From the Vice President on behalf of the Board of Directors:
Hello again everyone. Last month we had our first in what will be our monthly communications to our members. Starting this month these are going to be posted on our website and broadcast to our members via the newsletter. There are a lot of exciting things coming up that I wish I could give you the details on, but not all are not fully fleshed out and some are more geared for the working committees. I feel that this communication should be about what the board is working on and what our vision looks like. Here are our three most important action items:
1. Long Term Goals – Last spring the board had its first board meeting and quickly realized the monumental amount of work that needs to be done to get this organization up to code: updating bylaws, budgets, trademarks, insurance, annual reports. These tasks take a long time to work out. During this time of worrying about the jobs in front of us we lost sight the major functions of the BoD, which are determining the vision for our supporters group and setting goals. Now that we have been able to catch our breath, we’re looking at where we want to be in coming years. This of course cannot be done without the help of our members and committees. Committee leads should watch for a message from a member of the board seeking their future ideas and plans. Long term goal planning will be an ongoing process that will develop with us as an organization. And as we progress as a group, our goals will guide all of us in our decision making process.
2. Strategic Planning – As I mentioned last month we are working on an org chart which defines roles for committees and how we run as an organization. This is the first step to clear up the misconceptions and confusion about responsibilities, how issues get escalated, or scopes of work are changed. This doesn’t mean that we are changing our philosophy on empowering people to do cool things as long as they are aligned with our mission. The purpose of this strategic planning is to streamline responsibilities and remove barriers to people getting things done.
3. Authority – I know that this has been said before but after receiving a number of questions regarding the board of directors’ position on a number of situations I feel like it is worth repeating. The board does not get involved in discussions or decisions that are under the purview of one of the committees. That authority goes to the committees themselves and the chairs who lead them. Granted, committee leadership and organization is ambiguous in some areas at the moment. But the org chart we are working on will give us better footing. By the beginning of next season we will have a process for committees to appoint their chair and co-chair persons. Committee leadership will have authority over everything defined as their responsibility, and the board leadership–the president and vice president–will be there to provide guidance and support.
These three topics have in common a focus on organization. The Dark Clouds have never been a rigidly structured organization. We still believe in the philosophy of empowering our members do awesome, creative things. But now we’ll have better footing to support that philosophy. We’ll have budgets and goals for committees each year, but we’ll also be able to adapt and promote new efforts as they come. We’ll have a better and more transparent process. Imagine something like this:
Let’s prepare our Dark Clouds for the growth that is coming. I’m eager for your input on everything you’d like to see. Do you have ideas? What can we change? Please feel free to share.