At least a couple of times every year, a question arises that asks how ICHRIE makes decisions. It’s interesting and sometimes comical to hear the perceptions that exist about our decision-making process. There aren’t any hard and fast rules to our decision making, but there is definitely a guiding principle we try to apply on a consistent basis.
Whenever the staff, the Executive Committee or the ICHRIE Board of Directors is faced with making a decision, we try to base that decision on what is in the long-term, best interest of our membership. This principle is something initiated on the board level when Ray Kavanaugh was Chairman of the Board back in the late 1990s. The board at that time embraced the concept and we have tried in the following years to maintain the spirit and the intent of that focus.
The challenge is to consider both the long-term aspect as well as the best interest facets. That sounds easier than it is on occasion. The process often requires individuals involved in the decision-making process to set aside any personal agendas and, as much as is humanly possible, to remove emotions and egos from the discussions. When a decision is made, it is vetted against the “long-term, best interest” benchmark and we then move forward to implementing that decision.
When a decision, a standing rule, or a board-directed policy or motion is instituted, the ICHRIE staff is responsible for implementing those conclusions. Unfortunately when someone is unhappy about a board-approved decision, staff members are often the ones sitting on the front line, and more unfortunately are the ones who take the “blame” for a decision or who receive the brunt of someone’s displeasure. It isn’t always easy to make a decision that you know will likely be unpopular with a few, but the ICHRIE board is committed to making the best overall, fair decision that staff is then required to implement into day-to-day operations.
It is often misunderstood about the role staff plays/has played in an ICHRIE board policy decision. When we make decisions at ICHRIE, there isn’t any person standing behind a Wizard of Oz-type giant curtain. When a decision has to be made, the ICHRIE leadership tries to include and involve all the relevant constituencies and we draw our conclusions with the goal of parity to all membership categories. Considering the diversity of the makeup of our membership, that often leads to some very interesting discussions.
Over the course of any given year, the ICHRIE Board of Directors makes a multitude of decisions. Many times we make the right ones and sometimes we have to revisit a prior decision because the industry, the natural evolution of business, or the needs of our members change over time. We are committed to and working consistently to operate in a fashion that illustrates more transparency in our decision-making process. I applaud the members of the ICHRIE board of directors and the staff for their commitment to making and implementing decisions that are fair, informed and relevant.