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Cburkhardt

National Changes/Smaller Board/Ntl. Program Council

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This posting will include known upcoming changes to the national structure (area, region and national levels).  Some will be announced over the next 24 hours.  For this posting, please focus on sharing and commenting on actual announcements and facts.

 

National Executive Board.  The membership of this large entity will be re-elected today as-is, with no new members.  This is because bankruptcy is not the right time to bring in new people.  Deal with the difficulty, get through bankruptcy and then make changes.  Further, some of the best people will not want to join until after the crisis is over – at least “formally” over.  One change will be to “streamline” the descriptions of national volunteer and national professional responsibilities.  I believe this is a good move.  It implies downsizing and making clear what is and is not a professional or volunteer job or authority.  The governance committee of the Executive Board will recommend substantial changes the Board to be put into effect as the BSA emerges from bankruptcy.  I believe this will include a dramatic downsizing to a much smaller Board that will meet and decide things on a very regular basis. Fast decision-making will be necessary as we come out of the bankruptcy.

National Program Council.  Many of us have predicted the emerging national structure will focus on program. This week these predictions have largely been confirmed.  There will be a new “National Program Council” that will focus on maintaining our program templates and materials.  I believe it may largely replace the network of national committees, national standing committees, ad hoc committees and professional structures that comprise the bulk of program personnel at the national level.  This new group will probably have the task to re-size national-operated activities above the council level.  As an example, our above-council youth leadership structures for OA and Venturing would probably be evaluated.  High adventure bases and the jamborees will be a significant topic, especially if we are not able to retain some or all of the bases.

 

National Shared Services.  Many others of us have predicted the emerging structure’s other focus will be shared services to councils that need to be done on a national scale.  We have largely had this confirmed through statements made during the General Session that the national council in the future will make this it’s focus.    We know this includes a new electronic IT platform to replace the crazy-quilt legacy systems that are currently in place.  Bankruptcy allows the national structure to terminate any or all of its current contracts, so all services to councils can be evaluated, enhanced or discontinued.

Replacing Regions and Areas.  The current region/area structure will be replaced by a different means through which the national structure will relate to councils in the field.  No details are out, but it is reasonable to believe that much of the current volunteer and professional structure will not be replaced at this intermediary level.  There will be plenty of volunteer jobs in the movement, but the best opportunities will be at the District and Council levels – where I hope former national structure volunteers will return. 

What are your views on these and other changes to the national structure that are occurring?  

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22 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

National Executive Board.  The membership of this large entity will be re-elected today as-is, with no new members.  This is because bankruptcy is not the right time to bring in new people.  Deal with the difficulty, get through bankruptcy and then make changes.  Further, some of the best people will not want to join until after the crisis is over – at least “formally” over.  One change will be to “streamline” the descriptions of national volunteer and national professional responsibilities.  I believe this is a good move.  It implies downsizing and making clear what is and is not a professional or volunteer job or authority.  The governance committee of the Executive Board will recommend substantial changes the Board to be put into effect as the BSA emerges from bankruptcy.  I believe this will include a dramatic downsizing to a much smaller Board that will meet and decide things on a very regular basis. Fast decision-making will be necessary as we come out of the bankruptcy.

IMHO, if Judge Silverstein disqualifies Sidley Austin*, the corporate law firm which the BSA retained in Dec, 2018 to "explore" bankruptcy, there would be a pause in the bankruptcy case - time for a smaller, specialized outside corporate leadership team to come in and see us thru bankruptcy which would include recommending their replacements once the bankruptcy settled.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2020/05/06/boy-scouts-bankruptcy-lawsuits-hit-local-councils/5175146002/

...the case hit another potential snag. In federal court in Delaware, Judge Laurie Silverstein held a hearing to review Century Indemnity Company’s objection to work being done on the case by Sidley Austin, a corporate law firm retained by Boy Scouts. The insurance company argued that it is a conflict of interest since it previously worked with Sidley Austin in a dispute over insurance payouts involving Boy Scout sexual abuse claims.

Sidley represented Century in a dispute with Lloyd’s of London over reinsurance Century purchased from Lloyd’s to help cover major claims events. Lloyd’s refused to reimburse Century for settlements in Boy Scout sexual abuse cases, leading to a lengthy legal dispute.

In recent years, the Boy Scouts have battled with insurance carriers who refused to pay out claims, saying the Scouts failed to take effective measures to prevent continued abuse. In 2018, Boy Scouts sued six of its carriers including Century. Experts include insurers’ refusal to pay out claims as one of the driving factors leading Boy Scouts to file for bankruptcy. 

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@Cburkhardt, yes THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the sharing and insights. ( And yes that is me shouting at the top of my lungs in appreciation, ;) ).

 

I admit I am extremely skeptical of national. I am just wondering how this will affect my troop.

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1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

There will be a new “National Program Council” that will focus on maintaining our program templates and materials.  I believe it may largely replace the network of national committees, national standing committees, ad hoc committees and professional structures that comprise the bulk of program personnel at the national level. 

Wait. You mean there was no program silo? I guess making one is good news.

1 hour ago, Cburkhardt said:

Replacing Regions and Areas.

This means nothing to me. This is just org chart stuff from my perspective. My question is how will my council be kept honest. If national is smaller along with regions and areas, then my council will have even less oversight. I'd like to say this is good but it just isn't. There is currently nothing to keep my council accountable to its customers. I don't see how this change improves anything.

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3 hours ago, MattR said:

Wait. You mean there was no program silo? I guess making one is good news.

This means nothing to me. This is just org chart stuff from my perspective. My question is how will my council be kept honest. If national is smaller along with regions and areas, then my council will have even less oversight. I'd like to say this is good but it just isn't. There is currently nothing to keep my council accountable to its customers. I don't see how this change improves anything.

Can't get any less oversight when there was already zero oversight *taps forehead* 

I've been a professional for years and still have zero idea what an Area Director does. Heck, I've never even met mine.

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12 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

I've been a professional for years and still have zero idea what an Area Director does. Heck, I've never even met mine.

I think Area directors are where they put pros while they either wait for a SE position in a metro council, or place a lousy SE until they retire. The AD when I was a pro ended up a metro SE a few years later. And my lousy SE ended up being an AD until he retired.

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11 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

National Shared Services.  Many others of us have predicted the emerging structure’s other focus will be shared services to councils that need to be done on a national scale.  We have largely had this confirmed through statements made during the General Session that the national council in the future will make this it’s focus.    We know this includes a new electronic IT platform to replace the crazy-quilt legacy systems that are currently in place.  Bankruptcy allows the national structure to terminate any or all of its current contracts, so all services to councils can be evaluated, enhanced or discontinued.

 

I wanted to comment on just this topic.  The idea that BSA is going to NOW develop some IT platform that will replace the crap they currently have is laughable.  They have demonstrated zero ability to do this in all these years when the need was obvious and resources were available.  The idea that they're going to emerge from bankruptcy with the expertise resident in the organization, plus the money necessary, to accomplish something they haven't for decades is just incredulous.  If they were capable of doing in this it would already be done.

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8 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

I wanted to comment on just this topic.  The idea that BSA is going to NOW develop some IT platform that will replace the crap they currently have is laughable.  They have demonstrated zero ability to do this in all these years when the need was obvious and resources were available.  The idea that they're going to emerge from bankruptcy with the expertise resident in the organization, plus the money necessary, to accomplish something they haven't for decades is just incredulous.  If they were capable of doing in this it would already be done.

When I read the point about new IT systems on the other end of bankruptcy I had a similar reaction, but my dominant feeling was honestly worry.  I’ve seen well resourced and technically sophisticated organizations take a huge hit when putting in the “new high tech cloud based solution” that is going to make everything so much better ends up being much tougher than it seemed on paper.  In an organization that is already seriously wounded and likely without any spare resources, my fear is that an “upgrade effort” under those circumstances could mean that everything grinds to a halt.

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2 hours ago, BAJ said:

When I read the point about new IT systems on the other end of bankruptcy I had a similar reaction, but my dominant feeling was honestly worry.  I’ve seen well resourced and technically sophisticated organizations take a huge hit when putting in the “new high tech cloud based solution” that is going to make everything so much better ends up being much tougher than it seemed on paper.  In an organization that is already seriously wounded and likely without any spare resources, my fear is that an “upgrade effort” under those circumstances could mean that everything grinds to a halt.

I also have little faith in BSA's tech expertise. However, this is not as difficult as it seems. Almost every other youth organization uses one of these systems. It can't be that hard to adapt one of them. The systems that manage sports leagues are very similar for example. Instead of troops and patrols, you've got leagues and teams; you've got rosters with contact information; waiver and health forms to fill out and file online; coach and volunteer positions; clinic and lesson sign ups similar to camp outs and conference requests; alerts and news update features; online payment options. How is any of that different from scouts? 

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3 minutes ago, yknot said:

How is any of that different from scouts? 

Well for one, those systems can tell you the number of current members. :laugh:

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10 minutes ago, yknot said:

I also have little faith in BSA's tech expertise. However, this is not as difficult as it seems. Almost every other youth organization uses one of these systems. It can't be that hard to adapt one of them. The systems that manage sports leagues are very similar for example. Instead of troops and patrols, you've got leagues and teams; you've got rosters with contact information; waiver and health forms to fill out and file online; coach and volunteer positions; clinic and lesson sign ups similar to camp outs and conference requests; alerts and news update features; online payment options. How is any of that different from scouts? 

Hopefully, not that different.  But, I’ve seen business enterprise management system change overs — where in theory the fact that their business “wasn’t that different from other similar businesses” meant the switch should have been smooth result in long term disruptions...  

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On 5/22/2020 at 1:41 PM, desertrat77 said:

Regions + Areas = Mutual Admiration Societies (MAS)

MAS = zero value to units

 

In Sea Scouting, there is a lot of Area and Region activity for units.  This is primarily because there are so few units and the kids are older so they have multiple events that they work together for the youth.

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27 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

In Sea Scouting, there is a lot of Area and Region activity for units.  This is primarily because there are so few units and the kids are older so they have multiple events that they work together for the youth.

I hate to say it, but I think Sea Scouts, the second oldest program in the BSA ( since 1912) may be one of the "sacred cows" that will be sacrificed. Between cutting off program at 18 and doing away with area and regions, I got a real bad feeling about this. The only way I could see it being saved is if they allow the area volunteers these events. And as good a program as Sea Scouting is, I would hate to lose it. But someone either here or elsewhere, said that BSA could possible hand it over the the USCGA to run since it is their official youth program.

Don't kill the messenger. I was an Ordinary Sea Scout. Sea Scouting kept active for a while after turning 18.

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