Monday, December 24, 2012

IMPACT Chicago Aligns Form with Function

 IMPACT Chicago has formally embraced what has been our organizational structure for our first 25 years. This is a structure in which individuals or groups of individuals (e.g., our instructor team) take on major responsibilities that they implement independently, but in a collaborative way.
    At the December meeting, the Board approved new bylaws which, effectively, restructure our formal organization (administrative and reporting relationships). These new bylaws better align with how our network of volunteers, staff and instructors have been working together to fulfill our mission. A major part of this organizational structure involves eliminating the Executive Director position. We have learned over the past year that how we get things done does not map on well to the traditional not-for-profit hierarchy which presumes a full-time Executive Director and other paid staff.
    IMPACT Chicago will continue to operate in a collaborative fashion and decisions will continue to be made by building consensus among the parties involved. Earlier in 2012, the Board approved a Nonviolent Communication approach to use when there are task, process or relationship conflicts []. Recurring administrative work continues to be done by existing staff and volunteers; for work that is more project-like and time-bound (e.g., promoting a course in a particular area), we are forming Project Teams with short time horizons and discrete goals.
    The Project Teams' efforts will be supported by our existing staff and volunteers who have taken on "cross-team" tasks (e.g., updating the website, sending out postcards with the schedule of upcoming courses, etc.).  More about the Project Teams can be found in the 12/24 blog on "Volunteering for IMPACT Chicago Project Teams."
    In addition to approving new bylaws (see the attached PDF), the following things happened at the December board meeting:
  • The Board celebrated Clara Orban’s tremendous service to IMPACT Chicago and, in particular, her chairing of the Board since 2007. Clara will continue to be a huge supporter of all things IMPACT Chicago, but is shifting out of the Board Chair position. Numerous tactics were tried to get her to change her mind but, alas, she has good boundary setting skill!
  • These additional Board composition changes were approved:  Rob Babcock agreed to step into the Secretary of the Board role. Lisa Amoroso agreed to step into the Chair of the Board role and Katie Kramer’s application to join the Board was approved! Welcome, Katie, to the Board!
    If you have questions or concerns, please email
Lisa Amoroso, Chair, IMPACT Chicago Board

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