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COMMITTEE CHAIR TOOLKIT FOR SUCCESS Transportation Research Board New Chair Orientation Sunday, January 11, 2009 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "COMMITTEE CHAIR TOOLKIT FOR SUCCESS Transportation Research Board New Chair Orientation Sunday, January 11, 2009 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 COMMITTEE CHAIR TOOLKIT FOR SUCCESS Transportation Research Board New Chair Orientation Sunday, January 11, 2009 2009

2 What Do TRB Committees Do? n Stimulate and synthesize research n Keep transportation communities apprised of research findings n Review and recommend papers for publication n Co-sponsor special activities n BUT THAT IS NOT THE REAL MESSAGE

3 TRB Committees Provide Opportunities n Networking with fellow transportation professionals n Staying current on emerging issues n Participating in the advancement of the practice n PROVIDING THESE OPPORTUNITIES TO YOUR MEMBERS IS WHAT YOUR WORK AS CHAIR IS REALLY ABOUT!

4 TRB Committee Structure n TRB committees are combined into Groups and sometimes in Sections n The combination is based on the committee topic and scope n The Sections and Groups provide an opportunity to work together on cross- cutting topics and activities Technical Activities Council Group Section Task Force Committee Subcommittee Section Group

5 Elements Needed for Success n Strategic plan n Communication tools n Leadership skills n Understanding of administrative requirements

6 Strategic Plan

7 A Strategic Plan Focuses the Committee n Mission Why does the committee exist? n Scope Why does the committee exist? n Goals What does the committee want to achieve? n Strategies How will the goals be achieved? n Action Plan What is planned for the next three years to accomplish goals & strategies?

8 Strategic Plan Development n See Page 37 of the Leadership Guide for more information: n Update every 3 years—coordinate with incoming chair if rotating within triennial period n Use as an activity to engage committee members n TRB Leadership adopted a new strategic plan in June of 2007 and may be found at n.pdf

9 ? ? ? ? ? ? Strategic Plan Development n What’s worked? n What hasn’t? n Ideas to share?

10 Communication Tools

11 Potential Communication Strategies n Newsletters n Committee Chair Letters n List serve n Websites n Teleconferences The specific technology or media is less important than communicating regularly!

12 Newsletters n Issue semi-annually or quarterly n Post on website or member published and distributed Listserves Committee Chair Letter to Members and Friends n Less effort than newsletter, but can “grow” into newsletter n Fosters dialogue among committee members and friends via e-mail n Requires maintenance and updates by the host organization

13 Committee Websites n Committees are responsible for accuracy and maintenance n TRB will link TRB On-Line Directory to the committee home page n Preferred style reference is Elements of Style for Web Design by Christine A. Quinn n Contact your committee staff person to have the page connected

14 Conference Calls n Provides additional opportunity for conduct of committee business between meetings n TRB Leadership Guide provides tips for conveners on Page 69: n Consult with your TRB Staff Representative for additional assistance

15 ? ? ? ? ? ? Communication Strategies n What’s worked? n What hasn’t? n Ideas to share?

16 Leadership Skills

17 Ultimately, It’s About Leadership... n Selecting committee members n Encouraging participation n Delegating responsibility n Running organized meetings n Communicating early and often

18 Selecting Committee Members n Be selective!!! n Don’t accept every applicant n Include members that bring different expertise or connections to other communities. n Contact leaders in the field and follow up on their suggestions n Tell prospective members what you expect and make sure they can make the necessary commitment

19 Encouraging Participation n Establish well-defined, challenging and reasonable tasks n Link assignments with each individual’s interests n Set deadlines and follow up n Praise accomplishments in private and public n Make sure each member is contributing n Follow up with new participants to encourage additional participation and commitment

20 Delegating Responsibility n The more independent subcommittees or work groups the better! n Activity generates more activity n Don’t feel you must be personally involved in every task n Monitor, guide, cheerlead n Stay connected to ensure the committee need is being met n Broaden the leadership base

21 Delegating Responsibility (continued) n Consider appointing members to some specific duties, such as:  Secretary  Newsletter editor/web master  Research subcommittee chair  Paper Review Coordinator  Annual meeting chair  Liaison chair  Other program or activity chair n Succession planning. It may seem a long way off, but it is important to be aware of those that might be good candidates for future committee leadership.

22 Running Organized Meetings n Prepare and distribute an agenda in advance n Include presenters’ names and timeframes for each item n Include reports on ongoing tasks and allow for committee/friends input to keep things lively n Include discussion items and encourage informal interaction n Avoid debates n Maintain a sense of humor! n Stay on schedule

23 Communicating Early and Often n Contact those engaged in relevant research n Connect with external sources of relevant information n Communicate, communicate, communicate!  With the committee as a whole  With subcommittees and work groups  One-on-one with subcommittee leaders, existing and prospective members  With your TRB staff contact

24 ? ? ? ? ? ? Committee Leadership n What’s worked? n What hasn’t? n Ideas to share?

25 Understanding of Administrative Requirements

26 At First It Seems Like a Private Club With Secret Rules... n But the administrative information is readily available n TRB website has comprehensive on-line resources at  Leadership Guide  On-line paper review system guide  Calendar of important dates  TRB staff and committee chair directory n And TRB staff is ready and willing to help!

27 Administrative Highlights: Committee Membership n Chair nominates members after discussion with TRB staff n Appointments are made by TRB Executive Director for a 3-year term

28 Administrative Highlights: Committee Membership (continued) n A committee is limited to 25 members, with some exceptions  Unlimited number of Emeritus Members  2 Young Members (35 years or younger)  5 International Members (non-US)  Unlimited number of “friends” n There is no limit to the number of young members or international members – each committee can appoint 2 and 5 that do not count against the member limit n TRB is committed to a one-third rotation in membership each third year

29 Administrative Highlights: Annual Meeting Planning n TRB staff coordinate with chairs to schedule sessions  Paper or Presentation sessions (approximately two per committee)  Poster sessions  Joint committee sessions (within the committee session limit)  Committee and Subcommittee Business meetings  Session Planning webinars are held each year

30 Administrative Highlights: Mid-year Meetings n Not all committees hold mid-year meetings n Locations determined several years in advance n Generally many committees meet together n Some individual committees hold meetings with local sponsors n TRB staff coordinate with chairs to schedule business meetings, plenary sessions, and joint committee workshops

31 Administrative Highlights: Meetings and Minutes n Meetings are open unless the chair designates an executive session n Visitors and “friends” may take part in discussions but may not propose motions or vote n Minutes are no longer confidential and may be widely distributed

32 Administrative Highlights: Paper Review Process n Chair or appointee selects paper reviewers  3 reviewers per paper (at the very least)  Reviewer’s names to be kept confidential n Chair or appointee notifies the author of evaluation result n Paper review webinars are held each year to help you navigate the system

33 Administrative Highlights: Paper Review Process (continued) n In advance of the “August Avalanche”  Have a plan—who, which, where?  Volunteer reviewers—commitment and interest  An updated mailing list—phone, fax, e-mail  Internal deadlines n Alternatives structures  Committee Chair  Subcommittee  Paper Review Coordinator or Publications chair

34 Administrative Highlights: Travel Expense Reimbursement n TRB policy is to help defray travel costs of committee chairs to either the annual or mid-year meeting when they cannot obtain funds elsewhere and to the extent funds are available n TRB will not cover committee member or speaker expenses

35 Administrative Highlights: Specialty Conferences and Workshops n Approval of the TRB Executive Committee must be obtained prior to development n Must be self-supporting (registration fees and/or outside funding) n Governing Board of the National Research Council must approve events sponsored with outside funding

36 Remember the Resources n TRB Division A Leadership website:  n On-Line Directory (full contact information for all TRB members) n Email list for all your committee members n Printed Calendar n and ….

37 If all else fails……. n Call or e-mail your TRB staff officer  Peter   Tom  Christy  Elaine  Joedy  Martine 202-334-3177 n Or their project assistant  Freda Morgan  Brie  Mary Kissi  Matt

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