Elly Tobin is the Principal of Joseph Chamberlain College and Director of the College for International Citizenship, which she helped set up in 2011.  She has worked extensively overseas, including a role as Director of Studies for a school in Japan, before returning to the UK in 2004 when Elly completed a Common Purpose programme in Birmingham.  Since then she has contributed on a number of programmes, including the senior leaders programme Midlands Meridian.

In late 2017, Elly joined the Local Birmingham Advisory Board for Common Purpose, an important voluntary role which ensures the organization maintains its independence and its diverse and balanced course content, participants and contributors.  The board also supports the work that Common Purpose in Birmingham does developing leaders in the city who can deliver complex change beyond their circle of authority.

We asked Elly why she joined…

“I was delighted to join this group for a variety of reasons.  We talk about “joined up thinking” but I have never experienced, anywhere in the world, an organisation that truly joins up professionals in the way that Common Purpose does.  Participating in a Common purpose programme provides a way into networks across the city and beyond that is invaluable to developing managers and leaders.  Just sharing the challenges faced in all organisations really helps to focus the individuals’ strength of purpose and confidence.  The connections made last far beyond the courses and provide opportunities for collaborations and growth that can be hard to establish in isolation. 

“Having been involved as a participant and a guest speaker over the last decade I was very happy to be asked to be a member of the Advisory Group.   I wanted to be part of an organisation that is of such benefit to the city.   Common Purpose builds on, and further develops, the skills of the professionals in both the public and private sector that work so hard in small medium and large companies to make their organisations successful. 

“Sharing ideas, challenges, frustrations and successes are the way we grow as leaders, so for me this organisation provides a platform for that in a non–threatening, interactive and creative way.  I guess in the end the title is so very apt, it provides all those involved with a “Common Purpose”.