The CASSOC Symposium for Growth and Success

Sustainability - January 20, 2024

Session Summary (no resources)

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Session Summary

The meeting focused on the importance of succession planning in leadership roles and the role of technology in enhancing efficiencies. The discussion emphasized the need for strategic planning when choosing software for an organization, defining goals, identifying constraints, and evaluating functionality, accessibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. The meeting concluded without a clear resolution to the succession issue.   Discussed was the importance of succession planning in leadership roles, emphasizing the need for technology solutions to enhance efficiencies. Underscored was the importance of policies and procedures to ensure fair treatment and prevent harassment, as well as a sustainable funding strategy for continued success. 

Leadership, Succession, Technology, and Sustainability - Paul Johnston, President and Chief Commissioner, Clan Johnston/e in America

Paul provided a presentation on clan strategies for dealing with sustainability-related topics, highlighting the importance of succession planning, defining officer duties, and attracting new members. He also emphasized the clan's successful integration of technology into their operations and the importance of a robust security system

Succession Planning and Technology Prioritization - Susan Caldwell, Technology Director for the Clan MacAulay Association

Susan discussed the importance of succession planning in organizations, emphasizing the need for identifying potential successors, creating role descriptions, and establishing backup plans. She highlighted barriers to success such as having the wrong person in the position, lack of a backup plan, absence of process or systems documentation, and lack of leadership. Susan stressed the importance of prioritizing and phasing technology, keeping it simple, and not discarding existing systems unless they're broken. She also underscored the crucial role of members in any organization, suggesting that any decisions made should focus on benefits to members.

Susan discussed the importance of strategic planning and considering various factors when choosing software for an organization. She emphasized the need to define goals, identify constraints, and evaluate the software's functionality, accessibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. She also stressed the importance of considering the organization's users and their comfort level with the software. Susan also highlighted the need to research privacy requirements and ensure the platform is not biased towards any particular country. She wrapped up by advising organizations not to be afraid to ask for order renewals and to be prepared to chase them.

Succession Planning, Organizational Structure, Technology and Security - Scott McDougall Vice President for Canada for the Clan MacDougall Society of North America

Scott discussed the importance of succession planning, emphasizing that it often gets neglected. He suggested using a large board of directors as a training ground for future executives and setting up small working committees with a mix of veterans and newer members. He also highlighted the significance of a strong executive committee for discussing and suggesting items before bringing them to board meetings. Scott also underscored the need for an organizational structure that allows officers to learn and perform their roles effectively. He stressed the importance of building relationships with members through regular one-on-one calls, and the need to avoid hero management, which he described as a situation where a few people do most of the work, leading to burnout and discouragement.

Scott emphasized the importance of understanding and effectively utilizing technology within organizations. He stressed the need for analysis to ensure technology aligns with workflow processes. Furthermore, he highlighted the significance of security measures, such as website backups and software security, as well as the regularity of website updates. Scott also underscored the value of personal member connections, including making reminders for renewals and personal calls to late renewers. Finally, he discussed the importance of organization structure, suggesting that boards should be diverse, have a mix of insiders and outsiders, and stand for election in sections each year. Scott advocated for more frequent meetings in organizations to enhance accountability and productivity, with a suggestion to move from annual to quarterly meetings.

Governance, Recognizing Contributions and Code of Conduct Policy - Joan McAulay, Chief of the Clan MacAulay Association

Joan shared her organization's governance experience, emphasizing the importance of executive meetings, hybrid meetings, and recognition of contributions. She also stressed the need to review and update constitutions and bylaws regularly and to maintain a respect policy and code of conduct. The discussion also touched upon the role of a clan commissioner and the importance of having a clear plan before implementing processes. Towards the end, there was a discussion about the code of conduct and the frequency of newsletters.

 Q&A Highlights

  • Newsletters and Member Retention
  • Gatherings
  • The Heritage Committee and Sharing Factual History
  • Recruitment of young talent
  • Need for Effective Outreach Strategies


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