We had a Commissioner’s Orientation meeting on Wednesday, the 21st. We were presented with binders 3 inches thick – with an agenda on the first page that suggested the meeting would go from 7:30pm to at least 9:40pm.
Most of the commissioners attended, with almost all of the Directors as well as the DG and ADG and several others.
The intent of the meeting was to give us new commissioners an introduction to how the board works, and perhaps as a refresher course for the returning commissioners.
I was a little worried at first. It started with some pretty standard fare, with mission-statements and the like. Very well presented, but … not really any meat to it.
Then the Directors spoke of their departments. In two hours, I went from not knowing much at all about this place, even though it seems that for literally years I had tried to know it, to seeing some real passion and some very impressive stuff.
Real, measureable goals. Timelines. A large focus on communications. To my mind, at the end of this meeting, I wonder how many of the difficulties I have had with the board have been more an issue of communications than anything else – and it’s very interesting to see that most, if not all departments had “improve communications” at or near the tops of their lists of immediate improvements they would like to see.
I said at the end of the meeting that I was “surprised, pleased and impressed”. Really, there is a lot of good going on. Of course, there is a lot that needs to be improved – but I left that meeting with an awful lot more hope for the future of this board than I had when the meeting started.
I hope that this continues. And maybe I am just being naive, but at this stage, I think that it will – and I believe that I will be able to make a positive impact on a situation that is already better than I had hoped.
There are some people with real passion in this board. For me, that is an amazing place to start.