Election Paradox

Stacy Brungardt, CAE STFM Executive Director

Stacy Brungardt, CAE
STFM Executive Director

If you read the actions from the August Board meeting, you saw a list of governance changes the STFM Board approved, including the move from a contested election to a slate. The reasons behind this change are complex and have been debated in robust fashion over the past year. Ultimately, the Board thinks it is better for STFM, its members, and the discipline for STFM to expand its Nominations Committee, have a more open and transparent election process, and move to having members vote on a slate.

A wise member, John Franko, MD, explained that the issue is not a problem, it is a paradox, ie, two different ways to approach an issue, neither of which are entirely right or wrong. This was a key learning from Ralph Jacobsen’s book about organizational processing of paradox. Jacobsen’s perspective is that leaders need to manage the tension created by paradox and use it to create and innovate.

What great insight to help us consider this issue.

There will be members who like the change to a slate and some who disagree. We heard both sides in our discussions with members, committees, Board members, and task force members. Each side has its pros and cons, and as we weighed both approaches, the opportunity to be more intentional about getting the best talent and the appropriate diverse composition on our Board won out. At a minimum, I hope it is apparent that this was a thoughtful process that recognizes the tension created by this paradox.

You’ll be seeing the specific bylaws changes related to these issues in early November.

As always, we welcome hearing from you.

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