for Human Development, Inc. (CHD) is a private
not-for-profit organization providing behavioral health,
public health, developmental disabilities and veterans
It has been
humorously suggested that CHD really stands for Change
Happens Daily and this accurately describes the spirit
of CHD. Since the early 90's we have been implementing
a team-based organizational structure focused on the
goals of quality services, continual learning and
empowerment of staff. Our 80+ employees are organized
into self-directed teams that are responsible for their
own program development, financial management, and
hiring decisions. Cross-team committees provide
coordination, analysis and policy development functions
for the entire organization.
In 2005, CHD
took the concept of team management to another level
with the development of a "team executive". This
development began in the year 2000 when our CEO, David
Still, started talking about retiring after over 30
years at CHD. This launched an extensive continuity
planning process that involved the board and staff and
it culminated in a strategic planning process. in the
spring of 2004. In re-affirming the organizational
the empowerment and learning and the culture of
inclusion and shared leadership, the board and staff
made a commitment to apply these principles more
extensively by replacing the CEO position with an
Administrative Council (AC).
time, of course we did not know what this would look
like in detail. But we were committed to the vision of
shared leadership in which there would be mutual
accountability without an identified boss. Guided by
staff and board groups, this concept came into much
better focus over the year between 2004 and David's
retirement in May 2005. Work groups research legal
issues and questions, redefined the composition and
responsibilities of the board, added a staff
representative to the board of directors, clarified
decision making criteria in all domains of the
organization, established the role and functions of AC,
established a process of selecting and replacing AC
members, informed and educated partners and funding
sources, and began the ongoing process of AC team
In May 2005,
David's dream came true as he was able to retire and
have the organizational work continue uninterrupted
under the leadership of a seven member administrative
council. As we approach our second year of this
experiment, we continue to discover the benefits and the
difficulties with this system of shared leadership.
following are documents from this continuity and
transition process that express some of the vision and
challenges we have faced.
October 2002: Began gathering input for
December 2002: Admin Council (AC) was expanded
and other organizational changes were made to
support transition of continuity planning.
Continuity Values and Decisions describes these
changes and some of the values that guided the
continuity planning process.
2004: Strategic Planning session at which CHD
staff expressed concern for organizational culture
and values and the concept of a team executive
surfaced and Admin Council was directed to develop
this into a proposal.
Notes from Strategic Planning.
Notes from Strategic Planning describes the
background and rationale for the team executive.
2004: Board accepted Admin Council proposal and
made decision to support the concept of a team
Continuity Planning Process laid groundwork for
planning and implementation work.
2004: Planning and implementation process
Characteristics of Continuity Planning Process.
- February 2005:
Workgroup reports to the board:
2005: Strategic Planning session with board to
conclude the continuity planning process and to
affirm the team executive decisions.
Power Point Presentation to BOD.
September 2006: Most recent update of the
Decision Parameters defines responsibilities for
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