Posts Tagged ‘PRSA Board of Directors’

This comes from The Ethical Optimist blog at: http://ethicaloptimist.com

“One thing I have noted via Counselor’s Academy, however, is the positive change I see in the organization under Bill Murray’s leadership. The organization has done some significant research on both membership and association governance that I think is pushing it in a positive direction. Moreover, I see the beginnings of a more cohesive strategic plan that will benefit the membership in the long term.

“I also have to give kudos to Jeff Julin and the board. While I’ve been known to critique some of their efforts, the bottom line is that these folks volunteer a great deal of time and deserve credit for doing so.”

As a member of the PRSA Board of Directors, it’s sometimes difficult to know if our efforts are seen and heard, and if they are peceived as credible.  During the conference in Detroit this past week, I noted to Jeff Julin that our major, overall task as Board members was not to attend meetings, review reports, or any of the myriad things one might think that Board members do.  Our major job all year has been to think and to analyze.  Every issue that has been put before us this year has received intense scrutiny.  We have examined issues from every viewpoint imaginable, and have sliced them analytically until it would seem there is no more slicing and no more analysis to be done – and then someone comes up with yet another angle.  That’s been the really difficult work of the Board, that intellectual approach and the need to analyze, to figure out what’s best for the Society.  Are we setting a precedent with this decision?  Is this other decision in line with what our membership survey shows that members want?  Does this action fit in with our strategic plan?  If so, what goals and objectives does it fulfill?  Do we have the staff and resources necessary to implement this other decision if we vote yes?  If we turn this down, what are the possible repercussions?  Do we have any examples from the past that can guide us in this discussion?  Does this new language open up whole new issues that we should address now?

I’ve also told a colleague that, for all the conspiracy theorists out there who feel the Board is up to something – we simply don’t have the time to be up to something.  There is so very much that is put in front of us at every meeting and every conference call, that it’s all we can do to get through those things.

More importantly, however, this year on the Board has been one of the best years for me in being involved with any Board of Directors in the past 30 years.  I haven’t seen personal agendas rammed through.  We disagree a lot, but we work toward compromise, and when we leave the room, or hang up from the conference call, I have no sense that feathers are ruffled or that anyone is holding a grudge.  We somehow know that everybone brings something important to the table, and we listen – and for this, I give credit to recent changes in PRSA national and agree that Bill Murray and Jeff Julin have made an enormous difference – so has Phil Bonaventura.  We have a superb staff in New York.  None of this has happened by accident, but by the careful deliberations of many people who came before us.  PRSA needed to change, and those changes are underway.  For this particular Board member, it’s a pleasure and a privilege to serve.

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