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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin December 2011
6 DECEMBER 2011 ADA GOVERNANCE MEETING held in October THE nExT STAGE Of THE REvIEW PROCESS As previously reported in the News Bulletin, due to the changing environment in dentistry the Australian Dental Association is undertaking a comprehensive review of its strategy and governance. An ADA Governance weekend held in South Australia in early October was the next stage in this process. This weekend followed on from the Strategy meeting held last year in Adelaide [News Bulletin, December 2010] and involved members of Federal Council and Branch Presidents participating in a meeting to further address the issues raised at the 2010 Strategy weekend. Professional assistance was provided by Board Matters, who were appointed to facilitate this process. Elizabeth Jameson (Principal) and Susan Forrester (Practice Leader – Strategy) from Board Matters met with Federal Executive and the CEO in the months leading up to the Governance weekend to discuss the approach to be adopted. Board Matters then approached most participants to ascertain what they felt needed to be addressed from the major issues identified to support the ADA to be a contemporary and efficient organisation that meets the demands and needs of its membership. Having obtained the views of the participants, Board Matters then presented a series of options for debate. During these discussions it was evident there was a significant commitment and appetite from the participants to improve the governance of the Association and importantly, an awareness that to achieve a solution would require considerable hard work and commitment from everyone. A draft vision for future governance was prepared following a day of discussions and debate. Most discussion centred on the roles of Federal Council and Federal Executive and the need for a clearer delineation of their roles vis-à-vis each other as well as between ADA Inc. and the Branches. There was some recognition that Federal Council, being such a large body, may not be the best equipped to be a true ‘governing body’ with corresponding fiduciary and statutory duties. It was felt that perhaps a Federal Executive sized group might better fulfil this ‘governing’ role as well as the fiduciary and statutory duties. Generally, it was accepted that the basic legal structure of ADA Inc. be retained to allow individual members to continue to be members of ADA Inc. but organised into Branches to best facilitate service delivery to the members. At the Federal Council meeting held in November, Board Matters reported in detail on the outcome of the meeting. A draft timetable for the exploration of these and other governance issues was developed. Issues for consideration arising from the Federal Council meeting included: 1. Establishment of a Working Party to progress this process. 2. The Working Party develop an Implementation Plan for the preferred Governance Structure by specifically considering: a. For Federal Council: i. The size and composition of Federal Council (possible inclusion of Branch Presidents as voting members); ii. Its role – possibly be confined to that of approving high level strategy and policy issues; provide feedback to a ‘Board’ and the election of the ‘Board’. iii. Election of a ‘Chair’ – separate to that of the President. b. For Federal Executive: i. Consideration of whether it becomes the new ‘Board’. ii. Its size and composition. iii. Its role. c. Creation of a Memorandum of Understanding to reflect the inter relationships between ADA Inc. and Branches. Branch autonomy was recognised as important as was the need to ensure budget security for Branches. It is likely that a costs benefit analysis would accompany this process. d. Development of a Code of Conduct and Meetings Protocol to apply to Council and Executive. e. The creation of a performance culture to achieve alignment between the newly created Governance Structure and culture. Reports of progress for this important project will continue to be published in future issues of the News Bulletin. Robert Boyd-Boland Chief Executive Officer Attendees at the ADA Governance weekend held in early October.
ADA News Bulletin November 2011
ADA News Bulletin February 2012