Incorporating Learning into J R McKenzie Trust Board Meetings

The J R McKenzie Trust has always had a strong commitment to learning and development and we’re constantly seeking ways to improve our work. We want to understand how best to serve our communities and embracing opportunities to gain knowledge is a big part of that. At our February Board meeting, we were delighted to host Paul Schmitz who shared learnings around the topic “Everyone Leads and Social Innovation”.

He defines leadership as ‘an action many can take, not a position few can hold’. Its about taking responsibility to work with others on common goals and it’s a practice of values that engages commitment from others. Social change has always come from the leadership of many, not from the dictates of the few. During this session, we looked at how we can build on the assets of the Trust and incorporate leadership into every aspect of our strategy.

Paul highlighted some current social innovation trends in the US: ‘collective impact’, ‘community building’, and ‘data, evidence and results’. Concepts such as continuous communication, shared and agreed measurements, having a common agenda, stakeholder trust, and aligned resources were highlighted as crucial. In all that we do, it was agreed that its important to be authentic and fulfil promises that are made.

Including sessions like this into every Board meeting is welcomed by all at the Trust. We recognise the value of increasing our comprehension of the context in which we operate.

If you’re interested in learning more about Paul’s work, you can visit or