CRS Grows Its Leaders
Every time I read the contents page of the CRS Newsletter, I think to myself, this society is going places—good places, that is—thanks to the efforts of many individuals and the relevance and importance of our science and technology. Data about the growing size of the CR market may excite us, but in my view personal stories about how a CR technology has improved the life of a close friend, relative, or yourself is what brings emotional enthusiasm and commitment to our science and technology. I think we should share these stories more than we do, and perhaps CRS could be a conduit for this.
Committee Reports Chart the Future
In March, the various CRS committees and task forces are submitting their reports, which address the charges (challenges) given to them by the Board in the second half of 2013. I am looking forward to each and every report, since each clearly meshes with the Strategic Plan for 2012–2017, and I await with particular enthusiasm and expectation the report from the Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA). You may recall that the BSA was charged with doing some horizon-scanning on where CRS science is likely to go in the next 5–10 years and with exploring developments in the fundamental sciences that may underpin and enable our delivery science in the distant future (>10 years). Given the concentration of knowledge and experience on our BSA, this will be an instructive report. Highlights from it will appear in a future CRS Newsletter.
Making Volunteering Valuable
We have committees, task forces, and boards (the Board and BSA), but in a busy world with ever-increasing demands on effective people, we need to continually analyse the way we do things and ask ourselves, “is there a better way?” Many organisations are replacing some of their committees with task forces that are given tightly defined, time-limited tasks, an approach that has some appeal to busy people. I suspect the approach we should use will vary with the task or charge at hand. For some challenges it will be a committee, for others a task force, or perhaps even an individual member or champion, while for others it will be done by our highly skilled staff. Such was the case recently when our headquarters staff developed an e-learning business plan for us. However, one committee that we will not replace is the Finance Committee.
Finance Committee: More Than Just Finances
The Finance Committee has both strategic charges and recurring responsibilities, which means it is active throughout the year. Its recurring activities include preparing a draft budget aligned with the strategic plan, monitoring our performance against the budget, keeping an eye on expenditure, overseeing our legal/tax responsibilities, liaising with the auditor, monitoring our investment strategy and our contracts, updating our risk management plan, and reporting to the Board at least quarterly. In addition to these recurring activities, this hard-working committee has also responded to requests from the Board to develop both a business plan for non-U.S./non-EU conferences and a robust process for selecting the sites of annual conferences. Although the Finance Committee develops these plans, the plans encompass far more than just financial issues. Other criteria include accessibility of the venue, appeal to members and exhibitors, hotels, facilities for the meeting and exhibitors, presence of an active local chapter, and so on. Based on the work of Finance Committee, I believe the Board is able to make sound decisions that are in the best interests of the society and the membership.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge the detailed and astute work that has been done by the Finance Committee over the last two years under the able leadership of Tom Redelmeier (immediate past Treasurer) and Marcus Brewster (Treasurer), and we look forward to this work continuing under Ruth Schmid (Treasurer-Elect).
The Board has serious responsibilities for governance of CRS (strategic, legal, financial, evaluating management, succession planning, and so on) aimed at ensuring an effective CRS to serve the membership now and in the future. The importance of succession planning cannot be overestimated. The Volunteer Recruitment Committee is developing processes that will give members opportunity to actively contribute through effective volunteering and, importantly, to provide a pathway for development of leadership skills, team orientation, ability to understand constructive conflict, and a capacity for forward thinking. This will ensure we can continue to have a slate of strong candidates for the elected positions.
I encourage all members to actively participate in this year’s election. The leadership of CRS is in your hands.