Structure of Governance
TI's current structure has only one level: the EC. There is no one checking the activities of the EC other than the Annual General Meeting which we can see has limited control over EC actions and, in any case, cannot monitor them during the year when it counts. Theoretically the Centre is run by majority vote of the Members but they normally only vote annually and that is to appoint an EC that will act on their behalf during the following year. Effectively the EC is a law unto itself for that year.
There are three mandatory positions on the EC and that is also the minimum number of members of the EC: Director, Treasurer and Secretary. There seems to be no maximum number of additional EC "ordinary members" but that number has to be decided at each AGM and cannot be changed by the EC between AGMs.
The Achilles heel is that the EC appoints the CD and always (at minimum 2:1) outvotes the CD so the CD has no power to direct anyone without case-by-case approval of the EC majority.
As we have seen in 2019, if the members wish to modify/reign-in/influence the EC, it is like herding cats. Without a better structure of oversight (checks and balances) the EC is free to do whatever it chooses.
There is only one governing factor at the moment and it is the Rules of Association. The current EC has shown that any EC can treat those Rules as optional without any problem. Many examples can be shown but the most troubling and fundamental issue is that they allow anyone at all to become a member — this is expressly not according to the Rules.
I would like us to discuss how to protect the Centre from takeover by bad actors and how to protect the sizable $10 million+ assets from mortgaging and other liabilities that are currently not subject to scrutiny and vetting or second-level approval.
Jamyang: You will notice that their board is above the Director and that the Director is above the managers. Their Board also directly sits above four other areas that are not under the Director. These "Board Sub-groups role: to provide input and advice to the board on specific issues."
"Board role: governance, finances, strategic overview and development." 5-8 trustees for 3 years periods.
Friends: anyone who supports Jamyang with time or money. Has its own chair who is elected annually and sits on the Board.
Buddha House has a Board similar to TI's EC — contains CD, Treasurer, Secretary, SPC, Ass CD plus 3 ordinary members who collectively sit above the CD who in turn sits above the various activities/areas (like our Portfolios) of the Centre.
I don't know who runs all these areas, but I imagine they are not run by the exact same group as at TI.
In my version of the current TI structure, I claim that having the portfolios on the EC is the problem. This problem can be directly traced back to a previous TI CD who pinched the idea of "portfolios" from the Australian Government. Everyone was against the idea at the time and now it has come to bite him on the bum. If the Portfolios were outside the EC and under the CD, things would be a lot clearer.
The EC could decide the direction for TI and the CD could manage the Portfolios to execute the EC's wishes. This is effectively how TI has been running up until now; it has been hamstrung by the limits of the Portfolio holders' vision for the Centre. Nothing gets tackled unless it fits within the scope of their experience and skill sets.
OK, here's my latest version of what to do.
I propose that we brand the 40-50 people I've listed here https://workflowy.com/s/board-names-20/PRxfMgFZElgkrvH9 - I'm calling them "Elders" because I couldn't come up with a better label. And obviously there will be other people I don't know who should also be included.
There are lots of great benefits in creating this group. It is recognition from TI that these people have been important contributors and not just for each individual, but also for others who don't know what they have done for TI. Importantly it brands these people with responsibility for stepping up in times of crisis; they are important to TI and TI says so. Imagine what a difference it could have made this year.
What is the role of Members vis a vis AGMs? Discuss.
The key is to get the portfolios out of the EC so they are free of the Rules and unable to vote down the CD.