|You can't touch this for just $500.|
Thursday, May 02, 2013
My own Views as of now
I have said from the beginning, it is not the money. $100K can seem like a lot, or a little depending on the overall budget. The UUA's budget is beyond the scope of my comfort, so I am not focusing on that.
The money is the bright shiny object that distracts us from the more important questions: like the $500 hammer that gets used to rile up the rubes.
The Board and the Administration have been at odds over something about governance and their roles for quite awhile. We are approaching the end of Gini Courter's term as Moderator. We need a candid summary and analysis of what has been happening within the circles of top leadership in the UUA. While she is not the only actor, she has been a key one, and she is being replaced by someone else, of all of our choosing. So, we need this info. That we have come to a point when the Board considers not recommending a budget to GA, something isn't right.
As far as I understand it, I am a fan of policy governance. I have been on boards of organizations, as well as a parish minister, so I know how difficult it is for a Board have a critical and independent view of how well the work is being done. The Board is dependent on the staff for the basic facts of the organizations life. So, what kind of reports a Board asks for is really important. The staff has to be free to do its work with creativity, so the boundaries and rules have to clear: policies.
I don't see that the fact that the UUA President is elected, and not hired by the Board, to be an obstacle to it. Anybody who has ever held the power to hire and fire knows how unimportant it is in all but the most extreme cases. Youi don't build an effective team by threatening to fire people. Leadership, persuasion, example, respect, gratitude all matter more. So I don't think that Policy Governance, per se, is the problem, or that it can't work in our structure.
But something has been an obstacle to effective and inspired leadership of the UUA. Given what I know about the intelligence, experience and social skills of our leaders, this is surprising. I don't think that it is a relational problem, (people can't get along, or understand each other) or a technical problem (which is how the consultant is being described -- someone to help the administration learn how to do what it is supposed to be doing.) So what is the problem?
I don't know. I don't think anybody really knows right now. I have my theories, but they are the same theories that I have about everything, so they are probably wrong.