Hey there community! I thought you might like to know that we just finished our first PASS board meeting of the year in Seatle WA and it was awesome! I am so excited to have new board members like Grant Fritchey and returning board memebrs back around the table talking about all the exciting things that you and PASS are doing together. The official meeting minutes and summary will be published soon but for the time being I thought I would share some of my personal thoughts on behalf of myself :).
Don’t you have enough to do in January?
Well yes, but this is important! Typically January is a packed meeting and as EVP I am responsible for making sure that we have a good productive agenda, that we’re setting goals and making good progress throughout the multi-day meeting. Normally a board meeting is a two day meeting and in recent years we have started the January meting with an insights workshop that is geared toward smaking sure that the very different people making up the board communicate effectively and understand each other’s motivations. This is incredibly helpful! Perhaps in a future post I’ll share some of it publicly. You won’t be suprised that the board has people who lead with bold, compassionate and consensus driven energies and attitudes. Don’t be shocked, this thing is science!
Enough talky talky.. let’s get something done!
Once we got through the couple of hours of workshop and the communication wheels were greased we jumped into some key topics like:
- The evolution of our global growth initiatives into an expanded committee to take our next steps on the way to a LATAM board seat. So much positive activity in this region that I’m excited to chair this committee and see this through to our next milestone.
- We had a good discussion around SQL Rally, the community and business model considerations for our regional events.
- Amy Lewis led us in a deeper dive on spearker and session selection process improvements for Summit 2014 and plans for Summit 2015 Some exciting thigns here!
As day one drew to a close the team was tired but spiritis were high at dinner and everyone was looking forward to a good discussion the next day on our Business Analytics efforts. Day two would be spent on BA and portfolio goals.
We discussed the amount of research and effort that has gone into the BA program and I must say, I continue to be impressed by the quality of the program the team has put together. This has been spearheaded on the board by Denise McInerney and Jen Stirrup. It’s well targeted at the right audience and gives us an incredible foundation to build on. We discussed some of the challges we’ve discovered along the way with helping to coalesce this new community and provide the bigger umbrella to include them. The team has done a tremendous job and I’m proud of the work that has gone into this event and community! Check out more here if you’re interested in our BA community efforts..
How about we set some goals?
Moving on to portfolio goals. To give you some background on the goals process, we made some changes recently to the goals process to align portfolio and organizational goals. This means that the Executive Committee sets some higher level strategic goals or “focus areas” such as global growth, IT innovation & security, volunteer growth, leadership development and others that are critical to the organization and our community. The portfolio owners then align their goals to those priorities. It doesn’t mean something won’t get done if it doesnt fit in those proirities but we’ll discuss it as a group and find the best way to get as much done as we can.
All the portoflio owners brought well-aligned goals and I’m excited to see what they create this year. I’m hoping some of them will share those goals in their own blogs at some point once the details are finalized. Keep in mind these are goals for FY2016 which starts in June. The current board goals for FY2015 are published here. It’s important to get the goals process moving forward now since we need an approved budget done by June. Like most organizations goals get turned into budget requests and then that budget is trimmed/adjusted and then approved.
The budgeting process used to be more arduous and has gotten better under recent boards. This is because of the extra effort from PASS HQ and from some new things we’ve done to help educate board memebrs on the process and involve them earlier. This past year the board was able to get a budget approved with 75% less revisions than in previous years. More time for the community!
Wrap it up..
We closed with discussions around IT projects and security, agreeing on priorties for different intiatives to support those and keep our members innovating and secure at the same time. Then it was time for tearful good-bye’s and red eye flights. I’m not sure if the tears were for each other, or about spending all night getting kicked inthe kidney in 34C. Either way we had a great meeting and I’m excited about 2015 for our community and our ever growing umbrella.
I hope this helps give you a view into what’s been happening and what will be coming up for the board. Of course I can’t regurgitate 2 entire days on a Tuesday morning, but I thought it was important to make sure you got some “from the table” perspective. Grant has also published his thoughts on his blog here.
You can also get more information when the minutes and board summary are published here on the governance page. Hit me up on twitter or email me with questions. I’m happy to chat.
Until next time!