Reflections and visions of the future

Andrew Jones

In his final blog as President, Professor Andrew Jones reflects on his term on office and the vision for the future as he hands over the mantle to Dr David Wilson.

It doesn’t feel like two years since I took on the role of President of the BIR, or indeed four years since I became Vice President. However, when I reflect on the changes and the achievements that we have made as an organisation, I am amazed at what has been accomplished.

It is a privilege to be president but with that I have felt a huge responsibility. It is always important to remember that Presidents will come and go, but the strategy we have developed for the BIR pushes forward and it is this that controls and supports the continuing success of the Institute.


Importantly, we have now established a new three-year rolling strategy that allows us to develop and review the strategy to adapt to future opportunities that arise.

It is important to acknowledge the achievements and successes that have been made over the past couple of years. The list is not just long but also very impressive in terms of the scale and nature of these achievements.

To list just a few we have:

  • moved successfully into our new home at St John Street
  • launched our new website
  • a new effective structure of officers and of trustee governance
  • set up our new Special Interest Groups
  • created our new corporate subscriber and events sponsorship package
  • developed a successful publication strategy that includes the launch of BIRǀOpen and continuous publication
  • developed an exciting blended education offering of successful meetings and online learning
  • set up a new educational Accreditation Committee
  • successfully developed an external affairs and communications strategies
  • strengthened our Branch structure and launched our new Midlands Branch
  • developed a constantly increasing range of new member benefits

It would be all too easy for me as President to claim the limelight and credit for our recent achievements. For the BIR, however, I am proud to say that our success is a massive team effort between members, trustees, committee members and the BIR staff. We have a resilient and effective governance structure, a proactive and enthusiastic group of committee members and a skilled and inspirational staff team.

During my term as president, I have deliberately tried to control the level of input required and attempted to realistically manage the time commitment required by the role of president and indeed of other key officers and trustees. I regarded it as essential to re-benchmark the amount of time required of senior trustee positions. Without this, it is my opinion that senior roles may not be sustainable in the future given the changing pace of the world and a lack of flexibility in many of our working roles. Fortunately, whilst the BIR has had to take several difficult decisions in the past few years, we now find ourselves in an exciting period where we are fully engaged in delivering against our strategy, developing the activities of the institute, our member benefits and increasing our profile and contribution to a variety of external activities.

In the future the BIR must continue to modernise and evolve if we are to remain successful and further develop and expand. A need for change, whilst often a challenge, is a good thing as it shows development and a desire and ability to embrace new opportunities. I know that as an organisation, our plans and activities along with our fantastic staff team will ensure that the BIR will continue to go from strength to strength.

Dr David Wilson is a perfect choice of President to continue delivering and developing our strategy and along with our Vice Presidents, Andy Rogers, Dr Jane Philips-Hughes and Dr Elspeth Whitby, I have every expectation that the coming years will be exciting and successful.

The pleasure I have enjoyed being President of the BIR has been in no small part been as a result of working closely and effectively with the staff at the BIR. Even though I would like to, I cannot in this blog list all the staff and thank them personally but I hope they all know how much I appreciate every single member of staff and their hard work. Finally, I must specifically mention Jacquie Fowler, our Chief Executive; Jacquie has mentored, supported and guided me through the last two years. It has been a great partnership and I am very grateful for the opportunity to work so closely with her and our fantastic senior management team.

It is my intention to stay actively involved in the work of the BIR and I very much look forward to seeing the Institute develop to be even more successful in the coming years.

Professor Andrew Jones


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