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Thread: USMS Governance Task Force

  1. #21
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    Craig,
    Thanks for your comments. For the last few months we have concentrated on the flow of power within the corporation. It has been time consuming as we strive to be sure that we are clear and then to be sure that the code is clear on which body has the power and responsibility for various aspects of USMS. At this point, we want others to look at our posted documents to see if it is clear and to see if they agree with the role of each body (HOD, BOD, EC).
    At present, we are beginning discussions within the task force on Membership in the HOD. We will post that for discussion when it is complete. After that, we will concentrate on the committees. Again, we will post our proposals for discussion.
    Betsy

  2. #22
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Craig, did you mean org chart instead of flow chart?
    Originally posted by craiglll@yahoo.com
    has the task force drawn out a flow chart?

  3. #23
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    I've always used them interchangeably.

    That is a great fault I have. I insist others be exact with their language, then I take great liberities.

  4. #24
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    Originally posted by Betsy
    Craig,
    Thanks for your comments. For the last few months we have concentrated on the flow of power within the corporation. It has been time consuming as we strive to be sure that we are clear and then to be sure that the code is clear on which body has the power and responsibility for various aspects of USMS. At this point, we want others to look at our posted documents to see if it is clear and to see if they agree with the role of each body (HOD, BOD, EC).
    At present, we are beginning discussions within the task force on Membership in the HOD. We will post that for discussion when it is complete. After that, we will concentrate on the committees. Again, we will post our proposals for discussion.
    Betsy
    Generally without an organizational flow chart of some sort, I don't see how you can possibly know how "power" (a better way to put it might have been decision making) will flow with in the organization. USMS is a grass roots organization based on membership needs, the first paragraph quoted above doesn't sound that way. The posted documents do not have that tone to them though.

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    Rob, Betsy, Craig, Committee:

    I, too, agree about the need for a new structure/organization flow chart. (It may help explain next September to the HOD how this might all work.) I spent a long time long ago studying organization development and it is still important, I think, that documenting what is perceived to be the "communication/power" flow, up and down, across and between positions and groups would be important.

    That said, after the new structure is initiated, then documenting what the "real" power/communication flow is...which we won't really know until new organizational structure commences, would be a good idea. It may be prudent to put some kind of formal evaluation in place to analyze how the new structure is really working...perhaps after the first, then second year, for tweaking the system...then five years out for full-blown reevaluation.

    Also, on the new structure which will now include elected zone members-at-large on the Board of Directors: might each of them also sit in as ex-officio members on two or three different committees to give input on those committees, to augment information from the VP who is responsible for specific committees? Just a thought...those VPs will be very busy so any extra help they can get might be appreciated. JP

  6. #26
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    Jennifer and Craig:
    Rob Copeland has created a draft chart of USMS Organizational Structure. In our committee discussions, we have referred to it, but we have never finalized it. Taking your comments to heart, it is time for us to do that. As we discuss HOD Membership (our current topic) and Committees (our next topic), a lot of this will fall into place. When we finalize the chart, it will be posted.

    My question to you and to other forum participants concerns our posted documents on the powers and responsibilities of the HOD, BOD, and EC. Have we done our job in making it clear how these three bodies interact?
    Betsy

  7. #27
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    Betsy;

    Rob sent me a copy of the organization/flow chart that I believe was outlined last September. It also included another chart with the committees, special responsibilities, etc. of the various officers so that made my perception much clearer of how the structure might work so far. Would you make them available on this website for perusal?

    But I think your discussions on the HOD and its composition, responsibilities, and then the discussions on Committees (which seem to me to be intricately involved with the HOD, because the Committees are made up primarily of the HOD) may be crucial to the overall structure change. Many of the Committees seem to promulgate much of the nitty gritty ideas, plans and decisions (though the officers might disagree!) for USMS that trickle up/down and affect the greatest number of members, so I'll be very interested in your views on them. JP

  8. #28
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    I've read some of the other pdf's listed. This seems to be a great reorganization. I truly hope that you intend to take a great amount of time for it to occur. I really don't see how this is being done without some type of permanent staff specifically assigned to keeping track of the changes.

    For my opinion, committee heads do not sit on the ex. board or necessarily even on a board of directors (HOD). What role will the ex. board have in raising funds.

    It seems that there is far too little fund-raising going on inthe organization as a whole. Everything seems to be very dependant on membership dues, fees from events and maybe a few donations. Past presidents generally have a great role in raising money. I would think that if fund-raising became a big issue, many events such as nationals woudl not be so dependent on entry fees and the locals could make a lot more money. Many memberships get bogged down with only increasing membership. That is where you start. There are members who work for some very generous corporations.

    I woudl like to see the organziational flow chart also.

  9. #29
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Betsy
    Jennifer and Craig:
    Rob Copeland has created a draft chart of USMS Organizational Structure. In our committee discussions, we have referred to it, but we have never finalized it. Taking your comments to heart, it is time for us to do that. As we discuss HOD Membership (our current topic) and Committees (our next topic), a lot of this will fall into place. When we finalize the chart, it will be posted.

    Betsy
    It would be premature to broadly distribute the proposed org chart without first vetting it with the Governance Task Force. Based on Betsy’s comments above, it looks like she will soon be diving into this and in the near future the preliminary org chart will be published for general comment.

  10. #30
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    Whenever I've worked on reorganizations,we always sat down with organizational charts and then worked on. Best workshop I've ever been to we had a big felt board and attached committees ot it as we worked. It was sucjh a learning experience. It is so interesting to see how different peole understand relationsips and organization.

  11. #31
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    All,

    Thank you very much for allowing the membership and myself to make public comments on the work of the Governance Task Force. I appreciate the hard effort put into this project so far, and your willingness to consider comments.

    I, too, applaud the Task Force for completing their extensive deliberations and composing the documents that make up this phase of the project. This is by no means a small undertaking, and it is a welcome sight to see.

    I have reviewed the documents a few times and do not have any major concerns. It did take me, however, a few readings to understand the intent of the Task Force and the interrelationships and responsibilities laid out in the proposed reorganization. This was not easy to grasp upon an initial inspection.

    I do share the concern expressed by others in this discussion regarding the establishment and integration of committees into the reorganized structure, and will reserve further comment until the Task Force promulgates a relevant proposal (with an organizational chart) for inspection and comment. I expect it to be a critical element in the reorganization.

    Betsy did mention the possibility of reconvening the HOD for an e-mail vote, if necessary, to address an important item not completed at the convention. The only instances where this should occur would be to consider a reworked legislative or rule change, or perhaps a reworked Nationals bid. (It would apply to anything else that only the HOD has the power to do, such as approve the budget and elect officers, but the HOD is very good at completing these tasks at the convention.)

    In this electronic age, an electronic HOD “meeting”/vote is certainly practical, but I would caution the HOD from doing it except in very limited circumstances. The important item to be completed would not be open to amendment or debate in an e-vote. Yet, more troubling is that I believe that the potential for an e-vote after the convention could entice the HOD to defer, rather than act upon, contentious or controversial proposals. Every convention has some hot-button item (e.g. this year, it was the new magazine contract) that might just get set aside if enough delegates are queasy enough about it to say “Why don’t you clean it up a little here and there and then we might bring it up for an e-vote?”.

    One final thing that would be affected by HOD e-voting…although we have always had this provision in the code for the HOD to have special meetings, the membership of the HOD for these special meetings would probably need to be clarified or re-emphasized. To say “All members of the HOD shall remain until their successors are selected…” is vague. When does the “term” of an at-large delegate begin and end? Or the “term” of an LMSC delegate? What happens when the membership of the rules/legislation/long distance committees change? How about the outgoing officers after an election-year convention...are they now out of the HOD?

    Thank you for your consideration.

  12. #32
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    Hi, again, all:

    Someone in our LMSC mentioned the Past Presidents' roles/votes on the Board of Directors. I think it is important to receive input from these very experienced people and to formalize their roles (and except for the immediate past President, voice, but no vote, I believe). I strongly believe that the immediate past president should have a vote as is designated in your restructure. There was also some concern about the Legal Counsel having no vote; but I personally think the role of formal advisor/ex-officio is appropriate.

    I have another concern. In your description of the duties of the VPs, I want to voice my view that "communications" should be a responsibility under the VP for Community Services, not VP for Member Services. Your rationale suggests that one VP takes care of "new members" and the other for "current members," respectively. The rationales could be broader instead and look "inside" the organization...and "outside" the organization. "Communications" is a large, crucial area (magazine, web) that reflects the organization to both inside and outside, but I think it fits better with marketing, etc. under the VP for CS. The VP for Member Services will have plenty on her/his plate with Competition, Fitness, etc.

    I know, Betsy and Rob, that you have both mentioned the blurring or cross support of various areas, but I still think that "club development" belongs under the VP for Local Operations...and I know that you have already "shall work with clubs" as a responsibility for that VP. Just two more of my cents/sense/ideas. You asked for them!;-) JP

    p.s. Will the various VPs appoint the Chairs of the various committees that come under their responsibilities, with the advice and consent of the committee itself (!) as well as the President??!!

  13. #33
    Active Member Frosty's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Betsy
    My question to you and to other forum participants concerns our posted documents on the powers and responsibilities of the HOD, BOD, and EC. Have we done our job in making it clear how these three bodies interact?
    Betsy
    Sorry, Betsy...almost forgot that we (the forum participants) owe you an answer.

    With a little trepidation, I'll say that you made it clear. Again, it took me a few re-reads of the materials to understand the interaction.

    I would recommend, though, that if you want to make it very clear, you concentrate on power/responsibility/interaction with respect to the BOD. Most of us in the forum understand the role our HOD has played through the years, as well as the EC. Many fewer people understand the concept of the BOD because it hasn't been a prominent element of our past governance. Now that it is going to be a significant part of the governance structure (right???), it needs to stand on its own, and it needs to be understood equally as well as the other two bodies.

    From the cheap seats, the BOD simply looks like a super-sized EC that will only make the executive decisions 2-4 times a year...and then from month-to-month the real decisions will be made by the officers (without the zone reps) as it is now. The Task Force will need to explain how things will be different with this BOD concept.

  14. #34
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    Response to Jennifer:
    The task force will be working on aligning committees with the 4 vice presidents. I will note your suggestions. When finalized, we will publish our proposals and open this forum for discussion again. Send any further suggestions to me at Planning@usms.org.

    Your idea about appointing committee chairs is very interesting. At present, the president appoints the chairs (with advice from the Ex Com). Then the president works with the chair in selecting members of the committee. Our next task is discussing section 507.3 in regard to appointments. I am sure the vice president will be involved in selecting the chair of committees they will work with. Your suggestion is definitely new – selecting the committee and then the chair! The form delegates fill out at the convention to request a committee used to have a place to recommend someone for chair. I don’t know if it still does or not, but I will find out.

  15. #35
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    Frosty:
    Thanks for your thoughtful remarks. You make a good point that we need to be sure everyone understands the increased role of the BOD.
    Betsy

    To everyone who has been following this forum:
    Today is the last day for this forum. I will close it tomorrow. We will reopen the forum when we have the next set of proposals ready. The committee and I really appreciate the participation of all who have posted.

    Meanwhile...Please send any further suggestions or comments to me at Planning @usms.org and I will bring them to the attention of the task force.

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