April 2017

"A recent UK report from the Lords Select Committee described charity leadership as being like "juggling on a unicycle" - balancing a huge range of tasks and skills while simultaneously facing unrealistically high expectations.  Also the stress of knowing if one ball drops, that will be the one that is noticed, not the many others that you are still successfully managing to juggle.

The current academic literature on public administration is full of research on collaborative governance, integrated services and community participation. This research reflects a reality where boundaries between public, private and Third Sectors are increasingly blurred and where services are being redesigned to better meet rising public expectations at the same time as facing the challenges of austerity and Brexit.

After 13 years as CEO of ACOSVO, Pat Armstrong gained agreement from ACOSVO's Board for a two month period of extended leave. Pat and her husband David had planned their adventure together, and set off to travel far and wide, while Pat kept friends and colleagues posted on her blog 'The World is my Office....Not'.


The Board and staff made initial plans for Pat's leave, setting out clear roles and boundaries. Systems and processes were put in place for cover, and while Pat would leave a gap for a short time, the whole team felt confident and capable to cover the period.