, Alanna and Kim at a team day in House of Annetta
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