New Ways of Working
A more open, inclusive and future – orientated Landscape Institute
At no point has the future health of our urban, rural, and wild landscapes been more dependent on a progressive and impactful Landscape Institute. Together, we can make a difference.
Building on work ongoing since the LI commissioned the Brown (Independent) Review in 2020, we will be making a step change in the way we work to foster a culture of collaboration between the people that shape our organisation – including the members, volunteers, Board, and staff.
The LI’s purpose, under our Royal Charter, is to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment, for the benefit of the public, by promoting the art and science of landscape practice.
Running in parallel with our corporate vision to be a relevant, expert and trusted professional body, alignment between the two – and how we work to achieve them – is vital for our future as an organisation.
To ensure that this future is one of both impact and collaboration, the LI Board of Trustees has been working alongside LI staff and members to develop new ways of working, and create a framework that enables us to deliver on our purpose in accordance with our values.
We are introducing these new ways of working so that members, volunteers, Board and staff can gather, and focus on moving forward together. As we build for the future, the priorities of this work will be:
- To put all the people that shape our organisation at the heart of decision making.
- Review the roles of different parts of our governance structure in decision making processes.
- To define and promote more two-way engagement with members and branches.
- Examine how we meet our public interest role as a self-regulating profession.
The LI Board of Trustees add that “The LI has a vital role to play in addressing the climate and biodiversity emergencies, and creating a working environment in which its members, staff, and volunteers feel a combined strength and unity of vision is an essential part of delivering on this. Developing our ways of working to become the Institute we all want to be is a long-term and collaborative process, but great strides have already been made, and we’re confident that together, we can make a difference.”
What’s to Come
Recent months have already seen several steps taken to help us navigate this path to progress. Each step has led to new insights and feedback and allowed us to build from a foundation that puts our learning at the heart of everything we do going forward.
This work remains ongoing, and over the coming weeks and months, we look forward to sharing updates on initiatives including:
The Brown (Independent) Review
- Commissioned in 2020, the Brown Review detailed a set of recommendations for the LI across strategy, leadership, working environment, governance, and operational delivery.
- Look out for: Updates on the recommendations made in the Brown Review will be highlighted in all relevant LI activity and communications. Their ongoing implementation continues to guide our core business delivery and immediate strategic priorities of people, membership and systems.
Governance Review and Centre for Governance and Scrutiny Report
- The Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS) report was commissioned by the Board of Trustees in 2022. The purpose was two-fold: to have an independent audit of the progress we had made in implementing the recommendations of the 2020 Brown Review into the functioning of the Landscape Institute, and to resume the wider review into our new ways of working. The Board received the Report at its meeting on 18 October 2023 and asked the newly established Governance Committee to consider its findings and advise on how its recommendations should be taken forward. When agreed they will be combined with the outstanding work from the Brown review into a plan which will be consulted on and implemented as part of our Business Plan for 2023-24 and 2024-25.
Updates to Board, committees, and LI staff
- A recommendation made in the Brown Review in 2020 was to review the effectiveness of the Board of Trustees. This has seen the creation of new ‘Governance’ and ‘People, Culture and Change’ committees, and a time-limited ‘Task and Finish Group’, which is reviewing the way the standing committees operate and the way we develop public policy and technical guidance.
- Look out for: Introductions to new committees will be issued from November 2023. A new, strong and invigorated staff team will focus on a vision around three core priorities of membership, people and systems, for the next 12-18 months in particular. Spotlights on LI departments, branches, and new volunteers will be published from December 2023.
Our immediate strategic priorities
- The LI is currently operating around three strategic aims: people, membership and systems. These have been informed by feedback we received from the member survey conducted in 2023 and Roadshow in 2022. In response to this feedback, the LI has committed to eight pledges (see graphic ) to guide its immediate work.
- Look out for: The 2023-24 Business Plan will be published in November 2023.
Engaging with members
- With ‘engagement’ being one of these eight pledges, we are keen to examine a more two-way engagement with members, registered practices, and branches. We will be looking at member grades and member value proposition, as well as the branch network proposition.
- Opportunities to get involved in focus groups, meetings, and consultations.
Strategy and planning
- The long-term vision and strategy of the LI is a product of these initiatives, and the ways of working they promote. As we look towards our 2024-29 Corporate Strategy, we can already see the 2023-24 Business Plan as well as the plan for the new digital infrastructure which was introduced in November 2023. Known as Project Kestrel, it will transform the efficiency and experience of working with the LI for all.
- Look out for: Opportunities to get involved with Project Kestrel with meetings and consultations.
The success of this work depends on meaningful, two-way engagement between the LI and the many groups of people that shape us – including members, volunteers, Board, Advisory Council, and staff. As we share details on these initiatives and others, we will also be sharing details of the focus groups, surveys, branch activities, and events, that will enable us to gather the views and experiences of our community, and move forward together.
If we are to deliver on the LI’s purpose to protect, conserve, and enhance the natural and built environment, then the immediate years ahead are going to be vital, and require that this purpose is articulated and enacted through a partnership that involves us all.