Like many organisations, the AOI is run day to day by a staff team, with its strategy guided by a Board of Directors.
The Directors are responsible for ensuring that the AOI is properly run, that we meet our legal obligations and deliver our objectives as set out in the Articles of Association. The Directors are accountable to those with a stake in the company, which in our case means all of our members.
What does the AOI Board do?
The AOI Directors consider the bigger picture only. The day to day delivery of services is undertaken by the staff team.
In addition to ensuring that the governance of the Organisation is satisfactory, the Board and the CEO together are also responsible for the development of the strategy of the AOI. This is a particularly interesting and engaging part of being a Director and can be very rewarding for the right individual.
The Board meets quarterly (and sometimes more often if it is felt needed). The CEO and Finance Manager compile a report summarising key performance indicators, the management accounts and top line activity in the business. This allows the Board to monitor progress, ensure the service meets the company objectives and that the company is financially sustainable.
The Chair (David Gilbert) leads the meeting, which usually explores one or two pertinent issues. These might be proactive, for example proposals made by the staff team to grow the service to members, or reflective, for example evaluating a part of the service which is older or performing less well.
Robust, rigorous and respectful debate is a strength for any board and happily the AOI enjoys that.
Individuals contribute to the final decision made by the board as a whole. This potentially means that in some cases a number of directors agree while others disagree with a course of action. The final decision must be in line with the objectives of the AOI, and in the best interest of the members.
Who can be a Director?
A strong Board brings together a variety of skills and opinions to further a common aim – in our case the objectives of the organisation. At the core our objects are:
To act as a professional association for illustrators to raise the status of illustration, improve and maintain the relationship with clients, and to facilitate the exchange of information and views among members.
Like many companies, the AOI looks for a broad range of skills on its board, reflecting the breadth and diversity of the industry it operates within.
This includes a breadth of roles within the industry, but also a breadth of personal experience and background.
We specifically welcome applications from individuals who can speak for under represented illustrators within the industry. We particularly recognise that this includes BAME illustrators and illustrators from what may be considered a disadvantaged socioeconomic background.
All Directors must be financially literate and able to confidently read budgets. They must be aware of the legal obligations of a directorship, including on their own personal affairs. Full training is provided where needed and you do not need these skills in advance of joining the board.
You can read the full responsibilities of a director in this government link.
What is the process?
Individuals are invited to apply to join the Board, either by personal approach or open invitation.
Applicants should send a CV and covering letter detailing why they are interested in joining the Board, and what they feel they can bring.
Applicants who are successful at the first stage of the process are then interviewed by the Chair and CEO. If successful at that stage, they will then be invited to attend a Board meeting as an observer, before their appointment is formalised.
Anyone who is interested can have an informal conversation with Ren to find out more.
How can I be involved?
There are two ways you can get involved.
You may want to find out more about the possibility of becoming a Director yourself, or
You might like to recommend someone for us to approach – be that an illustrator, commissioner, agent or someone outside of the industry who has valuable skills and perspectives.
We are accepting applications up to 13 September 2020.
Being a Board Director can be a very rewarding experience, both in terms of what you can do to further the best interests of the industry, but also to extend your network and be part of an enterprising and well informed team.
To find out more, or apply, email Ren.