Subcommittee Leadership Structures
For some years Archery NZ (Inc) has had a governance only management structure with a board of up to seven people as the decision-making body and a number of fully independent ‘commissions’ responsible for coaching, judging etc.
This was considered to be the most appropriate model and the board mantra was ‘we are governance only, we are not involved in operational matters’.
The board was supported by a part time administration manager.
At the beginning of 2020 and the election/appointment of a new board. This changed.
It was considered difficult for the board to have it’s decisions enacted without an operational arm.
It was agreed that a series of subcommittees to the board would be established with a board member responsible for each but with the power to co-opt other members to ensure a range of skill sets would be available to enact board-determined policy.
What is the purpose of the project?
The purpose of the project was to provide an operational arm for the organisation and to enable the board to get on with governance, policy making etc.
The goal was to engage members with unique skill sets but who had no aspirations to be board members to be involved in the practical day-to-day operations of the organisation. It also provided board members to ‘get operational’ outside the board environment.
Engagement with members was a critical driver for the change.
The subcommittees are responsible for:
- Finance and Risk
- High Performance (Development, Selection, Coaching and High Performance)
- Archery for Young People (includes the Youth Council and archery in schools)
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (includes para archery, LGBTQI and the South Auckland Project)
Each has members not on the board.
What were the enablers that proved successful in your project?
The project enabled a greater number of members to be active in the operational management of the organisation;
Board members with specialist skill sets were able to get involved operationally as well;
The re-structure drew coaching and selection back into an immediate relationship with the board while maintaining some autonomy;
We were able to draw on the experiences of two Olympians who had been excluded before;
We were able to become inclusive in ways not before envisaged;
We have begun a journey with Ti Tiriti o Waitangi;
We could empower our young people;
We could now embark on a national development and coaching programmes;
Important areas such as Finance and Risk are now able to have a sense of continuity that having an elected Treasurer did not offer.
These solved issues that had evolved from having a governance only board.
What impact did your project have?
- The tone of the organisation changed;
- More members became engaged;
- We managed a better, more inclusive, use of our human resource;
- Our board meetings went from two days long to 2.5 hours long as subcommittee reports were enough to enable the board to make strategic decisions under advisement;
- Communications with members improved;
- A project funding programme was put in place;
- We have been able to engage better with our stakeholders and funders;
- We have become for relationship oriented;
- We are better able to engage with priorities of Sport NZ as regards women and Maori (equity, Ti Tiriti o Waitangi, South Auckland Project, Pasifika);
- The board was able to tidy up it’s Strategic Plan and its subcommittee terms of reference;
- Everything seems to have become easier and more fun.
What were the outcomes for women?
- The board is able to focus in a more refined way on it’s priorities and its links to Sport NZ priorities;
- Archery has traditionally been a Eurocentric, male dominated sport. We are changing that especially in Auckland and the other larger centres;
- Archery is a sport where there are only slight differences between what men and women can achieve;
- The past two years has seen a significant growth in numbers of women and minorities especially in Auckland;
- Our Olympic long list was evenly balanced;
- For the past two years the Archery NZ board has had over 50% women;
- Currently we have a 50/50 split;
- Our chair is the only transwoman leading an NSO;
- The South Auckland Project targets school age young women in particular Maori;
- Our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee is focused on engagement with women through ti tiriti;
- Of our top five compound archers, four are women, our top barebow archer is a woman, three of our top seven recurve archers are women;
- 50% of Youth Council members are women;
- Our National Coaching Co-ordinator is a woman as are two of our four selectors;
- Our most recent Olympian is a woman.
- There’s still work to do.