Policy Governance Corner: Membership Connection & Ownership

in Executive Board, General News

by Jessie Wang-Grimm, Phi Chi (U of Chicago), International Vice President

Jessie Wang-Grimm, 2019-2021 International Vice President

One of the cornerstones of Policy Governance is an active, engaged Membership Connection with our cherished sisters, who collectively make up the ownership of AOII. The Executive Board’s purpose is to govern accountably on behalf of our owners. We recognize the many subsets within AOII that comprise our amazing sisterhood. We realize some members engage through the Fraternity structure, and others stay connected through the sisters they know locally, or with those they befriended in college. Still others connect through their financial support of our Foundation and Fraternity initiatives. Ownership input from all these voices in AOII is not only important, but projects a dynamic, diversified big picture for the XB, helping us to be better visionaries for our Fraternity.

How have we put ownership input channels into action? We’ve had to be intentional about asking our members the important questions. It means listening carefully to responses, varied as they may be, and taking note, before framing policies and decisions that take into account that input. We hear you!

At International Convention 2019, we sought valuable insights from a large, random cross section of the members. Gathering in smaller focus groups, we invited sisters to share their thoughts about the Ends and where they saw themselves in achieving a Sense of Belonging, Character, Leadership, Service, and Ambition. Our sisters did not disappoint, with hands up in the air, ready to share innovative thoughts and ideas. Those responses formed the basis for our guidance on putting the Ends into Practice as AOII Advisers, in an issue of To Dragma.

We continued to invite ownership input in other ways since last June. You may have been invited to participate in short surveys. Perhaps you were asked to participate on a task force. Network Directors, Standing Committee Chairs, and PIPs have all taken part in quarterly connection opportunities with XB members, to share how they would prioritize the Ends. We on the XB have been so impressed with the thoughtful, candid, and constructive conversations, and we can’t wait to hear more from all of you.

Has your chapter had a visit from our International President, Crystal Combs, or another member of the XB? Such visits are avenues for capturing valuable feedback and allow us to hear your stories.

Many of our collegiate officers and advisers attended Leadership Academy 2020, learning plenty about keeping our new members engaged and thriving. There too, we wanted to hear from our members about things that work for them and things on the Fraternity side that could be improved to set them up better for success.

Soon, Leadership Institute, the first virtual version, will be here! While we cannot meet in person, it does create fabulous learning opportunities for the members who embrace this chance to connect with AOIIs from across North America, from the comfort of their own homes! LI 2020 is a perfect time for us to forge new learning paths while also sharing important ideas and member input. I invite you all to consider attending!

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