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Organization & Governance

This page was created following discussions by Peter Jones, Stephen Davies & Antony Upward.  All members are invite to edit and / or comment.  If you don't have access please contact Antony Upward via LinkedIn messaging from the group page forum.SSBMG.com.

This page has been created to enable review and discussion by the group's members about desired changes to the group's organization and governance in order to better achieve the group's aims.

Next StepsThe hope is to use this page, as edited during the next weeks, as input to a discussion planned for our October monthly All Member's Meeting. Subsequently, the original group's co-founders will discuss and a final version of this page will be edited, becoming the group's revised Organization and Governance model.  The changes will then need to be operationalized.

Invitation: please edit and comment on this page.  Recall that nothing in a wiki is ever deleted - so be bold and make the changes you'd like see or make comments below this page.  Click "Sign-in" at the very very bottom of this page to Login with your Google id.  If you don't have access to edit or comment send an email address associated with your Google Account to Antony Upward via the Linkedin Group.  Remember to "subscribe to page changes" so you get notified as others make changes (click on the cog at the top of the page once you've signed in)

ThanksFor prompting this review thanks are due to: co-founders Nabil Harfoush, Peter Jones and Antony Upward and original group member Stephen Davies; Peter Jones, Stephen Davies and Antony Upward for face-to-face discussion in March and June 2016 about directions for the group, and Antony Upward for writing the first version of this page for discussion.  


Situation

In Jan 2017 the group will be 5 years old and has enjoyed considerable growth (nearly 700 members, adding hundreds so far in 2016) and operational success (moving forward on existing projects, starting new projects, regular monthly meetings - 53 so far).  To date, the organization and governance of the group is the work of just a few members: some of the original co-founders and one or two others. In practice, the management burden / governance of the group has very largely been the work of just two of the co-founders.

This "management burden" has involved the choice and organization of the monthly meetings (including logistics), some proactive animation of the community (one-on-one calls / meetings / email communications with members, posts to LinkedIn and Social Media), preparing reports and making presentations of group activities to interested parties to further the group's aims, and updating / maintaining the website, dropbox, youtube channel and this wiki (includes both content and paying for domain names).

The current mode of operation does not creating enough wider engagement of our global members to achieve the group's aims at scale and is not resilient.  The loss of the one or two active members would mostly likely cause the group to atrophy.  The importance of our work - to help realize major global public policy objectives, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and beyond to sustain the possibility for human and other life to flourish forever on our planet - demands that we make changes to increase our resilience and realize our aims as scale.


Objectives

The objectives of this proposed re-organization and governance renewal are to:

  • Review and revise or confirm the group's aims.
    • See "Ideas for Revised Vision and Mission" below for some ideas
  • Increase the levels of participation, group member sense of ownership, benefits received, and participation in all aspects of the group. 
  • Ensure the management burden of the group is shared more broadly by harnessing the energy of at least 8 members who choose to become actively involved in our community on a week-to-week basis - leading to:
    • An active Management Board proactively taking steps to enable members to achieve the group's aims.
    • More members sharing their work at our monthly "all members meetings". 
    • More active relationships with other like-minded groups and organizations working towards the same overall public policy objectives
    • More projects where our members collaborate to work towards our Vision and Mission
    • More activity in our Forum (on LinkedIn), and in our social media channels
  • Raise funds to further the group's work

Ideas for Revised Vision and Mission

The current group aims, including our Vision and Mission, includes 6 streams of research and practice.  It appears to remain very largely appropriate and applicable to humanities situation, human enterprises role in creating that situation.   The current statements include the idea that the group should act to undertake research and practice to realize is aims.  The terms "research" and "community of practice" already appear.

It is proposed that a revised vision and mission should be constructed with the involvement of as many of t he group's members as possible.  Further, it should more clearly define:
  1. The groups
    • Normative goals - currently related to SME's adopting strongly sustainable business models in order that they actively contribute to sustaining the possibility for human and other life to flourish on this planet forever.  
    • Core Topics of interest - currently these are the 6 "streams" of research and practice
    • Practical goals - including: benefits, and aspirational and  measurable outputs and outcomes
    • Knowledge generation and dissemination goals - including benefits, and aspirational and measurable objectives
  2. The members
    • What does being a member mean?  (Currently it means joining the LinkedIn forum)
    • What are the membership qualifications, benefits, rights or responsibilities?
    • What fee (if any) should be charged to become a member? 
  3. A Community of Practice (CoP) - whose objective is to enable members to work together to apply new knowledge to achieve the group's practical aims and share their learnings from this work, thereby leading to a Strongly Sustainable Business Model Body of Knowledge (BOK).  Long term this might evolve into a full blown Strongly Sustainable Business Modeller's Professional Association - perhaps a key component to achieving this groups goals at scale.
    • Please add a reference to an introduction to Communities of Practice - goals, outcomes, benefits, methods, organization
  4. A Research Community (RC) - whose objective is to enable members to work together to identify, generate,  disseminate and mobilize the new required knowledge to achieve the group's aims. Long term this might evolve into a full blown Strongly Sustainable Business Modelling Research Institute - perhaps a key component to achieving this groups goals at scale.
    • Please add a reference to an introduction to Research Community - goals, outcomes, benefits, methods, organization
  5. Projects - whose objective is to provide a structure in which members can identify and work on specific aspects of practice development and research.  This should include how members issue a call to all members to find others interested in starting a particular project.

Ideas for Organization Roles and Structure

The group is proposed to evolve towards the following organization and governance, no later than Jan 1, 2017:

ORGANIZATION: A "Management Board", who meet for 1 hour at least monthly, consisting of members of the group who additionally take on the following roles:
  • A number of "Community Animators" - one for each Core Topic identified in the group's aims. Currently this would require 6 Animators,  one for "stream" of research and practice identified in the existing group's aims.  
    • Each Community Animators would take responsibility for working with members to achieve the groups aims with members interested in each stream through additional research and / or improved practice.
    • Each month, one of the Community Animators would take responsibility for that month's all members meeting - selecting topic(s) / speaker(s), posting announcements to LinkedIn, Wiki, Social Media, organizing rooms (F2F & Virtual), hosting the meeting, posting follow-ups etc.
  • A "Director of Research".  This role takes responsibility for engagement members in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge related to the group's research aims.
  • A "Director of Practice".  This role takes responsibility for engaging members in translating  knowledge into practices that are then applied by group members to realize the group's practical aims.  The knowledge required for new practices that could be generated inside and/or outside the group.  
  • A "Director of Relationships.  This role takes responsibility for the relationship between the group, its host (the OCAD University Strategic Innovation Lab), and any other organizations with whom we need an on-going relationship. This would include active bilateral information exchange with these other groups and reporting on this activity.
  • A "Director of Funding".  This role takes responsibility for raising,  managing and reporting on the funds needed for the groups own operations, and to support the projects in raising the funds they need. 
  • A "Membership Director".  This role takes responsibility for attracting news members, understanding members needs and feedback, "on-boarding" all new members, communicating the value of active membership. 
The same individual may fulfill more than one role, with the minimum size of the Board being 7 individuals with a quorum of 5.

Members of the management board would select by simple majority one of them to play the additional role of "Convener of the Group".  The Convener responsibilities include organizing a meeting of the Management Board at least once per month, and acting as a tie-breaker when required.

SELECTION PROCESS: Initially the members of the management board would be volunteers who are members of group (i.e. members of the LinkedIn Forum). Any competition for roles being resolved through dialogue.  A more democratic process could be considered at a later stage, but is not appropriate given the current level of evolution. 

All those who are currently active in the group's work and / or take part in the discussion about this page would be invited to volunteer to be members of the Board and / or suggest other members who should be approached to volunteer.  An open invitation to Volunteer would also be posted to the LinkedIn group and announced via Social Media.

TERM: Management Board members would serve 2 or 3 year terms. The long-term aim would be to have approximately half the Board members be replaced every 18 months to ensure continuity of knowledge and relationships.

FIRST MEETING: At the first meeting of the Management Board:
  • The co-founders would hand their current mandate towards the groups on-going operations and success to the Board.  They would remain available to consult with the new Management Board and retain honorary titles of "co-founders". 
  • The Convenor of the Group would be elected (This role is not described in the Management Board section.)
  • The Terms of each of the members of the Board would be set
  • The  final version of this proposed organization and governance model would be ratified or further revised
  • A decision on whether the current aims of the group should be revised will be made, including whether there is a need for funds to support the achievement of the group's aims.  If required a process for revision should be agreed.  
  • Responsibility assigned for organization of the next "all members" meetings
  • Responsibility assigned for updating this wiki with the new board and for posting announcements and minutes of board meetings to the wiki, LinkedIn and social media.
  • Agreement and commitment to a process of setting details responsibilities and 12-month goals for each member of the Board will be agreed
  • Agreement on process to transition 'ownership' of domains, social media accounts etc. to the new board
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