Committee Meetings

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For our BLT model, the committee meetings are the forum where policy and guidelines are defined, voted upon and set as troop’s policy to support BLT.

Our experience has been that the committee meetings become the forum where the impacts of changing culture are vetted.

When implementing BLT, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that is not known, understood or needs to be socialized that it becomes difficult to respond to why things are done from an operational perspective without the background/context. Referencing What Is BLT, realize we are dealing with culture change. Culture change takes years.

The dynamics we experienced at our committee meetings were real organizational behavior items and organizational dynamics that we all needed to discuss and gain understanding so that we could better set policy and guidelines to support BLT’s future and facilitate the evolution of scouts leading.

One example would be the committee meeting involving dynamics around the process for how our troop selected its boy leadership. For years, the troop had a process called “Troop Election Process.” As we evolved our BLT efforts, our end result was that we had just enough experienced scout leaders to fill the leadership positions. Therefore, “selection” was a more accurate way to describe how filled our scout leadership positions with qualified scout leaders. Using the term election was inadequate. The impact of using the word “selection” instead of "election" created some healthy discussions about how we select our scout leaders. Through these healthy discussions, the details around requirements and measuring leadership skills was vetted, defined and documented, educting everyone and creating consensus.

The operational requirement for BLT is the troop’s program needs to provide steady leadership growth in the scouts and consistently yields qualified scout leaders who want to lead on a yearly basis. Once the operational needs, lessons learned and specific examples were discussed, the committee was able to come to consensus. The solution was simply to change the word “election” to “selection” and change the name of our process to be called Leadership Selection Process. Reflecting back on this meeting, there were many other factors contributing to this discussion. However, the biggest factor was that we as a committee, just evolved our culture by realizing our troop’s program had evolved from an “election” to a “selection” process.

One important lesson learned from this example is to realize that dealing with these organizational behaviors and dynamics requires that those participating agree or provide input from the same context. In the example above, we could have saved many passionate words if we as a committee would have realized we were discussing election versus selection and everyone’s input was spoken from the same BLT operational perspective. By not grounding the conversations and input within the same perspective, a circular conversation resulted. Although people are using the same words, the meanings are different and consensus is hard to achieve. Having a good facilitator or moderator is important and a great asset to evolving culture and keeping everyone within the same context.

Another approach used by another Troop is to have scouts apply for the leadership positions as if they were jobs. The leadership positions have the role and responsibility defined. The scouts then put together their scouting resume and apply for the job. They are interviewed and the leader is selected.

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