“Be Water” is the theme of our president, Jennifer Frontera. It’s about being open and flexible, flowing to new information, methods and insights. It’s about embracing change as a way to stay successful.
In that spirit, Jennifer and I began talking earlier this year about our association calendar, committees and communications.
With respect to the calendar, our first quarter is jammed with events, classes and meetings. Could we spread them out more?
With committees, we have more than 20. Do we need them all? Do we need others? Are there ways our committees can work together at an even greater collaborative level, both on topics and scheduling?
Communication is challenging because we have so many different generations of members with whom we need to communicate. What is the most effective way, or ways, to do this?
I’m thankful we have no crisis to address, but it’s still important to periodically ask, “Can we do things better?”
Asking that question is one of the aspects of our association that I’ve always valued. We don’t keep doing things because we have always done them a certain way. We take stock regularly to make sure we’re meeting our goals and responsibilities in the best possible way.
When Jennifer and I attended the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) meetings in D.C. this spring, we had a few minutes to talk one day before a program started. Standing in a hotel hallway, we hit upon what seemed to make sense — forming a task force that can look closely at how our committees function, both individually and among each other. And while they were at it, they could look at the calendar and how we communicate.
Jennifer offered a good analogy. She likened the examination to spring cleaning — when you take apart the vacuum, clean it, maybe replace a part or two, or get a new attachment, then voilà — the vacuum works even better than it did before.
That’s how we see our new Internal Structural Review Task Force. We don’t envision buying a new vacuum cleaner (doing an overhaul), but just tweaking what we have. But if more comes out of the task force than we expect, that’s fine, too. Everything is up for discussion; we have no sacred cows.
When we came home from D.C., we ran this idea by President-Elect Eric Locher, and he agreed with us about its value. We wanted to make sure the outcome has continuity and context going into 2013 and beyond. We also wanted to make sure any new ideas reflect and support the association’s Strategic Actions Document. The rest of the Executive Committee agreed.
Current committee chairs, the staff liaisons to each committee and a few others make up the task force. They began meeting in June and will continue into August. We anticipate the task force will make recommendations to the Association Board of Directors in August or September, or both.
At the association, we label most member groups a “committee,” and, as I mentioned, we have quite a few. We have 20 — not counting our members who represent us at the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCAR) and NAR, and the committees that vote on the Vane Mingle (Rookie of the Year) and Realtor® of the Year awards. The award committees consist of past winners and meet each year to select the new winner.
We have only five standing committees mandated by our bylaws: Audit, Budget and Finance; Professional Standards; Grievance; Nominating and Executive.
To get the task force rolling, each committee chair received the same four questions. Their answers are being compiled for the task force to review. The questions were:
- What works about your committee?
- What doesn’t work about your committee?
- What three to five issues are you most concerned about?
- What other thoughts would you like to share?
You may not be a committee chair or part of the task force, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want you to weigh in as well. Please take a moment and send us your thoughts on the calendar, committees and communications, at our Member Forum. We appreciate your time and ideas.