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pdf SCAR EXCOM 2009 WP10: Functioning and Leadership of SSGs


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SCAR Executive Committee Meeting
5-7 August 2009, Punta Arenas, Chile

SCAR EXCOM 2009 WP10: Functioning and Leadership of SSGs

Working Paper 10
Agenda Item: 3.3.6
Deadline: 15 May
Person Responsible: Kennicutt

Goal: By 2010 streamline the SSGs’ meetings to develop a higher level of strategic thinking, more focus on scientific outputs and less on the mechanics of administration, and the production of a streamlined report following a specified template, so as to engender more excitement at Delegates’ meetings about SCAR’s mission and work.

The Issue: The organizational transformation of SCAR has been completed with ongoing continuous improvement. The next step is to rethink how SCAR conducts its business, emphasizing improved communication, inclusion and consultation. The adoption of an interactive model for how we function, while embracing a forward-looking and more efficient approach to conducting SCAR business, is an essential next step in the evolution of SCAR. Two key steps are involved:

  • reforming the SSG Business meetings (this paper)
  • reforming the Delegates meetings (paper WP 21).

SCAR’s biennial meetings provide a critical communication opportunity through which to demonstrate the benefits of SCAR’s membership to the Delegates, so these meetings must be organized and managed in such a way as to exploit to the full the potential for communicating exciting developments and plans to the Delegates. These are our first-order customers as they finance the organization, and the future of SCAR is critically dependent on its member nations feeling that they are getting value for their investment.

The Objective: The conduct of SCAR’s business begins at the formulation of reports by the SSGs, SRPs, SCs and others and ends with final adoption of the report by the Delegates. All steps along the way need to be orchestrated within a coordinated structure as the last step is dependent on the first step and each step in the process sets the stage for each succeeding step. The overarching objective is to regularize how SCAR conducts business, to free all of us to concentrate our efforts on the substantive internal and external issues we need to address as a team. A secondary purpose is to reduce the paper burden at all levels. Overly long papers are not read and important items are often lost or obscured in the process. The conduct of SCAR business is essential but it should not inordinately consume our limited time, resources, and attention. It is hoped that once these reforms are adopted our time and effort on these duties will be decreased, the meetings are conducted in a more methodical fashion, and the Delegates feel that they are an essential and integral part of the process.