Is This the Right Time for You to Serve on ILA’s Board?

Mike HardyMike Hardy is Chair of the ILA Board Development Committee, Professor of Intercultural Relations and Founding Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations at Coventry University. Mike was originally trained as an economist and led economics departments at both Leeds and Central Lancashire Universities; he was a Fulbright Scholar in the USA. From 1995 until 2011, with diplomatic and advisory roles with UK Government, Mike was a Senior Director with the British Council with responsibilities, among others, for the Council’s global cultural relations programme for intercultural and interfaith dialogue, youth engagement and so-called ‘soft-power’ global strategic partnerships; his diplomatic work with British Council included overseas postings, in Egypt, East Jerusalem, and Indonesia. His most recent research and published work reflects his interest in both leadership, dialogue and in the behavioral aspects of building safe and resilient communities.

Deadline Extended Until 25 June 2018!

May is a time of seasonal change in both the Global South and the Global North. In my culture and community in the U.K., we celebrate the arrival of May with the ancient Northern hemisphere festival of May Day. Parties resplendent with cake, dance, and song remind us of the joy of community and the bounty surrounding us.

May is also a time of change at ILA as it is when we begin the annual process of board replenishment. During this time, we ask whether you think that the time is right to nominate yourself to serve. And, while we don’t break out in song and dance, we do marvel at and celebrate the richness of ILA’s global community.

The International Leadership Association Board of Directors works together and with ILA staff providing oversight of and direction to ILA’s mission; making sure that its work is responsibly and capably carried out. The board’s composition reflects ILA’s membership and includes CEOs and higher education leaders, coaches and development professionals, scholars and researchers, and community, nonprofit, and public-sector leaders and program directors.

ILA’s mission is both exciting and important… “promoting a deeper understanding of leadership knowledge and practice for the greater good of individuals and communities worldwide.” The board and staff have been working to make sure that this is clear and relevant for our turbulent, complex times. The board is responsible for the financial health and sustainability of the ILA and is charged also with strongly aligning the association’s core values with the board’s policy-making and decision-making functions.

May is a busy time for the Board Development Committee (BDC), which I now chair. As we refresh our governance leadership and look for new interest and talent to step up and seek a position on the board, we want to work with all the membership to create a culture of stewardship for the ILA in which a loyalty to the mission and a duty of care are key to its trust, integrity, and reputation.

Under the leadership of Cheryl Getz last year, the BDC was spectacularly successful in adding talent and high-quality contributors to the board. We needed that success as valued colleagues, at the end their terms, were moving on.

We are equally challenged this year as we seek to fill three vacancies beginning January 2019. At its recent retreat, the board looked at the skills and talents we wanted to prioritize in our search, given our ambitions for greater global reach, for stronger fund-raising, and for maintaining our drive for diversity. We confirmed the need for new members to be generous in their contribution of time and financial support, as well as bringing the competences that the ILA needs and deserves.

But even these necessary qualities are short of what is sufficient. So, what are the factors that make one group of people an effective team and another, equally talented group of people, a dysfunctional one? The excellent board that I have experienced since I joined has been much more about evident trust, an abundance of mutual respect, and outright candour: a chemistry that can’t be quantified and measured. Secondly, it’s been a board able to work with and through open dissent, able to withstand different viewpoints, and able to emerge stronger from challenging moments and questions. Finally, it’s been a board able to be self-evaluative and self-critical, openly discussing how it could be better. Feedback has been one source of its success, in my view.

I am confident that we can bring energy, insights, and new experiences to the board, and reinforce the culture that we have developed. If you believe the time is right for you to make this three-year commitment, please review the Board Information Packet, ensure that you generally meet or exceed the qualifications, complete the interest form, and submit it by  25 June to BDCchair@ila-net.org. If you know of another qualified colleague, please encourage them to consider this important governance role.

After the submission deadline, the Board Development Committee will review and evaluate candidates based on the criteria approved by the Board of Directors, which is included in the Board Information Packet. A selection of candidates will be interviewed in July and the BDC will then submit nominations to the full ILA Board in September for consideration. New board member orientation will be held in West Palm Beach during the annual global conference in preparation for the January 2019 start date.

We appreciate your willingness to consider this important governance position. Please note: Serving on ILA’s Board is a three-year, unpaid, volunteer commitment. This term begins 1 January 2019 and ends 31 December 2021. Board members cover their own membership, meeting, conference, and retreat-related expenses or have an agreement with their organization for financial support. It is a tradition that each board member also makes an annual financial contribution to the ILA.