While many organizations attempt to remodel their structure – few succeed. The fault lies not with the individuals but with the general approach typically used. Some organizations attempt to engage in the process without outside help. Such groups are seldom effective in looking objectively at what is broken and what needs fixing. And, there is no shortage of ideas of how to re-structure. The problem is that there is not often agreement among those offering suggestions.
Other organizations engage the services of an outside consultant. The consultants carefully study the organization and then offer a variety of recommendations to address the issues they have discovered. Such recommendations are typically ignored, particularly if those recommendations call for major change. They are ignored because they are often viewed as the consultants’ solutions to problems the members have not accepted. The shortcoming again lies with the approach. There is a better way.
We at OPIS have found that people will not agree with a solution, unless they first agree with the problem. Most governance reviews (both internal and external) focus on solutions without first getting consensus on the problems. Therefore, people choose sides based on the solution they like best and the “sides” never reach agreement…or agree to a watered-down version that offends no one… and pleases no one. In order to successfully bring about changes in governance, the people within the organization must first own the problems with the structure and then become invested in the solutions to those problems.
OPIS’s approach is based on the time-tested principles of performance improvement. The organization is viewed as a system with three critical parts:
Using this model, OPIS has assisted scores of organizations from large to small to identify their own problems and develop their own solutions to those problems. Moreover, the model has helped them gain widespread organizational acceptance of the changes to their structure.
Michael Gallery and Colin Rorrie are both consultants with OPIS, LLC. Michael and Colin have assisted over 225 associations with issues related to governance, strategic planning, organizational review, and member needs assessment They have a combined experience of over 70 years in the association management profession serving as CEOs, COOs, members and officers of Boards, speakers, consultants, and authors. Both are Fellows of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). You can contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or: 469-235-5165
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