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ASA Governance Retreat Recap

Apr 02, 2019
This past weekend, a group of 35 leaders comprised of individuals from ASA’s Board of Governors (BOG), Discipline Committee Chairs, legal counsel and senior executive staff, including new Chief Executive Officer, Johnnie White, MBA, CAE, CMP, attended a facilitated retreat to review the Society’s governance structure and evaluate the needs, strengths and effectiveness of transiting from an operations-driven governance model to a policy-driven governance model.

The retreat took place over a day and half, Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31 near the Society’s headquarters in Reston, Virginia and was facilitated by a professional corporate governance consultant. The timing of the retreat was directly tied to the hiring and onboarding of White as new CEO, starting April 15, 2019. The goal of the retreat was to collaboratively identify a structured governance model under which the ASA (i.e., the CEO, the Executive Committee, the BOG, the Discipline Committees, and other standing committees) would be better able to operate in the future. This was not a BOG meeting and no vote was taken on any issue. However, the attendees clearly understood that the chaos model is no longer working—and never really did. The BOG intends to adopt a “policy governance” model based on the Carver Model. In short, this model enables the BOG to focus on the “ends” (organizational vision and strategy) and leaves the “means” (implementation and execution) to the CEO and staff. This is also intended to avoid ongoing confusion over roles, responsibilities, authorities, and accountability of the CEO, the Executive Committee, the BOG, and the Discipline Committees, and other standing committees and the historical resulting gridlock and lack of forward movement.

The discussions included testimonials by Business Valuation Discipline Governor, Bruce Johnson, ASA, and Appraisal Review & Management Discipline Committee Chair, Jack Young, ASA, each of whom shared success stories of similar exercises done by boards of other organizations of which they were members.

The outcome of the retreat is that the Board will convene within the next 30 days to vote on whether to adopt a policy governance model. If the policy governance model is adopted, a training session will follow to ensure proper and effective implementation of the model.

If you have any questions regarding this, or any other action of the Board, please contact your Regional or Discipline Governor.