Showing posts with label transparency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label transparency. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Transparency In Leadership

Transparency is as vital in our personal life as it is in our professional or even public one. And there is no better place to discover transparency in ourselves than through the lens of our most immediate relationships. If a leader, elected or volunteer, wants to create and maintain dialogue with others, they need to be as transparent as possible and at all times.

Starting with leadership, transparency helps us measure success. Successful leaders recognize their obligation to help the people they work with and the common cause. Moreover, leaders consistently ask for continuous support as purely, fully, and freely as they offer it. This is transparency in action.

Leaders help us grow. How many of us have personally experienced, whether in recent months or distant years, the difficulty in establishing or maintaining relationships with leaders? Although even just one person experiencing issues with transparency in leadership is problematic, twice that, or more, hinders growth.

Leaders should always be transparent. Transparency reveals a leader's actions when they clearly go against the common cause. In these unfortunate scenarios, this is typically good cause for a change in leadership. But if we want progress, if we want change, we need leaders that are a constant example of transparency.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Building The Foundation

Infrastructure Redevelopment Initiative:

Redeveloping the County Democratic Party's infrastructure will assist in providing a vision to guide the party, help create better objectives to unify our actions with the community-at-large, and, most importantly, help Democrats have the resources needed win elected offices.
Some key components of this phase of development include creating:
  • Strategic Development Plan
  • Developing a Vision Statement
  • Revamped Mission Statement
  • Revamped Leadership Model
  • Executive Steering Committee
  • New and Revamped Action Committees
  • Committee Guides
  • Operations Management Initiatives
  • Administrative Guidelines
  • Training Guides
  • Volunteer Guides

Executive Leadership:

A revamped internal leadership model will incorporate new, as well as redevelop existing, strategic development roles relative to the needs of the party at any given time. This does not change state officiated elected leadership guidelines for County Party Chair and County Precinct Chairs, but will impact interactions with those offices.

The County Party Chair will still determine her / his Executive Leadership appointments. However, like other successful non-profit organizations, this new Executive Leadership team will function as a Board of Directors for more well-rounded input. Each Director will provide direct oversight over specific Standing Committees for a Leadership Council of Chairs.

An example might look like:

Leadership CouncilReporting to:
Marketing ChairPublic Relations Director
Donor Relations ChairPublic Relations Director
Fundraising and Events ChairPublic Relations Director
Volunteer Action ChairTraining Director
Community Outreach ChairPublic Relations Director
New Legislative Support ChairStrategic Planning Director
New Political Activism ChairStrategic Planning Director
New Candidate Support ChairTraining Director
New Education Outreach ChairTraining Director

Until the Strategic Development Plan is fully realized, and a written, living document implemented, the Executive Leadership Board will serve as an Executive Steering Committee. This includes, eventually, adding an Executive Director for Operations and Administrative oversight. After the Strategic Development Plan is implemented, other non-executive Steering Committee members might be considered.

Executive Steering Committee:
  • County Party Chair
    • Appointments
      • Vice-Chair
      • Secretary
      • Treasurer
      • Field Operations Director
      • Public Relations Director
      • Strategic Planning Director
    • Administrative / Operations / Management
      • Executive Director (TBD)

Executive Steering Committee (New Standing Committee):
  • Executive Leadership
  • Other Appointments by County Party Chair

Establishing both short and long term goals as well as long-range planning for continuous improvement strategies will ensure that all County Party Leadership, Administrators, and Volunteers can perform admirably.

Goal Setting:

Some short term goals will be achievable within weeks or months, whereas some will take longer. The objective will be to achieve all short term goals in less than a year's time.

Short term goals include:

  • Seamless integration of all applicable leadership transitions:
    • County Party Chair
      • Appointments
    • Standing Committee Chairs
      • Sub-Committees
  • Written Strategic Development Plan will be determined and implemented:
    • Creating a Vision Statement
    • Revamping the Mission Statement
    • Organizational Manual (Living Document)
      • Committee Manuals (Living Documents)
      • Training Manuals (Living Documents)
      • Administrative Manuals (Living Documents)
    • Changes to County Party By-Laws to account for all updates
  • New Strategic Planning and Execution Management initiatives:
    • Monthly Review and Assessment
    • Quarterly action items determined
    • Annual Review and Assessment
  • New Planning Initiatives
    • Mid-Year Meeting (on even years to account for potential new Leadership)
    • Annual Retreat
    • Mid-Term Meeting
    • Municipal Oriented
    • Special Session (as needed)
  • Except for state officiated requirements and TDP Guidelines, implementation of revamped County Party leadership definitions and guidelines for:
    • County Party Chair
    • Precinct Chairs
    • Appointed Roles
    • Committee Chairs (Standing)
  • Leadership Training
    • Executive
    • Administrative
    • Committee
    • Volunteer
  • Volunteer Empowerment Initiatives
    • Training
    • Administration (plan)
    • Awards and special thanks programming efforts
  • Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign Efforts
    • CCDP Leadership and Committees
    • TDP (Texas Democratic Party)
    • DNC (Democratic National Committee)
  • Public Relations Plan:
    • Marketing Plan
      • Communications Planning
      • Social Media Plan
    • Advertising Planning
    • Community Outreach Plan
      • Publicity objectives
      • Public Affairs
    • Coordination with Like-Minded Groups and Organizations
      • Democratic Party related (Nearby County Parties and Clubs)
      • Resistance
      • Advocacy
      • Activism
      • Non-Partisan

Long term goals could be achieved within a year's time, as / if needed, but are expected to take two or more years to be a fully functional part of the Strategic Development Plan. This includes:

  • Focus on all judicial seats and any other elected offices not currently being pursued
  • New office location
  • New operations and administrative tools and resources
  • New (ED) Executive Director
  • Position CCDP for 2020 Census

1, 4, and 10 Year Plans
  • 1 Year Plan
    • Transitional Leadership Plan
    • Strategic Development Plan
    • Public Relations Plan
    • Volunteer Training Plan
    • Candidate Support Plan
    • Education Outreach Plan
    • Legislative Support Plan
    • Political Activism Plan
  • 4 Year Plan (1 Year Plan Plus)
    • Hire Executive Director
  • 10 Year Plan (1 and 4 year Plan Plus)
    • Census Review and Organizational Redirection Planning (every new decade)

All of this honors all state officiated requirements and by-laws of the County Party as is, including the approval of any recommendations by the CEC (County Executive Committee). Moreover, none of this should be perceived as final recommendation but rather a guiding outline of all good things yet to be realized.

As CCDP Chair, I'll work with the new Executive Leadership team, the CEC, and, most importantly, the Collin County community, to address more specific ideas relative to establishing the new Strategic Development Plan. Here is an overview:

Strategic Development Plan: Once an effective infrastructure is established, a comprehensive written Strategic Development Plan for continuous improvement will be set in motion. This involves redirecting our operations management and practicing continuous improvement exercises all while still honoring the Democratic Party agenda. Some key components of this phase of development include implementing:

  • Regular Strategic Planning Reviews
  • Leadership Retreats
  • Volunteer Appreciation Programs
  • Train-The-Trainer Programs
  • Educational Program Outreach
  • Community Outreach Initiatives
  • Legislative Affairs Management
  • Political Activism Coordination
  • Public Relations Initiatives

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

In This Moment

Building upon the strong Democratic candidate base who met the filing deadline this week, coupled with Doug Jones' win in Alabama as well as other recent special election wins, we have to now look beyond this moment and into the next. Because a desire for change - whether as a concerned citizen, voter, advocate, volunteer, candidate, or elected official - without a strategic plan and a vision, will only take us so far.

This is a key point in many areas of the country, including Texas. It's certainly a significant factor in Collin County where Democrats have not won a partisan seat in decades and the Collin County Democratic Party have only very recently shown their acceptance of the need to be prepared. So what are some takeaways from these monumental occurrences, and how do we leverage this information for more progressive wins in 2018?

Ides of March

Trump's Presidential win in November 2016 was a tipping point in American history. So many of us woke up on November 9th with doubt - doubt in ourselves, doubt in others, doubt in our future. But just as the death of Julius Caesar proved to be a turning point in Roman history, changing a Republic to an Empire, we would find comfort in each other.

Running on Empty

With the new year, we found strength in numbers with women's marches drawing crowds in by the hundreds and thousands across the U.S. and around the globe. Activist groups found new hope and resistance movements were being born everywhere. Municipal elections in May 2017 proved equally exhilarating with hundreds of new candidates in Texas alone, each as ready as the next to make change. 

I know, because I was there. I was in Austin with tens of thousands of people feeling energized. I know because I ran as the only openly progressive, unapologetic Democratic candidate in a race for a non-partisan seat in Plano, Texas. What I (and many candidates and activists alike) discovered though, in Texas and definitely in Collin County, was that for all of this glorious momentum, we were dependent on a Democratic Party, struggling financially in communities that heard little from them and expected nothing. Because that's all they had seen for decades.

Progress Takes Change

We have so many people in Collin County looking to be the change they wish to see in the world. We have people wanting to volunteer and even run for office. But in order for those people, especially those new to politics, to be successful, they need training & education, they need tools & resources, and they need money. They need to know that the party who's flag they wave, is going to be there for them and all Collin County citizens, before, during, and after every election cycle.

With a new year, March is the month to watch. Because on March 6th, 2018, Collin County voters will not only decide on primary winning Democrats to run against well-established, tenured, and extremely well-funded Republicans in the November 2018 midterms. Collin County Democrats will also be given a choice to vote for a new leader, with a new vision, and a new plan for our future. 

Stirling Morris for Collin County Democratic Party Chair.