NEW GOVERNANCE – FAQ
The following frequently asked questions and answers are provided to members to help explain the governance changes to the Scottish Constitution documented in the draft 30th edition of the Constitution and Laws:
Why are we changing?
This proposal is in response to the recommendations from Grand Committee on 9th September 2021 on the five working group reports, which were subsequently ratified and agreed on the floor of The Grand Lodge of Scotland on 28th October 2021. Specifically, that Grand Secretary, with the appropriate support of subject matter experts, was to “Design, develop and deliver a strategic governance structure for the Scottish Constitution.”
The new governance structure also addresses key findings from the recent membership survey. It is intended to improve the democratic structure of governance of the Grand Lodge of Scotland,while enhancing the effectiveness of the standing committees, and improvingthe delivery of strategic objectives.
By succinctly setting out what changes are proposed, why they are considered necessary and how they will operate within the overall governance structure of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, it provides a blueprint for improvement, ensuring the Craft is fit for the 21st century.
What are the benefits to the craft in general and the Provinces/Districts and Lodges in particular?
At the core of the proposal is the recognition of the need to modernise the Craft while retaining its traditions. An important aspect in delivering such an improvement is for the Grand Lodge of Scotland to make better use of the skills, knowledge, and experiences of its membership. Thebenefits of improved governance include:
• Prudent executive actions to deliver long-term success
• Significant risks are recognised, managed, and recorded
• Appropriate decision-making processes andcontrols
• Transparency, openness, and accountability in all activities
• Compliance with legal, financial, regulatory and policyrequirements
• Measured outputs and outcomes used to improve future performance
• Human, financial, and other resources are managed efficiently and effectively
• Improved reputation and relationships with members and other stakeholders
This proposed framework contributes to a common understanding of our vision, strategic direction, regulatory compliance, accountability, and decision-making processes. The objectof the framework is to help providetransparency, clarity of purpose and encourage ownership amongst staff, stakeholders, and partners.
Sound governance will enable Grand Lodge to monitor its strategic objectives and consider whetherthey lead to improved performance and providevalue for money.
The effective and efficient use of resources focused on improved performance will ensure a coherent and coordinated approach across the Craft in Scotland. It will allow the Provinces, Districts and Lodges to combine their activities for the greater good of the organisation.
When and how will it happen?
The processis already underwayand will be formally incorporated at Grand Lodge in October 2023.
The DesignStage and related tasks have been completed.The second stage ofImplementing and Benchmarking is alreadyunderway with the expected
completion date of October2023. Stage 3 Measuringand Monitoring and Stage 4 Learning and Reporting will follow consecutively. Thereafter, the process becomes one of continuous improvement.
The whole process will also be subject to critical review after three years to ensure it is fit for purpose or, alternatively, requires further refinement.
Who will be involved?
Development of the governance structure will include opportunities for individuals to learn or improve skills and abilities as members of committees. It also provides opportunities for members to apply existing skills and experience to a new situation. As well as being able to influence the development of the Craft in the Scottish Constitution. It is open to any suitably qualified brother to submit an application.
How can I get involved?
Grand Secretary shall maintain a Register of Interests which will comprise list of members (together with a note of their Lodge, rank, professional qualifications, experience and contact details) who have, and are willing to voluntarily provide to Grand Lodge, skills, expertise and experience in matters which will assist Grand Lodge in the proper and efficient conduct of its administration, business and activities. Appointments to and removals from the Register of Interests will be managed by Grand Secretary.
Why will it be better?
How will this affect me?
Our current Grand Committee does not set the strategic direction of the organization and there is a gap between the means of operational delivery expected from the various standing committees. Because the work of standing committees is fed back to the current Grand Committee, there is a structural time-lag. Consequently, actions and deliverables are not always optimised.
To address the structural issues and enhance coordination it is proposed that the Governance and Strategy Board will have delegated responsibility to deliver the strategic vision of the organization. The Board would make decisions and act without the need to continually refer to Grand Lodge. In other words, it would ‘make it happen’.
Who participates in the committees and how are they chosen?
Brethren are encouraged to apply if they consider that they can assist in the strategic governance of the Craft in the Scottish Constitution.
We are moving from a nomination process to an application process in order to be part of the governance structure. The proposed arrangements focus on
delivery. What was intended and did it succeed. It will require suitably skilled and experienced brethren to drive progress.
The committees can also co-opt those who can help it in its activities.
What will happen if we don’t change?
Stagnation, regression more time being wasted on the wrong things. It will represent a huge, missed opportunity to bring the Craft up to date with modern business practices that it allows it to make decisions quickly and in real time. By refusing to change we will suffer a slow and painful demise as we get wrapped in more admin and committees for the sake of committees and we will disillusion those who could make a real difference to our organization. To ignore those members with real assets and skill sets would be a massive, missed opportunity that will see people leave the organization who could make a real difference to taking us forward.
What if it doesn’t work?