I’ve read the candidate statements, I’ve listened to the hustings… I’ve voted for Rachel Roberts as our next CIPR President-Elect.

This will come as a surprise to many, as I rarely say who I’ve voted for in any election, and some of the things Peter raises are things that I raised in my own election campaign in 2016.

But as I step back from my CIPR roles and look back over the last 11 years as volunteer, Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Council member before heading off to that long walk into irrelevance… I realise that the most important things over those years and roles were people. Something I mentioned in my own campaign, now I re-read my posts from back then.

Whether it’s the workplace, a membership body or even the empty shell of my own existence, people are important. Our members are our advocates; proactively, consciously or otherwise. Rachel’s plan to empower – and thus engage – members will, I believe, encourage more members to step up to committee roles, to Council, and perhaps even the Presidency itself.

It doesn’t matter how well groups are funded if there are no people there to deliver events, training, awards. To paraphrase my favourite quotation when talking about stakeholder engagement: “We have to be seen to be believed”. And you need empowered and engaged people for that.

I don’t believe the CIPR needs “radical” change – it just needs people willing to pull the right levers. It already has all the weapons.

We can change the CIPR for the better; we can do it by putting our members first to be the change we want to see.

Your mileage, Dear Reader, may vary. God forbid we should all think the same.

PS. As a former candidate, when the waters of the time were much calmer, good luck to both of you!

PS2. Congratulations to Y&L Committee member and all-round nice guy Naj Modak on being elected to Council on the Open List.