Looking to the Future

Our Corporate Strategy for 2018 to 2023 set out three overarching goals

  1. Influence – raise the profile of landscape and place with the public and decision makers
  2. Relevance – build resilience, confidence and relevance of the landscape profession
  3. Inclusive Growth – grow and be more inclusive as an organisation

Corporate Strategy for 2018 to 2023

The Board of Trustees are also aware that we need to match our ambition with the careful stewardship of our resources, and our new CEO will need to balance both external and internal priorities. They will have the right attributes to not only support the Board, Advisory Council, and Standing Committees to deliver against the LI’s Strategic objectives, but also understand how to do so within a challenging operating environment, navigating the quadruple crises of climate, nature, health, and economic recovery.

Overall, as an organisation we want to:

  • Continue our journey of modernisation and profile raising.
  • Work together to build a much stronger external profile, both within the built, natural, and rural environment sectors, and with national and devolved governments.
  • Enable members, staff, and volunteers to make a bigger contribution.
  • Provide the services that our members want and need.
  • Deliver tangible outcomes in line with our charitable objectives and our five-year Corporate Strategy.
  • Remain proactive, collaborative, and strategic in a changing environment.

Our challenges and opportunities include:

  • The emerging impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on the Institute and our members.
  • Ensuring that public and private investment in economic recovery provides sufficiently for green infrastructure, and for landscape-led planning, design, and management of the built and natural environment.
  • Strengthening our position on big agenda items such as climate change and net zero, green recovery and green jobs, the new UK National Planning Framework, and biodiversity net gain.
  • Diversifying our membership offer while remaining competitive as a membership body.
  • Helping policymakers and the public better understand the full breadth of what our members can offer.
  • Addressing current skill shortages across the landscape disciplines, coupled with competition across related sectors in attracting and retaining talent.
  • Becoming a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse organisation.
  • Making best use of digital technology to promote and offer services to our members.
  • Facilitating better dialogue across all parts of our wider membership.
  • Harnessing and supporting the considerable energy, passion, enthusiasm, and knowledge across the LI.
  • Ensuring the respective roles of President and CEO remain complementary and well-understood.
  • Acknowledging and understanding our resourcing limits, employing effective prioritisation in order to operate within our means, including identifying new sources of funding.
  • Understanding the LI’s carbon footprint and next year commence carbon accounting (in tandem with standard financial accounting) so that we reach CarbonZero at our Centenary in 2029.
  • Making the most of our recent service innovations by consolidating and strengthening our newer income streams.

The combined stresses of COVID lockdowns and an ambitious agenda have at times overstretched our executive and core team. Our new CEO will need to be mindful of this, ensuring a healthy balance between workloads and staff wellbeing, as well as addressing some of our internal weaknesses identified in a recent independent review.

This review has highlighted five key areas that will form the basis of an internal development programme:

  • Improving the LI’s ability to deliver its strategy through a change programme.
  • Improving leadership – both at Board and executive level.
  • Improving the environment for staff, volunteers, and members.
  • Refining the LI’s governance arrangements.
  • Improving resource and operational management.

At a strategic level, our current Corporate Strategy will end in the summer of 2023. To ensure ownership and buy-in of the next iteration across the entire membership, there is a need to undertake early and inclusive discussions with members, staff, volunteers, and wider stakeholders about our future direction for the next five years.