Someone recently made a comment to me about the leadership structure of the Network that piqued my curiosity. Someone wondered how leadership was developed within the Network, and if the Network’s leadership structure was ‘insular.’ It’s a great question, and one that we need to regularly be taking a look at. So I decided to do some analysis and find out.
5 or 6 years ago, the Network’s board restructured itself and the way leadership happens within the Network, moving to a “Policy Based Governance” system, and creating teams that work different areas of the Network’s organizational life. This move, in my opinion, breathed new life into the whole of the organization.
I think of leadership within the Network happening in two different concentric “circles.”
The first circle would include the Board, the Regional Facilitators, the E-Team, the Connect Journal Team, the 3TC Team, the Membership Team, the Communications Team and the Practice Discipleship Leadership Team and the “staff.”
There were a total of 54 people involved in these groups. These 54 people are in what I’d call a key leadership role within the Network. Please note that some of these folks may have held different roles in that time. (i.e. one person who has been in leadership for 7 years, but 4 of those were on the E-Team and 3 as an RF. I didn’t differentiate these roles in this analysis. I just counted the total number of years in service within the Network.
The total number of years of all those in leadership when added together: 205
The average number of years in a leadership role for individuals: 3.79
Of the 54 people I analyzed:
Those who have served 0-3 years: 33
Those who have served 4-10 years: 17
Those who have served 10+ years: 4
So 61% of those in leadership in the Network came into their leadership role just within the last 3 years.
The second circle of leadership is made up of the 65 members of the Regional Teams that are coordinated by the Regional Facilitators. Basically, each of the 9 RF’s have a team made up of one person from each synod from their region.
I didn’t do an analysis of this group because I didn’t have data about all of their longevity. Suffice it to say that as I looked at the list, many of the names were of people that I didn’t know. While that’s not exactly scientific, I do think it speaks to the steady flow of new folks entering leadership within the Network. In fact, one of my great joys is that there are so many people involved who I don’t have a direct connection with, and then hopefully, developing a connection with them.
So what does this mean? Hopefully it means that leadership is continuing to be developed…that new people are feeling welcome entering the Network and finding a place to grow and give leadership. Hopefully it means that we have a fairly ‘open system.’ Hopefully it means that we are living in the tension of harnessing experienced leadership and growing new leaders.
If you’re interested in connecting with leadership, please consider this your open invitation. You can go to our volunteer page to see where we currently have needs. Or, you can contact me and I’ll try and get you connected.