The Expansion of the Volunteer Leadership Pipeline
Don't let your bylaws restrict growth
In 2016, the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) began addressing a problem with its board. Its leadership pipeline was proving to be almost unworkably narrow: Its 12 board members were all required to be licensed landscape architects, with 18 months of active engagement with the association prior to a board run. Those restrictions limited the pool of nominees, its strategic skill sets and its overall diversity.
"When your leadership pipeline can only come from your membership, and your membership is very small and it's made up of later-career Caucasian men, your access to diversity is very limited," said CLARB Chief Strategy Officer Veronica Meadows, CAE.
Addressing that challenge would ultimately require a change in CLARB's bylaws. But before that, the association needed to have a conversation about how it would identify knowledge and diversity gaps in the board and the best ways to fill them. To that end, CLARB convened a pair of task forces to look at competencies that would be essential for a forward-looking board and to develop a structure that would include board members with those competencies, even if they weren't part of CLARB's typical pool of candidates.
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