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Nontraditional Employment & Training Program Center for Women in Government & Civil Society University at Albany State University of New York BUILDING.

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Presentation on theme: "Nontraditional Employment & Training Program Center for Women in Government & Civil Society University at Albany State University of New York BUILDING."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nontraditional Employment & Training Program Center for Women in Government & Civil Society University at Albany State University of New York BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE ADVISORY COUNCIL

2 Purpose of an Advisory Council An extremely valuable resource and asset to your organization, if well-constructed and well-managed. Purpose is to advise on: Program mission, vision and values; Strategic direction; Evaluation of progress; Fiscal management and growth; Advisory Councils are NOT Nonprofit Board of Directors: Fiscal oversight Fiduciary and legal responsibilities Governance power over hiring and firing of Directors

3 Benefits of an Advisory Council Provide guidance on strategic and day-to- day problems Provide vehicle for informed decision making Extend depth and breadth of your reach in the community and your networks Facilitate referrals, alliances and partnerships with community Provide hands-on-support for busy staff Provide expertise and links to donors and supporters Provide critical expertise that can supplement your institution’s knowledge.

4 Step 1: Establish Bylaws The Bylaws: Guiding Document that defines governing norms, codes of conduct and ground rules. Components: Qualifications and background of members, policy on composition, demographics, diversity, etc. How members will be identified, recruited and selected/elected Maximum and minimum numbers of members Length of service, renewal and maximum terms No fiduciary or legal responsibility, advisory status, no governing power and voluntary service Mandatory meetings and functions Specific role and expectations what happens when a member resigns, is removed or unavailable What happens when a member fails to attend meetings What information will be communicated, when and how Quorum and voting rights Officers Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees

5 Step 2: Recruit Members Form a nominating Committee from people in your networks who represent different stakeholders Have members of the nominating committee complete a worksheet identifying 10 candidates for the Council and the rationale for nominating them. Nominators reach out to candidates they nominate to solicit initial interest in serving. Hold a meeting to prioritize a list of finalists. Send a formal invitation to serve. Invitation letter should state clearly role and expectations as well as time commitment expressed in annual hours expected to be dedicated to their Advisory Council position.

6 Step 3: Hold Members’ Orientation Meeting Get acquainted and break the ice Communicate vision and mission with passion and conviction Review Bylaws and engage members’ immediately in refining and finalizing the Bylaws Provide a thorough orientation to the program (long term goals and objectives, current activities, successes and challenges, students you serve, partnerships you have and wish to have). Clarify decision-making; areas where there are shared authority and others where final decisions rest with the institution. Identify areas where the group’s support is needed immediately. Discuss Standing and Ad hoc committees that need to be established Ask members to serve on at least one of these committees. Choose co-chairs for each committee.

7 Step 4: Activate Your Advisory Council Make sure you have a solid internal infrastructure: Common sets of procedures Rules of confidentiality A virtual workplace Work cycle management and progress communication Council development meetings/social events for personal glue and cohesion. Role clarification and expectation communication Follow pre and post meeting best practices including; agenda development in advance with time allocation for each discussion/agenda item and distribution of post meeting minutes documenting decisions and action items/team members’ assignment list.

8 Step 5: Maintain, Sustain & Energize Trust Building through team building Team Identification Interdependence of Tasks Promote understanding of diversity on the Council. A Roster of expertise or skills inventory cultivates competency based trust. Use information and communication technologies to keep members engaged and connections alive in between meetings. Institute reward systems, verbal recognition, exposure internally and externally to stakeholders, Visibility. Intellectual growth through lectures, training opportunities that would enhance their skills and benefit their career development. Conflict Management

9 Characteristics of Successful Advisory Councils Flexibility in their own ideas Openness to new ideas Listening to others Trusting of Others Expression and discussion of differences – Avoid group think Contribution-making Concern for Others Commitment to tasks Helping of one another to get the job done Leadership sharing Encouragement of participation Prioritization of collective interests over individual interests A sense that we are all in this together!

10 Leaders are Key Leaders can shape the quality of communication. Leaders: Set the tone, model acceptable norms of behavior; Motivate, coordinate and articulate vision; Shape identity, culture and dynamics; Facilitate constructive conflicts; Leverage diversity through debates; Coordinate tasks and leverage interdependence; Use power and authority sharing to build team spirit; and Use a range of reward systems to inspire commitment.

11 Final Words Effective Advisory Councils Need: Sense of Purpose Doable Tasks and measurable objectives Timeline Praise, reward and recognition, sense that input is valued Regular guidance to make sure they stay on course Identification with your institution and personal glue with members of the Council

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