The Dynamic Duo

A summary of our Dynamic Duo workshop: balancing the relationship between an organisation’s Chair and CEO.

8th July 2018

Over the past year, we have been expanding our Grantee Support Programme for Pears Partners. The programme consists of professional development workshops that focus on either technical skills: such as finance, social media and project management; or leadership and team development, including Action Learning sets and CEO in crisis session with ACEVO.

In June this year, we were pleased to invite ACEVO and the Association of Chairs to run their Dynamic Duo workshop, for Chairs and CEOs, to a group of Pears partners. We work closely with our partners and we know that the relationship between the Chair and CEO is crucial to a charity’s success and central to setting the organisation’s culture.  There are many different models for how this can work but what matters is that both parties put thought into how they will work best together and what their roles should be.

Attended by Chair-CEO pairs, the workshop looked at the relationship from both perspectives and covered a range of topics including creating a supportive culture and dealing with conflict. It provided an opportunity for participants to take time out of their busy schedule to reflect on their relationship and discuss these issues with peers from other organisations in a safe space.


Below are some reflections on the day:

“Having recently become, for the first time, Chair of a small charity, I was both interested and somewhat apprehensive about the “Dynamic Duo” training at JHub.  In the event, I found the day very helpful because of its thought-provoking yet supportive approach. It was well structured with a lively mix of information, discussion and sometimes challenging activities. There were many highlights, but the opportunity to consider and reflect on the working relationship between CEO and Chair was particularly useful and enlightening. Being guided throughout by skilled facilitators, in a comfortable environment with a warm welcome and refreshments, made the day most enjoyable. I look forward to meeting up with some of the other attendees in a follow-up session. Thank you!”

Jan Stogdon, Chair, Bag Books


“Although I’ve been a Chief Executive for ten years this is the first time we’ve had a new Chair of Trustees during that period and I know that building a good working relationship between us is vital to the charity. This event came along at exactly the right moment and gave us plenty of ideas for the future and concrete actions to put in place. It was a lively, interactive day, yet also informal, which helped to put everyone at ease and facilitated the sharing of experiences in a confidential environment. Highly recommended.”

Dean Casswell, Chief Executive, Bag Books


“The Dynamic Duo session was incredibly helpful for myself and my Chair. First and foremost, it is very rare to be able to spend a full day away from the daily grind of the office with my Chair and have the chance to reflect and think about the bigger picture for our organisation. Secondly, it was incredibly beneficial to spend the day with peers and being able to share the challenges and strengths of what we go through. One of the key learnings from the day is that ‘best practice’ looks and feels different for each organisation and a successful CEO and Chair partnership will be able to tailor what success looks like in their own organisation. Moving forward, the session has given us key tools and frameworks to help us better understand how we can grow further and develop our organisation and look to improve relationship not just with myself and the chair but also between all staff members and trustees.”

Dan Rickman, Executive Director, Mitzvah Day

Take a look at the events pages on the Association of Chair’s or ACEVO’s websites for further Dynamic Duo opportunities.