Why not hold a general election?
Putting aside the delightfully lurid idea of putting Punk Rock HR star Laurie Ruettimann in charge of SHRM, I kind of like the idea of selecting the head of our professional association via a general election by the membership. I know that isn’t the way it is done now. I also know it is not the way it will be done, but it would be interesting and bring a whole new dynamic to the leadership selection and succession process for our beloved professional association.
Where is the Barack Obama for HR?
Wouldn’t it be cool to have to some relatively unknown HR professional step out of their work life and stride ontomthe staid SHRM scene calling for change like Barack Obama did during his 2008 Presidential campaign? Who knows what new ideas might be generated, or how much the membership base might be energized by a direct election. There are like 100 million reasons that it will never happen, but I can’t help but think that it would be a grand experiment. Of course, it wouldn’t be long before we were calling for term limits, impeachments, and a greater diversity of candidate options, but one can still dream
Picking the SHRM CEO by the book
Here are some excerpted portions of the SHRM by-laws that set forth the duty of the Board of Directors, including selection of the President/CEO, and the responsibility of planning for succession. It also discusses some the responsibilities of the CEO job. You can find the complete by-law document here.
Section 10: Powers and Duties.
(a) The President/CEO shall manage and control the property, business and affairs of the Society, subject to Board of Directors’
oversight, control and direction, and the Board of Directors or the President/CEO shall exercise all powers of the Society
not reserved to the members by statute or by the Bylaws or the Articles of Incorporation.
(b) The SHRM Board of Directors is the ultimate governing body of the Society. The Board is also responsible for approving the
policies of the Society. More specifically, and without limitation,
the Board performs the following functions:
i. Approves an annual strategic plan, as presented by the President/CEO, and monitors its implementation;
ii. Sets policies which it determines to be consistent with the Society’s vision, mission and key objectives;
iii. Takes appropriate action to invest, preserve, expand and utilize the reserves of the Society consistent with the
iv. Approves an annual budget and operating plan that is aligned with the approved strategic plan and designed to
further what it determines to be the Society’s objectives and monitors the success or failure of planned objectives;
v. Establishes the Society’s Bylaws and amends them from time to time as appropriate in accordance with Article XIV
of these Bylaws;
vi. Further defines the Society’s volunteer organizational structure and sets forth terms and conditions of affiliation
for its regions, State Councils, and chapters consistent with the Bylaws;
vii. Ensures that the Society adopt and implement a succession plan for its volunteer leaders that will provide for a diverse,
competent, dynamic and committed pool of members which can be considered for positions as openings arise at all
levels of the organization;
viii. Selects the Society’s President/CEO, sets terms and conditions of employment, evaluates his/her performance
and makes plans for succession;
ix. Reviews and approves any operational item in excess of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($750,000) which
is outside the budget or which it determines will have a pronounced and long-term impact on the Society, such as
the Society’s location and physical plant; and
x. Participates in state and chapter initiatives as appropriate and approves the Society’s affiliations with other
organizations and the terms for such affiliation.
(c) The Board may act as a whole in fulfilling its responsibilities or refer matters to standing or ad hoc
Amended as of 6/2008 SHRM® Bylaws 9 committees. Committees shall be subject to the control
and direction of the Board; and the Board shall hold all committees responsible for specified outcomes.
(d) The Board, in reaching decisions, will make good-faith efforts to ensure that appropriate information, available at the time
and relevant to a matter, is considered. All Board members should feel free to volunteer any information and/or raise
any question in furtherance of this objective in a climate of professionalism with due respect for opposing views. Board
decisions, once made, are, however, decisions of the Board and all Board members are expected to accept those decisions and be
supportive of them.
Section 11: Removal of Directors and Officers.
Any Director or officer other than the President/CEO may be removed from office, with or without cause, upon an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the then entire number of voting Directors taken at a duly constituted Board of Directors meeting. The President/CEO may
be removed by majority vote of the then entire number of votingDirectors, subject to any contract, if any, between the Society and
Article X: Officers
Section 6: President/CEO. The President/CEO shall be the chief executive officer of the Society; and shall (a) be appointed by
the Board and serve at its pleasure; (b) be an ex officio, nonvoting ember of the Board; and (c) have general charge and
supervision of the affairs and business of the Society, subject to Board of Directors’ oversight, control and direction. Each year,
the President/CEO shall submit a written report to the members summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the Society
during the previous fiscal year. The President/CEO shall report to the Board through the Chair.