AGM 2021: resolving to re-connect with members


  • Facilities,
  • Workplace

07 October 2021


‘If we can fully harness the power of our volunteers, nothing can stop us.’

‘I was encouraged to become Chair to re-engage and re-energise volunteering.’

Back-to-back statements from the outgoing and incoming Chairs sum up the legacy of this year’s AGM: helping members feel more engaged and demonstrating their centrality to IWM’s role and progress as a modern professional body.

The first in-person event for two years, and our first fully hybrid AGM, was at the spectacular offices of Barings in the City of London. As early birds divided pre-meeting moments between the Bank’s art collection and the 2020 Annual Review, CEO Linda Hausmanis, outgoing Chair Martin G Bell and Head of Finance Catherine Gowers prepared to answer to members, and others, on Institute activity and performance in 2020 ‘the year nobody will forget.’ (Facilitate’s report is here). 

A voice in decision making

A key outcome of the Meeting and one that will shape IWFM’s governance and forward direction was the resolution to have a Members’ Council representative on the Board. This is important because it will ‘give active members a voice in decision making’ said Martin.

The change implements the first of a number of recommendations to have emerged so far from the ongoing Communities Review which began in 2019 to consider the structure of our communities and how Regions and SIGs could better support IWFM’s objectives. Its remit was extended this year, after member feedback, to ensure that our governance structure reflects best practice and moves the Institute towards its goal of achieving Chartered status. (Read the background here).

The other recommendations, discussed with Members’ Council and approved by the Board in July, included:

  • reinvigorating Members Council as a vehicle for input to strategy development and a pool of expertise from which the Institute can draw
  • structuring the Executive to give clearer responsibility for and visibility in member engagement
  • ensuring strategy development and delivery is collaborative between IWFM and members
  • making the case for chartered body status as part of a broader set of goals
  • devolving autonomy for local member events.

Building a better future

We are committed to a way of operating which plays to strengths and fosters a culture of co-operation and trust and that helps IWFM to be a thriving, growing and relevant body delivering outstanding value to our members.

Aligning the workplace opportunity ‘which has never been riper’ with IWFM’s clear and relevant purpose, Linda confirmed that work to implement the recommendations had begun, including on a new three-year strategic plan for Board approval in December.

Now it is over to IWFM’s new Chair, Mark Whittaker, to guide this work, supported among others by his predecessor Martin, who remains as co-opted Board member.