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Lindsey Richards: General assembly consulted on corporate strategy refresh

The RTPI has been successfully delivering against the 2020 – 2030 Corporate Strategy, which has delivered concrete results, including record membership, a clear commitment to Equality Diversity and Inclusion, and a concerted effort to raise the profile of the profession among other things.

However, a decade is a long time, especially given the changes we have seen since 2020. We have seen a global pandemic, a relentless political reform agenda from Government and geopolitical changes few could have predicted. On top of that 2024 will see local elections, a general election (possibly), and who knows what further changes to the planning sector that these could deliver.

As such, the Trustees have taken the view that we need to collectively take a look at the corporate strategy and make sure that it is fit for the purpose of delivering on behalf of members for the next five years. As part of that Chief Executive Victoria Hills, will be leading a year long round of consultations on a refreshed strategy.

We always had the opportunity to invoke the break clause and this felt like a sensible time to do this. This was also an opportunity for us to take stock of what we have delivered so far and whether the emphasis has been appropriate.

The first step of this process was to use the General Assembly as a sounding board for emerging thinking and provide their views on what RTPI should be prioritising over the next five years. It is genuinely important that we hear from the broad church of the membership but we need to ensure we have framed the questions in the right way, and the General Assembly is the important group to test that with.

Ensuring that the framing of the new strategy is essential in order to create the most positive engagement from throughout the membership which is where the real value of our collective institutional knowledge lies.

Four themes discussed included in the discussion were broad enough to elicit wide ranging discussion, but narrow enough to ensure that the information collected was valuable for the project.

  1. Delivery to date
  2. Future projects
  3. Future growth
  4. Future of the profession

As ever, the conversation was lively and I encouraged each break out group to challenge the assumptions of other in order to develop the ideas. This felt like a proper opportunity to stress test assumptions.

One of the key messages that came across was that there was absolutely a need to make members feel like they had been included in this process, which is why, I have chosen to use this regular general assembly write up to do just that.

The following months will see a large consultation period with committees, management board, young planners and beyond.

You are all on notice. We will be asking you this year to have your say about the future of your institute.

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