11 Dec 2015
We started the November BoT meeting with a re-cap on the role of the Board. This is about heading-up the governance of the Society and adhering to the essential principles of governance and best practice; agreeing the strategy and helping the Executive and volunteers to implement it; and providing leadership of the Society. We looked at contemporary ideas on how to engage stakeholders through on-going conversation and how to ignite ‘hotspots’ in multidisciplinary organisations such as SCI by creating a culture of cooperation, focusing with a sense of urgency, and facilitating the productivity of talented people.
Sharon presented the Executive Director’s report using the format of the four pillars of SCI’s new strategy. Going forwards, we must underpin all our activities with a properly aligned organisation (Pillar 1), presenting a congruent position to all our stakeholders. An early job in this process of alignment will be for all RIGs and TIGs to produce plans for their activities. Looking at member benefits is something fundamental to member engagement and growth (Pillar 2). Sharon has begun to pay regular visits to major companies in our business sectors, and I visited Syngenta with her in October, in the quest to connect better with industry (Pillar 3). Reviving corporate partnership programmes and how SCI can facilitate innovation (Pillar 4) are on the agenda.
A major area of discussion at this meeting was around C&I. The magazine has been hit by rising costs and loss of advertising revenue over recent years. A four-stage plan will aim to improve the situation in the shorter term by trimming costs, redefining the editorial strategy, updating the layout and reviewing the sales and distribution strategy.
Another important issue to address quickly is to give the Executive an effective IT administration tool by way of a modern CRM (customer relationship management) system, which is fit-for-purpose and cost-effective. Work has begun on scoping out the specification of such a system, hoping to have one installed by the end of 2016.
Dr Alan D Baylis
Chair, SCI Board of Trustees