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This year I’ve taken my end of year reflection from our incredibly inspiring end of year, global team meeting we held in early December. I feel that 2023 has certainly challenged us all; from starting the year with an ambitious plan for the year ahead here at Oxford HR which has at times been stressful, to the recent international crises that have been flooding the mainstream media in the past months. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed.

Which is why I am grateful to be able to lead an organisation that works with the organisations and businesses trying to solve the most pressing issues of our time. This year at Oxford HR, we have worked with over 70 social and environmental impact organisations, on nearly 200 senior placements and over 100 Leadership Impact Assessments. In our mission to advance underrepresented leadership in the sector, 67% of these placed candidates identified as women, and furthermore 53% were from non-UK/EU/CAN/NZ/AUS/USA countries.

We excitingly published our first piece of original research to help the sector in the Asia Pacific region better navigate the challenges faced as an impact-led organisation, which was followed by our second publication on the emerging model of co-leadership. We also saw our book chapter on Founder-CEO transitions published at the NGO Whisperer Global Summit, and our team attended over 15 events across the world, contributing their unique insights to the development of our sector.

So, after a year of consolidation, we are ending the year in a stronger and more resilient place. For me, one big highlight is the shifting structure of the business. We have built the global structure we aspired to, with regional teams operating out of Oxford, Amsterdam, Nairobi, Singapore and our latest addition, Washington D.C. I’d like to take a moment to celebrate this truly global reach, which is reflected in the breadth of clients we are working with.

And this is just the start; this structure allows us to deliver, in a coherent way, our work in our growing sector specialisms, in particular, Environment, Climate and Conservation; Global Health; and Trade and Economic Development; as well as our suite of services, from our Leadership and Change team focusing on EDI, coaching and change management; to our design agency OXygen who prioritise accessibility and sustainability across communications. An excellent example of this is a project we worked on with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which started with our team in Latin America, before spreading to our Asia, Europe and Africa teams and touching nearly every part of the Oxford HR business.

But it hasn’t been without challenges. We have been devolving our leadership to allow our Hubs to develop their own personalities whilst at the same time, trying to standardise processes across the entire business. An appointment in early 2023 of our Head of Operations has enabled us to make great progress in both of these areas.

Looking forwards to 2024, we already have one major change planned: after nearly 30 years of trading under our current name, we will be transitioning to something new (details to follow early in January). Aside from that, we are continuing our internal work on our impact as a business, having submitted our BCorp assessment, and we look forward to publishing our first Impact Report.

So, on behalf of the entire team at Oxford HR, we would like to wish all of our partners, clients and candidates a relaxing festive break. I hope that we can all return to the office in January feeling refreshed and ready to deliver our world-changing work.

David Lale
David Lale
Group CEO at Oxford HR

David is the Group CEO of Oxford HR having worked alongside and within the charity sector in executive search and recruitment for over 25 years. David is passionate about supporting and transforming the ‘for purpose’ sector. He has a particular interest in innovation and re-thinking the way the sector works. He’s also Chair of Charity People, the specialist UK Charity recruiter, and former Chair of Tiny Tickers, a charity supporting babies with congenital heart disease. He is a guest lecturer on the Trustee Academy training programme and has recently been honoured with an award as a Global Leader in Corporate Responsibility. He holds an MBA, is a Fellow of the RSA and currently studying for a Degree in Computing and AI.