|The Board’s conclusions from the survey results
Identity, purpose and mission
There is no mandate for a change of name.
OPUS is effectively two organisations in one: an educational charity and a member organisation. It may be helpful to think about them separately when addressing what purpose and function they should each serve. For example:
- OPUS the charity could aim to educate the public in all matters concerning the economic and sociological structure and working of society – on a broader basis than the purely psychosocial.Its functions could include the Listening Post and public events addressing topical issues. It might consider offering more in the way of public education and training in group and team dynamics.
- OPUS the member organisation could serve the professional interests of its members in continuing education and accreditation/certification and the interests of the public in maintaining oversight of professional standards in the practice of organisational consultancy. Its functions could include the Journal and the Conference. It might consider offering more in the way of professional education and training in core consultancy skills as well as networking, supervision and peer learning opportunities.
The board’s expectation is that these two organisations would remain conjoined but establish clear and separate identities.
Affiliation, membership and eligibility
- There is clear support for full voting membership to be extended to associates, although there is division about whether membership should be on equal terms or differentiated via the creation of a senior (fellow) category.
- There is also clear support for everyone to be able to choose, upon joining, between full or associate membership without serving any qualifying period.
- There is no obvious reason why these changes should not be implemented as soon as possible – either to take effect from 1 April 2019 or sooner.
Management, governance, workload and payment
- There is clear support for a mixed model of management, combining hands-off oversight from appointed independent trustees and hands-on leadership of specific OPUS activity streams from elected directors.
- If the two organisations were to establish distinct identities (for example, if the member organisation were to become a not-for-profit subsidiary of the charity), this may translate to a board of trustees overseeing charitable activities along current lines and a separate board of directors overseeing the member organisation. Alternatively, if the two organisations continued to operate within a single corporate shell, the board would be a hybrid model comprising 3 appointed independent trustees and 7 elected directors holding specific portfolios.
- There is clear support for a board of between 7 and 10 people, with all officers serving 3-year terms before retiring or seeking re-election.
- There is clear support for retaining the current split between paid (backroom) and unpaid roles.